Unicorns of Love is one of the most unique professional gaming teams in the world. Equipped with unpredictable picks and bans along with their own special playstyle and victory ceremonies, UOL has left an impression on all fans who have witnessed the team playing on stage.
Inven Global had the opportunity to meet with the two figures who are in charge of leading the team: the head coach of the team who has been with UOL from the very start, ‘Sheepy’, and the new manager, ‘Dieuponey’, who has received the baton from ‘Romain’.
Aside from their midlaner and ADC, UOL has seen major changes to its roster. Take a moment to hear the team talk about what kind of path they are looking to take come next Season and if the team will maintain their unique style of play within the esports scene.
Please introduce yourselves.
Sheepy: My name is Sheepy, I’m the coach and founder of Unicorns of Love (UOL), the EU LCS team. I’ve been with the team since the beginning.
Dieuponey: I’m Dieuponey, and I’m the new team manager. Basically, I’m looking after the kids and make sure that everybody’s in good condition for the game.
Since the previous manager was very outgoing and ‘different’, do you feel any pressure on you to fill his shoes?
Dieuponey: I think the pressure is more on the work part, I want to be as good as possible for the players, so they can be at their best. But for me, I don’t feel any pressure in front of the public, I know that Romain had his own style, and that style matched perfectly with the UOL, and I just need to find my own style, which too, matches the UOL style.
Are you planning to do any performances like what the previous manager did?
Dieuponey: I think it’s an ongoing discussion with all the staff and players to figure what is the best way to promote UOL, but of course I already had some ideas for stage performance but the thing I want to do is to be more focused on the players than my personal image; because the players are the best to represent the team. The public is going to see them play, and it’s all about them. I’ll be helping them with their public image.
Do you have anything that you specialize in or any priorities that you set for yourself for the team?
Dieuponey: I want to work on the conditions around the players, anything I can do to make them comfortable so they can just focus on playing. For example, if the players have any personal issues, they can just speak to me and we can think of a solution.
What have you done for the players regarding the conditions you’ve mentioned, in the current boot camp in Korea?
Dieuponey: So far, we all got here on the same plane except WhiteKnight, who was delayed on his plane, so I took care of his flight and luggage, and this was a small thing, Exileh’s space bar broke and I found a replacement for him. Mainly it’s really the little things. Otherwise, I am making many video contents for the public and social media. We are making interviews with the players, about how they feel, about the boot camp in Korea and their expectations for the next season.
Your hoodie is unique. How did you get to wear that?
Dieuponey: It’s a funny story. I was passing by a clothes store when I was applying for UOL and saw this. I told myself “If I get this job, I will get that hoodie.” I got the job, and the first thing I did was go to the shop and bought the hoodie. The store clerk was looking at me weirdly, probably thinking ‘Why do you want that hoodie, it’s for girls!’ I got the biggest size but it’s still very small since it’s a girl’s size.
You have new players on the team now, what do you think about them?
Sheepy: WhiteKnight has been on the scene for a long time now, and he has been playing in different positions. He was jungler before but now he’s top lane. And he’s more of a rookie since Kold was already in the LCS. Both of them are extremely friendly, very forthcoming and funny which is very important for a good environment. From a player’s perspective, we haven’t had too much time together yet, soon we will start to have scrims against Korean teams like ROX Tigers, so we’ll see how it goes. From what we saw at the trials, WhiteKnight seems really talented, really really talented. He plays a lot; everybody’s playing 12-13 hours and is very dedicated which is very good to see. And for Kold, he has more voice on the team; he has been shotcalling and organizing the team. He has a very firm grip on what’s happening in the game. And he often opts into suggesting ideas. So far, I’m very pleased with both of them, and I’m looking forward to how they do in the scrims since I’ll be putting more pressure on them. I think they will do well.
UOL had good results until early 2017 but wasn’t able to keep it up later on. The fans think that you’re not good at macro. How do you plan to solve those problems?
Sheepy: I think we have been one of the best performing teams in the last year since we also made first place in the Rift Rivals against TSM. We were first in our group, and generally, we had strong plays. About the macro, I think our macro was in the higher level even though it’s not perfect. However, there was some trouble in communication and understanding other positions. I plan to have each position fully understand what other positions’ roles. We also had problems with laning and champion understanding. We were late to pick up strong champions like Cassiopeia or Tristana. I think this is the biggest issue. We also need to look out for the champion select as well. This is something we will look out more for the future. Generally, I always thought that pick & ban goes towards the players picking what they think is the best, but I think that we need to practice that in the scrims as well. I know that Exileh was winning constantly with Cassiopeia but he preferred champions like Talon. But once again, I trust my players because all of them are very talented.
UOL is famous for unique picks. Are you planning on showing that?
Sheepy: We will always play what we think is best; we aren’t playing those picks for the sake of playing. To maintain that type of picks, you need to be also successful with them. Anybody can play Teemo jungler, you need to have that winning aspect. We had players in the jungle who were very innovative; we were one of the first to pick up the Rumble jungle. We now have players who are very dedicated to the game, and it’s more up to them if they want to try something that they think is strong which is outside of the meta. I’m sure with enough amount of time, they will find something strong. We’re trying everything, from Zyra jungle to Morgana jungle towards the more common picks. We have players who try interesting picks outside of the meta.
Currently, we have a good mix of players. We now have Kold who is very experienced and he will push us to have a more aggressive play style. We have been strong in best of ones, where everybody can try crazy things. With the new masteries and patches coming in, I’m sure that we can show something new.
Can you share any ‘crazy’ picks with us?
Dieuponey: (To Sheepy) This morning, you were really good with the Zyra jungle.
Sheepy: No, I played really bad (Laughs). I do all the crazy picks on the team because I have to test how they are. I like playing Heimerdinger because he pushes the lanes really fast, and I also think Shyvana jungle is strong. Maybe Varus mid lane is interesting since it’s more off-meta currently.
Please say hello to the fans and tell us your expectations for the next season.
Dieuponey: For me, it’s important to find my place among the team and towards the fans, to continue the legacy of UOL. I want to share the passion we have with the fans. I want to make the team best for the season. I hope the fans are happy with it.
Sheepy: Hello to all the fans, I have been around for a long time now, I’m probably one of the most experienced coaches. I want to play the best LoL as possible; I want to invest my life in the game. I would like to go to more international events, especially the Worlds. I hope to be more competitive so we can beat the upper tier teams like SKT T1 and whoever. I will do my best to have my players be the best they can be, and successful and happy.
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