Looking from the outside, Adam "Adam" Maanane has had a rough couple of months. After being seen as one of the most promising young players seated comfortably with one of the most prestigious organizations in esports, he found himself on a bottom tier filled with inexperienced players. Not only that, his reputation was ruined to many after his comments towards Elias "Upset" Lipp.
Speaking with Adam, though, shows a different story. He’s still very confident in Team BDS’s chances of making a splash in the Summer Split, as well as in his abilities as a top laner. Inven Global spoke with Adam, to discuss the struggles of Team BDS, the public’s perception of him, and how far his team can go.
You stated that you feel BDS will be a strong roster by Summer. Obviously, it’s been a fairly rough split — would you say this result was expected?
I would say personally, I didn't have much expectations. I thought that we would be able to make playoffs. Not easily, but I was expecting maybe sixth place, at the very least, with a bit of hope. I wasn't sure that we would make playoffs, so this is why I'm not that surprised that we didn't, considering that we're a new team, and we didn't play so well in the early season; the whole season, I would say. So not that surprised, actually. I think it's like the same feeling for everyone on the team. It feels good that everyone is kinda all on the same page regarding playoffs.
What was the thinking from GrabbZ and the coaching staff? Were they on the same page as well?
I think that GrabbZ's initial opinion about us was not that we would make playoffs in Spring Split, but that we would be able to in Summer, because we would be able to have so much time to adjust things that are not going pretty well in the team. And for that, we needed the team to start to get to know each other better. Same for the coaching staff to understand the players — how the coaching staff is working, and how they can help us.
So I think that GrabbZ was not that surprised, but I think we disappointed ourselves, including the coaching staff, right? Because, honestly, we had the level to get playoffs. It's just we are choking so hard on stage right now. [...] And we couldn't show our best performance, especially when we knew what we were capable of.
"We're pretty confident that going into Summer, we will be an insane team."
How optimistic are you about the team going into the Summer Split?
Honestly, if you look at how BDS were in the early season, and how BDS have been improving all over the season — I think that there were really, really, really quotable improvements in every aspect. I was personally not that strong early season. I was not playing so well. And the more stage games I had, the more confident I was feeling. So I think everyone in the team was pretty scaling. And it's a bit sad that we, unfortunately, didn't get to have a stronger early season. If we had, maybe we would be able to make playoffs. Because I think that BDS have a really insane early game. But unfortunately, we haven't managed to use our advantage in mid game and late game. So we threw a lot of games we shouldn't have.
Regarding Summer Split, we're going to improve even more. And I think that all the small mistakes will actually slightly disappear. We're pretty confident that going into Summer, we will be an insane team. Because the atmosphere in the team is really healthy. There is nothing related to toxicity in the team. It is actually really enjoyable and really healthy to be on this team. Not even for me — everyone in the coaching staff, everyone's enjoying their time in BDS. So this is why I think that might be a really good team in Summer.
You mentioned inexperience and choking were the main problems for the team's lack of success. Are there any other big reasons?
I would say maybe the communication in-game. It's really about the knowledge, right? But you can say that knowledge comes from experience. It can be a lot of stress too, because a lot of people are feeling very nervous during games — especially me — and because we didn't know what to do. So it comes from inexperience, but also a lot of stress. I think communication could be way better and it could help us a lot. I think that we might have not found our team identity yet — what works the best for us. So this is why we're still working on it right now.
"In Fnatic, we were really, really decisive when we wanted something or when we did not want something. And when you see BDS, we are not decisive at all."
Let's talk about your individual performance. You played quite a few stage games last year and did well. Why has this year been different then?
Honestly, I can't really say. I mean, in Fnatic, it was pretty easy for me to play the games. I had such an experienced roster that the game was just playing really, really naturally. And I didn't really need to think about what I needed to do because it was very natural. Everyone kinda knew how to play the game and the communication was very natural. The difference between Fnatic and BDS is just that the game isn't going as naturally as when I could have played in Fnatic. Everyone in Fnatic kinda knew what to do. So, as long as you already know what to do, then I know what to do.
In Fnatic, we were really, really decisive when we wanted something or when we did not want something. And when you see BDS, we are not decisive at all. We don't know what to do, which makes the game for me harder, I would say. And this is one of the reasons why maybe I cannot be as good. I mean, of course, it's not about being as good, but not being able to play like I want to. And I would say also that my individual performance so far — even if you shake up everything in the game regarding rotations and stuff — it's just that I was not being at my best at all.
A lot of people used you as a scapegoat for BDS' lack of success. Do you think this is fair?
I don't think that's fair. I think that the hype right now is just to flame me, because of the drama with Upset. But honestly, I try to not pay attention to what people are saying. I just don't care about their lives. If their life's just to flame me, then why would I give a f*ck? Sorry for these words. But why would I give a f*ck about such people, who just try to f*ck my mental health when they don't even know me? It's just, you know, free violence, free hate. I just shouldn't pay attention to that. I just try to not let it affect me. And I'm just living my life. I play my game and I'm chilling.
You think a more fair assessment is that the blame is equal across the team?
I don't think that we should be thinking like that, you know? I don't think that we should be trying to look for problems in BDS, because as you said, it's like a whole, it's not just me. It's not even the team as a whole, it's not even the coaching staff on their own. It's everyone. I think that there are things that you cannot really fix easily. Like the inexperience, the stress in-game — you cannot fix them easily. The fact that you know what to do in every circumstance in the game is not something that you can fix easily. So, yeah, I personally think that we're not a bad team. We just need more time.
You mentioned that people try to affect your mental health. How has your headspace been in 2022 compared to 2021?
My career started basically last year in January 2021 when I joined Kcorp. I had never received any type of flame in my career. So the beginning of this season was the first time that I was receiving actual hate. Just people that come and DM and just throw their hate randomly, without any type of context. So this was actually the first time I was experiencing that. And when you actually experience this, for the first time, it's not very enjoyable, I would say. I didn't feel so good about it. But the more time went by, the more I understood that this was kind of hype to flame like this. This is also motivation to play the game even more. I started to stream again. And I started to just simply ignore them for me.
"I think that the hype right now is just to flame me, because of the drama with Upset."
If you had to give a percentage, what do you think the likelihood that BDS makes playoffs in Summer is?
I think if we give the best of us, it would probably be like 80%, if we manage to just erase the mistakes... and we just need some more knowledge. It's not that we need a lot of knowledge, we just need a little bit of knowledge that we can implement in our games. And we won't be able to throw the games. That should be one for us.
Besides you guys gaining more experience, how would that knowledge come to be? BDS is one of the most inexperienced teams in the LEC — what's the plan?
We have GrabbZ and Duffman — we have a really strong coaching staff that are teaching us the game pretty well. And this is why we just need some time. If we just get the time and come back in Summer, I think that we will be really strong.
Do you have any shot at top three this year?
Of being top three? This might actually be hard. I mean, our goal to make playoffs is not guaranteed yet, so I think that right now we will just focus on trying to make playoffs. And in Summer, we'll see if we're actually able to make top three. I think this is a good start.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.