The lion has finally awoken. After a disappointing performance in LEC’s Summer Split, MAD Lions have come back into form for the Summer Playoffs, delivering a commanding winning performance against G2, going 3-1 throughout. Though all the members looked to have made a comeback, it’s certainly most true for İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek.
After a season full of needless deaths and low kill participation, Armut’s play against G2 has him looking like one of the best top laners in the region. Inven Global spoke with Armut about his confidence as a top laner, the strength of Korean top laners versus LEC, and MAD’s chances of beating Rogue.
You were someone that was confident that you guys were going to start playing well once playoffs came around — did you expect to do this well? What do you think was the reason why you were so good now compared to the regular season?
I think I got burnt out from the MSI period. I wanted to chill in the first four or five weeks, so I didn't play much League of Legends, I did not watch League of Legends, and I was not really motivated to show myself that much. After some time after resting, and when I finally found my motivation again, I was able to perform like this, and I have the full confidence in myself that I can be my best again, and maybe even better.
Across the board, you had great stats this series, but the big thing I noticed was you were involved in significantly more kills than in the regular season. Was this a goal going in for you? Why weren’t you as bloodthirsty in the regular season compared to now?
Not really. I didn't think "Hmm, my kill participation is kind of low, I should get higher." I just have to play the correct game. If my kill participation is really low, then either my team is just not waiting for me or I'm in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'm making mistakes. I just played correctly and my team respected me when I said "Just wait for me", for example. And we play pretty well as a team. So that's why my kill participation was like this.
It was a pretty one-sided result, and most people considered G2 to be one of the stronger teams going in. What were your expectations?
I think our scrims in the last two weeks weren’t really going so well. But I was believing in myself really hard because I think my performance was really high even in those scrims. I was really trusting myself that I could be able to carry for my team against G2. And I think I kind of managed a really good game today, and we won. I was expecting to win, but I was also expecting G2 to be a better team. 3-2 for any side, this is what I was expecting.
One interesting move made was the addition of Viszicaci very late into the season, just recently. What has it been like working with him? Have there been tangible differences in your play?
First of all, I think he's a really great person. And he's helping me a lot, he's showing me my mistakes. And he's teaching you how to make it work. It's really good to have a good top laner watching your play because he can see the things that I don't see.
Are there any specific things that you can think of in terms of things that he's helped you with?
Most of the stuff is laning. I'm getting help about laning because I think if I fixed that, if I make my laning the best in Europe, I am going to be a really strong player.
You guys are going to be facing Rogue. Odoamne is once again in the position of being the best top laner in Europe — how confident are you going in now?
I'm expecting to win for myself. I feel so much more ready than the last time.
Is that telling towards Odoamne or are you just that confident in your current level?
I don't care about the opponent. I just focus on myself. And I think I'm ready to take on most likely everyone in LEC in top lane. I feel ready.
Inven Global has been discussing with a lot of players the strength between LCK and LEC. How does that look to you for top lane — arguably Korea's strongest position? What about LPL?
I think the gap is not that huge. They're better than us but it's not that high. It's not like an unreachable level, we can reach it for sure.
LPL… I think they are more dangerous than the LCK most likely but I still think it's reachable.
When I spoke with Elyoya, he said that if MAD gets good enough practice in, that you guys would beat Rogue really easily in a finals matchup. Do you still think that’s the case?
Yeah, I think our scrims have been going really bad lately. So if we fix that, if our scrims go really well, and if we manage to learn new stuff as a team, I think we're gonna beat them.
All images via: Riot Games
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