Long-time top laner Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamás has returned to the Worlds stage, this time as a substitute top laner for Oceania's PEACE, leading the Aussies to their first Worlds outing ever.
After a tough day 1 loss to LNG Esports, Vizicsacsi sat down with Inven Global to talk the top lane meta, how the team's feeling, and how playing for MAD Lions reinvigorated his competitive career.
In the past, you've contributed to teams significantly as a shotcaller. What's it been like playing on the Peace roster?
During practice, yes. In our only stage game so far, I felt we were very reluctant to make the plans we were executing on in practice. I think everyone was just getting used to the stage, and once I got put behind, the team fell so far behind as well. I couldn't really find the openings that are usually present in a game because once you fall that far behind, all you can do is defend. Generally, I try to shotcall a lot more and help the team out.
What are your impressions of the PCE roster?
I still think we definitely need more time to get used to each other. Sadly, we don't have that time — the amount of practice we've had together was about four or five days. That's really not enough to become one of the best teams, so what we can hope for right now is for a miracle to happen on stage where everything comes together. Sometimes, something like that happens where everything just suddenly clicks. That's what I'm hoping for tomorrow because now, we all know how it is to play on this stage. We know what to expect tomorrow and we should be able to prepare better.
This is your first time competing in a while. How close are you to where you want to be in terms of your play, especially if you're planning to compete in the LEC next season?
Personally, there is definitely room for improvement, especially in the champion pool department. I'm playing a lot of stuff in solo queue, but I haven't solidified some of the meta champions that are present right now. That's something I should definitely improve on because I feel quite confident on my comfort champions. In that case, there is no issue, but I think I still need to expand my champion pool and pick up the newest meta champions. It's hard to tell exactly what that is, as well. Every team is playing different stuff, so I guess it's kind of a create-your-own meta thing, but at the same time, it's important to have a diverse champion pool with a lot of safe blind picks.
"My chance with MAD Lions definitely helped me come back competitively."
Top lane is considered an extremely unforgiving and mentally draining role. What makes you want to continue to play top lane competitively?
I think it's definitely very unforgiving. You could see that in this game — after I died to the first gank, the snowball effect gave them full control and I can only call my jungler to defend. However, that's not an option you can do all the time because then you are always on the defensive. Top lane is very snowball-y. I think that comes back to the picks I mentioned earlier, which is why you need to solidify your champion pool and know what is good against what in each matchup.
Also, you need to have better planning. For example, I started pushing in this game because that is what I'm used to. Against Fiora, Gangplank can get the push advantage, but the level 3 gank paths that Qiyana can do have so much variety that you can't really ward them all out and protect yourself. In this case, I probably should have just let the Fiora push. It would have looked much better for me because that would have been the safer option.
Comebacks like yours and Gamsu's are very rare in esports and are considered very challenging. What has the experience been for you when compared to your expectations?
Since I arrived in Iceland, it's definitely been challenging. At first, I was overdoing a lot in practice and I don't think I was ready to maintain that physically and mentally. Now, I'm just finding more of a balance between a good, active physical lifestyle where you eat healthily. Simultaneously, you'll notice while practicing a certain amount of games when you start to overdo it. Once you start noticing your focus is dropping a lot, you stop, take a break, and maybe do something else. It's more about the quality than the quantity. If you just spam 20 games today, but the last 10 were unproductive, then it probably would have been better to just play the first 10 and then focus on something else.
Can you talk a bit about your experience in working with Armut?
My chance with MAD Lions definitely helped me come back competitively. I learned so much from the MAD Lions players — how they think about the game, how they view certain things, and the competitive mindset I was missing out on because I was only playing solo queue at the time. It all just came back to me. In that regard, it was very helpful. Working together with Armut made it possible for me to just watch top lane and completely focus on him. I tried to give him feedback for his laning phase since that's mainly what he wanted to focus on, and I was learning a lot about matchups in doing so. I would ask him his thoughts about matchups and how he could maybe change up something about the matchup. I think it was a very pleasant experience.
In the later stages of the LEC Summer Playoffs, MAD showed increased focus towards the top side of the map, which led to great success. Do you think we'll see more of that going forward as far as how teams approach different matchups at Worlds?
It looks like it's a top lane meta right now. In terms of focus, almost all the teams are pathing towards top lane and a lot of carries are being played. That comes back to tanks not really being viable right now due to Lord Dominik's Regards and a lot of items that deal percentage of health damage. Because of these damage dealers, it's very difficult to make tanks work.
As I mentioned earlier, top lane is very snowball-y and explosive right now so getting a tiny bit of space for your top laner can give you full control of the match. I haven't seen this be possible on the bot side of the map yet because it's much harder to kill two people with four Summoner Spells unless you dive them as a five-man unit with double Teleports from the solo lanes. This makes it much more difficult to play towards the bot side of the map, while top is every jungler's easy pickup right now.
"What we can hope for right now is for a miracle to happen on stage where everything comes together."
It's thought by many that Odoamne is still the best top laner in the west. After working with Armut, do you think he's surpassed Odoamne?
Definitely. I think Armut is the best top laner in the West right now. I watched his laning phase on stage and he's extremely confident and knows his matchups well. He has very few downsides right now. I think he showcased well in the LEC Summer Playoffs that he is at least one of the best top laners, if not the best. However, the North American teams are also at this tournament, and I think Alphari has had a good showing as well. I always considered him one of the strongest in EU when he was still present here. If it came down to who was the best top laner in the west, it would be either Armut or Alphari.
Having worked with MAD Lions, what does MAD do well as a team, and how do you think it can compare to how well G2 Esports and Fnatic have done internationally in seasons past?
What MAD does extremely well is unique, which is focusing on the psychological and mental aspects of the game and trying to solve conflicts instantly with their eyes. I think that's what makes them such a great team. They also have a lot of fun playing together and that has been proven to be one of the most important factors in a team's success. When the G2 roster was having a ton of success, they were also enjoying the game a lot. They loved playing together and thinking about the game. When you enjoy what you're doing, you are thinking proactively, and then, the possibilities are kind of endless. I think that's the key to MAD Lions' success: focusing on managing the conflict and enjoying the game together.
It's so exciting to have you back competing. What does it take for a veteran like yourself coming back to the competitive scene to stand out amongst a plethora of prodigal rookies?
I'd say it's the experience, the attitude, and the balanced lifestyle. I focus on the lifestyle stuff in ways not many people do, and I think that overall, I'm very easy to work with. I'm quite chill as a person and I'm always trying to look out and make sure others are feeling good about themselves within the team. I think those are quite important qualities in any team.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.