One more series. That's all it takes for Rogue top laner Andrei "Odoamne" Pascu to finally become an LEC champion. Despite being one of the most storied and consistent players in European history — a career filled with strong playoff runs and Worlds appearances — the veteran has still never had a major win. Odoamne has continued having great performances throughout his time on Rogue, but his teams have continued to fall apart in the post-season.
As Rogue entered the 2022 LEC Spring Split playoffs as the number one seed, many thought a repeat situation would happen right away. Facing off against Fnatic in the upper bracket finals, it was almost the case. Odoamne helped them clutch it out — playing excellent weak side to edge Fnatic out 3-2.
After Rogue's miraculous reverse sweep over Fnatic in the 2022 LEC Spring Playoffs, Odoamne spoke to Inven Global about his team's preparation for the series, how it played out compard to expectations, and shared his thoughts on his own level of play this season.
What were your expectations coming into the match against Fnatic and how did you prepare for it?
We were quite happy with the matchup, to be honest. Going into the series, we thought the style of our drafts in the first two games of the series was something that was going to work, and it didn't really work. I feel like they were more prepared from the start in terms of what was really good for this meta in a best-of-five series.
As the series went on, it became quite obvious to us what was important and I feel like we executed a great switch in our style and draft priorities in the last three games to bring it back. I wouldn't really say it's a shame, but it kinda sucks that we thought that our drafts in game 1 and 2 would be good, only for us to be punished big-time. However, I'm really happy we managed to bring it back.
I felt like Fnatic was a matchup we were really comfortable with because we feel like there's nothing really special going on in terms of what they do — everything is quite apparent. In addition, how they want to play plays well into how we like to play: top lane is usually ignored, lots of action around mid and bot, and everyone else is chilling.
We feel like Fnatic's style is kind of similar to ours, so it didn't feel super hard to prepare. We obviously messed up big time with our drafts in game 1 and 2, though.
Rogue was historically 0-6 against Fnatic in post-season games before this series. Was there anything different that Rogue did compared to previous matchups against Fnatic?
I wouldn't really say that anything changed. I just feel like our team culture from the beginning of this split is a lot better and a lot more competitive. I feel like throughout the split, we've just been building better habits than last year. That's why it may have felt like we did something different with our three weeks of prep. It's been a split-long effort of building team culture.
The break was kind of bad for us, we kind of sucked for most of it, but towards the end, we finally picked it up. I feel like the fact that we've been building all of these good habits for the whole season has been our saving grace coming into these playoffs. I'm quite sure if we had the same group or the same mentality as last year, we would have crumbled super, super hard.
Before the series, Fnatic mid laner Marek "Humanoid" Brázda said he wasn't sure how strong Rogue would be because he said that despite new members this year, your team has the same problems as previous years in context of the post-season. Do you think there's something about your 2022 roster and the players on it that people have misinterpreted or underestimated?
I just feel like it's one of those cases where you look at our players on paper as individuals and you just think to yourself, 'They shouldn't be that good.' The narrative of this whole split was that Malrang was just flipping plays and that once people figure out how to stop him from flipping plays, he's not going to be good.
I feel like it's just one of those things that stems from the fact that people just look at a roster and think they shouldn't be as good as they are, so they assume something random is happening for that roster that makes them as good as they are at that time. People just look compare our roster on paper to Fnatic or Team Vitality and feel like we should not be better than those teams. I feel like that's the story that even Humanoid jumped on.
I feel like that's the consequence, so to speak, of not looking so good on paper. It was the same last year with MAD Lions — everyone was so high on the Fnatic and G2 hype trains and MAD ends up winning.
Even after MAD ended up winning, people were still on the Fnatic and G2 hype trains because they thought that MAD got lucky and that they surely wouldn't win twice. That's just a natural thing that happens with someone rising above and performing over the perceived expectations of the community.
Individually, your performance was praised this spring and you were named to the All-Pro team for the split. Do you feel this was one of the best splits of your career?
Definitely. For me, it's just crazy. Last summer, I won All-Pro as well, but not last spring. I feel like I'm getting better with every split I play. I feel like I'm getting more stable — I'm not inting anymore, I'm not caught in stupid places on the map as often as I was before, and I just feel like everything is cleaner and clearer.
I think that shows in my playstyle, and in a way, I feel like I deserved All-Pro this split. I feel like I'm not as flashy as the other top laners, but the fact that I'm always where I need to be and I'm always so solid and consistent made me feel like it was a no-brainer that I deserved to win All-Pro.
That doesn't really mean that I'm getting cocky, though, because I have been in a lot of situations where I've struggled. I'm really aware that it can really easily change for me in terms of being the best to just being straight up bad. All it takes is one, two, or three bad weeks, and all of a sudden, you're not the king anymore. You're just a lowly pleb, you know? *laughs*
I don't know. I feel like top lane is one of those roles where you benefit from having a lot of experience, and I'm just really happy that after eight years of my career, I'm playing the best League of Legends that I think I've maybe ever played. It's a lot more frequent for me to have good performances than bad ones.
I think it's fair to say you're far more a king than you are a pleb today. Thanks for the interview and congrats again on the win, Odoamne. Is there anything you want to say to the Rogue fans?
I know people are really happy and hyped that we reverse swept Fnatic, but the bigger game is next week. We can't be happy with what we have now because if we go into next weekend and get 3-0'd, none of this matters. It's on us to go back to working hard; it's another week of the grind and another week of playing really hard to figure out what's really good. We have the power and tools to win everything. It would be a shame to let it pass.
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