The 2022 LEC Spring Split has come to an end for Misfits Gaming. The squad was swept 0-3 by G2 Esports in the lower bracket of the playoffs and finishes the first split of the year in fourth place. After the series, jungler Lucjan "Shlatan" Ahmad joined to reflect on his team’s run in the Spring Split. Shlatan also looked at his own performance
Welcome, Shlatan, and thank you for joining after a tough loss. If I can spin it positively: Misfits ends in fourth place, which is higher than most would've guessed. But I can imagine that this isn't on your mind right now.
Yeah, I feel like in the regular season we played pretty ok. Although it was only best-of-1s and we got some wins that we shouldn't get. We had been making the same mistakes for a long time. It showed in the playoffs that we didn't fix our mistakes and that we're just not the best team. It looked like we were a pretty bad team, in the playoffs. I feel like the two best-of-5s we played, against Rogue and now G2, we got pretty much stomped, I would say. Maybe one or two games were closer, but you could see that the level is very different. So, yeah, I would say we need to work harder. I'm not happy with this run, even though you could say we finished fourth, but it doesn't mean anything in the end for me as long as I feel like we were getting gapped playing against those teams.
Right, so let's dial it back a bit: the series against Rogue, while you did get a game off them, was pretty one-sided overall. It was a pretty rough series from your side too. Was it easy to shrug that series off and focus on today?
Well as I said, I felt like we've been making the same mistakes again and again. Our team synergy has not been the best. Losing against Rogue, it was the same. It felt like we didn't improve. So coming into the game against G2, I still had it in my mind that we didn't fix that stuff. But yeah, I gave it all my best. It didn't work out.
"I would say the early game is what we're the worst at in the split"
You've mentioned the mistakes a few times, and that they occurred in the series against G2 too: can you expand on what they were, from your perspective?
I feel like, first of all, our skirmishing was pretty bad. We didn't know when we should fight and when we shouldn't fight. And our macro wasn't good as well. In a lot of games we were so behind that it didn't matter. [Laughs] But even if we're ahead, it doesn't feel like our macro is really good. I could see it in scrims as well. I would say the early game is what we're the worst at in the split. It is multiple factors. The synergy wasn't the best.
Let's talk more about the split overall. People didn't have high expectations of Misfits—as I said, fourth place is quite high. What were your expectations?
Well, I didn't have many expectations because there were a lot of new rosters and new players coming in. So I thought maybe G2 was gonna be good, Vitality and Rogue too, but I didn't know about the other teams. So I expected us to be middle of the pack. Even after the whole playoffs run, I can see that I was right. I would say we were middle of the pack. Maybe a bit better, but nothing way different from what I expected.
Did you have any personal goals aside from the obvious "winning LEC" heading into the split?
Hm, I didn't have a specific goal. I just wanted to play good. [Laughs]
Do you think you did that?
Eh, it was a 50/50 I would say. [Laughs] I'm not happy with it for sure. I hope I can play better next split.
"I do think that the team from Europe that will go to MSI... it will not be easy for this team to play against China and Korea"
At this point, the Rookie of the Split award hasn't been handed out yet. You might know who it is though, so you shouldn't say that. [Laughs] But you appear to be one of the frontrunners for it. You'd follow in the footsteps of junglers like Elyoya and Razork. How do you think you've performed for a rookie?
I feel like, this split I haven't been performing that well to get the Rookie of the Split by far. I think it was close to the other players. I think every rookie was bad this split, or not the best. That's my opinion. So, we had a split that was worse than the splits of Elyoya and Razork.
I spoke with Deficio a few weeks ago and he said that the Spring Split is for experimenting, and then in the Summer Split the Worlds spot is the target. Do you think that this Misfits lineup is gonna be capable of making that jump?
Well I think we are capable, but it depends on how hard we will work in our practice.
You've seen how hard you worked in the regular split already. [Laughs]
[Laughs] That's true. It's too early to say for the next split, but if this split was the summer split, we would for sure not be worthy of going to Worlds, right? But I do think that the team from Europe that will go to MSI... it will not be easy for this team to play against China and Korea. I don't know who it will be. I think it's gonna be Fnatic, but I feel like it's gonna be hard for them. I just feel like the whole level of Europe is pretty low.
As a side note, why Fnatic over Rogue when we just saw Rogue get the better of them?
I don't know. I think their lanes are really good, their jungler is also really good. This team has the closest level to the international level. I feel like that's the only team that's a step above the rest. Rogue, when they get ahead, they play like old Rogue. They're really stable. When they're behind, they'll slowly snowball. Fnatic will take as much as possible. Sometimes it may be too greedy, but I think I prefer them.
Interesting. Anyway, back to you: it has been one hell of a split. Is there anything you'd like to say to the fans at the end of it?
I just want to say: thank you for all the support. I'm not happy with how the split ended, I'm not happy with my performance. I had my things that I should work on and I had my problems on a private side. I hope, if I can fix them, I can do better next split.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.