Rogue’s LEC 2022 Summer Split campaign began a little differently than their Spring, where they opened up with a dominant 9-0 start. Instead, Rogue found themselves down 0-2 early in the split as the LEC 2022 Spring Finalists began their campaign looking somewhat out of sorts. However, after a strong week against EXCEL Esports and SK Gaming, Rogue is now tied for first place in the LEC 2022 Summer Split and on a five-game winning streak.
After bouncing back from a rough start in Summer, we spoke to Rogue’s AD carry Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos about their early split struggles, finding a balance between League and personal life, and his own personal goals.
Thank you, Comp for joining me today. I wanted to start by asking about Larssen after your match against EXCEL. Could you explain what happened there and is he fine?
To be fair, I don’t really know what happened specifically, but what I heard is that he blacked out. I am not sure, but it could be from standing up too fast or something. I didn’t pay attention. I just saw him down and was wondering if he was okay, but afterward, he seemed okay.
Now, I wanted to congratulate you on your victory this week against EXCEL, a team that has been performing great in Summer. Talk to me about the mindset going into this match against arguably one of your toughest opponents this split?
Yeah, so first of all, I think the best opponents right now for us are G2 and EXCEL. Even though we lost to Fnatic, I’ve said this many times, I feel like the game we lost was more about us playing badly and making mistakes. Still, we lost to them so it does mean they are better than us. Today against EXCEL, we knew that we had to play at our own pace.
We were willing to put everything to have good scrims and we just played it out and whoever plays best wins. We just knew that going into this match, the enemy is going to also draft well so I was just prepared. In the end, it was about which team was doing the small things right. Then the game became even midway because the draft was even.
I want to dive deeper into your statement on G2 and EXCEL being your toughest opponents this split. What do you feel sets them apart from other teams this split? Does it stem from teamwork and cohesion? Or is it based on your experiences and how they challenge you in the early game?
Both teams have way better midgames than Fnatic. For the most part, Fnatic get ahead in early games by early ganks which they are very good at, but I feel in week one, we weren’t that great. We still aren’t where we want to be and I think we will be much better in the playoffs, but that first week was a much worse version of us.
They kind of abused us while we were playing bad. In the end, they did a good job and they punished us, but I feel that if we were to play them this week or in the next few weeks, I don’t think it will look similar as it did in week one.
In this game, we saw Rogue get a bit of a lead against EXCEL but then have some trouble closing out the game. Was it more about EXCEL being really good or Rogue making some mistakes in the mid-game?
Against EXCEL in this game, they got opportunities because we griefed. Props to them for recognizing these opportunities and our mistakes, but we could easily shore up these micro mistakes which would change how the game looks completely.
The only time it really got scary was around the baron fight because Kayle was hitting a level 16 power spike and Zeri was hitting three items so it was kind of scary. I feel like it’s all about what the comps look like and everybody was focused on winning. We found opportunities early and stomped the early game which is why I still feel we were in control throughout the entire game.
One of the complaints after that game was centered around Finn’s choice to place more focus on building Kayle with more AD items. Do you feel like that was the better approach or he should’ve taken a different route?
I’m not really an expert on the early game for Kayle nor what she should build. I don’t know if it was the build or the way the game played out, but it didn’t feel like there was a fight even when Kayle popped out at level 16. It was really hard for him to play the game in general because we had very good engage and baron buffs. Part of it could be because of the build, but I just think it was really hard for him to play the game against our composition.
This win now puts Rogue on a winning streak and tied for first place in the LEC 2022 Summer Split. What do you feel has been the main driving factor behind this resurgence?
Overall, the first two games were about us drafting very poorly. Specifically, I think the most important change and mistake we were making in week one was that we were blind-picking Ornn. Thing is, when we started the Summer Season, we knew what our week one schedule looked like.
Because of this, we could not scrim the top teams and we needed to scrim bottom or middle-tier teams. We could just play whatever we wanted and still win. We didn’t practice those comps versus better teams and I think when we scrim those middle and bottom teams we can play draft however we want and still end up winning because I think we’re just individually better.
In the end, we realized some of the things we practiced don't work against top teams which is why the draft was our biggest issue. Aside from that, we had a talk afterward and talked about everything that went wrong in and outside the game, even the small stuff. That talk and cleaning up our drafts really helped us enter this winning streak that we are on now.
I want to switch topics and quickly talk about your offseason. What was it like to have such a strong split back in the LEC. What were you up to?
Let’s start with my competitive break before 2022. I was really happy with everyone that I was set to work with on Rogue so that break was a blessing in disguise because now, I am feeling very blessed about the opportunities that I got. I think last Spring was a really great way for me to come back to the LEC, but everybody wants something more in Summer.
As for this offseason, it was mostly about going back to family, spending time with my girlfriend, and just looking to mentally reset from Spring. I think when I was younger, like two or three years ago, I wouldn’t use that time to reset. Instead, I would use that offseason as an opportunity to get better at the game. I would spam solo queue nonstop instead of spending time with family and friends.
Personally, I’ve come to this point that spending my offseason that way doesn’t work out for me. Taking time to do other things like spend time with friends, go outside and travel are things that make me play better. It also makes me happier overall too because I can go into the season just focusing on one problem at a time.
You talked about how you had started working out during your break and how it helped you a lot mentally. Is that something you still continue to practice?
Yeah, so I’m not gonna lie, I don’t think I was working out as much as I was when I had the whole offseason, but it is something I really want to start doing more in Summer. Watching the way I eat and working out five to six days a week really helps me mentally every day. It actually gives you a purpose outside of the game.
That time you spend away from the game actually makes you a lot happier and for me, a better player. I’ve realized during this time not working out much that only makes me feel better about myself. It is something that is really important to me because it makes me enjoy life so much more.
Now, I wanted to finally ask you about your goals for the Summer Split. You made really great strides in Spring where Rogue surprised many. Have your goals changed? Or was it always the game?
My goal is actually never the same every split. Some can say that I missed a year of play so I really needed to prove myself, but in my mind, even if I ended up winning five splits in a row or losing five splits in a row, I will always feel like I have to prove myself. It doesn’t matter what happened in the past. All that matters is what you bring in the present. Same note, there are people in the ERL’s that are always hungry to take your spot so you need to keep putting in that work and maintain focus or you will lose your spot. While my goals can be different, the value of always putting in the effort stays the same. Just continue to keep that mental toughness.
Would you say that the biggest roadblock for you is just keeping your own mind in check?
Yeah exactly. I feel like I can always have a good performance and maintain a top-level as long as I keep a stable mentality. I know I am a hard worker so continuing to do things that help me stay sharp mentally is what is important to me now.
Any final words?
Thank you to everybody Rogue fan or not. I appreciate every one of you for tuning in to watch the games. I also want to talk about the Rogue fans that I meet in the Rogue fan meetings specifically as well. There are a lot of people telling me about how good my stream was and stuff and I found it crazy because I only stream once every two months nowadays. I will try to stream a bit more when I find the team and have more willpower but thank you so many guys and I hope you have a good time.