After being a major part of Pentanet.GG's run at the 2021 Mid-Season Invitational, Brandon "BioPanther" Alexander has returned to the MSI stage as the star top laner of ORDER. While the LCO representative have yet to take a game in the three-team Group C with LEC representative G2 Esports and LCS representative Evil Geniuses, BioPanther has shown flashes of the performance he displayed when he led ORDER to a LCO championship last month.
After ORDER dropped their first two games of MSI 2022, BioPanther spoke to Inven Global about the differences in facing off against G2 Esports and Evil Geniuses, gaining international acclaim for his level of play, and what ORDER needs to improve on to secure a win.
How would you compare EG and G2 as opponents now that you've played them both?
I think EG is a scrappier team. They will look for any fight and chase you while trying to look for mistakes, whereas G2 plays the game more intelligently. They play the game properly and don't just wait for the enemy team to make mistakes. EG will chase you and run across the map just to fight you, as we experienced today. That will be super big heading into our next matchup against them. G2 is more controlled. EG will just fight you no matter what. They're all over the place.
This is the first time we've seen competitive games on 12.8. What are your thoughts on the top lane meta and its relation to the meta as a whole?
I think a lot of teams will just lean towards Aatrox and Gwen as we've already seen, especially with the ping difference. Both champions are very viable blind picks that force skill matchups in top lane, so we'll probably see that and only see niche counterpicks when other champions than those are picked.
I think top lane is very diverse right now. You can actually play a lot of things. Top lane is a role to facilitate and to have champions that are good against the whole opposing composition. I like top lane a lot right now.
Has the ping difference been tough to adjust to?
I think we kind of just need to adjust in terms of what we tend to draft. We sometimes play things when we shouldn't. We should stick to a strategy, stay consistent, and be good at it. We're kind of all over the place right now, but once we find our identity in a few games, I think we'll actually be able to take games for free. We know G2 and EG's weaknesses and strengths, so it just depends on how the next few days go for us.
You were part of Pentanet.GG's run at MSI 2021 last year. Do you feel extra pressure to live up to your previous team's level as the LCO representative?
I have huge expectations for my team and myself. I know it's their first time here and they're really trying to absorb the information, so it's good to learn. However, for me personally, I've already been to international events and I just want to keep doing better. I really want my teammates to have the same drive and passion that I do right now. I know we didn't take these games, but I just have to push myself and my team to the limit. Then, we should be fine.
You've gotten a lot of praise for your level of play this year. Have you expected the amount of support you've gotten from fans both in and outside of the OCE region?
I think the support has been getting better and better every year. A lot of people see OCE as an underdog region, and I guess a lot of people are facilitating that story. Then, we're able to show up in games and be super competitive. Even if we don't have the proper infrastructure, I still think our team can take games off of these major regions and not just be written off. I just want to break expectations, reach the limit, and show that we are very good players.
Your group is the only group with three teams. Is there an advantage to only having to play against two opponents instead of three?
I'd say it's an advantage because you only have to prep for two teams and you see them back-to-back. I feel like this is a huge advantage for us. You still have to prepare every day, but there is much less time required to prep, so I think it is much easier.
If there's one area you think ORDER can improve on most after these first two games, what is it?
I think it's just keeping communications flowing in game and making sure we don't halt. We just need to keep the game flowing and consistently talk about the next play and what we're doing in terms of objectives. That's all that matters. We need to make it so that there isn't a silent moment when it comes to the important stuff consistently. I think that will actually allow us to have everyone on the same page and take some games.
How is the overall morale for your team after starting 0-2?
I think everyone is feeling positive because they're learning a lot, especially because the first game was very close. This game we just played was kind of an anomaly for me. We just have to make sure that next time we don't make the same mistakes that we did today. Then, we should be taking games. EG just fought us and we fell into the mistakes they were looking for and fell behind. Now that we've noticed that, we can make a difference.