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Schalke 04’s Upset and Norskeren on promotion tournament opponents: “Mysterious Monkeys, I kind of have a grudge versus some of the players because they kept me out last split.”

Schalke 04's Upset and Norskeren haven't forgotten the Mysterious Monkeys players beating them in the past.
Schalke 04's Upset and Norskeren haven't forgotten the Mysterious Monkeys players beating them in the past.

Elias “Upset” Lipp and Tore “Norskeren” Hoel Eilertsen are the youngest bottom lane package in the European League of Legends Championship Series or the Challenger Series. The duo has played together in the past — along with Fnatic’s Rasmus “Caps” Winther — on mousesports, but Schalke 04 provided a more structured environment for them to aim toward the LCS. They and Schalke qualified for the EU LCS promotion tournament after a 3-1 series against Team RB.

Following the set, Upset and Norskeren spoke with Slingshot’s Kelsey Moser about the team experimenting more with playing around bot, their approach to draft, and their opponents in the upcoming tournament.

Kelsey Moser: The first game you started with top and mid strong side. So I was kind of curious as to why Memento started out pathing toward bot side.

Tore “Norskeren” Hoel Eilertsen: I mean, it’s really — we were trying in scrims like ganking bot at like Level 2 or Level 3. It’s really easy because you have stun, you have Flash Q. It’s actually pretty easy to get it off if the opponent is not playing too safe or if the Alistar is bad.

Elias “Upset” Lipp: It’s mostly Kalista’s early game is really strong, so — but we just give them Kalista for like a stronger jungle pick, for example Maokai. We trade Kalista for it because most people think Kalista is really strong, and then we try to shut Kalista a bit down early with a gank, for example. Especially with Alistar — SKT picks this a lot as well into the Kalista, so we kind of looked at them and tried to copy it a bit.

KM: You seemed really excited about the Alistar pick even when they were picking some of the mages into it. Could you talk a little bit about Game 3 where you had Alistar, and they went for Vlad and Morgana. How do you end up playing into that?

EL: I think this Morgana pick is like — just good in theory because it’s too hard to actually always Spell Shield, especially with the Flash Alistar combo and with Flash Q as well. With Janna, for example, even if you get hit by combo, you can still ultimate after. Or if you don’t manage to Cancel with Q — but with Morgana, it’s hit or miss. So if you get CC’d with Morgana, the shield afterwards is useless. Morgana — just isolated — isn’t a good champ.

THE: I don’t find Morgana good either, I mean, her ulty — she can’t get it off in team fights, to be honest. She’s so squishy, and she just gets one-shot if she goes to carries or tries to play like a front line, and — as he said — the Spellshield. You can’t really always get it off in time, and it’s only for one person.

EL: With the way we draft, mages are easier to counterpick, so we often just — pick one part of the bot lane there, and then they can try to ban me out, but I play a lot of champs, so we just don’t want to get counterpicked in support as well. So we just pick a melee matchup bot and a scaling AD like Tristana/Xayah (or maybe Varus sometimes), and then the top side just tries to win with the stronger jungle pick we traded for Kalista. So this is kind of the way we draft.

KM: I assume you prepared for the Janna because kaSing plays it a lot and everything else, but I was sort of curious — did it catch you off guard?

THE: Yeah, I mean I played the Alistar before — you know — there’s not really that many people that play it, and I never really play it that much in solo queue recently because there’s so many bad Janna players, but kaSing is really good. So we thought we could handle it.

EL: He doesn’t play this matchup because he just locks in Janna himself, mostly.

THE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, play for elo. I play it sometimes, but there are so many bad Jannas.

EL: In scrims, these Jannas don’t play like kaSing. We knew kaSing is probably the best Janna in Europe, but we didn’t know he could like cancel every combo. The moment we realized he is so good on it, we just ban it, and then good luck with Morgana again.

KM: A lot of people say with Kalista you can just first pick Kalista, but obviously you guys were happy with them doing that.

EL: Okay, so I think Alistar is pretty good into Kalista. The thing is, Alistar a bit counters and neutralizes in lane and makes the lane hard to gank as well. So if they pick like Janna or Tahm Kench or maybe Morgana — but Janna, you have to be really good on the champion, otherwise it’s also kind of hard. Morgana is, like explained before, really hit or miss. Just really bad with Kalista. So you can give them Kalista, and we often ban Thresh as well on the blue side when we first pick a tank, so they can’t really get a support which saves Kalista from Alistar at some point. They can’t punish us hard enough — at least these players can’t punish us hard enough with Kalista in lane.

KM: Also, you did shift over to a bot side focus a bit more with jungle pathing bot. In regular season, you played a lot more with strong top lane matchup. It seemed like there were a little rough edges in the first couple games on that. Is it just an issue of need to practice toward bot side more?

EL: Yes, I think we are mostly top-focused, and we try to scale on bot, go even, or maybe — like if they fuck up — we take the tower, but at some point, this is mostly our play style.

