Following their 0-3 loss to H2K on Saturday, the Unicorns of Love looked defeated. However, they still have a chance to make the World Championship through the qualifier Gauntlet. Support Zdravets "Hylissang" Iliev Galabov took a moment to speak with theScore eSports about Morgana, the state of the team, his thoughts on the future, and Devourer Kayle.
Not the best outcome for the whole series for the Unicorns of Love, but you personally had a good performance on the Morgana in Game 1. Did you expect that pick to be left open for you?
I expected the Morgana to be open because lately people don't think I practice enough Morgana, so they don't need to ban it or something, but I am really comfortable on this champion even if I don't have practice. I didn't have so much practice on Morgana, and I still performed, I think. They then realized it might be trouble, so they banned it in the second game.
What is it about Morgana that resonates well with you?
Mainly, I think Morgana is mostly about the binding and hitting the skillshot. Secondly, it's about the Black Shield. Sometimes you pick it more for the Black Shield or the bind. In this first game, I think Morgana was a really good pick. It's really good against Thresh. Mostly, it counters him in laning phase and after that it's still really hard to play against Morgana as Thresh. You always have the opportunity to Black Shield the Death Sentence. Then, when Thresh starts his hook, he's kind of stunned for half a second, so you can land your binding easily. That's why I picked Morgana there.
It seems like your team doesn't perform as well without the Morgana. Do you not feel comfortable on other picks, or does the team synergize better with Morgana?
I don't think it's a matter of the Morgana. I think our team wins when we want to win: when we're hyped, when we're on the same page, when we all know what to do before we do it or the opposite way around. Sometimes we can lose because we don't want to win. We are not on the same page. We are going in when people can't follow. I don't think the Morgana pick is something special. It's just a pick we play around because I think I'm good with her. That's all.
Do you think the Unicorns weren't "hyped" today or didn't want to win as much?
This match, we haven't practiced as efficiently as we should, I think. So I think that's why the games were not on point. There were a lot of mistakes. That's just because, simply, we didn't practice as hard as we should have.
Would you say that there were extenuating circumstances leading to your lack of practice?
There are a lot of things. I can't say for sure what the problem is—then it would be too easy to fix. There are multiple problems: not enough play time, inefficient practice. I don't know, there's a lot of stuff. I can't say for sure why we are not performing sometimes, and why we are performing sometimes. It's really hard.
I heard that in-game communication changed a lot with the addition of H0R0, that maybe the shotcalling is more focused. Did the addition of H0R0 help communication at all?
For now, H0R0 doesn't say much. He has a hard time speaking for now. I think with time it will improve because now he is a bit shy, and he doesn't speak as much as he should. I think with time we can improve his communication. For a jungler, it's very important to communicate what he's going to do.
You're going into the gauntlet. Do you feel that, by the time the Gauntlet rolls around, the team will be more in sync, or will you remain in this unsure 50/50 scenario?
I think for the Gauntlet, we have time to work hard. It's kind of our last chance to do something really good. We are going to give 100%—or at least me. And as for my team, I believe we will all give 100% and try to go to Worlds.
What do you think your chances are of making the World Championship through the Gauntlet?
Not so high. I usually have pretty bad predictions, but no—it's less than 50, I think, less than 50%. Yet I believe that if we work hard we can go. I'm sure.
In terms of things to work on—you did tend to lose early in a lot of your games, but made some convincing mid game comebacks off picks. What things do you think you can work on to improve your early game, and where did you go wrong?
I think H0R0 and I can improve on working together. We can gain so much more than we do lately. We can get so much more vision and pickoffs together. I think we can improve first on that. Second, I think we can improve on laning phase with Vardags. It's not the greatest right now. It's not lacking synergy, but it's something else. We just are not on the same page sometimes. We can just be more calm in game in general. Sometimes I get too excited, and I do something my team doesn't expect me to do, so it doesn't work. If I can say what I want to do before I do it more often, I think we can get those pickoffs. So importantly: communication, laning phase, and H0R0 and me. That's what I personally can focus on at least.
Is the pick composition style something the Unicorns definitely want to perfect and go back to?
I think so. I think our team is really good with pickoffs. So we could work a bit on that. We usually don't scrim with pickoff comps. We are trying something new. But I think we can work on that to be our main style maybe again. We used to use it a lot with, for example, Thresh, Elise, and others.
There were a couple champion picks that the Unicorns came out with that maybe weren't as expected. How much does PowerOfEvil practice with the Devourer Kayle?
I think it's really hard lately. Especially with the new patch it's really hard to practice it at all. He was looking to play it in solo queue mainly against Yasuo. Kayle is really good against Yasuo. But it's really hard to find this matchup. It's really rare. He doesn't practice it as often, but we practice it some in scrims, so I think it's fine. It's hard to find practice with Kayle with Devourer. It's a really unique pick. It's a really situational pick.
What prompted you guys to pick the Kayle and play around it in the third game if it's so situational?
There were different strategies available in the third game, and we chose the one with the Kayle. A lot of people are so negative towards the Kayle. It's actually pretty broken if you manage to not go like 10k behind in the early game. People don't realize how strong Kayle mid lane is. I hope PowerOfEvil can show us later on. If we did fail with the Orianna Smite, people would do the same thing. Yamato Cannon is constantly flaming this pick. I don't think it's deserved. He can really show the potential of this pick. We just need time.
Stacking Devourer takes some time to ramp up. Do you think applying this late game approach contradicts with a need to improve early game?
I don't think so. I don't think the Kayle is a necessary pick for us to succeed. I think we can win games from 20 minutes if we have the right picks. We can win with Kayle of course as well, but it depends on the game, and it depends on the enemy playstyle.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for theScore eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.