Team Liquid’s performance is like a roller coaster. They’ve accumulated five wins but had three losses, and the process during the three losses wasn’t good, being dominated the whole match.
They’re searching for a way to improve their performance. Doublelift playing Vladimir in a recent match was one of those attempts, but still, their process and results aren’t following. Jung “Impact” Eon-yeung, who we met after the match on the 14th, was sorry about the current team situation.
In the interview, Impact spoke of his opinion on bot lane picks, and of the problems of the team that were revealed starting from the last Rift Rivals. Also, he talked about his thought on the recent issues; NA solo queue, and the work ethic of the NA players.
Let’s start with the Rift Rivals. How was it?
I did learn a lot. It seemed like the EU players played AP better than I thought. They did away with the ADC champions in the first place. You know, Rekkles lost his job (Laughs). I felt that EU prioritized using AP champions in the bot lane.
As for NA, we were just like ‘it’s alright to play ADCs’, but honestly, I think the ADC players were just clinging onto them. The appearing ADC champions were Lucian or Kai’Sa, but their range is too short; they’re weak against AP champs.
Maybe if they played champions like Ashe. Ashe can take down Heimerdinger turrets easily because she has a long range. The biggest problem was picking ADC champions without thinking of counter champions. There was no effort done to counter opponent champions. We were aware that the opponent could play Heimerdinger, and we just said “Let them play it” and were punished by that. Good or bad picks are relative; we should have had in mind what they will pick.
Do you personally think playing AP champions at bottom lane is better?
Personally, yes. It seems that AD champions like Varus, Ashe or Jhin appear in the LCK as well, but they’re just ‘appearing’. I’m not sure if it’s necessary to play ADC champions when there are champions like Kindred or Graves already in the jungle.
ADC champions are very weak in the early game and still weak in the mid-game. On the other hand, Vladimir is strong already from the second core item. At that time, ADC champions are just picking their nose, saying "Hey, I died!" (Laughs)
Are you saying that change is needed for the NA ADC players?
They're already changing, but they’re not yet that skilled. Sometimes when I watch players play Heimerdinger, I wonder why in the world they are standing in that position. It’s as if they think they’re playing a champion that has an escape skill.
In today’s match as well, Arrow made a few mistakes, so we had a chance. We thought our comp wouldn’t lose if the game went long and we were able to take it to the late game because of their mistake. We had Dr.Mundo, and they didn’t have any champions that can take down Dr.Mundo.
Looking at the draft, I wondered why they picked like that. If it were up to me, I would have picked Darius no matter what.
Why do you think they picked Jarvan IV into Dr.Mundo?
I think Jarvan IV was picked because he can initiate fights more easily. Also, Jarvan IV is strong against Dr.Mundo in the early game. Of course, after some time, Dr.Mundo wins no matter what.
Like in today’s game; as time goes, Dr.Mundo gets more and more CS and dominates the game. If Dr.Mundo clears a lane, he can go in the jungle, and there’s so much that he can do. The level gap gets bigger. When Dr.Mundo hits Lv.16, the game’s nearly over.
Not many champions that can initiate can come to top recently. Ornn is disappearing, and mostly Dr.Mundo, Darius or Gangplank is picked; they all don’t have a strong initiating skill. I think they picked Jarvan IV to initiate, but I’m not sure if it’s good or not. If there’s a Nocturne or Galio, he might be good enough, but normally, the opponent doesn’t allow you to take all those picks.
In the Team Liquid video, Cain gave strong feedback after losing Rift Rivals. What did he talk about?
Cain was talking about getting punished by leaving Heimerdinger open. He had thought that Heimerdinger needed to be banned. But mainly, he was angry because we didn’t do what we learned. After taking down the 2nd turret at mid, he wanted us to get vision on the left side, but none of us thought to do so.
Actually, getting vision isn’t a one-person-job. Even if I say “Don’t we have to get vision on the top side?” while I’m playing split at bot, if my teammates want to push the lane first, it’s no use. So everyone needs to think in advance and do well.
Preparing for this week’s matches, we practiced to think the same thing altogether, but it didn’t go as well as planned. We did win today’s game, but there’s a lot of regrets. Since we didn’t play against many Smite mid laners, we weren’t able to think about when their gank will come and stuff like that. We made a lot of mistakes.
And there was a moment when Jhin died as soon as he arrived with Tahm Kench’s ult; I just laughed because it was so funny. I just said, “Okaaaay, we should just do what we can do.”
Many people are talking about the solo queue environment. What do you think?
