Mad Lions support Kaiser talks about the offseason and his belief in the MAD Lions coaching staff.
The reigning LEC Summer Split champions come into 2022 with a number of fresh new faces entering the LEC. Yet, in their debut as a team, The MAD Lions are able to take down the LEC super team Vitality, grabbing the first win of the entire 2022 LEC season. The last time we spoke to MAD Kaiser, it was in the wake of their tiebreaker win at Worlds 2021.
This time around, we speak to MAD Kaiser to talk about his time off after his tournament filled 2021 season, the Mad Lions infrastructure, and what makes the organization so special in developing rookie talent.
I just want to start by asking you what was your offseason like, what did you do after your run at Worlds?
MAD Kaiser: I just spent a lot of time with my family at home because our schedule was so busy. Last year, we had to go to MSI, right, we had to go to Worlds. We basically had no free time at all.
Throughout November and December, I just spent that time with my family and wandering around my village. I live in a rural area in Germany for those wondering. There’s a lot of woods, and I love nature. It was really relaxing just to be home and pretty much be around what I love a lot. I really missed it during 2021.
Would you say you’re one of those players that like to step away from League of Legends during the offseason until maybe like, the final two weeks before the season starts? Or do you like to still play a little bit casually during that time?
MAD Kaiser: It depends. If a new champion comes out, then I’ll play a few games or ARAM actually. The primary thing I try to avoid is ranked because it’s not healthy to do that during the break.
I spend a lot of my time playing other games with friends. There is not really a point for me to play ranked so I just treat that time to remember my roots.
So after your offseason, you enter your first LEC game of the 2022 season and beat your former teammate who is now on the LEC superteam. What were your expectations going into that match?
MAD Kaiser: I really was expecting that match to be harder. I talked to Carzzy a bit and they shared scrim results, and he was really confident. We did not have great scrims which were expected with two rookies and just being rusty from the break. But, I felt really confident because I feel like we got exactly what we wanted.
We were really confident that we would win this game because we all had a really comfortable draft. I think it showed and I’m really happy for the rookies that like also could show up today. They did really well. And yeah, I think that’s why we developed it today.
You’re now the most tenured player on Mad Lions now. Has your role changed when you first joined Mad Lions? What are some of the changes this year versus your first two years in the LEC?
MAD Kaiser: I wouldn’t say I’m like a big leader you know, I think I think Elyoya is our in-game leader. He likes to call the shots and I usually don’t do that even in the previous iteration of Mad Lions.
I try to talk a bit more with Unf0rgiven right about what I will do or what he needs to tell me Because he only appeared in ERL. He is not a veteran in the pro scene. It has been a lot about teaching him better habits for the LEC.
I am a bit more confident than I was before so I can help other players more because I know what I am teaching is successful. When I came into the scene, I was trying to find my footing and see where I fit in the team. Now, I just feel really confident in my own abilities as a player.
Was there anything that caught you by surprise when transitioning into the LEC?
MAD Kaiser: I wouldn’t really say so. Though, I think the LEC is a lot more professional. I think that’s the biggest thing as well as the coaching infrastructure. Even though there’s a lot of jokes happening, I think we still maintain a strict schedule.
Most teams in the ERL do not even have a coach. A lot of them are dictated by the players. There is a lot more infrastructure set in the LEC for you to become better. You start to realize some plays that would work in the ERL do not work in LEC. Mechanically it is not very different.
A lot of it is knowledge and mentality. It was realized that I have to be a lot more creative because every team has analysts that know your style of play and are prepared for it.
How important was it to maintain the coaching staff? Nobody really pays as much attention, but for you how comforting is it to know the rookies are learning from the same process you learned through?
MAD Kaiser: Super important to me. I think Mad Lions has a really amazing coaching staff. There is so much structure that makes things so much easier to track. As a player, it is really nice that I can just put focus on one thing because of them.
For the past two years, the structure has always stayed the same and they just continue to improve the onboarding process for new players and rookies. It is really cool to see how they develop new talent and I really believe it can consistently be that way.
The rookies also see us as models of success for this system as well which motivates them more. Many teams do not think about the development structure for new players like Mad Lions. It is all about coaching already great players, but there is so much more to that.
The Mad Lions coaching staff is so smart about the game as well, that as a veteran I still learn so much every practice. It is all quality practice. It’s strict but it’s not unbearable which I really like. Them staying all together is what gives me a lot of confidence that our new rookies can become some of the greatest in their role, similar to Elyoyas growth.
MAD Kaiser: "Today really showed our willpower and mental strength to win games when we are on the brink."
We caught up with MAD Lions' Kaiser in the wake of their dramatic tiebreaker win at Worlds 2021, where they now advance to quarterfinals.
Do you have any final words for the Mad Lions fans?
MAD Kaiser: Thank you guys for still sticking with us. We know that the loss of Carzzy and Humanoid hurts. It honestly hurt me as well losing really great friends that I could call teammates.
Yet, even through all that, we can look forward to a great season with amazing players like Unf0rgiven and Reeker. And we will still see the old Mad Lions crew. Just as opponents instead of teammates.