OpTic Gaming is on a 4-game winning streak. OpTic is now at a 6-6 record. Getting to the playoffs isn’t just a dream anymore.
We met Noh “Arrow” Dong-hyeon, who is leading the team’s winning streak. He explained of why NA LCS was in such chaos. Also, he marveled at Hans Sama’s Draven performance in the EU LCS and praised his teammate, PowerOfEvil.
The following is the interview with Arrow.
You’re on a winning streak. What has changed in the team?
I think playing the champions that we like and practiced a lot in the competition is effective. I remember being in last place last week; the coaching staff had said “We’re last anyway, it’s the same whether we win or lose.” and told us to enjoy the game without feeling pressure. I think that was good advice for us.
You had played Heimerdinger, and tried many different things, but it wasn’t very good.
Honestly, when I played Heimerdinger, I hadn’t practiced Heimerdinger in scrims that week. Actually, I didn’t like Heimerdinger at first, but when the opponents played him in scrims, we weren’t that good playing against him, so I was changing. We picked him during the draft because we wanted to have favorable picks. I played him about 20 games in solo queue, but obviously, it wasn’t enough.
Draven, which is one of your favorite champions, is hot in EU. Hans Sama played him and delivered outstanding performance.
Draven isn’t really that good, but if the matchup isn’t against a few specific champions, he’s pretty good. I wanted to practice him, but there haven’t been many situations that I can.
Hans Sama’s Draven was awesome. As a Draven user myself, I was clapping while I was watching. Draven has to decide where to drop his axe, and he was really good at that. Deciding whether he’ll approach or back up kiting was definitely splendid.
Was it the best Draven you’ve ever seen?
I think it was the best aggressive Draven I’ve seen. Draven appears from time to time in the LPL as well; I’m having fun watching it.
Did you see the Teemo ADC in the LCK?
I wasn’t able to see it, but I heard. I’ll have to watch it later.
Viper says that Teemo is a counter to some ADC champions.
If Teemo doesn’t use his Blinding Darts well, he’s really bad, but if used properly, I think his laning is on the strong side in the bottom lane. If Teemo hits blind well whenever the opponent ADC tries to get CS, the ADC loses 200 HP every time.
It was interesting that Viper played Teemo against Ezreal. Ezreal can take up CS with his Q from a long range, and if Teemo gets hit by Q a few times, laning gets hard. Teemo usually doesn’t buy life steal items, so he has trouble in managing the lain.
The ranking is very close together. It seems like it’s the first time it’s so close; why do you think it is?
The level of solo queue is way too low, so even if the meta changed drastically, the pro players can't catch up with the meta. So everyone got confused. The teams weren’t able to decide whether they’ll play mages or just play ADCs. Every team was confused, so the weak and strong teams all delivered similar performance.
Comparing NA solo queue to KR solo queue, first of all, games get matched a lot faster in KR because there are more users. If you try to match a solo queue game after 7 PM in the NA, you need to wait nearly 15 minutes, and there are too many dodges and trolls. It’s not that there are no trolls in Korea, but in Korea, if there’s a troll, they just open up the mid lane. On the other hand, in the NA, there are many players that just try to enjoy even if there are trolls. I respect their way of enjoying the game, but as a pro player, it’s just a waste of time.
Furthermore, in the KR servers, the players are good, so it’s a good practice. You can get a good understanding of the matchup. It’s easier to find out how you should be in a teamfight. When I play the NA solo queue, from time to time, I think ‘This teamfight shouldn’t be won this easily…’
Anyways, I need to practice many different champions, but it’s impossible to practice efficiently in the NA solo queue. In the KR server, you can get enough accurate information by practicing the champion in solo queue.
It seems like that it wasn’t because NA players were lazy that they were late at catching up with the meta.
Although NA players don’t play as smart as Korean players, they do their best. But since they have to wait 10-15 minutes for a single solo queue game, and if someone dodges three games in a row, it’s hard to keep your cool. I get frustrated too; they should be having a hard time.
Since the solo queue environment is so bad, many NA teams seem to be playing three blocks (8-9 games). You see, they’re doing their best.
Does OpTic Gaming play three blocks?
We haven’t yet.
PowerOfEvil’s performance is very impressive. Up to now, I don’t think there’s a mid laner that has this much impact in the game this season. How is he?
POE’s very fun and playful. He’s good at many different champions, knows about the matchup very well, and is very skilled. At first, sometimes I thought ‘What? Winning that matchup is possible? Really?’ But now, I fully trust him.
I believe it was the OpTic owner; he had said that POE is like an ideal model for a pro player.
I agree. I’ve played in Korea for a while; even if he’s not Korean, he thinks a lot and does his best. He’s a smart player and has good leadership. He tries to solve the team problems with his own hands.
Do you have any last comments?
I think our team can do better. Please keep cheering for us. It seems like my family sometimes watches my games online. I want to say thank you to them, and I also want to thank all the fans around the world that cheer for me.
And to my teammates, since we’re on a good roll now, I wish we can help each other a lot so that we can do even better. OpTic Gaming Fighting!
level 1 john_li
We heard this excuse before but the fact is that in any region solo q is low quality practice. Scrims is where teams get the real practice in.
level 1 LightAU@john_li
You're right, but if you watch korean streams the solo queue games are much better as a general rule so it's still fair to say.
level 1 Jacky_Ma@john_li
I believe it's also the queue time that's a major problem. High Elo queues in China and Korea are insanely short compared to other regions.