The 2020 LEC summer split has been full of surprises, with neither G2 Esports nor Fnatic standing above the pack. What’s more: Fnatic’s status as a playoff team is still under threat, especially as the last-ranking-yet-resurging Schalke 04 Esports loom on the horizon.
Schalke 04’s resurgence has much to do with Berk “Gilius” Demir’s return to the lineup and with patch changes, but especially Gilius’s re-entry as the team managed to look past their initial losing streak, only to become among the best teams in the second round robin. Inven Global was able to chat with the team’s jungler, the day before Schalke 04’s super week, reviewing the season through his own eyes.
This summer split has been all sorts of weird, with you coming in place of Lurox who fell ill before the team surged. In a way, it went opposite to the spring split where it was the reverse - although with FORG1VEN leaving on top of that. But overall, what can you tell me about how this split played out, with the team coming online through your efforts?
It's definitely really weird, how the summer split played out. I would say the team kind of woke up. This team was never really bad or deserving to be at that standing; scrims were always really good, even with Lurox, but this team had issues to translate their scrim performance to official games. I think I was able to help with that and make the proactive plays so that everyone plays a scrim game.
Would you think that the initial losses made them more reluctant to make plays - and then with you coming in, you went "Screw this, we're making plays anyway"?
Yeah, kind of like this. We were also drafting proactive mid lane champs that can roam a lot. It just came hand in hand. Now, we're learning different styles and are trying to be unpredictable for the super week.
It's not just the super week: there's definitely a chance for playoffs and possibly Worlds. But it's also about flipping the switch completely from 1-8 to everyone having to pay attention to what Schalke do, failing from which they get messed up.
Yeah. *laughs* I think every team kind of expects us now after we went on this win streak. People will definitely prepare better for us in the upcoming weeks.
It's definitely fun what's happening on social media, all the attention we're getting, and all the hype. I'm enjoying it.
All things considered, if you had to look back at the season from your perspective, what would it show?
This is the biggest prime example that you should never give up, even if the results look really rough. There's always a way to make it. But I'm not sure what it would show. The win streak is nice, but the rest is pretty s---.
You didn't give up on yourself, first of all. After that, you were able to get called up, and magic happened. Tell me about that.
In the spring split, I was already benched really early. Then Lurox won five games, and it kind of made sense that they thought [he] should be the starter in the summer - and it kind of makes sense honestly.
It's a bit sad that I was only called into the main team when the jungler was sick, but in the end, I was lucky to perform really well and stay in the roster.
Other than that, I got a little bit of confidence in the spring split by winning the German League. It was a nice feeling to win something. In the summer split, I worked really hard, playing a lot of solo queue, working on myself. And now it's paying off.
There's also a situation of double subs coming in, with Innaxe and Lurox making the team click in the spring split, then you and Neon making it click this split.
Yeah, kind of. This team can work with various different rosters. When the team has an identity, and we know how to draft, it usually works out. We figured out the last patch pretty well, and this one as well.
And to be fair, the losses were super close early during the season. It was one of those things where Schalke 04 was last because everyone was slightly better, rather than S04 outright being bad. And as you closed the gap, you just took over. It's a completely different thing now.
Yea, for sure. I think, in the LEC, it's a bit different than the other leagues; the gap between teams is a lot shorter in the LEC right now, when the other regions' last-place teams are a free win for everyone. I think that makes our league a lot more exciting as well.
And then, to tap into a broadcast narrative, every Bo1 matters. That narrative is way too strong. But in the end, it puts you and everyone else around you in a position to make a massive statement during the super week. But looking back at this split, clicking back with Odoamne and Abbedagge and everyone else, what did you notice regarding the dynamic?
I think our dynamic is pretty good. I also felt so in the spring split, just that I didn't play that many games. I definitely enjoy playing with them a lot, really good solo laners and both of them have a decent amount of experience as well, so there's always something to learn from it.
How did it evolve throughout the split?
I think Abbe and I playing so well together came from the fact that we duo queue a lot every single day. That definitely helps us with our synergy and how we play together. So yeah, it's just getting better day by day; we keep playing duo queues, and at one point we'll be the best mid-jungle duo!
It's mostly like: you get accustomed to his way of thinking, and so does he. As a result, you can see the opportunity he sees and so does he - a lot of nonverbial communication that makes your gameplay better.
Exactly. At one point, you know how the other person plays. It's just easier. When you need to permanently communicate, then your mechanics might be a bit worse.
But overall, that's the whole team that's like this. If you had to look beyond the meta as to things working out, what would you say is the cause of that?
It has to do with confidence, most of all. When you get your first wins, you get a little bit of confidence back and automatically play better, because you get the feeling that "hey, we can win." As a team, Dylan has drafted a lot better in recent weeks, and that helps the team as well when we have the better draft.
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