THE: Especially for this time because we went into the game thinking if we have strong top and jungle, we are just going to smash in Moojin and Thal. They are not good.

EL: But maybe we underrated them a bit. And also, we picked Alistar for games (or Tahm once, Alistar three), so we really like to gank bot with Alistar. Especially if we give them the strongest AD available.

KM: In the game where you did the swap, the fourth game, you went back, and they ended up having priority top. Could you talk to me a little bit about your thought process there?

EL: The thought process when we swapped there is — I fucked up early really bad with like turret dive at Level 3, so I was in a bad item spot as well because I couldn’t get my BF with Xayah, and then I had two Long Swords and boots, and I would get armor boots, but if Jayce can push in top, that was our logic.

They didn’t do such a good reset on bot, I think, because we could push it all the way, and we can just back, and then they don’t have a wave on bot, and then we can use the wave on top that Jayce prepared. That’s the usual logic. And Mid also had priority, so we can make a play top or take tower, but then I think something happened. Somebody inted, I think.

KM: Your jungler went top, and their jungler also went top.

EL: And Elise died, I think. Yeah, so that kind of blows. In theory, it was a good swap, I think, because we had tempo from bot, but I fell pretty far behind from this — in CS — because Kalista would just keep farming bot, but they didn’t capitalize on this after.

KM: Generally, you seem to have a pretty good rapport, and you played together before, right?

THE: Yeah.

KM: What’s kind of been the difference between this team playing together and playing together in a team in the past?

EL: At Mous together, we were just kids, you know? We just played the game because it was fun with Caps as well. We were all 16, I think, and we were just having fun. We had just turned 16, pretty much.

THE: Yeah, we were like — it was a Kindergarten team. Our jungler was having troubles with how we acted. He didn’t like that we were so childish sometimes. The team didn’t work out because we choked kind of in the CSQ, I would say.

EL: I don’t know about choking. Like. We just didn’t practice any basics.

THE: Yeah, yeah, yeah, true. True.

EL: What we do is just we scrim, and we play solo queue, and we make fun of enemies, so we die, and then sucks. Mostly we just have — we play for fun. But now like — I learned a lot from VandeR last split, and also I went to G2, so I have a lot more knowledge now, and I take it a lot more serious because I am not going to school at the same time anymore. So I think in this sense, it’s changed, and we try to improve a lot.

THE: I am learning a lot from him — him going to S04, he’s obviously been — he became a much better player than I am because I went to another team that didn’t go so well. I didn’t have a mentor or veterans teaching me.

EL: He had a disadvantage in this regard because I had teammates who could teach me, and he got kind of unlucky with his.

KM: Going forward, it looks like you’ll be in Promotion. Giants have been saying a few things on Twitter like they’re definitively the best team. You guys actually beat them 2-0 to close regular season, so I was kind of curious to hear how you feel about that.

EL: I mean — I don’t know, they are kind of acting like clowns. Their bot lane made the interview where [they said] we’re hugging turret, giving it a new definition. Their coach tweets like “Now we will see who is the second best in CS” when we beat them with Yasuo. I don’t know, they are like a bit over-confident, and they might get punished for it. Especially because we 2-0’d them quite handily with Yasuo top as well. So I really don’t know where this cockiness comes from.

KM: What about the LCS teams — Mysterious Monkeys and NiP — how do you guys feel about them?

THE: We definitely have a good chance of beating them if we just play like we do in scrims. We have really good success in scrims vs much better teams than these LCS teams.

EL: We are like fine there.

THE: But, I mean, yeah, it’s still — official games are a bit different than scrims, so we will just have to have the right attitude and try to play to our strengths.

EL: I think also NiP is stronger than MM because top-jungle is better, and their jungler is maybe more creative in the early game. Like he does a lot more stuff that you don’t expect, maybe. And I think their mid is quite a solid player as well: Nagne.

Their bot — I think they get too much shit from the community. Especially sprattel, like he is still a fine player. But I think we can try to abuse them for sure. I don’t think they are like better than us. But Mysterious Monkeys, I kind of have a grudge vs some of the players because they kept me out last split, quite surprisingly. I think I got a lot better now, and I maybe have a better mindset as well, so I can definitely beat these players.

KM: Do you think it’s a combination of knowledge — or just a really big mindset change because I think last time you were here, it didn’t go so well. You didn’t play as close to the same form as you did online.

EL: I mean — I think it was hardly mindset. I don’t want to talk like bad about — I think I wasn’t the worst performing player in that series for sure. I think players we usually relied on — like, for example, mid lane is such an important role if you want to play the game properly, but he had a bad day maybe. Or he couldn’t focus so well because of other reasons, I don’t know.

The team kind of kind of collapsed because loulex had a bad read on the meta, I think. And the enemy was like really insane at the meta champs, currently, like Graves, Rengar. He kind of got out-pathed a bit because he was like two levels down and shit. The mid lane kind of didn’t play so well under pressure because we also relied a lot on him getting mid priority in scrims. I also played worse last time than this time, but I don’t think that I choked or something like this.