Immortals were kings of the regular season last year, but failed to make a North American finals and World Championship appearance. With a significant roster shuffle in which they only retained mid laner Eugene "Pobelter" Park, Immortals formed their new roster around Korean top lane star Lee "Flame" Ho-jong and homegrown jungler Joshua "Dardoch" Hartnett.
theScore esports caught up with Dardoch after Immortals' first two series to talk about how the team is developing.
How do you feel your team has performed this weekend?
Our games are kind of . . . well, they're okay. They're really good in the fact that we haven't practiced at all, or we haven't practiced that much as five. But in the big picture, as a team, pretty bad. So, the game quality is really low but we're improving a lot every single game.
Why do you think so many of your games this weekend have gone on for so long?
We have a lot strong voices on the team — me and [Pobelter] mostly. We talk really fast when we make decisions so if we think something is bad, we tell everyone to back off and we know how to stall out games really well. So when we're at a disadvantage, instead of trying to fight our way back, we're fine giving ground and stalling.
Yesterday, you guys defied expectations and came back to win against Echo Fox. What does a come from behind win look like for Immortals right now? How is the team mentality?
We're just positive. Everybody is really positive. Especially onstage, I'm probably the most positive of all the teammates telling everybody that we can win and what to do. Everyone reinforces that and we all still think we can win, so we'll always keep fighting.
Where do you see this Immortals team by the end of the split?
If we keep progressing at the rate we're going right now, I don't see why we can't win the entire split. I'll say that we'll make playoffs and then we'll see how it goes.
What's the primary difference in communicating with your new Immortals team from your old Team Liquid team?
There's a huge difference in team atmosphere. Sometimes we clash on Immortals but it's resolved instantly and there's a solution to be found instead of just tension all the time. It's really just a way better environment. I feel like I'm getting better every single day and I feel like my team is improving. After losses or hard wins I still feel like this is just the beginning of our team and that we're going to get a lot better.
You and Flame have visibly been very close onstage. How are you and Flame getting along so far?
He's a good replacement for me for Lourlo. Lourlo and I were really close on TL. Me and Flame are really close, we just talk about the game all hours of the day, we share the same room in the house so we're already really close and we're going to get a lot closer so we're going to have the best synergy of any top/jungle in the LCS.
Emily Rand is a staff writer for theScore esports. You can follow her on Twitter.