Immortals had a rollercoaster week 8 in the 2021 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split.
After a COVID-19 case connected to Immortals' LCS team caused the team to go remote, another LCS team's similar experience caused the league to return to online play for the matches scheduled on Saturday and Sunday as a precautionary measure.
Despite the circumstances surrounding the team and technical difficulties due to the unexpected to online play, Immortals went 3-0 against Dignitas, Evil Geniuses and 100 Thieves, qualifying for the 2021 LCS Championship in the process.
After Immortals' win against Evil Geniuses, top laner Mo "Revenge" Kaddoura spoke to Inven Global about his team's resiliency through a tumultuous week, what Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett has brought to the team as an assistant coach, and how he feels about his play throughout his rookie LCS season.
Congrats on the win against Evil Geniuses, you guys really had to hang on to come back. Can you tell me what didn't go according to plan today and how the team was able to adjust to succeed nonetheless?
Well, draft was not ideal because we random picked Kayn unintentionally. I won't go too into the specifics about why Kayn was bad in our draft, but it kind of takes away our flexible options with Gwen. That was not the best, I was definitely not happy with it. Overall, it was still playable, but I won't lie, it was definitely an uphill battle for us entering the game knowing that we randomly selected a champion and it wasn't a part of our draft plan, so that was unfortunate.
Your team is no stranger to having to adapt unexpectedly in the middle of a competition. Did your fire alarm situation in week 6 of the Spring Split help you stay focused and relaxed when things didn't go as planned today?
Whenever we get into these kinds of situations as a team, we still try to find a way to look at the positives and be focused on how we're going to compete throughout the weekend. I won't lie, it was definitely rough for us to have to transition back to remote play. A lot of our players really enjoy playing on stage, myself included, obviously.
I'm really proud of us for being able to see the positives and for continuing to focus on winning our competitive matches. That we've been able to do that is really unique because I know a lot of teams who are now joining us a day later in remote play are most definitely affected negatively. It's going to be a battle of who can adapt quickest to the situation, and I think we're doing a great job of that so far.
Between situations like this and winning a game against CLG where you didn't have a kill for the first 37 minutes, I'd say IMT has proven its resiliency. What is it that makes your team so resilient in the face of adversity, regardless of circumstance?
A lot of us are really resilient players. As weird as that sounds, I think it's just that a lot of us have this 'never give up' attitude. If we're falling behind, we're always looking for a way back in the game and focusing on the positives of what is going on. I don't think there's a single negative person on our team, so we can always find a way to come back or at least be positive in whatever situation we are in.
Props to the guys for that, because it's not easy, especially in that CLG game. I feel like a lot of teams would have just shut down after being down so much gold, especially against CLG when everyone is memeing them.
It's not mentally easy to come back in a game every time because when one falls behind, there are a lot of factors people think about. People aren't always thinking about how to win the game when they fall behind. They can be clouded by negative thoughts or overall negativity and that definitely has an effect on people's ability to come back. I applaud all of us for being able to stay focused on the bigger picture, which is winning and improving our gameplay.
Do you think experience is a factor in how a competitor handles these types of situations?
I just try my best to be the best teammate I can be; I don't think about being a rookie or anything like that. I'm learning to be the best competitor I can be, which, in a way, is an area of improvement where I've been doing my best work.
My focus has been on learning how to compete, especially being the rookie on the team, but regardless of being a rookie, I still try to take on a role in being a role model for the team. I'm just trying my hardest to be positive in the game, even when we're behind. I'm also taking notes from Xerxe, who is a veteran, so I've been following in his path, so to speak.
In addition to Xerxe, you have another jungler to learn from with Dardoch joining the team as an assistant coach. What's it been like working with him, and how has he contributed to the team?
I would say he's been doing a lot to help us in our early game planning and overall, making plans before the game begins. Mainly, he's focusing on early game, and I think his presence on the team has been really helpful. I'm really glad to be working with him so far, to be honest. I think we've improved a lot since Dardoch joined, especially early game.
Because of CLG's win over Golden Guardians on Friday, Immortals qualified for the post-season before even playing a match this week. Has that relieved any pressure during the other unexpected circumstances of this week's competition?
There's definitely some relief. I'm honestly extremely excited because I've never been in any playoff series before. I just want to be in the best-of-five scenario and see how well I can play because I've never experienced it before.I would say I still feel the same pressure in terms of expectations of wanting to perform really well alongside everyone, but in a way, I am definitely relieved that we have qualified for playoffs.
That being said, I'm still gunning for top 6 for us, so that's why I'm not necessarily as relieved yet, so to speak. I still have that goal because every single win left is extremely important to secure a top 6 seed in the LCS Championship. We needed to win against Dignitas in order to even have a chance to overtake 6th place because of DIG's positive head-to-head record against us. We're still taking every game really seriously, one game at a time.
We know that it can come down to just one game in terms of us finishing in the top 6 or not. Even if DIG decides to lose every single game left, we would still need one more win than what we have right now. I'd say it's unlikely, but either way, we need at least one win more than DIG, so we're taking every game extremely seriously.
Do you feel that you've accomplished enough in your rookie LCS season by simply qualifying for the post-season?
To be honest, I don't really feel that accomplished. I think it might take a long time for me to feel accomplished in LCS. I want to have more time in LCS to be able to show and prove how good I am. I haven't really done that to my standard yet, so I'm not fulfilled in any way yet.
All images by: Oshin Tudayan/Riot Games via ESPAT