FunPlus Phoenix is off to a pretty good start at the League of Legends World Championships. The LPL's first seed sits at a 2-1 record at the Group Stage's halfway point, and though the loss against J Team were definitely unexpected, the victories looked relentlessly dominant.
After FunPlus Phoenix defeated the Gigabyte Marines, we had a brief chat with jungler Gao "Tian" Tian-Lia. He told us how the team felt heading into the Group Stage, what went wrong against J Team and what he expects for the second half of the Round Robin matches.
Congratulations on the win Tian, how do you feel?
I'm quite happy, I feel good.
Did you expect to win?
Yes, but we didn't think we would win that fast.
Can you talk a bit more about that? How did the game's scaling feel to you?
I feel like Qiyana is a very powerful late game champion. All my teammates' laning phases went pretty well, and they scaled well too.
Qiyana has been banned often, but other times she's left open. What do you think about her?
I think Qiyana is very weak at level 1, so she gets invaded a lot. After level 3 though, she's very strong in terms of ganks, and after level six she's also good in team fights. She's a bit risky early on. To beat her you should just pick champions who can duel her 1v1, like Lee Sin.
So that's how you would beat Qiyana?
I can beat her with any champion.
Ok! Now let's talk about the preparation: What did you expect of your opponents' power level before the Group Stage?
This is our first time at Worlds, and before we came here we didn't really know what the other three teams were like. We did some preparation, but coming here I don't think our preparation was necessarily enough.
What would you liked to have done to be prepare better?
We came here and found our groove a couple of games into the tournament itself. I think we also could've done better at understanding what compositions the other teams would bring.
Is that what went wrong against J Team?
I don't think our loss against J Team had anything to do with preparation. We just lost because our AD was playing very badly. His mechanics were bad. Of course, we shouldn't put all the blame on him either, because we had some mistakes in decision making as well.
You have three more matches to go. Do you expect to win those?
At worst, I think we'll go 4-2.
Which team poses the biggest threat?
It depends on which game we might be out of shape in. If we're in shape, I think we can win all of them. Based on what I've seen, Splyce is the strongest of the others.
Is there anything you would like to say to those supporting you?
Thanks for supporting us, we will try to win our remaining games.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.