League of Legends

Licorice: "Adam is harder to play against than most top laners..."



Source: LoL Esports

In the wake of a challenging Worlds Qualifying Series, Inven Global sat down with Golden Guardians' Eric "Licorice" Ritchie to delve into the intricacies of the match and the journey leading up to it. From the unconventional champion pool of Team BDS's Adam to the nuances of Golden Guardians' preparation, Licorice sheds light on both the tribulations and accomplishments of the season. 


As we explore the current esports landscape and the formidable contenders from the East, Licorice candidly shares his thoughts on North America's prospects and the dynamics of the current meta.


Commiserations for the loss. What do you think made Team BDS particularly challenging to face in this series? 


I don't think it's that complicated. Adam is harder to play against than most top laners due to his unconventional champion pool. But overall, they played well as a team, and we didn't. We've been struggling as a cohesive team since the summer playoffs.


Tell me a bit about the preparation for this match. What were the challenges and adjustments coming into this series?


Coming to Korea is always somewhat challenging. It's disorienting trying to figure out where everything is and how to structure the day. I'm big on routine, so I dedicated time to establish that. Otherwise, we just played solo queue and scrimmed. Not much else to discuss.


Do you think that there's any sort of changes that you would have made regarding preparation coming into the series?


Yeah, totally. I would have given myself more time to recover after I first flew here. I was tired and jet-lagged, so I played a lot of solo queue. That time would have been better spent resting, somehow, and then ramping up the solo queue later. Other than that, I did a good job. I had a clear idea of what I wanted to play, and it just didn't work out.

Source: LoL Esports

Although it was disappointing, it was I believe most would people would say, a very successful year for your team. What are you most proud of that Golden Guardians did well?


Our spring playoffs run, where we ended up getting second place and then going to MSI, stands out. While we didn't excel at MSI, we performed as expected, beating all the minor region teams and eventually losing to C9. But I think that was really great.


Obviously, you weren’t able to take down BDS, but how do you feel about the NA-EU matchup for this event? When you look at NRG, C9, and TL, how do you think they stack up against the EU teams?


I don't watch a lot of the LEC, but my expectations would be that G2 is a bit above everyone else. Apart from that, it's anyone's game. That's my guess.


Regarding the Western matchup as a whole, do you think any NA teams can do some damage against China and Korea? What are your thoughts so far? 


I really hope so. I think the level of individual laning is very high with the Chinese and Korean teams. If the Western teams can boot camp, learn, and improve while they're here, then they have a shot. Otherwise, it will be very hard.


When you look at Chinese top lanes and Korean top lanes, are there any major differences compared with the west playstyle-wise?

Source: LoL Esports

Generally, the level of laning skill is higher in Eastern regions. It's not much more than that. I didn't get the chance to play against anyone on stage, and our scrims were mostly against the Play-In teams. So I didn't really face any top players. From my experience at MSI, there weren't any significant differences.


Judging by playing against other teams and your own watching, how do you feel about the event as a whole right now - are you with the consensus that JDG and China look the strongest, or do you think that another team has a chance?


I think JDG is likely the favorite to win, with Gen.G also being a strong contender. While they didn't perform their best at MSI, I hope they'll show a stronger performance at Worlds. I'd say those are the top two. After that, there are other Eastern teams. You can't count out T1 ever. And then there's everyone else as well.


Are you primarily rooting for NA teams, or are there other teams you're particularly excited to watch during the rest of the event?


I'm excited to watch many of the matches. I'll primarily be rooting for North America but also support T1. What Faker has accomplished and his consistent performance over the years is truly impressive. I always root for T1, unless they're up against NA.


Regarding NA, do you think NRG has the best chance because they won in the summer, or might one of the other two teams have a more effective playstyle internationally? What are your thoughts?


The most crucial aspect is how well a team plays together. By the end of the summer playoffs, NRG was definitely the team that played together best and had the best synergy. So I'd give them the edge. However, teams can fluctuate in their cohesion over a few months. While I'd be looking at NRG the most, it's possible another team could rise to the occasion.


What about just in relation to the current meta?


Probably NRG still. Given that the game is very mid, support, and jungle oriented right now, and with Palafox, Contractz, and IgNar performing well, I'd give them the edge.


This interview was condensed and edited for length and clarity.

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