Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer and MAD Lions seem to be a match for the ages. The former Fnatic mid laner has finally returned to the LEC after months away, due to not being able to find a suitable team. MAD Lions — the back-to-back LEC champions of 2021 — seek to return to form after their failure to make playoffs in 2022’s Spring Split. Both parties with a lot to prove: there are few new developments in Europe as exciting as that.
Inven Global had the chance to speak with Nisqy, to discuss his thoughts on returning to competitive play, the level of EU mids, and his thoughts on the MAD roster.
Welcome back to the league, Nisqy! How do you feel after not competing for a bit? Do you feel more rested, or has it been a challenge getting back to speed?
There was a period at the beginning where I needed some adjustments — I think communication was my biggest one. And also mechanics, I guess. Because in solo queue, you don't really talk with anyone, you just play your game. And I think communicating or playing the game is not something that you can just get used to really fast. It took me a bit of time to come back to my form from before, but I think now I feel like I'm kind of the same, if not better.
In terms of gameplay, what was the biggest point of focus for you during the break?
It was mostly kind of trying to figure out what I could improve on. And it was mostly champion pool. I think there were some champs that I didn't play, and also the playstyle of farming more, rather than creating stuff on the map. That's something I worked on as well. And yeah, these are the two I would say the most
What sort of adjustments have you had to make if you compare the overall dynamic of Fnatic last year to MAD now?
Last year's Fnatic was way more about bot lane. And I think in this team, it's less about bot lane, it's more about actually mid-jungle, I'd say. I think we can lead the games through it, and when we're ahead, it's pretty easy to play through mid-jungle, then compared to where in Fnatic it was mostly just making bot lane ahead, and then they can take over. Right now, it's mostly just top side of the map, and can also be bot lane, but for now, it's me and Elyoya kind of taking over.
What impressions have you had of Elyoya? How has he compared with some of the junglers you've worked with in the past?
I think he has a good way of seeing the game. I think we can align on it, where sometimes the jungler has to sacrifice, sometimes mid has to sacrifice. And I think that's something that junglers tend to not do well: when they have to be selfish, or when they need to help. Elyoya has a good balance of knowing when to do what, which is really nice to play with. Also, I think his mid-game communication is pretty good as well. So yeah, those two are the biggest differences.
What has shotcalling looked like? Last year most of that fell on Elyoya, has it been the same?
I'd say right now it's mostly me and Elyoya kind of talking mid-game but I think Elyoya's the big voice. For me, it's more about confirmation or giving my own POV of the play that we're trying to make. Or also what objectives in early-game — all that I think we make that kind of as a duo. Which makes it easier on him as well.
I saw in an interview you stated you saw your role as connecting the team? How do you plan on going about that?
For me, it is just important that everyone kind of connects in-game and outside of the game. I think gameplay only will not bring you that far. I think team synergy, trust, team bonding, all that stuff is what makes you go the farthest. Because at the end of the day, you spend eight to 10 hours a day with your team plus coaching staff, and I think it's really important that you enjoy that time.
Or else it will become boring really fast, especially in the hard times. So that's kind of my goal. And I think for now, it's been going pretty well. I think also in-game, just kind of all connecting on the same point and all playing the same way — knowing when we're doing something, that we're doing it as five. Those kinds of things.
You probably haven’t played all the teams, but how do you feel about the mid lane talent pool of last year compared to now?
I think for now, it's not the best yet. The only one that's a bit outstanding...actually, I don't think there's really anyone outstanding, except probably caPs. I think he's probably the one that everyone still kind of looks up to, I guess. I think, for example, Humanoid and Larssen and even Vetheo — I don't think they're on top of their form. Right now, at least. So I'd say, except caPs, I don't think anyone is playing that great.
Why do you feel that way?
There are a lot of basic mistakes that they make tied to ganks, laning phases are not really the best. Yeah, just a feeling in general. Usually, when the mid lane pool is really at its top level, you can feel it in every matchup, kind of. And I feel like right now it's a bit more relaxed. Maybe the meta is what allows it as well, I guess. But for now, it seems that they're kind of chilling.
Do you feel that way about other regions, or would that be a European problem? How do you feel about European's level against eastern teams? Vetheo's risen up, and we have you back now.
I have no idea. I mean, I don't think it's a problem. I just think the meta is just way slower right now. So it allows fewer mistakes during the laning phase — you're more tanky. You just pick scaling champions usually. So when that meta arrives, it's easier. Everyone's not at the top right now.
I think we still have a bit of a way to go. Korean mid laners and LPL ones have their style, where LCK is pretty slow at playing the game, and LPL ones are pretty fast playing the game (even though the meta is really slow). Everyone's kind of picking scaling. So it's hard to judge, but I think we have some good ones. I mean, right now, I don't think we're that good, but I think if everyone just improves, and everyone gets back to the level of before and if not beyond, then I think we will have a good showing for sure internationally (at least mid laners).
What'd you think of EG? What are your feelings on NA mid laners?
I still think EU mids are just better than NA mids in general. I think we just play more stuff, we play more aggressively, we make plays happen. Compared to NA where I think they mostly farm as usual. So yeah, I'd say EU mids are still better than NA.
If you had to put money on who by the end of the split would be the top mid laner in Europe, who would it be?
I think it will depend on Humanoid's form — I know he can be really good. But it looks like Fnatic is kind of not at their best form yet. But I'd say caPs still. It looks like he's back to his form, he's enjoying the game, he has good teammates. So I'd say caPs, yeah.
Looking just at MAD Lions as a team, what do you see as the biggest holes right now? As the new member coming in, what does the team need to do to return to form?
We need some more on-stage play. Because I think, for example, today we had to make a quick decision around the Elder [game against Rogue]. And I think watching it back, we just had to take it a bit slower. And I think that's needed for us to grow. Because I think our early game has been pretty good. I think our mid game is decent. I just think maybe our late game is where we need more improvements on. And that's something that's not easy to practice in scrims, because usually scrims are one team stomps the other. But I think with time, we'll be just a better team.
YamatoCannon's considered a very exceptional coach, and Mac is also one that is praised quite often. How would you compare working with the two? What's been your impressions of the MAD Lions staff?
I think they've been pretty good. They teach the game in a good way, with examples, with faults, and all that. And I think they're making sure that you understand it, and then apply it in your practice. Which is something really interesting. I think they work really well as a trio: Pad, Mac, and Kaas — I think they were good. And they all know what they have to do, which I like a lot. And they're also pretty nice outside of the game as well. So it's just a really good combo that I'm happy to be part of.
Are there any big differences you've noticed between the coaching of Fnatic and MAD?
I think MAD Lions is more focused on macro way more than we were in Fnatic. I think we analyze the game way more here compared to what it used to be in Fnatic.
Fnatic focused more on individual play and team fights?
Yeah, I think so.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.