On April 23rd (PDT) in Vancouver, Canada; Team SoloMid was crowned as the champion of NA LCS after they defeated Cloud9 in a close match with a full set of games. TSM was dominant in Game 1 and 2, but C9 didn't go down without a fight as they took Game 3 and 4 off TSM. The match eventually ended in TSM's favor after a close game that ended with a single teamfight.
Here is the full press interview with the reigning champion - Team SoloMid.
Bjergsen, how was did the final call for cutting the minion wave and going for the elder dragon made? It was a very risky call.
We were limited in options. However, it wasn't much of a risk, they couldn't catch us without Ekko, and they were not in position to flank us. So, we were safe to get the wave and force them to react to us which will end in our favor.
Bjergsen, you've been vocal your desire to improve yourself and put yourself in international stage. How do you keep yourself motivated and not get burnt out?
I focused on smaller things - smaller things that I can track. My daily motivations are smaller things that I can get better and better that's working towards a big goal.
A pigeon was in the arena both in yesterday and today. How did you guys react to it?
Hauntzer: I didn't know that was a pigeon.
Bjergsen: I thought it was a bug?
WildTurtle: There was an actual bug too.
Parth (Coach), Why do you think C9 alternated between Ray and Impact?
I'm not really sure, but I think they liked having Impact when Red, and Ray when Blue.
How will you prepare against wild card teams in MSI?
Haunzter: We always do the same thing. Try not to underestimate them and practice really hard.
Wildturtle: Underestimation is the biggest reason for losing. Taking them lightly and not doing things that you always do like playing around visions calls will lose you games.
Biofrost, you've now had some stages of development as you played with Doublelift and Wildturtle. How would you reflect your career and what are your goals for the future?
In the first split with TSM, I was just excited to be here and Doublelift helped me a lot with his playbook as well as what to (do) around bottom lane. When I started to play with Wildturtle, I had to learn how to adjust to a new AD Carry during this transition period. Now both Wildturtle and I got a lot better since we first played. We just try to improve on both smaller things and obvious things, and try to be the best that we can.
Bjergsen. You got camped pretty hard in Game 4. How did you manage to 'reset' your mentality in Game 5 and win the game?
I didn't have any issue with resetting. I think Game 4 happened because they had pressure on every lane that transitioned into into mid. So, we just tried to avoid the same situation by drafting champions that could pressure mid and me picking a champion that I was comfortable with. Either way, I wasn't going to tilt on stage.
Parth, you'll only have a short time left after returning from MSI before the next split. How will you adjust and prepare for the next split, especially when other teams would have plenty of time to prepare?
If we stay for the entire MSI duration, we'll only have two weeks before the next split. I hope in future: MSI could be shortened; we could get more time before the next split or even a bye week for the team that went to MSI. Nonetheless, even if we get rusty after returning from MSI, we'll start slowly and build up momentum at the end.
Svenskeren, Teams played cautious until Game 4, but Game 5 was completely the opposite. Was it a plan to make plays like that or was it just how it turned out?
After Game 4 where we just got smashed, we just talked that 'Next game, we are not going to be passive - we will try to win lanes and make aggressive calls.'
Svenskeren, how did you prepare for the match, as you were facing against Contractz?
We scrimmed a lot with C9 for semifinals, so I had a rough idea of how they played. So, we didn't really prepare anything special, we just played with the knowledge from previous scrims.
Biofrost and Wildturtle, how does it feel to come back to Canada to play the game?
Biofrost: I have a lot of emotions for Vancouver and Toronto. Having those emotions and channeling it positively for better performance is usually a pivotal way to play better.
Wildturtle: But we also have to focus on the game to not get emotions get in the way.
Hauntzer, you had to prepare against two players - Ray and Impact, is it harder to prepare against two players with different playstyles?
I didn't really prepare for 'two people', because you know Ray will play carry and Impact will play tanks. I just thought of them as a single player who is good at both carry and tank. It's easier to prepare that way.
Bjergsen, C9 didn't play well in Game 1 and 2. What were your impression of C9 during those games?
They were getting solo-killed in lanes and dying to every play that we set up. However, I knew that was not like them at all, so I told everyone that we needed to play better in case C9 plays better because we didn't do that great in Game 1 and 2.
Hauntzer, how did you feel about having to go against the influx of Korean top laners?
Coming into the split, every team was announcing that they got new Korean top laners like Ssumday, Flame, Looper, and everyone in the community was saying that it was going to be a really rough split for native NA tops and they’re going to have to prove themselves.
But I think that’s maybe just because of how the community overrates Korean players, and getting to play against them during the split, they’re not as good as the fans say they are, and it was just kind of playing against mediocre opponents. It didn’t feel like there was too much pressure on me after I played against them because they’re not as good as people think they are.
Hauntzer, how did playing against Kled feel?
Kled is annoying for his two forms - He has a big advantage in all-ins because of it. You have to respect that, make sure he can't snowball in lane, and play better in teamfights.
Hauntzer, how is the team communication structure now that you've stepped in as a shotcaller instead of Doublelift?
We had no one to set up plays going into the split. So we all had to learn a lot about plays, such as transitioning our leads into plays and objectives. Through that, we learned how to shotcall. Of course, since Bgjersen and I are more vocal, we tend to set up plays according to our specialities, but everyone contributes on their own.
Parth, as a coach, how did you prepare against C9?
We spent a lot of time preparing against C9, and we also had to take sides into account. We thought about a lot of scenarios - Game 1 and 2 went as expected, but we had to adapt in game 3 and 4, especially in Game 4. We went back to our comfort zone in 5. Seeing how it turned out, I think preparation served us well, but both adaptation and preparation are equally important.
Bjergsen, how do you feel about the current roster of TSM?
It's really different in terms of communication. This iteration of TSM really communicates a lot more individually and try to help each other as much as possible when making plays across the map.
Bjergsen, how well do you think the team will do in the MSI?
I don't know how well we'll do, but I do know that we need to have a decent plan. Unless we underestimate our opponents completely, I'm sure we'll make it through the play-in stage fairly easily. I think it will come down to how effectively we practice because we'll scrim against teams that we'll be playing against. It's going to be a mindgame of hiding champions that we don't want to show and showing champions that we want them to see. I suppose the preparation will be fun in a way.
Bjergsen, we've seen a lot of infrastructure and skill improvements throughout the organizations. How do you think the NA LCS will be in the Summer Split?
We really worked hard this season that I was almost getting burnt out, even when I personally think that summer split is more important. Since everyone puts more weight on the summer split, I think everyone will be ramping up the infrastructure in the summer split.
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