Ablazeolive speaks about the slower pace of games in the meta, his personal aggression as well as the latest changes to the GG roster.
In the middle of the LCS leaderboard, Golden Guardians is the team that could potentially upset sevearl team's chances of making it to Worlds. With a very aggressive and playmaking mid laner, the Golden Guardian matches are always a treat to watch. Esports.gg's Piratechnics caught up with Golden Guardians Ablazeolive after their victory over Immortals in Week 3.
Piratechnics: You had a pop-off play on Azir pop off day for yourself. Congratulations on the 3-3 [record]. How are you feeling?
GG Ablazeolive: Feeling much better. Finally in the studio, I feel like this is my first victory in front of fans in the LCS. So that was very exciting. It felt really good taking up a headstart and getting the cheers. So I am very happy about that. I'm happy the game was relatively clean, but probably a little too passive.
Piratechnics: It's such a big boost to be able to hear that fan feedback and get a win on the board. As you mentioned, it was clean, a little slow. It seems like right now in the LCS, there are a lot of these slower games that are going 20 minutes - without first bloods or a whole lot of action. What's going on there?
GG Ablazeolive: I think the reason for that is playing quickly is very high execution. Traditionally in NA, the best teams have always been the slow teams and the faced paced teams have always lost - like TL in the finals. So I think that's very much what people are used to, especially at the higher levels in NA. I think this year is not very different. In North America if people can choose between 'fast-paced and high execution' and 'playing slow paced and waiting and scaling', they are going to choose the latter.
I think I had the sort of realization that I don't want to be sort-of-good mid laner. I want to be the best. And I think part of being the best is putting myself in a situation to look for these crazy plays that no one else is going to see because the best player is going to do things that no one else is going to see.
Personally, I do always keep trying to push that we should keep playing fast-paced. I think LPL is the best region and they always play crazy all the time. So I want to play more like that. But in North America, it is high execution so in the short run you are definitely going to win more by playing slower-paced games.
Piratechnics: For you as a mid laner, you are known for these coin-flip, almost LPL-esque plays, where you have an insane amount of kills solo and also a pretty high amount of deaths solo, at least last Split. Has it been a process for you to reel that in or are you just looking at openings just maybe less so with the meta?
GG Ablazeolive: Actually I am going for more. But I am just trying to be better at identifying what's good and bad. For me a lot of the stage performance is the mental game and as long as I am feeling comfortable and confident on playing as I would on any other day, then I am very confident in how I perform on stage.
For me, that's why I was (having) perhaps a varied performance. Today I was feeling good and I was able to really focus on the game. I think that was part of the reason why it was much easier for me to look good.
But I'm definitely trying to be more aggressive. I think I had the sort of realization that I don't want to be sort-of-good mid laner, I want to be the best. And I think part of being the best is putting myself in a situation to look for these crazy plays that no one else is going to see because the best player is going to do things that no one else is going to see. So I need to get the int out of the way, in a sense, and play really aggressive. So I'm actually trying to play more aggressive.
Piratechnics: I love it. That's for you, that's what you are working on this Split. Do you feel like the rest of your team enables you to do that and will help you to find more wins as you go through summer?
GG Ablazeolive: I think my team is very good at accommodating what we are trying to do. I think all of the roles have the ability to play multiple different styles. The coaches do their best to try to find the highest success chance of winning.
I think because Golden Guardians is not super easy first place, we're not in line to get first place for sure. I think there's a lot more pressure on all of us to actually win and not try too many crazy things.
But I think the coaches also understand that they don't want to just get in the playoffs and lose. Because we've done that the last few times in the playoffs and that's no fun. It feels terrible.
The coaches also understand that they don't want to just get in the playoffs and lose. Because we've done that the last few times in the playoffs and that's no fun. It feels terrible.
And I think part of that is accepting that playing normal and slow and standard - You are not going to eventually do better against the teams that have done it for a longer period of time. They have done it for years and have better synergy than us. So I think we need to find our unique identity as a team. I think the coaching staff and the other players are allowing us to do that.
Piratechnics: Of course you are splitting 3-3 in the wins although you have a couple of tough opponents coming up. Most notably you have EG tomorrow and Team Liquid the following week. Do you feel like the fundamentals you have there are enough to beat them? Or is it going to be a tough one?
GG Ablazeolive: Certainly, I think our macro play is definitely our strongest point. I think part of what I need to work on, which is just consistency during all of my games and being just mentally focused in every single stage match. As far as for the whole team, I think there are some games where mechanically we are really on point and we look very very strong. Some games where we don't look very strong and our mechanics are lackluster.
"I think that's a big difference that Stixxay brings - his ability to precisely explain what he wants and communicate that to Olleh"
I am very confident that our macro decisions will always be good and generally better than both TL and EG. But I think for us to beat them, they are very strong teams, we need to be also just snuffing our mechanics that day. But they're definitely a tough opponent.
Piratechnics: I want to talk a little bit about how you've made some slight changes to the roster. With Stixxay of course has come back into the bot lane - He just played against your old teammate Lost. What changes does having Trevor back in the roster bring?
GG Ablazeolive: Trevor brings a much more veteran voice. I think he has a much more commanding tone in all aspects. Lawrence (Lost) is much more timid in the way he communicates about League of Legends strategy.
I think with the personality on our team, Olleh is Korean, so his English isn't as good as someone who is fully fluent. So he needs someone that can tell him what to do. And that was a big problem that we had last Split - just the communication between Lost and Olleh.
I think that's a big difference that Stixxay brings. His ability to precisely explain what he wants and communicate that to Olleh. Also also just in general, we have a problem with being on the same page. So just having another much-more veteran voice who has been on very experienced and winning teams in the past is very helpful for us to be all on the same page.
Piratechnics: So a lot of things are being brought into the roster to hopefully help you guys be more consistent, identify issues that you are working on. Do you want to say anything to the Golden Guardians faithful, as you are looking ahead to the rest of the Summer Split and hoping to go further in the playoffs than you had before?
GG Ablazeolive: Yes, the Golden Guardians Faithful shall be rewarded. We are going to steal that from CLG. it's going to be completely ripped away. It's going to be all about Golden Guardians. We are going to get the playoffs victory into the LCS Championship guaranteed!