A few days after defeating Team Coast in the NACS Finals, Renegades' Crumbzz spoke to theScore eSports about making it to the LCS, Shrimp's potential and his LCS playoff predictions.
You and Alex [Ich] have been very vocal about your desire to get back into the LCS. Now that you’ve actually gotten there what was your initial reaction, and your reaction now that you’ve had a few days to let it sink in?
Mostly just glad. Glad to have finally accomplished the goal we set out to do in the first place, but the goal isn’t just to go into the LCS. When I spoke to Alex in the beginning, we wanted to get to Worlds and do well at Worlds and I find that it's pretty fun knowing that you set up to do a goal but unlike all the other teams that just say “we gotta do well this split, we gotta do well the next split and next split” they don’t actually have enough time to prepare because they have so many things on their plate to actually get to that goal. I think that if we say from the get go “we have two years to get to where we want to be,” I think that can be a very effective way of doing it. And obviously I have no idea of how it's going to turn out, this is complete speculation but that’s what we’re hoping for.
The series against Team Coast was close, but the games themselves were not as close as the 3-2 series would indicate. It was a very snowbally series in the sense that whoever got the advantage early tended to take over that game. Is there something specific about the way you guys play and the way that Coast play that led to the games being that way?
I think it was honestly coincidence just because looking back on them, I know how they were mentioning in the fifth game that everyone had previously won on blue side so everybody was thinking “oh it could be Coast that just comes out on top seeing as how their blue for the final game.” Just like how that was coincidence, the fact that the games were very snowbally was just a coincidence as well. The first game we messed up a lane swap so badly that anyone should have beaten us. We really messed it up. In the second game they messed up their lane swap as well, and then we capitalized off that one. And the third game we also messed up a specific aspect...the teams made very crucial mistakes that made it very easy to capitalize and snowball hard. So I think that would be what made the games snowbally. The teams are very good at snowballing the games and closing it out but the mistakes that the teams made were so drastic that it led to such a snowbally series.
Did that veteran experience that each team had allow either side to capitalize on those mistakes?
No, I don't think the veterans have to be able to do that. I think that anyone that is at that level would see it and be like “oh this is something to jump on.”
On the subject of you, Alex and Maple as veterans: was there a message that you told RF and Remilia before you got on stage or did they know it was just business as usual?
Well I was a little worried at first that perhaps they might be a bit nervous. Even while we were waiting in the house for our shuttle to come pick us up I was preparing in my mind something to say if people were getting nervous to calm their nerves down. But I was super glad that that never had to be said because they played like pros. They were not nervous at all, they kept their head in the game and it went really well.
I was hoping you could compare yourself and Shrimp in some capacities. Shrimp really emerged as a breakout player in the jungle this season and I think you two have contrasting styles. You did a lot of ward control and controlling the map for your team where Shrimp was [a much more invade and counter jungle focused player]. Do you think that with his style there are improvement to be made there or can he make it to the LCS with the way he plays now?
I think he can make it into the LCS...but the issue that I have with Shrimp so far has been that in the games we played against each other, I believe it was two games of Rek’sai and one of Lee Sin, but for the most part it was him showing his Rek’Sai which really is very farm dependent. He just really takes a lot of farm and if you’re not a team that can capitalize and punish the absence of the jungler offering pressure then you will lose. And I think for the times that we lost to them and they were playing Rek’Sai, we were not able to do that. We didn’t actually punish them across the board and if you can’t do that his farm will get completely out of control and you’ll get s*** on.
In Game 3 of the series he got the Black Cleaver and started split pushing on Rek’Sai and RF couldn't deal with him at all. Is that a result of that heavily farm dependent Rek’Sai?
Yeah exactly. But I think in the Game 5 we tried to put on a lot of pressure. We won the lanes and started to choke down on the game, he started to falter a bit. I think he definitely needs improvement to be able play underfarmed, to expand his champion pool.
But I haven’t seen his play style be proactive... I guess in the NACS he was known for a lot of counter jungling. What stood out to me was most of the counter jungling he would do would be based off of the enemies' mistake. So if the enemy goes to one side of the map, let’s say the guy is going for a gank in the top side and their top laner had a ward and spot the jungler, then that is Shrimp's indication “ok let’s go take five camps from the enemy on the other side.” And then the enemy jungler tries to do the same again thing on the other side, gets spotted, fails; again he does the same thing on the other side...he’s very diligent about taking the farm that way and I think that's a really good thing to do. He’s always on top of that but I think if he works on his pressure game and just being able to gank a bit more at times he’ll be really good.
Following the announcement and creation of the team back when you were Misfits and even the rebranding as Renegades, your team developed a passionate fanbase and a lot of hype very quickly. Was that sort of immediate fan support helpful to you guys?
For myself not really. I mean it's nice to see such support from the get go. I do think that the fanbase simply comes from the established fans that all of our players had from the beginning so it’s nice to see them all merge into one and then new people come out of nowhere and just support it. But it doesn’t really affect anything from my end. Maybe in the future it would be nice because, at least in the studio, there was a lot of chanting and usually when I used to play before there was none of that.
I was hoping you would take a moment to predict the NA LCS playoffs that are coming up. What do you think is going to happen in those series?
Oh man that’s a tough one because if you put yourself in the situation where you analyze both teams it's so hard to ignore the fact that CLG has indeed choked for the past four years in a row. But if they were to not do that I think that they were to win. If I had to choose a winner...I’m just going to go ahead and say [CLG] would beat TiP...I think the XiaoWeiXiao TiP was definitely better than the current TiP. So I think just based on that, I think I’m gonna give it to [CLG]
As for [Team SoloMid] vs Team Liquid, I think that Team Liquid will not only beat TSM but they should win the whole thing.
We also heard the relegation matches were decided. Team 8 chose to play Team Imagine and Enemy now has to face Team Coast. Obviously you have experience playing against both Team Imagine and Team Coast recently. How do you think those matches will play out?
I think for the Enemy versus Coast...we’ve had quite a bit of experience practicing against Enemy and seeing them in the LCS and surprisingly enough if they actually were to play their scrims like their LCS they would beat Coast quite easily. Their scrims are vastly different from how they play on stage. It’s a bit sad because it’s such a black and white difference. As for Imagine vs. Team 8, I think that it’s going to be a bit closer than people expect but I’d have to side a bit more towards Team 8. They have more tricks up their sleeves than Imagine can account for.
What’s next for you during the offseason?
I’ll try and go visit family, visit friends, see my girlfriend and then just play League to be honest. Start streaming, start setting up for wherever we’re going to be, start scrimming remotely. Like if someone is to take a vacation...as long as they can scrim here and there that’ll be fine....so I’ll probably be playing some of my scrims from Vancouver.
Probably a month from now we’ll start our regular scrimming, but I doubt it’ll be nearly as rigorous as what it was before, like 15 scrims a day. I’m excited to do all that. I’m also going to start making some more Youtube videos which I did all the way up until I started doing Renegades.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.