Right after the third-place match was played, our onstage reporter Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber was able to talk with Kikis on how Vitality changed since they started playing with him and the team’s adaptation towards their series against Misfits.
After joining Vitality you brought a certain tempo, a different pace we haven’t seen in a while in Vitality. From creative pathings to a certain unpredictability that carried many of the early games, what did you bring to the team that didn’t work in the semifinals against Schalke 04, but you could bring in today successfully against Misfits?
First of all, I take all the responsibility for the semifinal series against Schalke 04.
I thought I prepared really well regarding my champion pool and ideas how to play the series, but I was thrown off guard by the Skarner pick. I didn’t take a closer look into the pick and I thought Trundle was a good answer to the Skarner pick, but I built Tiamat both games and I was really squishy so we lost the 2v2 mid lane completely. Adding to that we made a lot of mistakes that ended up costing us those two games. In the end, Schalke was well prepared while my preparation was really bad. The third game was what we usually do, but games like game four they happen sometimes, you know? It happens sometimes that when you lose multiple games and do a lot of mistakes in a series, sometimes you simply lose the game.
Against Misfits, I took care of my mistakes from the Schalke series and I don’t think I’m going to show them again in the foreseeable future. I rarely do the same mistakes twice and I feel that my preparation for the Misfits series was much better than previously.
One of the things I think is fascinating about your career. You not only managed to play multiple roles on a top level but since last year you came back to the EU LCS and as soon as you joined a team you give the team a “boost”. Not only do you bring chaos to your opponent with your unpredictable pathings but you also bring a certain level of confidence to your own team. Did you take the leadership after joining Vitality? Did you take over any shotcalling responsibilities or did you just stick to the typical “trust me in the early game, carry me later” strategy?
From the get-go, I took over the early game plan. So the first 10 to 15 minutes of the game are on me. I simply showed charisma from the start and I started shotcalling the early game plan. As I was already used to have a strong voice in previous team, I tried to do the same. I had the respect because I am a veteran, but trust is something you need to earn and luckily I earned it very quickly since they knew they can trust me with the early game decisions.
In terms of shotcalling, we have other veterans as well like Cabochard and he usually does the mid to late game shotcalling and I’m not taking that away from him. It depends also from game to game if someone is fed and has a good idea about how to play the game, he will drop the idea, but usually, our main shotcaller is Cabochard. Normally he has very good ideas and makes sure everybody listens to them and in my previous team Illuminar Gaming I was doing everything. I had full trust from them too, but here I don’t have the burden on me because I trust my team to make good decisions if I don’t have a good idea for the game.
So usually when I don’t have a good idea for the game I just ask “Guys what do we do or Cabo what is the plan?” and they tell me. So if I don’t have an idea, I can confidently say that. It’s working really well.
So it is a shared aspect basically. This is very nice to hear.
How do you see the mid jungle priority after the meta changed to be more ad carry and bot lane oriented? How did you guys prioritize it in the games?
As you can see usually in our games we try to play through mid and play around the 2v2. Obviously, there are certain games that this is not possible, but we are usually a team that plays through mid lane. We control the game from the mid lane with kills through pressure with vision control and then transitioning it from controlling the enemy jungler or to the other lanes. So our priority was high for mid and jungle. So as I mentioned before I prepared well that even in blind pick situations I would be able to have a champion that can do that.
So if Schalke wins tomorrow and you have to play through the regional finals, do you think you guys can make it? And do you want to send a message to the other teams and fans out there?
I think we can make it. It wouldn’t be optimal as we would have to get through the gauntlet and then as 3rd seed through the play in stage but I think we can do it.
As well as our preparation for bo5 is getting better from series to series, so even if Schalke 04 ends up winning, I think we have a good shot at making it to worlds.
And thanks for all the support and especially to the polish fans, because we get a lot of support from them as well. I hope you guys were able to see how much we improved and especially if we make it to worlds that we are a good contender and make it out of groups.