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Reignover: “I actually think we are a better team than last split.”

Immortals has been the buzz of the North American League of Legends Championship Series since forming late last year. In the spring split, its inaugural one, Immortals had a lengthy undefeated streak and finished 17-1 before losing to Team SoloMid in the semifinals of the playoffs. A third place split did not satisfy the team of veterans, which has hopes of making a worlds appearance this fall.

At 5-1 through three weeks, Immortals is in second place of the summer split so far with a lone loss to Team SoloMid, which is in first place and undefeated. Slingshot caught up with Immortals’ Kim “Reignover” Ui-Jin after Week 2 to talk about the spring split, adapting to the game and returning a full roster.

Last split you had an undefeated run, but having lost earlier this time, do you guys think that it was good to get it out of the way? Do you guys think about that at all?

For now, every NA team knows how to play well. The team to make the first mistake usually wins, there isn’t usually many total outplays. It’s good it we go undefeated, but we don’t play perfect. Right now we are just working on our mistakes and focusing on improving.

Along the same lines, does best-of-three make it easier to improve?

I think so, because with best-of-three we can learn way more. There’s a lot more drafts to learn from. If its best-of-one, we just prepare for one draft I think it’s better for us. For example, last split there was Soraka perma banned, and I think there was like two perma bans for us last split. So we kind of always got good drafts and just win the one game. If it’s best-of-three, we need to prepare a lot so we don’t “all in” for the first draft. We lost the first game (last week) because we fucked up our preparation. First game against TSM, we didn’t realize that Vlad was that OP. We wanted to counter it with Anivia but we couldn’t, so I think we are learning a lot, which couldn’t happen if it was best-of-one.

With the format changes, playing on Fridays, more games, how is that?

I think that it way more exciting. It’s a lot harder for us pro gamers because if you have a Friday match and a Sunday match, you have to practice on Saturday. Two best-of-threes in one week is actually a lot of games. Even LCK is doing best of three but they do it over like four months where we are doing it in like two and a half. I think that best-of-three would be best for improving NA. By having best-of-three every team gets more games, so I think it’s going to be much better for NA.

Something we wanted to ask is that this game changes a lot. The game right now is going to be a lot different from the game in a month or so.  How do you guys prepare for that?

First off, once a new patch notes comes out, you try out the champion and test if it’s OP or not, in solo queue. If its pretty strong, then we try it in scrims. Even if we didn’t try out the new champ, the opponent tries it so we get to see it. Every team is practicing different things in scrims so we get to see a lot of new meta. By scrimming, each team gets their own thing that is good for them. Then the guys who read the meta better come out with an advantage.

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You guys and CLG (and Liquid) were the only team to bring back the same exact squad for this split. Do you think that helps you?

I think we have an advantage. With CLG, they practiced more because of MSI, and for us we did a boot camp in Korea. Actually a lot of NA teams did a boot camp and improved a lot. I think we are still improving. I actually think we are a better team than last split. But I think the other NA teams improved a lot so we are dropping games. I think at the end of this we will be the strongest team.

Who is one player in the beginning of your career that you looked up to?

Diamondprox. He was the creator of the meta. I would just watch his games and copy what he did. He was the best. I would watch his jungle paths, what does he do, and I copy his item build. I’d copy everything from him. It was really great to play against him in Europe.

What do you think of the new dragons?

If you get the infernal three times in a row it’s really strong because it’s like 24 percent, basically fighting 6-v-5. Most of the drakes are strong, even wind drake is good for rotations. Right now the game is a lot about rotations so it can be good.

Do you like the randomness?

If the players can know during draft it could be really complicated. It doesn’t really matter, the game is just about not making mistakes so it doesn’t matter really.

Photos courtesy of Riot Games.