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Altec on prepping for the gauntlet: “It’s actually really awkward since there’s not really teams to scrim. So going into practice, we’re going to play a lot more games, grind a lot more solo queue.”

Altec says preparing for the NA LCS gauntlet will be tricky because of a lack of scrim partners
Prepping for the NA regional League of Legends gauntlet won't be easy, according to Dignitas' Johnny "Altec" Ru. Photo courtesy of Riot Games.

After a strong run through the latter half of the split, Team Dignitas finished fourth in the North American League of Legends Championship Series summer playoffs after a 3-0 loss Saturday to Counter Logic Gaming. Slingshot’s Emily Rand caught up with Johnny “Altec” Ru to talk about that series and Dignitas’ upcoming regional gauntlet matchup against FlyQuest.

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

Johnny “Altec” Ru: Honestly, it was our first time playing at an event. I don’t think that we played really well. We got smashed 3-0. Obviously there’s a lot to take from it going into the gauntlet because we’re at the bottom playing FlyQuest, and then we have to beat everyone else after. So I don’t think we played as well as we could have today, but hopefully we can play better in the gauntlet.

ER: You already mentioned that it was the first big event stage for a lot of you. Do you think nerves were an issue today?

JR: Yeah, I do think that could factor in a little bit but moreso we just played really bad. I think that we just didn’t really — obviously going into the games, we didn’t really have an early game plan, and this led to CLG getting a lot of early Level 1 kills. I think that happened every game. So going into the lanes, we were already at a disadvantage, and it was really hard to come back.

ER: CLG did appear to formulate their game plan around targeting your team a lot early, especially your jungler (Lee “Shrimp” Byeong-hoon). How did Dignitas prepare specifically for CLG going into this match?

JR: Obviously, CLG is known for doing a lot of cheesy things at Level 1, so we were kind of, I guess, a little careful. A lot of it was that we, I guess we just disrespected (them) a bit even though they were stacked in bushes or something. After Game 1 when we lost, we were a lot more cautious the next game, but I guess we didn’t realize the Rakan was coming. Aphromoo moved really fast and was able to get those kills. As for preparation, although we expected them to cheese, I think moreso we disrespected going into the cheese.

ER: In terms of overall teamplay, do you think that made you more hesitant throughout the series?

JR: The first games I think we tried to play way too fast. We tried to force a lot of plays or stuff happened at Level 1, which caused us to be at a disadvantage. Going into Game 3, I think it was just very hard to force against their comp because they had two splitters and we didn’t really have a lot of engage. Our only engage was Jarvan and he was on the side, so it was hard to make fights. Maybe that’s why our play felt a little hesitant.

ER: What was the main thing you and the team learned from this series in preparation for the gauntlet?

JR: I think after this series, it’s just about moving together. They were able to punish us really hard from our Level 1s, and when they got those advantages, they were able to use them. Split-pushing, they were able create a really good split-push plan with their Jax and Kassadin so now maybe when teams play those types of splitters, we’ll now know what to do better. I think it’s about being more aggressive and not hesitant when we have numbers advantage.

ER: The gauntlet starts this coming week. How are you going to prep for FlyQuest?

JR: I think it’s kind of hard to get scrims. It’s actually really awkward since there’s not really teams to scrim. So going into practice, we’re going to play a lot more games, grind a lot more solo queue. It’s the same patch, so we already understand what champions are good. Now it’s about refining those champions.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games