League of Legends

Fnatic Nemesis, after their first-round playoff matchup: "We basically read Vitality like a book. When you read a team like a book, they can't win."

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Fnatic cruised through their first round matchup against Team Vitality 3-0, to the point where viewers might have missed the entire series had they blinked. In less than two hours, they had secured their ticket to the second round of the playoffs as well as a Top Four finish in the spring split.

Inven Global's LEC correspondent, Adel Chouadria, was on the scene, and he caught up with mid laner Tim "Nemesis" Lipovsek and assistant coach Louis-Victor "Mephisto" Legendre. The transcript of the conversation is delivered as is.



After all that happened beforehand during the season, what do you think about the current results?

Mephisto: We knew what was coming, and we knew how to play against it and were good enough to play against it. In the end, they punched on top lane, and we punched bot. That's fine by us!

Nemesis: Honestly, this was the most expected result ever. If any other player or person didn't think this was going to be a 3-0, I don't know what they were thinking. This was a really obvious, one-sided match.


Regarding Vitality, even Bwipo talked about it: they were fairly predictable as far as their approach at the time. If they didn't get a lead early on, it's either an ARAM or team fight at Baron Nashor situation: if you outdo them in team fights, you win.

Mephisto: In the end, they only have the players to play one style. This style will not work when the players facing them are better. You could see that in Game 2: their Kennen, who was supposed to be their fed member, was sitting under his Tier 2; while our Aatrox, who is supposed to be our weak member, was facing their bot lane and clearing waves in front of them. That does not work!

There are too many people in the bot lane not to have it be of the highest importance. If you cannot match [there,] it's just a bg [Bad game]. It must be really hard to make it work with this team.

Nemesis: I don't disagree with Bwipo. We basically read Vitality like a book. When you read a team like a book, they can't win.


Now let's go way back to the early part of the season, you both came in as new members to Fnatic. I wouldn't say that you necessarily had expectations, but what were they when you joined?

Mephisto: To help the coaching staff and players reach their expectations when they picked me up; they probably felt that I could help them. My only job is to help them reach their expectations, and my own goal was to be the best assistant coach in the LEC, so let's see. There are not many assistant coaches anyway; maybe that's an easy thing, but that's about it. These players are fucking good, you know? They're really talented, and they have big brains. It's a big pleasure to work with them.


Beforehand, you had worked with a lot of up-and-coming talent in France, mostly building them up. Nowadays, you're working with four established players – Bwipo still has room to grow, which is huge to say considering his current level. Nemesis also came in with a lot of momentum at MAD Lions. How were you going to approach all of that when joining the team?

Mephisto: I really did not know what the LEC level was, and I was a bit disappointed at first. There were a lot of things in the LEC which we do not do correctly, or we do not know; it's very lacking. In the end, it seems these players and this team are good enough to be among the best.

These players are definitely smart, but there are so many things. [At times,] there are too many emotions in their play. Or sometimes, we want to do too much, and it backfires 90% of the time. If they do this in scrims and actually 1v2 on stage, it's completely fine. But [there are] many things where I feel like they could be better, and maybe they will be by the end of the year. But everyone can do better. Even the other LEC teams.


About doing too much, what examples can you give me?

Mephisto: When people try to 1v2 too hard, or to win their lanes, when they're really not supposed to. They end up dying in scrims. Or when we're 5k gold ahead against a team and end up losing because we're trying to push it too hard. People should understand that the game is locked, and if we just play with macro, the game just ends.


There had to be a level of synergy and trust installed within the team, especially for Nemesis who had come into a pre-existing team and was replacing Caps. From my understanding, he was trying to find his way, and everyone around him was trying to find their way as well. How did you help bring it all together alongside [Youngbuck]?

Mephisto: To me, it was mostly [Nemesis] doing all this growing alone. He understood the gaps [he needed to fill], and he understood what he was supposed to do on this team – on his own – and he did it. He's smart enough to do this. He's really, really valuable.

Nemesis: I feel like I did most of the things myself, because the introduction to Fnatic was very slow. That's why the first few weeks went really bad.


If you had to do it with the knowledge you have, what would you do differently?

Nemesis: Go to some of my players, tell them in their face everything that I think. Tell my coaches different things [than I did]. Fix the problems that we had at the start.

Mephisto: Once you have established a good working relationship, you can actually be more open to people. I think, at the beginning, respect made it so that people kept their [thoughts on the] problems with the team, so it wasn't getting fixed. We just grew, and it's going fine now!


