Despite a 5-13 record in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, Dignitas has qualified for the post-season. DIG was tied with Counter Logic Gaming for 9th place at the end of the split, and won a Tiebreaker to secure the 8th and final seed in the 2020 LCS Summer Playoffs. Dignitas Support Zaqueri "aphromoo" Black spoke to Inven Global's Nick Geracie about qualifying for playoffs and his AD Carry Johnson "Johnsun" Nguyen's bid for LCS Rookie of the Year.
Congratulations on qualifying for playoffs. How are you feeling?
It's alright. It wasn't a clean game, so...
Yeah, it wasn't but relatively a pretty convincing win. What was the team's vibe heading into it? It wasn't even in your hands whether you could make playoffs and all of a sudden you're back in the game.
Going into the end of the split has definitely been stressful, but everybody has been working hard. We weren't able to get the win versus C9 but we come clutch against 100 Thieves. And going into today, it was either CLG win or they lose, and after they lost, it was just our turn. And given our practice and effort, we definitely would've come on top. Everyone definitely put in max effort into making sure we make playoffs.
It was a pretty dramatic finish. The team gets in as eighth seed, but in regards to you individually, a lot of people have praised your play as pretty strong. Your bot lane partner, Johnsun, said that you've been the most consistent member of DIG. How do you feel about your individual play this split?
It's alright. I guess I have been consistent but I'm really focused on making sure Johnsun does well and that throughout all the roster swaps we're able to play well together. I don't look into my performance too much, but I can do that anytime I want and what's most important is us being able to have proper macro, match with everyone's style on the team.
During last split, it was most important that Johnsun and I get on the same page, but once we got that on, everything became second nature. Right now, we've figured out the best roster going forward.
Yes, this roster seems to be working for DIG. Is there something that makes this roster better suited to this meta than others? I feel like a lot of the ten players on Dignitas have very different styles and approaches to the game.
Yeah, there are a lot of carry tops right now. I think in every role, everything is being played. More often than not, people are leaning towards carry top, so V1per comes in and plays really well. Plus, the synergy between Dardoch and Fenix didn't out for a while, and in the bottom lane, we've been the same factor across all rosters.
It's very important to have consistent foundations, something to rely on, and Johnsun and I definitely take pride in that, be able to consistently perform every game. It doesn't matter what meta it is. It's important for us to play well.
You and Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett have played together before, and in our last interview, he mentioned he feels like you guys are stylistically very similar and a lot of the playmaking lies with you and him. What's it like playing with him for the first time again since CLG? Has he changed as a player?
I've always loved playing with Josh. I agree with the sentiment that we have the same style. He always brings the jungle difference in almost every game no matter what he plays against. I also have this skillset, but I think I have a calmer demeanor in regards to bringing the entire team together.
In terms of whatever our game plan is, having a Jungler I can rely on to take care of the top side of the map and make sure it meets with the bottom side of the map has always been super important for me. Josh definitely brings that every time I play with him, so it's been a pleasure playing with him. Hopefully, going into the post-season we will be able to improve a lot more.
Speaking of playoffs, with the revised format of having eight teams, did you approach them differently, knowing there are more chances? Did it help the team's morale, staying in this season?
That's important. If it was still top 6, we'd be out automatically. I haven't seen a team with five wins make playoffs, that was crazy. *Laughs* But going into it, yeah, it's definitely a blessing to have eight spots, but we did get the eighth spot, and going into playoffs we'll have to prove we deserve it.
I haven't asked any players about it, but with the expansion to eight seeds, the regional Gauntlet has been eliminated from the format. You've played so many different formats previously in the LCS. What are your thoughts on these format changes? How does that change the way teams approach the competition month to month?
It's pretty cool, I've always wanted a double elimination bracket, even if we're in the losers bracket, so it's not great for us. *Laughs* But having double elim is definitely better because if a team loses on that day doesn't mean they're the worse team than their opponents. It's a lot more exciting and healthy, I just prefer this type of format, definitely.
There's a lot of talk around Johnsun being rookie of the year. Obviously, there are other players who debuted this year, but he's got the longest-standing in terms of games. Do you think he deserves it compared to his peers?
For rookie? Yes. I think Johnsun deserves Rookie of the Year 100%.
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Aphromoo’s fantasy numbers don’t jump off the page as impressive, but it is very difficult to shine as a Support on a losing team. However, as DIG has gained steam to make playoffs, Aphromoo’s numbers increased too. He averaged 7.3 Assists over the final 3 games, resulting in a 11.2 points per game average. He has his work cut out for him as DIG awaits either GG or TSM in the lower bracket, but if DIG is going to win the series, it will have to come through the Bot Lane.
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Esports editor and journalist of 10+ years. Lives on black tea and corgi love.