Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with EnVyUs’ Apollo “Apollo” Price during Week 7 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.
Andrew Kim: Something that’s commonly said among members of EnVyUs is that you guys have a hard time translating scrim success into stage success. What do you think about that?
Apollo “Apollo” Price: I think recently we’ve been doing pretty well in scrims compared to the beginning of the season. I feel like the way our scrims work normally is we kinda get ahead early game and then we’ll do well, and then we’ll just win the game or they’ll just (forfeit) or something. So we kind of close it out cleanly, but it (commonly) has to do with them just giving up, right? It doesn’t feel like a stage game where the team is still fighting. We just kind of win the early game and then we snowball. On stage, you’ll kind of see a very slower style. The game is just naturally slower paced. Something that would happen in scrims is like, we’d get the bot turret in 10 minutes, but on stage it’d be like 15 minutes. It just feels a lot slower. Just in today’s example, even though we were ahead, they were still trying to defends and play slowly, and eventually the enemy team comp would out-scale. In our scrims, it just didn’t really feel like that would happen very often. It would just be super aggressive and 50 kills, everyone was super aggressive. Yes, we are kind of having trouble translating our scrims, but I think it has to do with just the way scrims work. It’s kinda hard to work with that. There’s not almost nothing we can really do, it just depends on the other team. I think eventually when we play more stage games, it’s going to be better for us, but now we just need to take the most out of the scrims.
AK: You mentioned that your team also plays the game at a slower pace on the stage. Why do you think that’s the case?
AP: It’s because there’s just less kills. Basically, usually in scrims, a lot of the laners just play more aggressively which makes us play more aggressive. You’re trading more, more aggression. So let’s say we get a kill, usually lane kills happen more often in scrims, like you just get the first blood and that stuff, so that means you can snowball that to pushing bot. Having priority in lanes, so we’ll have top priority and bot priority. It just kinda has to do with mentality in scrims where you test your limits from both sides, so that’s why I think the games are just faster paced because more kills with happen, that means more deaths will happen, so that means we can do more damage to the turret or get more gold to deal more damage. It has to do with just the scrim environment. It’s fine, I think that’s kinda understandable, right? That’s what you want to do in scrims, where you can test your limits and try to play more aggressive. When you’re on stage, it’s OK to play slower. It’s just not good for what we need to practice, which is a slower style of game, and practicing more team fights that are more even in gold. Usually if we’re team fighting, we’re 5K gold ahead in a scrim, but on stage it’s more like only have 3K gold ahead or 2K gold ahead, so it’s hard for us to practice that. But there’s nothing we can do about it.
AK: In the first game against TSM you guys did do a great job in hammering the early game advantage.
AP: That’s actually what our scrims would kinda look like. Very fast paced and we dealt damage, and we kinda just kept going and we just didn’t stop. It had to do with our team comp of course, and we’ve practiced that a lot. That’s more of a style that we’re good in, but in Game 3 — I’m just going to skip Game 2 — it was slower. We were ahead, but we weren’t super far ahead. So we had to close that game out but we didn’t.
AK: EnVy is in a tough position right now. It feels like you guys are catching up trying not to fall too far behind. How do you deal with that pressure of having to continually play catch up?
AP: It sucks, right? I guess the good thing is that we don’t feel like we’re that bad of a team. I think we’ve kinda proven that we can take games off the teams, that we can actually fight for wins. I think that’s what’s keeping us going. We haven’t really given up yet, even though we’re hovering ninth and 10th place. It feels like we can still keep going through the standings and take games off of even the top teams. It is stressful, but I’ve kinda been in this situation before on plenty of my other teams, so I think we’re all doing a good job of just practicing hard. I don’t think it changed our mentality in practice. We’re still doing the same thing and I think eventually, hopefully, we get there. It’s a struggle and we’re working through it.
AK: If you have a motto or mentality that you maintain going into a match to make sure you’re not feeling too down about the standings, what would be your method of grounding yourself?
AP: I feel like before, I did kind of get a little bit nervous, and I think I thought too much. On my previous teams, I want to say before, I think I did have a problem of maybe getting too stressed or letting it get to my head that we’re a lower placed team and we need these wins, but it kinda comes with experience. For lack of a better term, I just stopped caring about it. I just don’t let it get to me. I just don’t think about it. I think probably the worst thing you can do. I just go one game at a time.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games