Bill "Eyla" Nguyen proved himself to be more than competent at the LCS level while subbing in for starting Team Liquid support Jo "CoreJJ" Yong-in, but after CoreJJ acquired his green card, it looked as if Eyla's time in the LCS with Team Liquid had come to an end. Instead, CoreJJ ended up having to tend to a personal matter in week 4, which marked the return of Eyla to the starting lineup for the first superweek of the 2022 LCS Spring Split, in which TL went 2-1 and is now tied for 1st place.
After Team Liquid's first match in week 4 of the 2022 LCS Spring Split, Eyla sat down with Inven Global to discuss the situation surrounding his sudden return to the LCS, his thoughts on CoreJJ's vocal endorsement of his abilities, and his outlook on the future of his career.
I didn't expect to see you in the LCS this soon! Did you expect to be back this soon?
I was definitely not expecting to come back to LCS this soon. After the first three weeks of the Spring Split, I was like, "Ok. LCS part is done. Time to focus on Academy." At the time, I felt like our Academy team wasn't doing very well, so I had full focus on what I should do on TL Academy and what I could implement in the team from what I learned during my time on the LCS roster.
I played week 3 with TL Academy, then all of a sudden, I'm coming back to LCS. It was definitely unexpected, but I'm still happy to be here.
When did you find out you were starting in place of CoreJJ once again?
I had time to prepare. I played this whole week of scrims with the LCS team.
Last week, CoreJJ said that he felt there was no better support in the LCS better than you, besides himself, of course. Did you expect Core to say that and do you feel like your level of play has been deserving of the praise you've received?
I think I still have a lot more to prove. I was pretty surprised when Core said that. The level of LCS supports is not as high as I expected when compared to other roles. For example, the best mid and top laners like Bjergsen and Bwipo, respectively, play at a level that is a very big gap compared to LCS supports. Looking at LCS supports, no one is near Core. I think Core is by far the best, but when he's out of the picture, the overall league's level drops a lot more than I would have expected.
Whether you agree with CoreJJ or not, what supports outside of Team Liquid are at the top level in the LCS?
It's probably the 100 Thieves bot lane duo. They're pretty good, but I also think a lot of that is FBI. I don't know too much about huhi and his comms, but when I face him by himself in solo queue or Champions Queue, he doesn't shock me the same way. However, when FBI and huhi are together, they're for sure a bot lane to be respected.
Do you attribute your ability to play to the LCS level more towards your previous experience in the OPL or your growth on Team Liquid Academy?
I definitely thought it would be a hard transition. I'm not the type of player that instantly performs out of nowhere. For me, it takes time to learn, and over the year, I will always progressively trend upwards in my skill level.
I'm not someone who jumps out of nowhere and just smurfs at the start of the year. I don't think that's how I play or learn, so I definitely thought it would take time to adjust. It has taken time to adjust — a lot of the things I'm learning or what my teammates in the LCS are teaching me are things I've never learned or even thought of before, so it is taking a bit of time.
What specific areas of your gameplay have you focused on improving during your time in the LCS?
There are a lot of small concepts. I usually understand the bigger picture stuff pretty well, but there are a lot of smaller concepts that pop up often and change depending on the state of the game. For example, there are a lot of ways supports utilize tempo to be faster to locations on the map like basing faster than your opponent, basing when your AD is clearing a wave — all kinds of stuff like this. They're very minute, but they make a big difference in certain situations.
For example, basing on time so that you reach herald or are faster to it than your opponent — all that stuff matters so much more than it does in the LCS Academy League. I find it complex because there are certain concepts you must apply in the right situation and you have to have the foresight to see that situation ahead of time. Learning all of that stuff has helped me improve.
You've played alongside Hans sama this season, who has done well despite having to rotate support partners. What's it been like playing with him and how would you describe your bot lane dynamic with Hans sama?
I think Hans is really insane so I'm very happy to get to play with him. The way we work is that he takes more of a leading position. He will have a direction on how he wants to play lane and I will sort of work around that.
A lot of the time I am just trying to understand his perspective on the game because he has a different perspective than a lot of bot laners and from the rest of our team. He likes to play a heavy-resource bot lane — he likes to be greedy, and the team doesn't necessarily always agree or understand where he is coming from.
I'm just trying to understand him and find the middle ground in where I can help the rest of the map while also helping him be greedy, so I try to work around my understanding of him.
Has the amount of time you've spent in the LCS so far in 2022 changed your goals or perceived career trajectory?
My goal has always been to play in LCS and qualify for Worlds, but I take it one step at a time. My goal hasn't changed, it's just that things along that path have happened sooner than I expected, so that's nice.
Is there anything you want to say to the Team Liquid fans?
Thank you very much to everyone. Shoutout to Dodo because it's his birthday today. Unfortunately, we couldn't get a win on his birthday, but he's been very nice to everyone, including me. Also, shoutout to Core. I think he's really insane and people should be really surprised — well, no, not surprised because everyone expects him to do well — but everyone should be ready. When Core comes back, Team Liquid is going to be insane.