With the final bout of elite European competition coming soon, players are gearing for the biggest test of the year. For Rogue, it's a very interesting predicament. For several splits now the team has performed well throughout the regular season, but consistently fails to carry the momentum throughout playoffs. Many would consider it even more worrying regarding their performance in the LEC Summer Split 2022 — a relatively sober run by Rogue. If they couldn't outperform in the regular season, what will that mean for playoffs?
The team's AD carry Markos "Comp" Stamkopoulos has high hopes. He's confident in Rogue's ability more so than even their previous run in the spring. Inven Global spoke with Comp to discuss his thoughts on the team, his development as a player, and which team's he's looking out for in playoffs.
What’s your perception of this split? It’s been a fairly weird one for you guys, so give me your general thoughts.
Well, overall, this regular season has been way more consistent than the last one. The last one — you could tell that we were for sure the best time in regular season. We had the most consistent games, and we were pretty much way cleaner than we are now. But I don't really necessarily have a problem with this — as long as we learn from it. And actually learned a lot this regular season. So I have higher hopes for playoffs even than last split. So as long as we can take the lessons we took and keep learning from it, we should be pretty good for playoffs.
What would you say are the biggest lessons that you took away from the split?
It's mostly finding our own team identity. And overall, we are the team that probably is one of the less proactive teams in the early game. Especially this week, we have actually proved that a lot. So as long as we stabilize our early games, contest objectives together, and teamfight, we should be winning versus every team.
What's your perception of the overall landscape going into playoffs? What teams stand out to you?
I would say for sure it would be G2. I honestly don't really think of any other teams standing out in playoffs other than G2. So in my personal opinion, at least, G2 should be our only big threat in the playoffs.
What stands out to you about G2 overall?
They are for sure the best early game team — at least in scrims. On stage, they have some inconsistent games like we did this split. But we're looking to playoffs now, so if I had to bet on a team that would improve a lot and be more consistent, it would be G2 for sure.
Why would you say that you feel more confident in your team than last split, given the difference in records?
It comes from losing. We were not really losing last split as much as we did this split. But the thing is, the way we lost the games this split is way different than the previous one. Because even when we lost some games in the previous split, I feel like it was way more contesting the game (the specific game that we're losing). But right now, we have lost at least two or three games that we're just not playing the game. So I think those losses hit way harder this split, and we learned from it. We took them very personally, and we look to not allow this to happen again.
How do you feel about the direction the team has in terms of its identity? What're your thoughts currently of how Rogue is structured? When I spoke with Fredy, he talked about how the team focuses more on the bot lane.
Personally, I don't really think (right now at least) we're necessarily a bot-centric team. We can easily play for bot if we want to, and we have good enough matchups and we can abuse them. But the thing is, sometime depending on the matchup, it's just surviving bot and getting to the point where our champions are allowed to teamfight.
We are going away from that mindset, even last split. Last split, the meta was different — there was a lot more Viktor, for example, in mid lane and the champion could dominate the game. Larssen was very good on it, so we could play around it, play the game slow, and he would always be ahead of the enemy mid laner and automatically win.
But the thing this split is that the teams that are most consistent in team fighting just win. Especially with Sivir and Zeri, I don't think there should be big lane gaps in the bot lane. Unless, for example, people still play Kalista and Draven, but those champs are mostly banned. So, we just have the mindset of: if we can win lane and we have the tools for it, we'll go for it. But our main focus is to team fight. That's the difference between winning playoffs and not winning playoffs.
Let's look individually at you for a moment: what would you say have been the biggest improvements for you as a bot laner this split?
Overall, in terms of laning phase and all of this — me and Trymbi have been always very consistent. Our biggest improvement from both of us this split is playing more with the team and thinking more in a macro way to play the game. I make it sound very simple, but as long as we have this consistent macro every game, then we will be able to learn we will be able to show our micro. That's how it goes.
We create our own teamfights, and then we can show how good individually we are. But if you don't have the first one, then you can't most of the time (in competitive especially) show the second one. So our main focus for now is: we know everyone is very good individually, but we need to play together, so everyone can show off.
To conclude: What do you believe should be the single biggest point of focus for Rogue going into playoffs?
Overall, just doing very different drafts. And overall, understanding that each team is different, and we can either abuse their weaknesses, or we can also abuse even more our strengths versus specific teams. As long as we keep the macro level very high up, and our drafts are on point, we should be good for playoffs.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.