Splyce went 0-3 in its first week of group play at the League of Legends World Championship, which did not come to a shock as many fans. Still, the upstart European team has made waves simply by reaching worlds after playing in the region’s relegation tournament just one split ago.
Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Splyce’s Chres “Sencux” Laursen during the weekend to talk about Splyce’s expectations, the big picture and traditional sports investment into Western teams.
Andrew Kim: It was a fairly difficult game for Splyce (on Friday) as Royal Never Give Up came back with a vengeance. How did the team deal with such pressure from RNG?
Chres “Sencux” Laursen: There was a snowball from early game, I didn’t get a proper base and I got really far behind, because (the minions) were slow pushing towards (Li “Xiaohu” Yuan-Hao) and then they pushed it towards us and I lost like, 30 CS or something, so I was 20 CS behind. Then bot lane died as well top lane was kinda even, but (RNG) just had complete control over the game, and to be honest they just stomped us.
AK: Was RNG one of the teams you were looking out for when you were placed in the same group?
CL: Not really. I knew that they probably had the best bot lane in the group, but in terms of mid lane, no. I was actually surprised. I played better than I thought, but I didn’t do a lot of things to punish (Xiaohu) that should have been punished, and my base was really bad, so that kind of ruined the whole lane.
AK: Seeing that this is your first experience to the world championships, have you felt like there’s something special for making it to the world championships?
CL: Generally I’m excited to play against the best players in the world, not just the ones in my own region. I’m just taking this more as a learning experience as well. Obviously I want to win. We had a really hard group, but I’m not really sad about that, I think it’s kinda exciting to play against some better players.
AK: How is your personal synergy with Jonas “Trashy” Anderson? Do you guys hit it off really well?
CL: I think there is something we can both work on. I think I didn’t have the best playoff run but I don’t think it was that bad. We play a lot for the late game so synergy with laners isn’t something we really focus on the most. In terms of my teammates, we can hang out in real life, so I’m happy about that.
AK: With the picks of mid lane now contested between Syndra, Viktor, and Cassiopeia, did you expect this to happen or did you expect a more diverse champion pool?
CL: No I kind of expected it. Maybe not so much Viktor. I don’t think he’s that good of a champ. I think he’s fine into Cass, but he’s not the greatest pick when there are others. I kind of expected Syndra and Cassiopeia to be contested picks. Also Aurelion Sol. I think Aurelion Sol would be a contested pick but he’s disabled now (before being re-enabled).
AK: What was something that was different between the stages of worlds and the EU LCS?
CL: Not that much outside the players you play up against. Obviously the venue is different but I don’t focus as much about that when I play. I just look at my screen. Obviously there is more hype around it and there are more people watching, but generally I don’t feel that much a difference. It’s just playing another game.
AK: I have to ask about your practice process as you have to move closer to the venue. Do you practice in the hotel? Do you practice at the venue? Does Riot give you a set up?
CL: Riot gives us a setup at the beginning at the hotel. Now it’s the venue, but we live decently close, so it’s fine. We get all the practice that we need.
AK: I know you’re focused on worlds, but lately we’re seeing a lot sports teams getting involved with the LCS, as we see some big soccer teams and in NA there are NBA teams start to buy teams and start their esports empire. What do you think about this? Do you think it’s good or bad?
CL: It might be a bad thing for the esport organizations because they don’t have money to compete with big soccer teams — if you want to call it as an American, I call it football — but I think it’s a great thing. I think we will be more recognized by the population that doesn’t know what esports is yet. I think this is a very big step.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games