After defeating Team Dignitas on Saturday, Counter Logic Gaming's ZionSpartan spoke to theScore eSports about his champion selection, the team's pick-ban phase and CLG's biggest competition for a Top 2 spot.
Your champion selection in recent weeks has taken a noticeable shift away from tanks and onto split-pushing threats like Fizz and, today, Olaf. What prompted this change? Do you feel split-pushing champions are better on this patch?
I think the big reason the change happened is that we realized we are a more flexible team and that we can kind of play in that style. That doesn't mean I won't play tanks, but when the option arises I have the option to play many different champions and split pushing is always a viable strategy.
The race is still very close for the two top spots and the first round bye that goes along with it. Out of Liquid, TiP and Gravity, who is your biggest competition for those spots?
I would say our biggest competitions is probably Liquid. I think TiP and Gravity are good teams, but TiP took a hit with not having xiaoweixiao and Gravity I feel have one strategy they’re very good at but if they don’t have that strategy I don’t feel they are as strong. I feel like Gravity and TiP have very noticeable weaknesses whereas Team Liquid are a little bit stronger as a team.
After a little bit of a mid-season hiccup you are currently riding a five-game winning streak. How does it feel to have regained your momentum and to be ending your season on a positive note?
It feels really good. Our practice in the recent weeks has been exponentially more beneficial. I feel like we’re only improving right now at a much more rapid rate than where we were before, so things are looking really good.
Down the stretch, your pick-ban has been much more stable and consistent — you seem to have found something that works for your team. How much has your pick-ban been a part of your winning streak? Or is it just because of better team play or better communication the past few weeks?
I definitely think the draft has improved. Of course, we’re playing better as a team, but I feel like we owe a lot to zikz, our strategical coach, for doing a really good job on picks and bans and everyone just trusting him more. Entrusting him with picks and bans has finally made our pick and ban phase a lot more solid. I think that trusting him and allowing him to have control of the draft is really important.
This interview was conducted with the assistance of Nicholas Doucet and has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Skye Bui has a passion for dry humor and eSports. Follow blahblahblah on Twitter.