It is a problem. We’re playing three blocks (nine games) of scrims every day. But the solo queue quality is so bad. In the NA, they roam and die, and they don’t think of the vision. They play to their instinct even if they don’t have vision. It feels like Season 3 in the KR server. KR Master is a lot better than NA Challenger.
The ping problem might be a big issue. I also get frustrated because of the ping from time to time. I liked playing Yasuo in solo queue a lot before, but now I tend to play champions that has less stress on mechanics, champions that can be played by thinking like Swain or Dr.Mundo.
I’m a pro player, so I try to play champions that are good in the meta, but I hesitate to pick mechanically important champions like Yasuo. I need to use my skills by looking at the opponents’ motions, but if the ping’s high, that’s impossible. So it’s difficult to use Yasuo’s Wind Wall unless I use it by predicting. It could be only me, but I think it’s bad in the big picture.
The ping’s a problem, but the mindset is the biggest problem. In KR, there’s a lot bigger ratio of users that prioritize winning. They get frustrated and angry when they’re losing, and they blame teammates if they’re doing bad. This means that they really want to win and that they have a great passion for the game. But in the NA, they just go like, “Hmm, we lost. Let’s just go to the next game.” Frankly, solo queue doesn’t help much as practice.
Also, the quality of NA solo queue gets so low after 11 PM or midnight. I get matched up with Diamond 3. If this happens, it’s no practice at all. It shouldn’t be a problem with Riot’s system; I think it’s because there aren’t that many players. Maybe if the reward for high-tier players in solo queue is better. They make a lot of money, don’t they? (Laughs) I think to give a better reward for higher tier players to draw competition is needed to make solo queue quality better. From time to time, I think that if it were up to me, I would come up with plenty of ideas.
There must be more and more pro players that neglect solo queue.
Even if it’s not much practice, we need to practice champions playing solo queue. The performance of most of the players that don’t play solo queue isn’t that good.
Actually, there shouldn’t be that big of a problem if we do our best during scrims. But if we don’t play solo queue, an issue regarding our mentality can occur. When we don’t play solo queue, we do something else and get to think about other things. Playing other games, or going outside to enjoy ourselves.
The good players think of LoL very importantly. We need to think and worry about the game thoroughly for a long time to raise our performance. I’ve seen a lot of players. It’s an important thing to play solo queue.
When I heard of how the players practice in China, they practice a lot. I heard that they practiced 14 hours a day during Rift Rivals.
The problem is in NA, even if we wanted to, we can’t. If other teams don’t play, we can’t even scrim. I told the team that I wanted to play scrims several times during Rift Rivals. We had a lot of spare time during that period, but they told me that we couldn’t because there’s no team to play against.
Even the teams that were playing in the Rift Rivals like 100 Thieves and Echo Fox said that they didn’t want to scrim. I was complaining, thinking ‘Do they want to lose?’ And they really did. (Laughs)
When we played scrims with EU, it felt that they prepared a lot. We had a 2-3 or 3-3 record against them. Even in the games we won, it didn’t feel like we deserved to win. I really thought that we should prepare well, but it felt like NA teams were just goofing around. I’m not trying to attack the whole league, but I wish they take the competition more seriously.
The reason China defeated Korea is that they prepared a lot and they practiced a lot. Korea puts in an enormous amount of effort, so they think of putting in even more effort. That’s why they won. If I play that one single game more than the others, I don’t only improve, but I also gain confidence.
I think taking the game seriously or prioritizing winning is important. Of course, free time is important as well, but if I put myself with more free time, my performance goes down. So what I do is look back at myself with caution. I look back on how earnest I am on playing the game. I don’t even go exercise recently; if I go to exercise, it takes at least an hour and a half. In ninety minutes, I can play two solo queue games.
Nowadays, there are many hot rookies. Having a competitive spirit must be important.
The reason young players are good is that they enjoy the game itself. It’s not a matter of mechanics. The young players think a lot and their thoughts are open to more creativity. With more experience, players gain stubbornness. They close their ears when that happens. Practicing unwillingly is of no use. Resting is better.
There are still players that have good mechanics at an old age. Marin is pretty good still. (Laughs) So the most important thing is having a good mindset.
Do you have any last comments?
I don’t think there are that many people watching NA LCS in Korea (Laughs). So I really want to get to Worlds this year, because it’s in Korea.
I watched the LCK vs LPL Rift Rivals finals, and even I felt sorry. Losing 2-3 was sad. Well, NA was smashed, but KR lost very closely 2-3 (Laughs). It seemed like man fans were angry. Still, there’s a lot left to Worlds; it might be better if you watch and cheer until then.