The Golden Guardians weren't the best during the last split, but they're doing better in the current NA LCS Summer Split.
Other than Mickey coming in, it seemed that there was some change in the team. There should have been problems they found during the last split, most likely solved coming into this split.
We had a chance to speak with Contractz after their game on Saturday. He had a few words to say on Kindred, Mickey, and on what the problem was during the last split.
Could you tell us in detail about the Kindred pick and her place in the meta right now?
Kindred is kind of slowly creeping her way into the meta. She was tuned a little bit; I think the recent change with her W skill made her super strong in the jungle. I think she is one of the strongest junglers right now in terms of pressuring early game. This relates to 1v1 and 2v2 skirmishes. She can take on any fight against any jungler, and she has no bad matchups right now. Maybe Gragas is a bit bad, because of his ult.
I think overall Kindred is just too strong. Her game damage definitely needs to be tuned somewhat.
Do you think Kindred herself is too strong, or do you think she’s strong because the other jungle champions aren't at the same power level as her?
I think she’s just above the power level. Her damage is just too high, she has too much survivability, and she just has a multitude of ways to pressure the enemy jungler. Especially when you have laners that can set you up well, there is pretty much no counterplay against Kindred.
Compared to the last split, you guys are doing considerably better. What changed?
I think we definitely had a wrong mindset coming into the last split. I think we didn’t work as hard for sure. Everyone across the table could have worked harder. Coming into this split, we didn’t want another disappointing season. Therefore, we decided to really try to focus on improving our play and improving our macro; any possible point we wanted to improve on, we wanted no slacking, and no excuses or anything. It really showed in our practice in the first couple weeks coming back. Although we were struggling in the last couple weeks before Rift Rivals, we had decent practice. We showed that we could definitely practice well.
So far, it has been definitely better than last split; all the players have become smarter, and we’re not as de-synergized I’d say. We have a lot more cohesiveness as a team, and we’re working a lot better together.
Going into the ‘attitude’ issue, why do you think NA compared to other regions don’t take it as seriously at some point?
We definitely got hard smashed at Rift Rivals. But honestly, last Rift Rivals when I went with C9, EU solo queue was worse than NA. There are just dirty inters left and right (Laughs). They are just raging 24/7. EU is like: You walk in and if you don’t give me blue, I’m just going to run it down. (Laughs). I feel like EU has ‘For fun’ players as well. They did definitely win this time. Maybe next time when I am at Rift Rivals, we can win.
Do you think EU trash talked NA just because they won Rift Rivals?
I think EU players all have huge egos, and they definitely like to talk trash. Despite all this, I think it’s pretty fun.
Your team has a new mid laner, Mickey. While the jungle-mid synergy is important in this meta, how has he adjusted to the team and how is the communication with him?
I was quite surprised at how good Mickey’s English is in game. Out of game, it’s a little bit hard to have conversations with him, but in game, he knows how to communicate well. Even if there’s a language barrier, he definitely can say what he wants to say and be able to act on it to work with us well.
Were there any funny moments with Mickey? Whether in game or outside of the game?
Whenever someone on our team makes a good play, we call him a smurf. There was this moment when Mickey caught on to that and learned it. One time, he made a really good play and said dramatically, “Holy, I’m a SMMMURFFF!!” (Laughs) Everyone just started laughing. It was really funny.
Previously, Mickey had a few tilting and mental issues. How has it been?
I think we had some rough bumps so far. Not only Mickey but all of us in general. It’s hard to all have really good mental when we’re doing poorly and when practice isn’t going well. But recently, we had a team meeting and got a lot closer as a team. We wanted to make the team environment and practice better. The last two weeks have been a lot better. The break we had was good for our mental, and it showed during our practice.
There are always those mood makers, clowns, or serious guys in a team. Having Mickey come into your team, what style is Mickey, and has any of those roles changed within the team?
I think Mickey is more of a serious guy; he definitely has a sense of humor. Sometimes that shows a little bit. It could be that he isn’t as comfortable with us yet. But definitely, he’s more of a serious guy. All of us are just trolls most of the time (Laughs). For example, when the game’s going bad, we make jokes about it saying it’s going downhill or something. Despite this, overall, we have a good environment.
In today’s picks & bans, Clutch Gaming banned Heimerdinger against you. It’s not necessarily saying that you were going to play Heimerdinger, but were you?
I’ll keep that one a secret for now. Our AD carry had a video with Heisendong that had gone on Reddit a few weeks ago; I think they banned it based off that.
So will the ADC play the Heimerdinger, or possibly would you?
I’m the best Heimerdinger on the team (Laughs).
What’s your favorite Heimerdinger skin, if you had to pick one?
Definitely Snowmerdinger. That one is the best. His hat is tilted, and you waddle (Laughs). It is pretty funny.
As said before, Golden Guardians are doing significantly better than the last split; what are some of the goals that you have set for yourself as a team for this split?
As a team, right now, we’re really aiming for playoffs. We’re 3-4 right now, so we’re not really in the picture for playoffs. However, we think that we’re really capable this split. As a team, we will all be trying our best to make that happen.
Rumor says that a lot of LPL junglers are really good. What is your take on this? Do you watch any videos of other regions and maybe think that you can learn off of each other?
When I was at Worlds last year, I played against Mlxg a lot. I also played against Clearlove. I actually thought they were the best junglers at that tournament, for me that I played against. Mlxg plays really aggressive. Although he overplays sometimes, I learned a lot in terms of playing aggressively with the laners.
Mlxg's pathing was different from all the other junglers I played against. Most other junglers go through the safe routes over and over again. But with Mlxg, it was different for every game. I definitely learned a lot from him at Worlds.
Clearlove showed me to play well around vision. Last year, I wasn’t that good at playing around vision. He showed me how to wait and play with your laners for vision control.
Any last comments?
I want to thank my fans for supporting me and the Golden Guardians. It hasn’t been too well so far. However, I think this split can be really good.