Dignitas Yusui is learning to deal with the pressures of being an LCS pro player.
Following their loss to Evil Geniuses 3-1 in the 2021 LCS Championships, Dignitas are on their last life in 2021. After making the decision to make roster changes to propel themselves higher as a team, that progress and work will now be put to the test. Now in the loser's bracket, Dignitas will look towards their matchup against the Immortals to hopefully make their first step forward in the loser's bracket.
In this interview, we speak to DIG Mid-laner David "Yusui" Bloomquist on the pressures of playing on the LCS stage and how social media can become damaging for pro players.
How has everything been for you?
DIG Yusui: Losing always sucks, but we learned a good amount from our series against Evil Geniuses. We can carry that through the rest of the playoffs. Luckily for us, it is double elimination.
It would have been really nice to get this win against Evil Geniuses though. We all think EG is the best team in the playoffs. Stylistically, they also match our playstyle the best. Hopefully, we will meet them along the way when we go on the greatest loser’s bracket run ever. Laughs
You guys were 3-2 over Evil Geniuses throughout 2021? How would you say that the team has changed overtime?
DIG Yusui: Danny is absolutely the biggest change towards their team. They got an insane upgrade with his performances in the botlane. Also, they now have Contractz who is sharing time with Svenskeren. I think they are both really good. Contractz in my opinion is actually the better jungler of the two because of the current meta. I think they are just figuring out their teamstyle that works well for their team. They look really good in Summer.
I am trying to understand the primary difference between Contractz and Svenkseren. What do you feel is different?
DIG Yusui: To put it simply, Contractz is more aggressive and will do more for his players when they are winning. I think with the way Jiizuke plays, he tries to pick really strong laning champs to have early laning priority. I think these two share the same mindset towards how they want to play the game and that is very important.
Moving forward into the series starting with the game 1 draft, it felt like you were in a strong position to take game 1. What was the mindset going into that game after you saw the draft?
DIG Yusui: We felt as if we were in a prime position to take this first game because of the huge draft gap. Game 1, mostly can be attributed to nerves. We took fights early on that we did not need to take. The only way EG can win in this scenario is if we let them take those fights. Our draft was so strong. I think if we just played in an even setting or let the game stall longer, we would be able to take that first game easily. I feel as if the Twisted Fate pick was not good, but it played out like it did. Right away, we were able to pick out the gigantic misplay from the first game and readjust.
- IMT Revenge: “Your reddit reputation is looked at as a way to get a job in esports”
- EG Peter Dun: “There is no real reason why you cannot delay your debut one or two years if you have the talent.
- C9 Vulcan: “I think it is pretty annoying that with every loss, I am getting mentioned on twitter with C9 Summer Memes.”
- C9 Mithy: “People can learn from these experiences and they can become better. You live and learn through growing up.”
- FLY Licorice: “Each day I am learning to be a better leader and step up into that role.”
- EG Impact: People think that just because I have money, I can retire and have a good life.”
After game 1, you are able to take the second game of the series at a more controlled pace. Afterward, Evil Geniuses ran away with the series. Talk to me about the series after game 2?
DIG Yusui: I think game 3, we went for the Kindred mid as an answer for Lucian, but Jiizuke played a very poke-heavy style. They also had poke Varus which made that Kindred pick extremely useless. On top of that, they had winning lanes everywhere with extreme jungle aggression. Game 3 felt unplayable, but game 4 felt like it could really swing our way. Game 4 was going pretty well until we misplayed a fight around the rift. I think it could have gone a lot better if we didn’t misplay those team fights in all honestly. This series felt a lot closer to us than the score shows.
Do you feel those nerves continue to linger?
DIG Yusui: Definitely in the first game. Afterward, we were playing a lot more loosely which made us feel better.
From your perspective, this is your first playoffs. What were your nerves like going into the most important series of your career so far?
DIG Yusui: I just wanted to play without nerves and play to my normal level. It felt as if I was not playing well on stage. I was playing below my normal level and I wanted to play with no hesitation. I think I accomplished that to some extent. There is a lot of room for improvement from my eyes, but there are things I can take away from this series that I feel went well. I think we can clean this all up and do well moving forward as a stronger team now that we got this first series in.
Let's talk about your progression on Dignitas. The last time we spoke was when you first joined Dignitas. What was your growth experience like going through this split of LCS. What were some of your growing pains through this Summer?
DIG Yusui: I think the biggest one is the anxiety at the beginning of the split. Seeing community feedback and knowing that I am not playing well. When I was on stage, that was really hard for me. It was important to make sure I did not dwell on the results and what people were saying. I really needed to figure out what works for me and it is definitely not easy. I've felt like a scapegoat ever since I got moved up. Still, all that really matters to me is playing well and winning laughs I really want this team to do well. I am learning to put unnecessary criticism and past play behind me and move forward.
It seems like these six weeks in the LCS was about adjusting to the spotlight that gets put onto you by the community. I remember I saw an Akaadian interview about Imposter Syndrome. Did you feel as if you did not belong at first?
DIG Yusui: For sure. I did not expect to be moved up as early as I was. I did not expect it and I did not feel as if I earned my spot in the LCS. In my head, I would have preferred to smurf in Academy and then move up. The way it happened, I did not expect it all. As a result, I did feel hesitant to be playing in the LCS at the start. I always felt the pressure of feeling like I did not deserve LCS. Also, I did not feel at my best. That all played a part in my nerves and underperformance for my stage games.
Looking back, I feel like I am making a lot of progress when I first joined the LCS. Throughout the rest of the playoffs, I will have a good showing and I am looking forward to it.
It seems like confidence is really important for your gameplay. I want to talk about social media as a pro player. Is it unavoidable? What is that experience and relationship like for you?
DIG Yusui: I think it has its place. It is nice as a pro player to connect to your fans and build up your own personal following. Same note, it is a double-edged sword. For every fan you have, there is always a hater. When you lose, there are the vocal haters that come out in full force that will completely shit all over you. Even if you did not do anything wrong or played well for half a series and played poorly for one game, they will only magnify that one terrible game. It goes both directions though. I am sure if we won this series, it would be different and we would have a lot more support.
Actually, for our team, it is usually always negative comments which get to me sometimes. It is unfortunate. There are not many positive comments that get to the top for us. That is the worst part of social media. It feels like people always want the drama and the negativity. I definitely took a step back from social media because of this. I feel as if it is not healthy for me to focus on.
Seems like you have a better idea of what is important in your life. Do you have any final words to your fans?
DIG Yusui: Thank you for your support and be on the lookout for Dignitas. I think we will make waves throughout the rest of the playoffs.
Photos courtesy of espat.ai.