Podcast video topics and time stamps:
4:04 Amazing's open letter on coaching
8:14 Why Andy "Reginald" Dinh is the kind of coach he'd want to be
10:30 Host Gabe on Feminist IR theory and Gregg Popovich
20:50 Group stage predictions
55:24 Amazing on why Faker deserves the top slot in any player ranking
1:02:54 SwordArt and the Final Five
1:20:50 Why 2017 is Doublelift's year
While Maurice "Amazing" Stückenschneider won't be attending Worlds this year, the former Origen and Fnatic player told theScore esports Podcast he'll be rooting for Yiliang "Doublelift" Peng.
"I think Doublelift is actually going to outperform his already high expectations. I think he’s more integral to this TSM lineup iteration this year because of how the meta is than Bjergsen is simply because of this Ardent Censer craze," he said.
"If he’s able to actually play to the mechanics I think he does have and is not trolling against the Viktor and jumps down and loses the game, I think this guy is actually gong to outperform his expectations."
Not only did the 23-year-old German say we underrated the Team SoloMid player on our own Worlds Top 20 Players List, telling theScore esports Podcast he would put Doublelift in his personal top five, but called him the best AD carry at the event save Longzhu Gaming's Kim "PraY" Jong-in.
RELATED: The top 20 players at Worlds 2017
"The only one I think he’s not able to outperform is going to be PraY, but I think Doublelift is the one that’s going to be the Western Hope almost in terms of individual play towards the other regions," Amazing said.
Amazing also sparred with theScore esports' League of Legends expert and UofT Collegiate LoL coach Gabriel Zoltan-Johan about what it means to be a good coach, following an open letter he wrote in August on the state of coaching in League.
"Coaches in the West basically lose respect very early on and in most cases are not able to gain it back," he told theScore esports. "And I almost want to describe from a player’s standpoint how coaches are approaching things and where it goes wrong and I think that’s what my post was about."
According to Amazing, most coaches in the west lack the decisive leadership great coaches in the traditional sports world have, such as San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and legendary Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson.
"I think that coaching in the west is still almost obsolete unless you have a top tier coach actually able to transcend their team’s game," he said. "But I think in most cases, coaches are either bonafide analysts or they’re life coaches. So either way, no coach in the west I fear are actually transcending their team’s spirit in-game almost."
However, the real bone of contention came when Amazing critiqued the top five players on our list, expressing some surprise that we put Faker at second and PraY first.
“PraY-Faker is kind of a toss-up too, and Khan-Cuvee too I guess, so I can see why you did it but I still do think Faker has to be on the number one spot because if you take him off of SKT, SKT is not going to do anything and they wouldn’t actually be a contending team in the league," Amazing said.
The same way he says Faker is integral to SKT's team composition, Amazing said it would also be important to place PraY's lane partner Kang "GorillA" Beom-hyeon higher on the list due to their synergy.
"I think if PraY is so far up there then GorillA has to be too," he said. "If you separate one from the other it doesn’t make sense and I think the two of them should be together."
However, Amazing still thinks SKT's Demon King is superior to PraY, if only because he stands alone, not relying on a teammate the way PraY does.
"I still think that Faker no matter what, especially given that he compared to his team performed decently in the finals and the amount of strength he brings to the team and the amount he brought to the team in recent playoff performances, I think that he is still a stronger player and an almost more impactful player than PraY is because of the fact that Pray is so reliant on GorillA and GorillA is so reliant on PraY."
Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.