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Xmithie: “What’s great about this team is that everyone is willing to sacrifice for each other and the good of the team.”

Xmithie says Immortals is good because the players are willing to sacrifice.
Immortals' jungler Xmithie (Jake Puchero) says the team is good because the players sacrifice for each other. Photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Raphie Rosen.

After a hot start, Immortals had its first 0-2 week of the North American League of Legends Championship Series (NA LCS) summer split in Week 5, dropping series to Team SoloMid and Phoenix1, which momentarily cost the team first place. Slingshot’s Emily Rand caught up with jungler Jake “Xmithie” Puchero to discuss their loss against Team SoloMid, the team’s development, and plans for the Rift Rivals break.

Emily Rand: How do you feel the team played today?

Jake “Xmithie” Puchero: I feel pretty good. I still see the same mistakes that we usually do. It’s mainly that we pretty much got out-scaled and we tried to force fights that we shouldn’t have. Also we didn’t force enough fights when we could have in the second game.

ER: You came in and beat TSM Week 1, and today’s games were fairly close up to a point. Where do you think Immortals is now in comparison to where you were at Week 1?

JP: I still think we’re a top team. We need to recognize what we need to do in game. For example, in Game 2, we were pretty much an early to mid team comp and it was kind of hard. Everyone in the LCS plays really safe, so it’s just hard to play out what you want to be if the game is really slow.

ER: Do you aim to be a more proactive team?

JP: What I always look to is just play to the win conditions. If we need to be proactive early game, then we usually do it. If we don’t have to and we just outscale, we can do that too. It really depends on how our draft goes and whether we play it right.

ER: When I interviewed you in Week 1, you said that you were holding out for the honeymoon phase to be over. Is it over? How are you feeling now and what is your role on the team now that you are well into the season?

JP: It’s still the same as what I was before. I still try to lead the team and be the mediator, talking about the big picture. One difference right now is that people are more vocal, which can be a good or bad thing. We’re just trying to find the perfect medium for that.

ER: One thing that a lot of your teammates have reiterated in other interviews is that, in coming to Immortals, you helped give the team direction and an identity. What do you think the identity of Immortals is right now as a team?

JP: I don’t think that we’re a lot different to any other team in the LCS. Everyone is pretty open. Everyone in the team has zero ego and wants to help improve each other. When we get mad at each other is always for the good of the person. Compared to other teams, maybe the difference is that we’re so keen on improving and we’re looking for improvement.

ER: Your teammates have also cited team flexibility, being able to play through any lane, as a strength and one of the reasons behind your success. As the jungler, do you feel that this is the case?

JP: I think that’s pretty true, and it’s a lot of credit to everyone on the team being really flexible too. If I go top, for example, I can count on bot to play safe because they know what our win conditions are. What’s great about this team is that everyone is willing to sacrifice for each other and the good of the team. That’s why we were winning for those couple of weeks.

ER: Going back to your matchup with TSM, they’ve been fairly vocal in the beginning of the split about the fact that they’re trying to go through different comps or testing out different things. Did you feel that today and is that something that Immortals has ever done as well?

JP: (laughs) I think that’s, pretty much it’s like everyone is experimenting, too. I try stuff out try to see what’s better in different situations. We try stuff out. It’s not really an excuse that you can make. Not everyone knows the game 100 percent already. You have to learn and experience that game by game.

ER: You were one of the first people to bring out the new Rek’Sai, and she’s risen in popularity as of late. What do you think of her so far?

JP: When it first came out with the new ulti ability, even though it was really easy to dodge, that’s not what Rek’Sai’s kit is about. Rek’Sai’s kit before was an early game jungler who may get out-scaled later on, but now they made her a bruiser so you can build damage while still being a tank later on. They buffed pretty much every aspect of the game except she’s more squishy now. When she first got reworked again, I already thought she was really strong and then when they kept buffing her, I feel like she’s going to keep getting played over and over again.

ER: For the upcoming Rift Rivals break what are your and the team’s plans?

JP: Everyone needs a well-deserved break since we’ve been practicing really hard every day. We might do team activities. After that a few people might go back to their homes for a few days, try to rewind and reset for the next half of the split.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Raphie Rosen