ORDER’s bot laner Puma sat down with us to talk MSI crowds, 35 ping, and his recent picks.
Nathan “Puma” Puma is the botlaner for the LCO’s ORDER. Having qualified for MSI, Puma and the team found themselves in a group of death facing off against the LEC’s G2 Esports and NA’s Evil Geniuses in a three-team bracket.
However, Puma has managed to showcase his skills, enjoy the atmosphere of the stage games, and learn an incredible amount. He sat down with us after his matches on May 12th to discuss MSI and ORDER’s performance so far.
You’re at MSI, playing in front of an international audience in Korea. Are nerves an issue or does that kind of fade into the background once you’re on stage?
Puma: I do get nervous before games. But after five minutes of laning it’s gone, to be honest. I love the crowd as well. They’re really supportive. Even yesterday when we lost they said “good luck tomorrow!” when we were leaving the building. So I just was really wholesome here.
That’s really good. I’m glad it’s a good atmosphere. This format for your groups is kind of crazy. With the three teams, you’re playing four times each team. Do you like that? Or would you prefer to have like a regular group, three other teams, playing them a few less times.
Puma: To be honest, I don’t mind this group. It was pretty unlucky considering they’re [G2 and EG], you know, pretty much two major regions. So I’d say the group is unlucky. But I think the entertainment value is pretty high for this group. But I think personally, I’d like to be in a group of four. It would be less coin-flippy I guess. You could actually play first more teams. But yeah, this group is entertaining.
I agree the matches have been entertaining, definitely! You had the Vayne pick earlier today versus EG. Is it just an attempt to get yourself more comfortable? Why didn’t you go for something more meta perhaps?
Puma: Honestly, it looked like a good Vayne game. They have four champs to run itto me. Maybe not Ezreal, but that itself is fine. I think we just forced too many plays and the mid got priority, so they dived us top and bot in like two minutes. So I think it was a good pick, although we couldn’t make it work
That’s a shame. I’ve noticed that with you and Corporal in bot, you get left on your own quite early with Corporal going to roam. Is that a reaction, and just matching the opposing support? Or are they just trying to filter experience to you, giving you any advantage?
Puma: I think Corporal does leave the lane a lot to go and pressure the enemy because our bot lane, there’s not really much going on for us. The more I think about it, the more we should just play scaling and try not to do much. Although, I don’t think it’s necessarily like filtering me experience. I think it’s just all natural.
Okay against G2, you guys gave up the bot priority in the draft to give Biopanther a better pick. Is that another standard tactic for you guys? Will you just make do with any picks you’re given to give Biopanther a winning lane?
Puma: Um, so pretty much going to the draft. Kevy wants to pick up Evelynn. So pretty much I just have to pick a utility and we just played for picks. That’s pretty much our style. So we just had to survive mid game. I mean, so early game and we can make picks, mid game with Evelynn, Jhinn. Although we didn’t really get to do that, because they pretty much made plays away from me. And it was pretty much just everyone and Nautilus and Zed making the plays. So I don’t think we executed it that well. But I mean picking bot early it’s just to give my other lanes a better chance
Because I think they like to use a VPN or something. So it’s actually like 50 Ping sometimes. I mean, it honestly feels like 60.
Watching ORDER’s games, it definitely doesn’t feel like mechanical skills are the gap. It feels like the macro game, the rotations, and reactions might be the biggest difference between the regions. Do you think that’s the case? Or do you think it’s something else?
Puma: I do think there is a huge experience gap. This is my first international event along with my Jungle, Mid, and Sup. So I would say we really don’t have a lot of macro experience, and I think we are getting punished for it. I’m pretty sure the only way we can win is if we mechanically out play. And that’s pretty hard on 35 ping.
How much of an issue do you think the 35 ping has been? I mean, what do you guys usually play over in Oceania?
Puma: It ranges from like 10 to 30, depending where you live. But yeah, the 35 ping. It’s actually not, it does not feel like 35. Because I think they like to use a VPN or something. So it’s actually like 50 Ping sometimes. I mean, it honestly feels like 60. So yeah, I just don’t like it. Especially because like, No, this is our first international stage. You win your own region. And then all of a sudden, you have to play on, like something that you’ve never played on before. Like, you get like two weeks notice.
After this week, and a few more games coming up, you’re pretty intimately familiar with EG and G2? Do you think G2 is that much stronger than EG? Or do you think it’s closer than it appears?
Puma: No, I think G2 was definitely better. I think they punished Jojo (Joseph Joon “jojopyun” Pyun) really well. So I’d say if Jojo steps it up, and that, that’s for sure EG have a chance. But for now, I’d say G2 is for sure better.
Regardless of MSI results, you’re going to head back to the LCO with a lot of international experience. What kind of advantage do you think that will give you guys domestically? Will we be seeing you guys in a few months at Worlds for example, is this like an instant ticket for you guys now?
Puma: I wouldn’t say so. I think, you know, you can play on the international stage. But you kind of have to understand what you are actually experiencing. You can just be in the moment and play the games and play scrims. I think afterwards we’re gonna reflect a lot. And all the team’s going to look at what they’ve done and how they win, or how they move. We’re gonna take all that in. And I wouldn’t say we got a straight ticket to Worlds. I think we still have to work really hard.
Well, that’s all the questions I have for you today. Thank you for the interview and good luck with the remaining games!
Puma: Okay, thank you.
Puma and ORDER’s trip at MSI isn’t over yet. They still have two more head to heads with both G2 and EG on Saturday, May 14th. Catch all the action live on Riot Games’ official Twitch channel.