I can see that! Especially with a 3-0 against Team Vitality. Of course, there was a bit of a situation where they ran it down top in Game 1, and Game 2 left me wondering about what they were trying to do all over again...

Mephisto: They tried so hard. People might be going on Reddit and saying "Bwipo was down 50cs." Come on, guys – he was playing 1v3 or 1v4; he was getting dived on every wave! Did you see Cabochard in the games? Did I see his Kennen and Lucian? Did he do anything? I didn't really see him. If a team plays for you, you better give it back. But there was no giving back, because we were taking too much on the other side [of the map.]

Nemesis: The way I felt about the game is that we were playing against a random solo queue team, that their top laner was higher elo than the other players, so they were trying to camp him and give him as many resources. Solo queue just doesn't work!


Those are actually strong words...

Nemesis: No, they're not.

Mephisto: They tried to make Kennen 1v5, but he couldn't. I know what they tried to do, and we're lucky that Bwipo had a Stopwatch [in Game 1.] But really, maybe it looked close, but we were always going to win in the end. Gold on the AD carry is much better than gold on the top lane. We will win in team fights.


Then, you went with a bit of a statement with the Kayle on Game 3. Can you tell me a bit more there?

Nemesis: The mid lane meta [right now] is one of the worst mid lane metas for individual players. That's why players like Jiizuke can't shine: they don't know what's necessary to risk or put on the team. When they banned Lissandra, I had the option of picking a more carry type of a pick.

Mephisto: Lissandra is blocking everything. You can only play very specific champions into her, and they do not fit specific players who do need to do things for the team; they need to outplay or do more than what these champions can provide. She is a big problem: you cannot win lane against her; she will always get some priority, be good in team fights. There are not many champions like her. We are pretty happy when Lissandra is banned: there are so many champions that we can play [when that happens.] It's a bit boring, you know?

Nemesis: It's extremely boring to play that champion.

Mephisto: But it's also very effective. We have to do it. He has to do it, and it gets us wins. We'd like to see the other side: what we can show when people ban it. Nemesis has deep pockets.


That line of thinking doesn't just stop mid: even Gangplank top is pretty effective [even in losing matchups.]

Mephisto: We have a good top lane. They cannot win fast enough through GP top, because he can ult the wave and deny the push. He's also a pretty safe champion pick. But we can play many other picks: Bwipo also has deep pockets. It's really hard to ban us out. We can pull off many, many things: these players are really good!


Going back to the team's trials: if you had to describe your first split in the LEC, how would you describe it all?

Mephisto: It's going fine. Let's see how far we can go! I'm actually curious. I hope we get stopped at some point, so then EU might be a good region. But if not, we might need a better opponent. We have to get [to a good level,] and we need people to challenge us. In this Best-of-Five, they did not. Maybe [against Splyce,] we will be challenged. But the season is going fine.

We had a rough start, and we picked it up in the end. We understood that we should play to iwn. People stepped up individually, and even in playmaking. Nemesis understood what he had to do. Everyone stepped up, and we have so many carry threats. It's easy to coach this team.

The wins sometimes come out of nowhere – when we play Aatrox into Renekton, I guess Aatrox is going to solo carry the game. That's totally fine by me. On my side, I try to make sure that we improve and learn. I try to do my part.

Nemesis: For me, the split was a success in some ways, and a failure [in others.] I try to learn from everything. Moving ahead, I try to do the best that I can do.


We've already spoken about the failures, but the successes speak for themselves too: You guys are 11-0 at the moment.

Nemesis: Yeah. When you join Fnatic, and the team has such a history of winning every time, people tend to mock us rather than praise us or give us credit. This is what happens when you join an organization like this. Right now, even after getting so many wins in a row, people are still trying to somehow pull out excuses. The reality is, reality check is coming for everyone.


To close it out: Mephisto, you've been working with all this talent in Fnatic, and you may be learning as much as they're learning from you. If you had to take something specific out of the whole experience, what would it be?

Mephisto: Coaching in the LEC can be improved so much. The coaching infrastructure, the way everything can and should be, we are probably doing 20% of what can be done, if not less. We can improve everything dramatically. I hope, for the players and for the sake of the whole region, everyone is thinking the same. We can do better as coaches, definitely.

 

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    level 1 aramko_aramko

    good article

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