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Dardoch on Flame: “It’s a more fulfilling relationship because he’s grateful that I’m around and I’m grateful that he’s around and we just help each other improve.”

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with Immortals’ Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett after Saturday’s North American League Championship Series match.

Andrew Kim: Congratulations for the (2-1) victory in your first game of the season. How did the game go for you guys?

Joshua “Dardoch” Hartnett: We fell behind I think almost every game I think except for game two, which was fine. We fell behind a lot in scrims because we had to use sub-support, because Olleh (Kim Joo-sung) was still having visa problems, so playing from behind is very natural for us, and the games went pretty poorly, but we’re happy that we won.

AK: On camera we can see, even at IEM Gyeonggi, that you and Lee “Flame” Ho-jong are really getting along and communicating as much as possible. What’s it been like communicating and playing with Flame?

JH: I had a really good relationship with my old top laner Lourlo (Samson Jackson), and I still do, me and him are still really close friends, but the relationship that I have gathered with Flame is like, it’s like I still have to take care of him, even though he’s older than me by a significant margin, he’s still a baby. It’s his nature, so it’s a more fulfilling relationship because he’s grateful that I’m around and I’m grateful that he’s around and we just help each other improve and listen to each other.

AK: Now that the meta has shifted to a more jungler-centric meta, do you think that this is the perfect meta for you, as a player who’s known for an aggressive jungling style?

JH: I think the meta is good for me, but I think every meta will be fine for me because I think I am a really good jungler and just part of being a professional League of Legends player is adapting to patches and playing a ton of different styles. So if I want to beat the best junglers North America has to offer, I need to be one of the best junglers, I need to be world class, I need to be able to play a ton of different styles. But I think this patch is very good for me.

AK: You were a very hot player with your mechanical talent and clearly Immortals saw that in you. How much of your ability do you think you have shown in this past match?

JH: 30 percent. I didn’t get the opportunity to showcase my mechanics that much, because we were always playing sort of on the back foot, and most of the opportunities where we were actually fighting were when we knew it was a 100 percent win, so I didn’t have to do anything that spectacular to actually win the game, except for a couple times in the last game where I made some solo plays I thought I could make, and my teammates trusted me to do so, so I went for it. But the things that I do in scrims are much more cool. They look way cooler in general.

AK: Coming back from games seems to be something you guys have learned to do. How better do you think you’ve become in terms of winning when you’re behind?

JH: I think it takes a little bit more skill to defend in this meta, especially with Baron and Dragons stacking against you, than it does to actually just close out the game with a lead. I think both take a really solid shot caller, and team cohesion, which, I think, in this series both teams lacked. In time we will have probably the best.

AK: How long do you think it’ll take for Immortals to find that key spot to be able to turn on and be able to show the NA LCS the Immortals can really be?

JH: I think mechanically we have some of the best in each role and it’s just gonna take us some time to just get the synergy and be on the same page, but as soon as we are on the same page all of our players will shine and we’ll be the best team for sure.

AK: Do you think in this split you’ll be a finalist? Maybe next split?

JH: I think we’ll be top four. If we keep practicing hard and work hard, I think we can easily get top four.

AK: What do you think is the most overrated team and the most underrated team?

JH: Most underrated team, probably Echo Fox. Most overrated team is TSM. I think that people thinking that they’re just gonna go back and get first place again is just completely ridiculous. With all the talent that’s been added to North American LCS, I think it’s absurd that people think they’re just going to stomp by and get first again.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games