LPL Playoffs: The new patch, communication and close series

by theScore Staff Aug 17 2016
Thumbnail image courtesy of 刘一村 / LPL / 刘一村’s album

During the 2016 LPL Summer playoffs, theScore esports attended press conferences following quarterfinal and semifinal matches, in addition to speaking with I May top laner, Shek "AmazingJ" Wai Ho. However, the press conference following the semifinal match between Royal Never Give Up and I May was canceled due to the length of the match.

Journalists at the event asked players about champions played in matches as well as assessments of their own performances. The following are a few selected answers.

AmazingJ after the Aug. 10 match against Invictus Gaming

Invictus Gaming heavily prioritized Hecarim in their drafts. A lot of analysts have commented that it’s important to pick a jungler that can impact lanes early on this patch. Do you have an opinion on this?

AmazingJ: If a team wants to fight more, it’s important to have a jungler who can gank a lot in the early stages, but if a team is much more defensive, this kind of jungler is not as necessary.

You also chose to pick Kog’Maw into Hecarim in one of your games. A lot of times, it’s hard to protect Kog’Maw against Hecarim. What made this pick work in this instance?

AmazingJ: We had Braum and Shen, so we could protect Kog’Maw well, so Hecarim doesn’t matter as much.

Some analysts in the west feel it’s good to lane swap after 5 minutes. For example, if you have a weaker bottom lane matchup, and the enemy team has a lot of Teleports and global abilities. There haven’t been any of these kinds of lane swaps in the LPL. What is your opinion on this idea?

AmazingJ: Global champions usually won’t do that well in the laning phase, so if you can use that against them, it doesn’t matter if they have TP.

What factors do you consider when you assess who the best top laners are in the LPL?

AmazingJ: Before the match, I will consider the person I’m facing. And whether or not I can be aggressive depends on the champion. Also, I will consider how players perform in scrims, but the most important thing is how they perform in a match. The main factors include how this top laner's laning phase is, how much CS he gets and how he initiates in teamfights.

[This question was asked before IM's quarterfinal against Snake] Against Snake last time, you could take advantage of their poor vision control around Baron. Do you think this is something they have fixed? What are the most difficult factors to deal with?

AmazingJ: I really forgot what happened then, but I think Snake’s most important factors are top and jungle. How SofM performs is the most important.

You have a few fans of your play in the West. Last Worlds, you didn’t perform as well as you may have liked. Do you have anything you would like to say to them?

AmazingJ: [Appearing slightly embarrassed] Yes, I didn’t perform well last year, but I’ll try my best this year.

Press Conference: I May after the quarterfinal match against Snake eSports

I May's support, road

Today, in the first game, Snake picked a new composition using Graves top and Cassiopeia in the mid lane. AmazingJ, can you comment on their composition?

AmazingJ: This composition is in line with the new patch. Because, against Gangplank, Graves will always push out the lane, Flandre always wanted to push me under my turret. But I am able to handle this just fine, so I didn’t let the minions reach the turret. In the late game, this composition is very powerful. The power of Graves combined with Taric in the late game is impossible to deal with.

Recently, the news that Wh1t3zZ purchased I May broke. I want to ask Road, what was your impression of Wh1t3zZ before this?

Road: Wh1t3zZ was formerly a pro player, but earlier I only watched Korean league matches, and not much of the Chinese league. But Wh1t3zZ reached the World Championship Final, so my impression was that he was a relatively strong player.

In the fourth game, when you were spending so much time around Baron, who was in command?

AmazingJ: At that time, everyone was shotcalling and talking. As a team, we all said “all-in.” But I remained steady because the enemy team’s jungler has, many times, suddenly stolen Baron and allowed their team to make a comeback.

I May was promoted to the LPL just this Summer, and now you’ve qualified for the semifinal. AmazingJ, what do you think are the advantages and disadvantages of your team?

