This week we sat down with the LCS junglers to ask each of them a question on their performance, their hopes, and what is to come for them.
We are done with Week 1 of the LCS and last weekend we highlighted top laners. This time around junglers are the hot topic of the week. Whether it is solo-queue or competitive games on stage, junglers have a lot of pressure on them to continuously deliver strong performances. The moment they slack, their team suffers in objectives, farming jungle camps, pressure around the map and countless other factors.
The LCS without a doubt has an incredibly fun to watch portfolio of junglers. Both veterans and new faces alike bring out their skill to the rift to showcase their prowess and apply their gaming knowledge to bring the victory home to their team. We had the opportunity to sit down with all the LCS junglers to reflect on their Spring split statistics, their Summer split performance so far, their hopes for the remaining weeks to go and everything in between.
Question: In Spring split, you had the highest Kill Participation at 73.9%. How much do you look into getting involved with your laners to get them ahead? How will the jungle camp timer changes affect your time on the map?
100T Closer: I think every game is different. I really don't pay attention to stats, especially once we are on the rift. When I am in the game, I just look at my champion, what my coach wants and whatever my team needs. It can depend on the situation whether to prioritize farming, certain objectives on the map, ganking, or pressuring the map. But I am certainly looking to play more aggressively this split than the previous split.
Question: You are always the focal point of almost all C9 plays. In Spring, you ranked the highest for Kills with a 14 kill gap between you and the 2nd in Santorin. How do you see your playstyle compared to the rest of the league?
C9 Blaber: I think my playstyle is pretty simple. I just like to pressure a lot early game, push my advantages and just play really well beyond that point. This helps me and the team get leads and get kills. I have to be really aggressive at that point, invade the enemy jungle a lot and play a lot for turret dives alongside my teammates. I am definitely someone who likes to fight a lot.
Question: In Spring, you suffered from a lot of Visa issues and came into the league played only 12 games. After your Week 1 0-3 results, what changes in your opinion are needed if you want to keep your playoff hopes alive? Was the time spent in the offseason with the team enough to prepare?
CLG Broxah: I believe we spent the off season pretty productively. We had a lot of time to practice but playing scrims is different than official games. In the end, you can learn so much just from scrims. We practiced for 4-5 weeks going into the split, but I truly think we learnt more from this 0-3 week than all previous practice sessions. combined or at least close to that. It is probably because when you play official matches with the nerves and pressure, it is a different game.
We are not in a great position at the moment in 9th place. There is still a lot of games to go. I am pretty confident if we don't get affected of our place in the standings and keep trusting ourselves as teammates and our preparations, then we can at least crack the top 8 and be ranked with the teams going into playoffs.
Question: We saw you pull out 11 unique champions before and a lot of people contributed Dignitas' wins based on your performance. Do you ever feel your performance is a make-or-break for the team on the day? Will we see the unique champions run again this split?
DIG Dardoch: I don't think my individual performance necessarily forms a big factor in our wins. It doesn't necessarily have to be me performing outstandingly. All I need to do is come into the on-stage games with the same mindset we win with in practice then we will have similar results.
For the unique champions, oh yeah. It is just part of playing the game at the highest level. You should have a multitude of strategies, both individually and as a team. Of course, as a team we are always working on our strategies but I had my individual stuff on the side. I had that prepared for long long time ago. It is kind of the way I prepare myself during offseason and between split. If my teammates trust me and the opportunity comes for me to pull something wacky, I am always ready and always willing.
Question: You had the highest death share in your team at 25.3% for Spring. Would you attribute this to your high risk-high reward playstyle? Will you be looking to tone it down for Summer and take more calculated risks?
EG Svenskeren: I don't really look too much into deaths, unless it is like griefing. If I am dying by myself and none of my teammates are on the map then it is probably a bad death. On the other hand, if I am dying a lot because we are constantly teamfighting or skirmishing then I really don't care too much about it.
Question: You are one of the youngest Junglers in the league. Where do you draw your experience from within the LCS and who has helped you the most to adapt and improve?
FLY Josedeodo: I think the coaching staff helped me a lot. Firstly because I was struggling with communication between my teammates because of the language barrier. Now I feel fine talking in the game. They helped me a lot to adapt to the team atmosphere. My teammates always encourage me to not be scared to do what I feel is right in the situation.
Question: This is your second split in the LCS since coming from Maryville University, how have you been finding the LCS and quality of games? Who was the hardest jungler you faced so far?
GG Iconic: I would say Blaber is the best jungler. The LCS has given me the opportunity to focus primarily on League of Legends and it has been fun so far. The quality of games is definitely higher. I think I am improving faster at least playing in the LCS.
Question: You usually pick your Jungler after the opponent has done so. How important do you believe counter-picking your opponent's jungle champion is to you? Does it give you a natural advantage and more confidence going into the game?
IMT Xerxe: Usually counter picking in jungle doesn't give that much value. I mean it is not something we are conscious about. It probably just happens randomly that I get the counter pick. Usually you benefit from counter picks in solo lanes.
Question: You are finally sitting on the top of the LCS standings. How do you plan on maintaining this strong opening to the Summer split? What is an area of improvement within the team that still needs work?
TSM Spica: We are still not an insanely good team. We still have a lot to work on. The other teams aren't performing super well themselves right now as well. I think we mainly need to improve our early game, our biggest current weakness at the moment. That's what we need to get better at definitely.
Question: You are tied in third place at the moment with Dignitas and 100 Thieves. Where do you see yourself at the end of the Summer split? Is there any particular team you believe is better than you at the moment?
TL Santorin: Honestly, deep down, I feel like everyone is not great right now. Summer split is just began and everyone is figuring out all their weaknesses. Usually from scrims you get to see some of them, but they are a lot more clear on stage because the games are slower.
At this moment, if I look at all the teams, I would say we would beat all of them. At the same time, I feel all the teams can beat us as well. I am just excited to play week-to-week and prove we are getting stronger than everyone else. I do believe by the end of the split we will be the best or the second behind Cloud9. It really depends because we are still relatively the only two powerhouses in the league.