Hey guys, somehow, Meteos broke my camera again. It was fixed last week, and I go to interview him and it isn’t. I hope you enjoy the interview though. He is always extremely insightful and fun to talk to. Again, you can find the audio of our conversation below, and look out for other interviews on our YouTube Channel.
You went into the match giving TSM a power combo with Galio and Camille which they’ve proven to be really good at, so how were you prepared to shut TSM down like you did?
Well yesterday we played against Xayah + Rakan and it’s just really hard to play against. We had one of our worst games against Liquid. So we said “Let’s not play against Xayah + Rakan again,” and we ended up getting it which was sweet. It just seems like that combo is really strong right now, everybody is winning with it. That gave us a lot of options to make big plays bot lane. And of course their picks were really good too with the Camille and Galio which makes a strong comp. But it turned into a game of they need to dive on us, and we need to not let our carries die to their dive. And at some point in the game, Riot decided that carries should never die to a dive. So I think dive comps are really hard to successfully pull off, so after the draft I was feeling pretty good. I was Sejuani into a Zac which is pretty good for Sej. I think we played to our strengths pretty well – not a perfect game – but I like the way we played. It was a disciplined game, we tried to press our advantages, tried to not let them get anything for free, and it went pretty well.
Since our last conversation, 100 Thieves has gone 3-1 which means you are 4-1 in your last five games after your mid season losing streak. So how is the team doing now as we gear up towards playoffs?
Well I think we’ve been doing a lot better, obviously, but we are still not totally where we need to be. Yesterday against Liquid… not a good game at all. I think that it’s going to take some time to get used to the new patch because I think that vision control was definitely one of my strong points as far as junglers go. I think that I could generally get down lots of vision and figure out where the enemy jungler is going to be. So without trackers knife, the game is super different. So it’s not just that I have to relearn what I’m doing, but the whole team has to learn to play around less vision and less information… Gotta keep working on our macro and our communication. I think we’ve come a long way, but we’ve still got a lot of work to do.
TSM is often thought of as a top performing team, even when they were losing this season. Other teams have ranked them very highly, and Cody Sun even said it on stage today. Where would you rank them, which team do you think is toughest for you and 100 Thieves to beat?
That’s a good question. I probably think that Echo Fox and C9 are the best teams. They just play really smart. They’ve got super good individual players. There are multiple levels of teams, and I hear this in other games and sports too. The bottom level – you don’t really know what’s going on. The middle level – you generally know what you’re supposed to do. And the top level – where you know when you’re not supposed to do what you’re supposed to do. So it’s a slightly less optimal play, but it works in this situation because it might not have been what the others were expecting. I think Echo Fox and C9 are really good at that part. They know how to play the game methodically, and they do a lot of surprises, like Lucian top. In my opinion, those are the hardest to play against.
I’d love some insight on the meta on the new patch with the Tracker’s Knife change and Banner of Command.
Banner is really weird. I don’t necessarily hate it, because I like anything in the game that makes things happen and makes fights start. And Banner is pretty good at that because the tank minion will run over your whole base if you don’t do anything about it. I think it is probably over-tuned right now and I imagine it will get nerfed, but there are some counters to it. Like Tahm Kench can eat the siege minion, Syndra can just pick it up, Ezreal is good at killing it using Qs since it’s only immune to magic. But it can definitely be pretty troublesome. I think that the Banner itself is kind of a weak item stat wise, and you don’t want to rush it on everybody because you’ll just lose fights. I think it’s pretty cool, but just over-tuned right now.
I like the idea of a tank minion being able to take down a tower, because it actually opens up more comps. Like if you don’t have an adc that can hit the tower, it doesn’t matter because the siege minion can bring it down. And I really don’t like games where it comes to a point where it is stalemated, like you can never hit the turret or you will eat a bad engage or take really free damage. So I like that it basically forces the other team to engage on you unless they want to lose their whole base slowly. So I think that part is cool, but it does feel like the counters to it now are kind of gimmicky. You need these specific champions, or Minion Dematerializer into the late game. So I think they could rebalance it to just take reduced physical and magic damage but not be immune to one. So your tank minion will do damage to the tower, they can’t kill it for free, but it won’t be invincible. I think something like that would probably be a good change.
And what about your thoughts on the jungle champions and changes?
I’m not super happy with where jungle is, because it seems like the reason things are viable aren’t because you put so much time in it. Like “I want to play Elise, but this champion is just terrible, I can’t clear my jungle and I don’t scale whatsoever.” So a few changes I would like… I think it’s too hard to kill jungle camps, especially as the game goes on. Initially when they had Spirit Stone, the idea was that laners aren’t supposed to be poaching jungle camps. Junglers are supposed to farm the jungle camps and laners are supposed to farm the lane. And I thught that was pretty cool. But now it’s like my adc will kill a camp twice as fast as I can if I’m on a jungler.
And you still have to play tanks, because like I said earlier, dive champions really aren’t that viable. The only thing my champion can do is attempt to kill the adc and I can’t do it then I’m so useless. Like, if I pick Vi in a game, even though her early/mid is not terrible, what do you do when a teamfight rolls around? I’m going to try to ult their carry. They’re going to have Tabi, GA, I’ll get exhausted, they’ll have Heal and shields. They wait for Vi to ult and then instantly kill her. I think the meta is pretty inhibiting of what champions are actually playable, so you are going to see a lot of the same ones unless they get nerfed to the ground/unplayable… Unfortunately, it seems like all the balance changes just seem to look at what champions are played and just nerf them to the ground and then you have to play stuff like Nunu, and it sucks… But hopefully some good changes come.
Lastly, we have seen a lot of 1-1 weeks from some of the top teams. Are these teams trying new things, or are we just seeing some of the weaknesses that maybe they’ve had all along?
Hmm, good question. I do think that as the season goes on, we’ve seen GGS winning a lot of their games, even against the top teams. CLG beat C9 recently. I think sometimes it can be the case that teams guaranteed into playoffs get kind of comfortable, but the teams that really want to make playoffs get super hungry. Generally in competitive League, what I’ve found is the team that wins generally just makes less mistakes. So if you really, really need to win, versus a team who is just kind of there – they don’t want to lose obviously, but they don’t need the win – they may be a little bit more relaxed, more careless with things. All these teams in the LCS are good even if they’re at the bottom of the standings, it’s not like they’re a bad team with bad players. If you give them enough opportunities, anyone can win.
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