AmazingJ: The strong points are that our communication and cooperation are good, but there are also short-comings in communication. Sometimes our mid laner doesn’t like to talk.

You have two mid laners, both of them don’t like to talk?

AmazingJ: [Laughs] One of them, one of them.

After the LSPL final, AmazingJ said in an interview on broadcast that, “More than just joining the LPL, he also wants to charge at the 2016 World Championship.” At this time, a lot of people had questions. Right now, do you want to say anything?

AmazingJ: Because we haven’t yet qualified for the World Championship, I’ll go all out to get there.

During today’s games, there was a time when Jinjiao missed a pentakill opportunity. Don’t you feel like this was a pity?

Jinjiao: [Laughs] Yes, it’s a pity. Our mid laner didn’t understand what we were saying. I was shouting “Pentakill! Pentakill!” but he didn’t understand. At the end of the match, he asked our support, “What is ‘Pentakill?'”

Athena: [Laughs] I really didn’t understand.

Press Conference: Team WE after quarterfinal match against Vici Gaming

Team WE's AD carry, Mystic

In LPL, the first Athene's Unholy Grail Karma user was Easyhoon, but today, xiye and Athena not only used Unholy Grail, but also paired it with Ardent Censor. What are your thoughts on this build?

xiye: These two items are very suitable for Karma. You get cooldown reduction and you can give your AD carry attack speed and a shield. If your AD carry is the attack speed type, than Karma will build these items.

Can you give us a simple evaluation of today’s draft phase?

Zero: Because Easyhoon’s champion pool isn’t particularly deep, we targeted him in the ban phase. We felt quite satisfied when we drafted our comps.

In the fourth game, Condi, why did you want to pick Evelynn?

Condi: The opponents didn’t have any displacement crowd control, and my teammates gave me the last counterpick. We had also chosen Irelia, so I thought a champion that could also cut into the back line would be better. I could choose Elise or Evelynn, and I chose Evelynn.

[This question was asked before WE's semifinal match against EDward Gaming] Today, WE won. You will face a very strong team, EDward Gaming, in the semifinal. xiye, what are your thoughts?

xiye: To our utmost ability, we will try to make them 16-1.

Press Conference: EDward Gaming after the semifinal match against Team WE

EDward Gaming's jungler, clearlove

When you won the match, clearlove had no expression. What was your feeling then?

clearlove: I didn’t have any feeling, just that today our mid laner and jungle didn’t play very well. This resulted in us falling into difficult positions. After we go back home, we will train harder.

I want to ask mouse: before, EDward Gaming really liked Maokai, but recently, you haven’t picked Maokai very much. Why has this changed?

mouse: Because recently the earlier stages of the game are more important. Maokai teamfights relatively well, but is at a relative disadvantage in lane. As a result, I play it less, and I also follow what’s good on the patch.

Today, both scout and xiye chose Taliyah. Can you evaluate the performance of both yourself and xiye?

scout: Taliyah is strong before the mid game and can set the pace of the match, can also teamfight well. Regarding today’s performance, I feel like xiye’s was outstanding relative to mine.

In yesterday’s EU LCS match, one team played Ryze in the mid lane. Do you think we’ll have the opportunity to see Ryze in the LPL?

scout: Ryze’s other skills are all pretty good, but his ultimate is really useless, so I can’t say if he’ll be played.

Today, you played the full five games against WE. What was your prediction before the games? How do you evaluate WE in their current form?

clearlove: After our first win, I originally thought the final score would be 3-0, but their mid and jungle are stronger than ours, and could throw us into confusion. I just think right now WE’s mid and jungle are very strong, and this advantage can quickly let them control the pace of the game.

Photo credit: 刘一村

August 10 interview conducted with AmazingJ by theScore esports' Kelsey Moser. Press conference questions asked by various LPL media. Translation assistance provided for the AmazingJ interview and EDG press conference by PentaQ Esports' 杜杜.