The Older Brother

If you had told me before I joined Splyce back in 2016 that, in the following year, we would qualify for an EU LCS final and play at the World Championship in North America, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Overall, I don’t think I could have written a better script for our first year together. The EU LCS Summer Split final and Worlds were definitely the highlights, but just being able to get so close to the group of people you work with meant a lot to me; I often saw my teammates as little brothers since I was the oldest on the team.

After 2017, I now look back on my time at Splyce with mixed feelings. I remember in the middle of the 2017 Spring Split when things started to stagnate for us, we were all slowly just losing confidence in our ability to progress as a team. At the same time, I was personally struggling a lot in the “carry jungle” meta and I often felt like I was the reason why we didn’t live up to our expectations of competing for first place.

I knew something had to change and, in the end, the management decided to bring in fresh coaching staff for the summer. Everyone on the team was super excited about it, even for me personally, it felt like a fresh start and a chance to redeem myself.

It didn’t work out as we had hoped, for a number of reasons. To this day I still believe we had the potential to become the best team in Europe, but the lack of competent coaching staff in summer and also, perhaps our close friendships within the team held us back, preventing us from pushing each other to become better.

After our loss to G2 Esports in the Summer Split Quarter-finals, even though no-one dared to say it, it felt like the last hope of succeeding as a team had gone.

It was pretty clear to all of us that we all wanted to try something new. Sometimes as a player, you just need a new environment to get better and acquire a new perspective on the game, and that was what I was looking for at the end of last season.

Initially I wasn’t looking to leave Splyce since I knew the team would look very different for the 2018 season, but in the end, I decided UOL was the better option for me.

When our roster eventually split, it was something I knew had been coming for a long time and I’d made my peace with it. Usually, when teams break up, people expect there to be drama and beef between the players, but honestly, we had none of this; I hope the best for all of them and hope they succeed with their new teams.

Even though our last year together was such a disappointment and at times rather depressing, I wouldn’t change my time at Splyce for anything.

The off-season process of moving teams was rather long since I received a variety of different offers. Unicorns of Love showed an interest in me very early on, even before the free agency period had officially opened, and was the only team that actually did tryouts to test players, which had a big impact on my decision since I got to play with my new teammates before making my final decision.

The main motivating factor for signing with the Unicorns is pretty simple in honesty: UOL gave me the chance to work with a roster of young and hungry players that I can use my experience to lead. I want to become a leader both in-game and outside of the rift and I felt that UOL gave me a unique opportunity to do that; our tryouts went very well and I really liked playing with the other guys.

Obviously, being one of the shot-callers and leaders of the team, there will always be more pressure on you to perform, but I only see that as a positive thing. Rather than it being something negative to worry about, I see it as a challenge for me to develop as a player.

Right now we are still figuring out our system of play and how to work together, so in truth, I expect us to start slow, but given time we’ll be able to compete against anyone. I have a positive feeling about this team, everyone is hard working and is open to criticism.

When I first joined UOL, Sheepy told me he really wanted to go to Worlds, so I will work as hard as I can to achieve this. I want to lift a trophy at some point – it’s a big goal of mine – but since UOL has never been to Worlds, that has to be our immediate ambition. If we continue to put in the work, I’m sure we can achieve our goal.

It’s a long grind waking up every day with the purpose of getting better; becoming a good team doesn’t happen overnight.

Image Credit: Riot Games

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