The dust has settled in Berlin. For a few days. The Play-Ins have concluded and four teams now head to the League of Legends World Championship's group stage, where they'll be met by the twelve other teams. The final Play-In team to secure a ticket: Splyce, the third seed of the LEC. The yellow snakes escaped elimination from Worlds after defeating Unicorns of Love in a nailbiter of a series.
We spoke to Splyce's midlaner, Marek "Humanoid" Brázda, after the victory. The midlaner explained his thoughts throughout the match, what he expects for the Group Stage and which midlaner he would love trying to beat.
First of all congratulations, that was a hard-fought victory!
I really did not expect it to go to five games, but I guess we managed to win... somehow.
Why didn't you expect it to go to five games?
I just think we are ten times better than Unicorns of Love.
How did you prepare for this match?
We prepared like we would against any other team. Nothing special, just playing scrims. It's hard to expect what they would draft, it's hard to prepare for it. If they picked something random, we would prepare on the spot.
What did you personally focus on, heading into this match?
Nothing in particular. I just wanted to have clean games. It eh... didn't work out. But to prepare I just played solo queues and scrims.
How was it, throughout the series, to notice you were not performing that well?
The first game I was still calm. I still thought we had it in the bag. But after we lost the second game there was some stress going around in the team. At that point we thought that we might actually lose the series. We had to refocus on that last game.
Can you tell how you managed to get focused again?
We just told ourselves that there was no need to be stressed. It was just the last game. It's just a Best of 1. Then we were able to focus again, and we could win again.
Throughout the Play-In stage you guys lost one game overall—a solid performance. Did that live up to your expectations?
Yeah basically. I thought we would lose one game at most. That can just happen in Best of 1's. But I was always sure we would get the first seed.
You're heading into the Group Stage next. What do you think of your chances?
I think Group B is easier to get the second seed in—FPX is still a really strong team there obviously. They are kind of unbeatable for us, they are on a different level.
Looking at Europe: the region's level seems pretty high overall. Where does this come from?
Ehm, I don't know actually. It's interesting, because there are two really, really strong teams. And then there's us, we're kind of mediocre. But yeah I think Fnatic and G2 can get really far. I wouldn't say that we could go as far as them, but I think they could win against any team. The interesting part is that at this Worlds there are five or six strong teams that can win against the others.
I think there always were teams in Europe that had, like, three really good players and two players not that good. This year G2 pulled the strongest players from the teams together. Fnatic was already strong. They just lost one member, but picked up another.
Of the players at Worlds, who do you want to face off against?
I think I would like to face Faker. He's... you know. It's Faker, right? He's the name of League of Legends.
What's going to happen if you play against him?
We will probably lose [laughs], but I've never played against him so I don't know what to expect.
You had some loud fans in the audience today, and I can imagine you'll have many more in the next stage. Any words you have for them?
Actually, it feels good to have fans, finally. We didn't have that many during the regular season. It feels great to take the headset off and hear the fans shout Splyce. Thank you, fans, for doing that.
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.