After Evil Geniuses secured the 4th seed in the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs, jungler Kacper "Inspired" Słoma spoke to Inven Global about his first split in North America, the current jungle meta, and his upcoming face-off with Team Liquid jungler Lucas "Santorin" Larsen in the first round of the post-season.
How do you feel about your first split in the LCS?
I think it went quite well considering we have a rookie mid and an AD carry who didn't really have much experience. I think that finishing in the top 4 is fine. Now we just need to prepare well for playoffs to finish higher because I would not be too happy about finishing 4th overall.
How do you think you performed this split individually?
I think Blaber and I were probably the best junglers. I feel like I played very well.
The jungle meta has changed a bit since we last spoke. What are your thoughts on the current jungle meta and how it suits your personal playstyle?
I don't think the meta has changed much. Hecarim is still very strong; Xin Zhao got kicked out of the meta a bit because of his nerfs, but overall, it's still the same champs alongside Lee Sin and Volibear. It hasn't really changed much. This meta pretty boring to play. I don't really like the champions —you play only for your team and you rely on them to carry you because you can't really do much after ten minutes. Other than that, the meta seems pretty fun.
You've been vocal about your displeasure with the best-of-one format and how you just now feel like competitive matches are starting to matter. Aside from this belief, are there any other factors to EG's team identity that you think will make your team strong in a best-of-five format?
Taking more risks in the draft is definitely more possible in best-of-fives than best-of-ones. If you want to win bo1s you need to always just draft a safe composition and not give your enemies to many win conditions.
I don't think it's that fun to play and I don't think you learn a lot from it, so I think we will be able to pull out some different picks from game-to-game in a best-of-five series. If we lose with a certain composition, we can just change everything around and play something completely different, so this is a big plus for us, for sure.
I think everyone our team has a big champion pool, especially me and jojo. I think we play like every single champion in the game in our respective roles, so that will make it difficult for the enemy team to draft against us.
Your first match of the 2022 LCS Spring Playoffs is against 1st seed Team Liquid. Of all the opponents EG could face in the post-season, do you expect them to be the toughest opponent?
Team Liquid is definitely the best. 100 Thieves and Cloud9 are not that good, but TL is a pretty good team. Beating TL would mean that we would probably win LCS. Beating them will be the hardest, but I think it's still possible. I think that we're also a good team, but they're definitely way stronger than 100 Thieves and C9.
Does knowing that your first match of the post-season is against your toughest possible opponent add or relieve pressure?
For me, it's less pressure because even if we lose, we still have the potential lower bracket run. If we end up beating TL, things are already really easy. I don't really feel pressure.
Last time we spoke, you said that Blaber was the only jungler who stood out to you in the LCS. What are your thoughts on your upcoming matchup against Santorin?
Santorin's not doing that bad; he's always very stable. He's always making sure he's thinking about what's required of him. He's everywhere his team needs him to be, but he's not doing anything to get the lead. It's more that his team is getting the lead and he's just helping them with it.
Santorin's playing fine. It's not as easy to abuse him as it is other junglers in NA because other junglers make a lot of mistakes, but he doesn't really make mistakes. As I said, he's just consistently playing well around his lanes. I don't think the jungle matchup will be very interactive, but it will be fun.
Thanks for the interview, Inspired. Is there anything you want to say to the Evil Geniuses fans before the start of the LCS Spring Playoffs?
Even though we finished 4th and the beginning of the split was kind of rough, I hope you guys are still cheering for us. I believe that we can win.
All images by: Parkes Ousley