By performing a clean sweep against Cloud9, Team Liquid eliminated C9 from playoffs.
With 3 games in a row with 3 targeted tank bans against Impact, the pressure was on for not only Impact but also TL. By restricting the champion pool of Impact, Cloud9 and the rest of the people watching believed it was going to work. However, Impact proved that his champion pool cannot be attacked. Bring out a pick that has not been seen in competitive play for as long as we could remember, Impact showed his dominance over Licorice’s Fiora with his Singed.
After the series against Cloud9, Inven Global interviewed Impact. Let’s see what he has to saw about C9, Licorice, and his champion pool.
¤ Did you know it was going to be a clean 3-0 against C9?
Yes. This is because when we practiced, we played so well. Even in games when we were behind, we always came back. It gave us a lot of confidence. When we were behind against C9, we just kept waiting for our opportunity to come back. We did make a lot of mistakes in the early parts of the game. However, we knew that we were better in the late game. I told my team “The longer the game goes, we have more chances to win.”. I think because we played with that mindset, we won.
¤ Because C9 is your former team, I am curious how you necessarily prepared against them for this series?
I thought to myself “I cannot lose this no matter what.”. I don’t usually play other games in my off time, but I do play some every now and then. In the days coming into the games against C9, I didn’t even play other games. I just kept watching League videos and replays. Since I was able to focus and say more to the team, I think the team played better because of it as well. Regarding to my individual performance, I made a few mistakes. On the other hand, my team all played extremely well.
¤ Since you were in C9 and you know how they shotcall, did you give any tips or advice to your team about C9?
Uh… Nothing in particular. When I was in C9, I did a lot of the target shotcalling. Recently however, Cloud9 is at an unease. If C9 is struggling a little bit, I can tell we can go about the game fairly easily. I told just my team “Let’s not be impatient when we play.”. There is no need to force a play if there is risk involved. Although there is a need for risky plays, there are two types of risk plays. Risky plays without thinking through, and risky plays that are well thought out.
¤ The rematch against Licorice was a big one. Did you prepare differently to Licorice than you would have against another player?
I didn’t really pay attention to Licorice. I honestly think Licorice is bad. What I felt is that, the more the game leans towards team play the worse Licorice plays. Maybe it is because he is a rookie. But the more the meta revolves around tanks, the more Licorice plays bad. I predicted C9 was going to ban tanks against me and force a carry vs carry match up in the top lane. However to be honest, I have a larger champion pool than Licorice. I have a lot of champions I can play. I had a lot of options on the table even when they blind picked Fiora top. Oh and I knew they were going to blind pick Fiora top 100%. This is because when I thought about his champion pool, there was nothing else but Fiora. I knew they couldn’t blind pick Jayce either.
There was really no need to emphasize so much on banning me out. Personally, I think my team has a good balance. Every player on the team is good. It is not like one player is good while the others are bad. Overall, I believe C9 made a mistake there. Thanks to C9’s picks/bans, I played the game reasonably comfortable. As long as I play better with my team than Licorice does with his, I knew I didn’t have to think about him at all.
¤ Was your Singed made in preparation to counter the Fiora?
No, not at all. What I thought at the time was, he could only blind pick Fiora or other tanks. However, Singed is good against all of those possible picks. The reason why Licorice couldn’t blind pick Jayce is because tanks have a good match up against Jayce. On top of this, it is extremely difficult to pick Jayce into a Skarner. I was contemplating on what I should pick, and I just told my team to give me Singed. Singed is never a bad pick into Fiora. It is all about who flings or parries better. Because Fiora can’t use her Q while on Singed W, it is the reason why they died 2v1 in the bot lane. I knew it was a good match up, but I didn’t know for sure. This is because I didn’t even play that much Singed. I only played Singed in soloq.
That pick just exemplifies why a pro player should always practice and prepare picks.
¤ Even if you said you didn’t play Singed that much, you played incredibly well on him.
I mean, I did start playing Singed in early season 2. I believe me and Looper are the only players that actually play Singed. Come to think of it, I don’t even know where or what Looper is doing right now (laughs). Since Singed is such a strange pick even for the player who is playing the champion, no one knows how to play around him. That is what I realized. There were so many moments when we caught people off guard using Righteous Glory as Singed. In series like BO5 formats, I believe these pocket picks are extremely useful. Just because, no one has ever played against it.
¤ Lastly, is there anything you want to say?
I was honestly so surprised when C9 used all 3 of their bans at me (laughs). I expected 2 bans but 3 (laughs)? I was like “Oh wow they are crazy.”. Even though C9 got eliminated at playoffs, they are still C9. They are going to do well in the summer. Everyone on my team played well in the quarterfinals. I am satisfied. I hope we can play as well as we did against Cloud9 in the semi finals. Now, I am absolutely certain TL is within the top 2 best NA teams. If we keep playing like this, I am confident we can make it all the way to Worlds. Lastly, I want to thank all of my fans for the support.