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Xmithie: “I think we’re much better than last year.”

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to Counter Logic Gaming’s Jake “Xmithie” Puchero about CLG’s 1-1 week and getting back in the swing of things in the North American League Championship Series.

Andrew Kim: Congratulations on the victory (against EnVyUs). It was a very drawn out fight for you guys. How did the team communicate in the back and forth situation?

Jake “Xmithie” Puchero: Usually I don’t really like those games because I don’t like really chaotic games where it’s drawn out, where any team can win, like, “better mechanical player wins the game.” I like more of a methodical, try to bait them, stuff like that, kind of play like that. For me, it was kind of frustrating because I don’t think — it’s been a while that I won a game that I’m frustrated after the game. The communication during the game was probably, everyone was just laughing. Everyone’s saying “We’re so bad guys, we just have to do this, we can just treat this like a scrim, try to practice our team fight, I guess.” Everyone was just laughing.

AK: Why do you think the games had so many kills?

JP: I think it was on us, since we were just down to fight any fight. Even though we were gonna lose, we still wanna fight. Our mentality that game was to get this objective, if they fight for it, we don’t care. We’ll just trade them right back and stuff like that. It’s one of the main reasons that it was so many fights, it was so drawn out, because sometimes we pick bad fights, sometimes they pick bad fights, and it just keeps going over and over.

AK: With new talent entering the NA LCS, what do you think is going to be the biggest difficulty for teams that are hiring new talent from different regions?

JP: Well obviously from other regions like Korea, China, it’s mainly the communication issue since if they don’t really speak English, then it’s hard to communicate complex dives, just to roam or something. That’s the main obstacle for them. Like, probably CLG can pick like Koreans or any other talent, but our Challenger team is mostly American, and especially our LCS team, like we’ve been (together) a year and a half, it was a while. We just want to foster talent where it’s like, from NA or maybe even EU, because we can still have communication pretty well. I think if you get a foreign talent that doesn’t really speak English, you need that obstacle to go through communication, maybe hire a translator.

AK: Since CLG’s roster didn’t change much, how do you evaluate your team in the spring split where many teams have had big changes?

JP: I think we have a pretty good (chance) at winning NA LCS, getting to MSI, and trying to beat foreign teams. I think we’re much better than last year. Especially scrims, we have much better scrims, much better atmosphere because we’ve been playing for so long we know what our attitude is, where “if he’s acting like that we need to confront him” or just comfort him.

AK: Who was the MVP of CLG in the series?

JP: It’s kinda hard since for me, if you base on performance, being stable and like, there’s no really lows or really hard highs, then you could consider me, but for improvement, it’s probably mid lane, for Huhi (Choi Jae-hyun) since he tries his hardest and you can see the improvements every week. We just keep learning and learning, and I think he is the most improved player.

AK: Have you ever experienced any pain or injury from pro gaming? If so, how are you dealing with it? If not, how are you avoiding it?

JP: My main problem before, it’s been happening for the past five years or something, is if I don’t have the right elevation for my wrist, it starts hurting. But if I have the right, I forgot what our sports therapist did, but he said that the ergonomics for your height and your arm needs to be straight. So that’s what I did, and it doesn’t hurt anymore until I go on someone else’s computer and use them and it starts to hurt for the wrist. But nothing really like carpal tunnel or anything, I don’t really have a problem like that. Also, injuries don’t really affect us that much because we went to the gym last year. Probably I should start soon again, because the LCS started, so, probably I’ll start being healthy again.

AK: In the middle of the TSM series on the first day of the LCS, Reginald” came out and said he doesn’t think a lot of the other team owners know what they are doing with the recent imports. What are your thoughts on his comment?

JP: I think it’s a bold statement, but he’s been around for quite a while, so I can sort of see what he’s saying. But a lot of owners in the NA LCS and other regions still have that business perspective, but maybe some really don’t have that player perspective. Reginald has played before so he knows what the team wants, for example George (“Hotshotgg” Georgallidis) knows more on the player perspective, so everyone on CLG is kinda family. For the business perspective, that’s what Mylixia (Devin Nash) is doing. I think CLG is in a pretty good spot for running the business. I think CLG on my part is doing well.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games