Teams can play hot and cold. Sometimes, it's a matter of when that happens that teams are able to find success. A perfect example of that is Team Vitality. Although the team has faced many struggles throughout the majority of the year, they have ramped things up at the perfect time to likely qualify for Worlds and win the LEC.
It's a good scenario for Luka "Perkz" Perković. Overall, it's been a disappointing year for one of the greatest western players ever to play League. After a disappointing playoffs performance in the spring, Vitality's first few weeks in the LEC 2022 Summer Split were not encouraging. However, since then, Vitality has won the majority of their recent games, and look poised to have a strong run in the playoffs. Inven Global spoke with Perkz, to discuss his thought on Vitality's turnaround, how he has adjusted his playstyle, and if he deserves to win the LEC's MVP award.
Congrats on the recent success your team has been having! Give me your thoughts and general optimism regarding Vitality.
We're finally starting to get the grasp of playing together and sacrificing for each other in the game. We're starting to play like a unit. So I have high hopes for us — our last couple of games have been pretty decisive, and not a flip. So I'm pretty confident with us for the rest of the summer.
Why do you believe your team has finally been able to get a better grasp on playing together? Was there a turning point?
I don't think it was one specific moment. It's just all the players together working hard and putting practice in this split. We have been doing quite decent in practice since the beginning of the split. We just had to work on a lot of specific areas that we had to get better at onstage, and we worked on them. And our early game is just really good. We use our good laning to invade and play for our jungler, and to get our jungler ahead. Everyone is playing well and doing their job, so it just feels easy.
Now that we’ve had the opportunity to see Haru assimilate with the team, what are your impressions of how he affects Vitality in comparison to Selfmade?
Haru is a super stable and mature player. And he brings to our team stability. Our mid-game is just very stable, and he knows how to get leads as well. He's just a very good player, and he's made us play better as a team as well. So I'm happy with the addition of Haru, I can't really complain.
Going into playoffs, what do you see as the biggest thing you guys still need to work on?
It's working on our consistency. Right now, we are showing that we can do it right, but it would be nice if we'd perform like this every game. We are starting to — we are really on an upward trend. But it's just showing to everyone in the role that we are capable of doing it for the rest of the split, basically. So I think — keep doing what we're doing right now since it's working. Keep training and don't get complacent. We have a good chance.
One critique I've seen quite a bit of is that a lot of the rest of the top competition has been slumping in the LEC. Do you think any of your success can be attributed to that?
It's for sure a bit of a flip. It seems MAD Lions and us are the consistent teams right now, looking at the past two weeks. But there are a lot of potential threats in the top teams. But yeah, looking at us and the other top teams, we're probably slightly better than the others right now. It's hard to say that — having not too many good performances, up until the last three weeks. Honestly, it's kind of hard to put a number on it.
But I do think other top teams are slumping. That is true. But now that it's late in the summer already — usually by August a lot of teams have mental booms. And all the problems that maybe were not resolved before are coming up right now for teams. It's the same every year. We've been trying to work ahead of our problems — really hard.
Our team atmosphere is pretty good. In the end, that's really important for a team to have — good team atmosphere, and to be optimistic for the next games. And obviously, for the "closer future" and the "further future". The "further future" is reaching Worlds and winning LEC, and the "closer future" is the game ahead of us.
How do you feel about your performance in comparison to 2021 with Cloud9 or 2020 with G2 Esports?
I'm performing super well right now. I'm doing well in solo queue and in scrims. You can always be better, work better, and keep adapting. It's taken me some time to understand what my team needs from me in a given draft and situation. But as of right now, my teammates are pretty good, and they're also more able to adapt to what I want to play and how I want to play the game.
Whereas before, it had to be me adapting to whatever I might've told my teammates I wanted to play. It's a bit hard to explain, but my play has been good, and now that we are winning more games, it looks better. But I feel like I've been just pretty good the whole split.
With how instrumental you were in Vitality's wins during your team's slump, do you feel you're deserving of the MVP award this split?
[laughs] It's hard to say this without being narcissistic or whatever — it definitely would be cool to win an MVP trophy because I never won it. And I feel like I had splits where I performed really well, and I just couldn't get it. So in the back of my mind, I don't think about too much because...I haven't won it when I thought I should have won it in previous years when I was younger and was carrying stuff more.
As of right now, it would be nice to get it. But my first look is for the LEC trophy. I really want to lift the trophy again. It would mean so much more than getting an MVP. But if the people want to have me get my first MVP, I will be very grateful to all the people who [laughs] vote for me. I do think my play is good — hopefully I can keep it up for the next few games as well, and maybe deserve MVP.
I write. I rap. I run. That’s pretty much it.