“Big Dhokes” talks about a rough spring split, and all the changes to the LCS.

NRG's top laner, Niship "Dhokla" Doshi, took the time at LCS Asset Day to chat with esports.gg about the changes to the league, the post-MSI meta, and why he thought he didn't deserve to be in LCS during the offseason.

The LCS 2024 Summer Split is rapidly approaching, and players are getting ready to, per the marketing material, "Talk [their] Split!" The LCS and NACL saw huge changes during the off-season, as did the game. We caught up with Dhokla at the Riot Games Arena and talked about the past, the future, and why Yorick is still turbo-garbage.

NRG Dhokla Interview - LCS Asset Day

Esports.gg: The big news on everybody's mind is the LCS' switch to best-of-three matches, with only a single round robin before playoffs. How do you feel about the changes to the league this split?

Niship "Dhokla" Doshi: I mean, I think best-of-threes is good overall for competition but it sucks that we only get to see them once because the only time you’ll get to see them after is playoffs. You might only get to play a team once the whole split. It kinda feels weird. But, I think best-of-threes for the competition overall is a better move.

There were also pretty huge changes to the NACL. As somebody who's played in the NACL several times on different teams, what do you think of the changes to the league? How would you have felt about them if they happened while you were playing in the NACL?

“The money matches and Fearless Draft would be really interesting. Because, with Fearless Draft, you’re just gonna have to have a wider champion pool, simple as that. Money matches make things a lot more interesting, there’s just a lot more on the line. People are just going to be way more motivated to play it. I would be really excited, that would be pretty hype, I’d have loved to have something like that."

Image: Riot
Image: Riot

MarkZ said that Riot is open to bringing Fearless Draft to the LCS in the future. How would you feel about the main stage moving to Fearless Draft?

"I think it would be a net positive. You can’t just have, you know, Aurelion Sol merchants or K’Sante merchants. They only get their champion once. I think overall it would just be a different way of competing. No major region, I guess outside LPL, is doing it. It would change the way how League is played competitively completely. I’m excited to see how it turns out in NACL, because they’re doing a full Fearless, not just a weird half-Fearless. I’m excited to see how drafts shake out and how comfortable people are with different types of champions. "

Do you think having Fearless Draft in some, but not all, regions would cause trouble for either side at international events that aren't Fearless?

"International events are different, you scrim and figure out the meta, and then everyone conforms to that. A region that’s fearless might be more willing to have wacky counter-picks, you know? Kind of like how G2 had some, like the support Poppy. There are definitely more viable champions than what’s being played in the meta. It’s just people’s comfortability on them, as well as coaches’ openness to play different styles. I think it would make for an overall more interesting tournament, because you don’t really know what to expect in the draft, at least from some regions."

With the changes to top lane first turret gold, any chance we see you pull out Yorick again like the Optic days?

"I can’t believe people remember me playing Yorick from so long ago. I guess it was like a 50-minute game, maybe that’s why it really stood out. It wasn’t even a back door, it was more of a front door. I don’t think Yorick will ever be back, you’re not gonna get first tower with Yorick. I was laning against Gangplank, which I think is Yorick’s best matchup. So yeah, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for seeing Yorick.

Image: Riot
Image: Riot

"I think the first turret gold is interesting because they’ve been reducing the amount of good being injected into the game for a long time. They reduced mid lane gold, though maybe they brought it back with the cannons. They’ve tried to reduce the amount of gold in a game, to reduce snowballing, like the bounty system right now.

"You get less gold when somebody’s chain-dying. It’s interesting to see that they added more gold back into first blood tower, to make it something to fight over. You can get like 750 gold from the first tower right now, which is insane, that’s like a tier two tower in the side lane. There’s definitely a spike in gold if, like, a carry can get that extra tower gold solo. I was pretty surprised by the change, I thought they were trying to limit the amount of gold in the game, but I guess it’s to counter lane swapping and incentivize landing."

Any reflections on last split, or thoughts about the upcoming split? How do you feel heading into Summer Split?

"Honestly, heading into the split, I didn’t know if i was going to be on NRG. I thought I played really badly [last split]. I was like ‘Holy s***, I don’t deserve to be in LCS, based on how badly I played that split.’ But I’m really glad I got the chance to play in LCS this summer, and I’m just really going to make the most of it. I think we all, as a collective, realized just how poorly we played in spring. We’re doing a lot better than we’ve ever done in practice. Everyone’s really engaged, I think the seriousness has hit everyone of just how important this summer is, and we really want to do our best. "

The LCS 2024 Summer Split begins on June 15, for more scheduling details, check out our guide. Dhokla's first match will be against 100 Thieves on June 16, 2024.