The LCS Summer Split 2021 is underway. Top laners get the spotlight more often than others. Today we interview all of them for you.
The LCS Summer Split 2021 is underway. Riot Games brought in three new shows, ProView made a return, and the broadcast and analyst talent are all back in the studio. The first day of games was a sight to behold. A breath of fresh air for North American fans since Cloud9 struggles in the MSI 2021 tournament a few weeks back.
We got the chance to sit down with every top laner from the LCS to reflect on the Summer Split opening set of games, their aspirations, their improvements, what carried over from last season, and much more. Every player's answer gives you an insight on how they handle pressure and how they position themselves to be the best League of Legends players in the world.
Question: You started off last year issuing what can be seen as an ego statement to all LCS top laners. After what was a relatively shaky start, you cemented yourself and your name in the league, what do you attribute this incredibly fast development to?
C9 Fudge: I think mainly I would attribute it to talking to a lot of smart people around me. A lot of coaches and players at Cloud9, specifically Max Waldo and Veigar V2. I also spoke to LS and Nemesis. All of them are really smart people that helped me a lot in changing the way I think about the game and my performance. Those were definitely the main factors of my improvement.
Question: During LCS Spring Split, you counter-picked your opponent's champion almost 67% of the time. Do you feel more comfortable going into winning matchups where you are confident in taking trades?
DIG FakeGod: First, I didn't know there was a stat like that about me but honestly I don't feel like I really have a preference to counterpicking my opponent. It is just that I can do both. Whether it is picking first or after my opponent, I can do both.
I'd rather die pushing my limits then realize I need to adjust them than sit back - Alphari
Question: In Spring Split, you had the highest KDA in all of LCS at 6.1.What is the mindset behind this aggressive playstyle in lane? Do you always seek to take your opponent out of the game before teamfights start?
TL Alphari: Not always, but that is always my preference right? I have a lot of confidence in my individual ability to be able to punish enemies for the mistakes they make. It is an advantage I definitely have over the majority of the top laners in the league. It is something that I am conscious about and try to do but matchups and the game sometimes doesn't allow this to always happen.
I am aware of my aggressiveness, and I am confident in myself. I try not to have any fear. I'd rather die pushing my limits then realize I need to adjust them than sit back and never know and never be optimal. It is really boring to sit there in lane doing nothing.
Question: This is your second LCS split with the EG roster after spending years with TL, do you think time will play a factor in being more comfortable playing around your teammates?
EG Impact: Yeah, for sure. They trust me and I trust them. We get better together so yeah I trust my teammates.
Question: You served both coaching and player positions for many years now, do you think the years of experience on top of having this coach mentality and view to the game gives you an advantage over other top laners?
GG Solo: I mean I would call it an advantage, but probably not just against top laners specifically. I think this can be applied in general to the overall game. When you take a step back from actually playing, you get an idea of what is important to the game, what decides a winning team, and what winning positions and conditions look like.
I believe having this different perspective as you mentioned than just being in the thick of it has been beneficial for me. The transition to being behind the scenes a little bit allows you to see what is important, not just in top lane but in the game overall.
Question: You finished 4th in both the LCS Spring and Mid Season showdown but delivered very strong and promising performances, do you think the changes made to the team will push 100 Thieves to achieve what they couldn't do before?
100T Ssumday: I feel there is a big difference between 3rd and 4th place. It determines whether we can go to Worlds or not, and I believe we can go to 3rd place if we want to.
Question: During Spring Split, we saw you play everything from bruisers to enchanters. You were usually more effective on the likes of Renekton, Camille, and Aatrox specifically. Do you think this split it will be better for you to stay on bruisers and let the team play around you?
IMT Revenge: I think that drafting and how we tackle a draft kind of decides a style that I have to play. I am a flexible player, which is a great attribute to have on a team. In draft, especially in 4th and 5th pick scenarios, I am planning matchups I can play and matchups the enemy will want to play into me.
I know exactly what we need to ban, thanks to our coaches for that as well. I usually try to get matchups that are good for us as a team as well as fitting into our overall team composition. I'm always open to playing any style as long as the meta allows me to.
Question: Considering the team last season struggled with Broxah's delay in joining the team, but by the time he came, results started to show. How do you think this season will be different than the last now that you had time to prepare with Broxah and you are starting the split with him from the start?
CLG Finn: I feel like the LCS Summer 2021 will be a lot better for us. Our general level of play is significantly higher at the moment. That is not to say we don't have our issues as a team that we are always trying to resolve and deal with as a team.
We currently have the team, the time, and the tools to kind of fix these issues. I believe by the end of LCS Summer 2021 we will be a really strong team. My goal with CLG is always going to be to make Worlds, so that's what we are aiming for at the moment.
Question: You finished 8th in the Spring Split, but showed promise in some matches. You usually enjoy a strong early game but mid and late games were always the issue. What changes were made during the offseason to avoid this issue resurfacing?
FLY Licorice: I don't think we actually focused that much on our mid and late game up to now. We have kind of just kept going through, playing scrims against other teams, and focusing on what is in front of us. I think having the break and some free time to destress from Spring Split, especially for me, has been really good. The energy feels good all around the team, and I am excited to go into the LCS Summer 2021 with my team.
Question: Your best performing picks during Spring were Nocturne and Gnar. Both of them are able to play weakside while having strong impact during teamfights. What is the strategy behind choosing top lane champions for TSM?
TSM Huni: Yeah, that's absolutely true. it is a point to be made that I have been a small champion pool. There is a whole lot of new champions that I haven't shown on stage yet because this is the first game of the LCS Summer split. Obviously the picks you mentioned aren't really strong in lane, but I know we have 5 people on our team. For us, it is better to play around teamfights. I
feel like we don't have to always come out of lane before teamfights in a winning position. We are already the better team in teamfights, macro plays, and pressure around the map. Those kind of things are one of the strengths we have at the moment. For example, Nocturne is really good at pushing the wave, playing on weakside, and impacting teamfights with his ultimate so he really fits into our team.