Forward, Always

Initially, I thought that we were going to score some strong results.

When we first put the roster together, even the moment when I was told what our final roster was going to be, I was really happy.

I honestly felt that this roster was going to be the best that I would play with in my whole career.

I knew about Profit and the coaching staff from our Team ROCCAT days, but the new additions were strong too. Wadid joined us after the 2018 World Championship Semifinals with G2 Esports, Kikis also had a pop-off summer split…

I would have liked for things to be different.

Instead, here we are.

1-9.

We bootcamped in Korea for a month before the start of the split, and I’m not going to lie, we didn’t win many games.

At the time, it was understandable because we were scrimming pretty good Korean teams, and we were a new team. We were lacking foundations.

That bootcamp left a lasting impression though: I was excited to go back to Europe and show what we can do. Even though we didn’t win many scrims in Korea, I felt that there was potential – we had given ourselves a head start.

I thought we were going to surprise a lot of people considering how poorly the community rated us. When I saw those power rankings, I thought: “There’s no way we’re a last-place team.”

When we started scrimming in Europe however, our results in practice weren’t optimal. At first, it felt like we were individually rusty, but we fixed that with practice over time.

Fundamentally though, I felt like, as team members, we didn’t view the game the same way, we weren’t on the same page, even though it’s our goal to be that way in every single decision that we make. We are working on that really hard right now because that’s where a lot of our issues stem from.

On top of that, we still haven’t found our team identity, and I’m thinking a lot about that.

Individually, my biggest takeaway is that, I need to become a superstar AD carry and I have never been that before.

Other AD carries in the LEC are popping off and winning games for their teams, and that’s the best way I can help the team right now too. I’ve been trying to find that in myself.

Right now, with Rogue, I feel like I don’t have to contribute as much to team-related details; rather, I should focus on myself and make sure that the team can rely on me to carry if they give me the resources and enable me to do so.

Even though our results haven’t been good – and 0-8 is nothing to be proud of – I still feel that this roster can really work. This roster will eventually click and we can be really insane.

When looking at the bot lane during most of our games, I’m left feeling regretful in hindsight. I think I should have taken more responsibility, been more selfish, giving more thought to the bot lane matchup and how good it is for us.

Wadid and I didn’t do a good job at getting good matchups in the opening weeks.

For at least three or four games, we kind of forfeited our matchup during the draft because we hadn’t thought about all the possible scenarios.

Our biggest issue right now is that we’re letting ourselves get into situations where things aren’t favourable for us. We need to focus on that.

We can be really good and we can be in control of the game if we are in a good state starting from the early game.

The thing is though, at this point, we have messed up too many times. From the community’s perspective, we both look really bad and a lot of people think we’re the worst bot lane in the LEC. That’s understandable, and right now, I would have to agree with them, all things considered.

We need to become a bot lane that our team can rely on: if we are given resources that carry the game, we need to make sure we don’t int it.

It might not show on stage yet, because we only have two games on stage per week, but things are clicking. Eventually, everyone will see that as well.

In general, our team mentality is pretty strong. Even when we were 0-8, I didn’t see anyone being depressed about it or wanting to give up. We are professionals, we hate this situation more than anyone.

It reached a point where we realised we needed to make roster changes, one of them involving the bot lane with VandeR starting instead of Wadid.

We needed to be more decisive and VandeR pushes us in that direction. He is a veteran, and is used to playing with AD carries that are really aggressive, like Upset and FORG1VEN.

He pushes me to play more aggressively when I should, and I am learning to play that way. He has pretty good knowledge about matchups; what we should play and when.

With VandeR, we’re all trying to push our limits in lane. When he says something, we just do it.

I’ve had a lot of failures in my career, so I know how to deal with it. Just because it is happening again doesn’t mean it will continue like this. It’s about having the correct mentality. Right now, we’re 1-9 and we’re losing a lot of games, but eventually, we will make progress.

The long-term is all that matters: there are two splits in the year, and the summer split is the most important one. If we start fixing our issues now, we can pop off during the summer and finish well.

I think that everyone on the team has this idea in the back of their minds, and that’s why I don’t see our mentality being weakened by the losses.

Our issues are not impossible to fix, and we know that. If we can fix them, there’s no reason we can’t be a top team in Europe.

Obviously, nobody likes this situation: not the players, nor the staff, nor the organization, nor the investors for that matter. None of us expected this to happen. We need to accept our failures, keep our heads up, and move forward.

Even though it might not seem like it from the community’s perspective, or even if the LEC teams don’t see it that way, regardless of our results, I will never lose trust in our team or in my teammates.

Image Credit: Riot Games

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