The 2021 League of Legends European Championship season gets closer, and teams prepare to experiment with strategies with the new rosters. Schalke 04 comes from the uphill battles of Spring and Summer 2020, ending on the high note of the “Miracle Run”, nearly qualifying for Worlds.
S04 Mid Laner Felix "Abbedagge" Braun joined Inven Global’s Lara Lunardi for a chat about what 2020 taught the team, the personal development achieved in one of LEC’s most challenging years, the new roster, and more.
"We won’t need a miracle run this time."
Let’s look back in 2020... Can you name the most important lessons of this year?
There were a lot of important things that happened this year. Personally, I went through a lot of self-development. To me, the most important moment was to achieve so much after having such a horrible beginning in both splits and making the Miracle Run work.
In the Spring Split, I went through a lot of personal growth. You’re not always in the situation of having such a rough team environment, where the team doesn’t feel together at all. I had to step up a lot and be a lot more communicative to have my own voice heard, and that helped me move to the Summer Split and make things work out towards the end.
You mentioned speaking up. Are you generally the quiet one in the team?
It’s not like I don’t want to voice my opinions, I do talk more than what is seen in the S04 videos, so I don’t personally think my teammates would describe me as quiet, but I am more reserved.
And how did you change that? Did anyone in the team push you through it?
It was mostly a realization for me. When FORG1VEN started playing with us, I had to learn how to talk back at some point. [laughs]
Let’s talk about the rough starts Schalke 04 faced at the beginning of both splits last season. Eventually, the team worked to have positive results, even in the Spring. Was there a common reason for the slips at the beginning of each of the splits?
Well, well. In Spring, we were not a terrible team, we just had a lot of Bot Lane problems. If the enemies knew how to play around that, every time the Bot Lane would be ruined, the game was ruined. It was really hard to work around that. Once it changed, we became decent and improved from there.
Starting in Summer, we knew we needed to make certain roster changes if we wanted to be considered a Playoffs team. It was hard to figure out the best roster because they all had their weaknesses and strengths. We had a lot of individual work to do.
How did you work on your gameplay individually?
The biggest change I did was around week three or four of Summer, I got more motivated. I started to play a lot more duo queue with Gilius. We were spamming from morning to evening, and other than that [laughs] how could I get better other than spam League of Legends…
[laughs] Well, I’m terrible at the game, so what could I tell you, right?
Anyway, moving onto the new roster topic… You got to meet with the team. How was the synergy in the beginning?
Gilius, BrokenBlade, and I are very close to each other. BB and I are best friends, and all three of us are German. Gilius and BB always supported each other, and on top of that they are both Turkish AND German, so they have some sort of special brotherhood going on… We are all very comfortable with each other. Neon and LIMIT were at home first, so we only met them at scrim times before.
Our team is really open-minded and has no issues discussing the game. We are very efficient.
I have the feeling you and LIMIT will get along well. He’s great.
He’s my little Dino. [laughs]
In terms of playstyle, what does the new Top Lane and the new Support feel like?
They are not afraid of dying. [laughs] It’s a bit of a meme but they are very aggressive, that’s just part of being a new member of the team I guess. LIMIT is not afraid of engaging even if he has to sacrifice himself. We could say the team is testing their limits, no pun intended [laughs]. He’s that kind of guy.
And to close off, what about the expectations for 2021?
I think we will start slow and build up. We might lose a few games at the beginning of the Split…
Wait, are you actually speaking analytically, or are you actually just traumatized from the previous two splits? [laughs]
[laughs] No! We will win most of our games but we need the time to reach the highest level. We won’t need a miracle run this time.