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ANX Kira on being fan favorites and what it meant to make the worlds quarterfinals

Slingshot’s Vince Nairn had the chance to talk to Albus NoX Luna’s Mykhailo “Kira” Harmash after his team’s season-ending 3-0 loss to H2K in the quarterfinals of the League of Legends World Championship. They touched on the loss to H2K, the feeling of reaching the quarterfinals and what it was like to become the tournament’s sensation.

Vince Nairn: When you guys showed up here, nobody really knew who you were, and you kind of became the story of the group stage. What, if anything, for you has kind of changed?

Mykhailo “Kira” Harmash: I think nothing changed. We played new players, but the under-estimated us, so that’s why we got from the group stage. We now know that we are not so bad mechanically, almost the same as everyone else. So all we’ll need to change is understanding how to play drafts in every minute of the game. It’s not like, “So at 25 minutes we are strong.” Let’s do something before 25 minutes.

VN: What do you think of the way you were received by everybody? How did it make you guys feel to become kind of the fan favorites?

MH: It was pretty fun. I saw a lot of films, anime, etc., where underdogs, when they start to win, everyone would cheer for them. So I knew that if we started to win, everyone would cheer, and it would be really fun. I really liked the emotion, etc. I didn’t like that we lost, but still they cheered for us, even after (going down) 0-2. It was cool.

VN: What did this experience mean for you and the team as a whole?

MH: For me, it’s pretty cool. Now I know that I’m almost the same as other mid laners and sometimes even better in some stages of the game. Now I need to play more serious in our league because it’s pretty hard to play serious in a league where you can do a lot of mistakes and still win. So I hope our victory will help our league, and we’ll have a lot of challenge, not like one or two team and you’re in playoffs. But I’m pretty happy to be here and I’m pretty happy we played a lot.

VN: What was the best part of the experience for you?

MH: Everything. I would say everything was a good part of the experience. We played, with our substitute, a lot of solo queue. It was not so fun, but still we played a lot. I really like to play League of Legends. We took group stage, and wow. It was pretty cool, especially the games against the Koreans. We won because of macro game, so it was pretty fun. Especially the Ancient Dragon. First my call. Second was to split up because I didn’t want to play against (the whole) team. I wanted to split, split, split. That was pretty fun.

VN: What does your guys’ success say about perceptions of the wild card regions as a whole?

MH: The whole thing is you don’t need to think the enemy is better than you. At first you need to play your game, maybe more aggressive, try to over-extend. It’s like first game, to test your limits, and when, like we did, in the first game against ROX. After that, I realized that we can win. I did some mistakes. We did some mistakes because of nerves, but after that game we understood we did pretty well against Koreans. So we can do this well against everyone. And we did it. So players need to understand who you play It matters how you play.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games