This year has been interesting for Emil "Larssen" Larsson. After a strong, but disappointing year with Rogue in 2021, many were expecting players like Larssen and Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu to fall off after the Rogue roster was gutted of their star AD carry and jungler. Instead, the opposite happened.
Rogue continued to excel with their new lineup, and Larssen actually got to show off his talents even more with a more involved role on the team. Inven Global spoke with Larssen, to discuss his current thoughts on playoffs, how he stacks up in the LEC, and how top European mid laners will fare against the best of the east.
Congratulations on your win over Misfits, Larssen! What were your expectations compared to how this set went?
If both teams played to the level that they can play, I would've expected it to be a 3-0 for us. Which is kind of what happened. We had one off-game, but it was kind of an easy series, it was not too hard-fought. But then also there has been a three-week break, and it's the first best-of-5 of the year, so you never know exactly what will happen. But I feel like both teams played to their strengths, and it kind of went as expected.
Many were unsure of how Misfits would do in the playoffs. What problems did they run into? Was their play similar to the regular season?
I feel like maybe they were playing worse than the regular season. Maybe they were playing worse on stage, or because it's their first best-of-5 with a lot of rookies. I feel like they were maybe playing a bit worse and dying too many easy deaths. But it's not like they've been playing that well in the LEC either. It's not too big of a difference, but it felt like they were playing a bit worse than usual.
When speaking with Neon, he stated he thinks Vetheo doesn't play as much for the team as he should. As a fellow mid laner, do you think there's truth to this idea?
I can see him playing kind of demanding and trying to play for his lane a lot, maybe. I think he is a Chovy fanboy, so he will definitely try to be egoistic and play a lot for himself, play for CS, and try to maybe get his jungler and support to go mid a lot. I'm not sure. I don't feel like he plays badly for his team when I play against him. He's doing a decent job for his team. But definitely caPs or Humanoid are playing a bit more for the team.
Would Misfits be better if they did so?
I don't think so, really. I think he has been doing a very good job with how he's been playing. Misfits are not the strongest team. They have decent players, but he definitely needs to carry. So I think it's the right mentality for himself that he should definitely try to carry.
Especially near the tail-end of the split, some have expected Misfits to choke again in the playoffs. Is this a fair idea, or is it just people looking at the team's past performances?
I think we're an extremely different team, like an extremely different team from last year. It's not even close to how we play in-game. If you see these games [against Misfit], last year it was just playing for bot and farming jungler. And our team in that series [was] pretty bad as well. Now, we have a way different playstyle. Last year, we were very bad at snowballing the games, because we were trying to play three lanes too much and farm too much. We were not trying to snowball early enough.
We were playing way too passive. We were way too greedy and we kind of refused to change last year. This year, it's very different — if you see how we snowball games, it's very different. Our jungler is very different, and we're not only playing for bot, we're playing also for mid as well, and even top.
Humanoid has stated he thinks the team still has the same problems as before.
There's definitely some truth to it last year, right? It's very clear. Obviously, if we were the same team, there would be truth to it. But we're not the same team. What happened last year will not happen this year, and that's a fact. If we play really bad, it would not be for the same reasons as last year.
You were voted into the LEC 3rd All-Pro Team. Many, including myself, feel that because of your playstyle and team, you're somewhat overlooked. What do you think?
First of all, I really don't care about the LEC All-Pro Team. It's not something I give any f*cks about. I think if you look at the regular split, I've been the second-best mid laner. I've been performing better than Humanoid. But it also really doesn't matter, because performing in playoffs is the important thing now. The regular season doesn't matter anymore. The trophy doesn't come from the regular season, it comes from the playoffs.
Near the beginning of the split, you stated you feel like you would have had to carry a lot more responsibility. Considering how much everyone on Rogue has stepped up, does this hold true now?
The thing definitely stays true. I definitely have a lot more responsibility, both inside and out of the game. Last year, I was just trying to help my team carry, and I couldn't play a carry role. It was very hard. I just needed to do my best and try to make my jungler carry. So it's definitely very different.
I know most mid laners in Europe believe that the baseline of LEC mid laners is worse than in LPL and LCK, but that the top are somewhat comparable. Looking at the mid laners in playoffs, how do you feel they'll compete with, say, Rookie or Faker?
I think me and Humanoid would fare the best against them. I think we're the strongest mids. caPs might become strong again — I feel like he hasn't performed that well. Playing against him, it doesn't feel like the old caPs. But he might just return to performing in playoffs and be really good.
I still think [top 5] mid laners are good. Vetheo is definitely good, Perkz is definitely good. caPs is definitely good. And me and Humanoid are definitely good. So I think all of them could match against Asian mid laners, but Humanoid and I are probably the best.
And how big is the gap there?
Maybe there's a very small gap, but it's not anything big.
All photos by: Riot Games
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