EnVyUs has qualified for the North American League of Legends Championship Series summer playoffs after being in the promotion tournament just last split. After a Week 8 loss to Counter Logic Gaming, Slingshot’s Emily Rand caught up with AD carry Apollo “Apollo” Price to talk about his team’s hopes in the playoffs and recent meta changes.
Emily Rand: In terms of the overall playoff picture, nV has nearly qualified (Note: it later qualified on Sunday with Echo Fox’s loss to Team Dignitas) for playoffs, but you guys have a really tough schedule for the last three matches against Team SoloMid, Immortals, and Cloud9. How are things looking for nV regarding playoffs and the final week of regular season play?
Apollo “Apollo” Price: Yeah — we just might not go. We’re going to hide our strats (laughs). Just 0-2 it, it’s fine. No, actually it’s going to be really tough. I think we’re pretty secure in our playoff spot but the worrisome thing is that our win percentage against the top-tier teams or better teams is kind of low. Going into these weeks, we really have to think of this as practice for what’s to come in playoffs. These are the playoff teams that we’re going to be going up against and it’s really important that, even if we lose, we have to understand why we lost if we’re going to get anywhere in the playoffs. I’m more concerned about how we’re going to do in a best-of-five in the coming playoffs, and we kind of had a rough day today but that’s fine.
ER: Your team seems to have these really great moments and then some not-so-great moments. How difficult has it been to find that consistency and why?
AP: It’s kind of weird. This split it’s felt really, relaxed? We take it really seriously but some of our problems that we’ve had, we don’t fix them that quickly. And then sometimes we’ll do good and sometimes we’ll do bad, and then the next week it’s the same. I don’t think it’s going to be fixed this split, if I’m being completely honest. But the way I look at it, at least with our team, is that we either play well onstage or we don’t. There’s no “We’re going to improve, we’re going to fix these things.” We’re already past that line. It’s just a matter of how well we prep and how well we show that onstage. Especially with these new patches coming, 7.14 was pretty big but 7.15 we really have to look at the big OPs for those playoff games and figure that out quickly. 7.14 threw us off a bit, and it threw a lot of other teams off as well. So these upcoming patches are super important, especially if we want to move forward in playoffs beyond just qualifying.
ER: So what you’re saying is that you’re going to bust out the Urgot on 7.15, right?
AP: Yeah, I’m going to bust out the Urgot bot lane (laughs). I think he’s actually bad in bot.
ER: Back to 7.14, how do you feel like things have leveled out this week? How do you think the team adapted to the patch, what did you guys think of it, and have things leveled out a bit this week?
AP: Just in general, we’ve adapted to patches pretty slowly. This patch was annoying and I did complain about it, but it’s just another patch. What can you do, right? We just have to see what OPs are good, what other teams are playing, and pick up the champions that we felt were good. I’m not going to say we did well adjusting to it. I’m not going to say we were terrible, either. Especially with 7.15 coming in, it’s just a snowball effect. If we didn’t figure out 7.14 in time, then 15 is going to be slower. I hope that doesn’t happen.
ER: From what you’ve seen of 7.15 how do you think nV will adapt? Will it be a tough adjustment?
AP: I don’t know. I actually haven’t seen much of 7.15. All I knew about was the Sivir changes, which they had to hotfix immediately so — when I saw that I was like, “Whoa, that’s huge. That’s insane!” Because they doubled her damage with the Q and then they hotfixed it and were like, “Oh whoops!”
ER: Plus teams were already playing her a bit.
AP: Yeah she was already really good! So I don’t really know that much about the patch other than reading the patch notes and playing some solo queue. You really don’t start to see major changes until you start scrimming, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
ER: What effect do you think the patch will have in playoffs in terms of how Envy matches up against other teams?
AP: It will definitely have an effect. There are some champions we excel at and some champions we just don’t. For example, Kalista, we haven’t done well against it and we haven’t done well with it, and a situation like that is super bad if the champion is OP. There are other champs as well but I can say that one specifically. Hopefully we’ll turn things around in that regard. Sometimes you just have to play it and hope that you play against it enough to understand it and it takes a bit of time.
ER: Another thing I noticed today in more recent games is a shift in dragon priority as opposed to Rift Herald. Is there a specific reason why teams are shifting away from Herald as an immediate priority on this patch?
AP: I don’t know, actually. I honestly didn’t really think about it all that much, but I think teams are prioritizing it more with a Cho’Gath on their team, because he can Feast the dragon for stacks. I remember us against FlyQuest, they did a really good job of using package on Corki and having Cho’Gath jungle start dragon early. But other than that I don’t really see a huge priority in dragon, not over anything else, anyway. It’s been pretty equal over the season. I do think that when a team has Ocean Drake really early on it’s super hard to deal with early as a laner, so there’s been a bit more priority on that recently. Cho’Gath is one of the biggest reasons why I think there’s dragon priority right now.
ER: Speaking of that. (In the Immortals vs. Dignitas game, Lee “Flame” Ho-jong rotates to dragon and feasts on it.)
ER: Well that just proved your point. Flame walked down and ate the dragon.
AP: It’s super good you get the health and stacks, and he looks really big.
ER: Lastly, another thing we’ve seen more of are roaming supports. How does that affect you as an AD carry?
AP: We’ve always done a really great job of having bot lane priority and then moving. I actually think that’s one of the previous differences between us and other bot lanes is that we already liked to move around the map so it’s already our play style. But to counter that, when the team plays a hypercarry, we don’t want to move around as much because it’s so easy to get caught out, so we only do it on pushing champions. You see teams doing a bit of both and I feel like that’s where a lot of these hypercarries get caught out. It’s really cool and I think it’s a style that it’s a good adaptation for the game overall.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games