The up-and-coming Estonian top laner Markus “Acidy” Käpp shared what it’s like playing for his first professional team — the German BIG.
The young talent joined Berlin International Gaming (BIG) earlier in May, one month before turning 18. Since then, Acidy helped his team take second place in Premier Tour 2018 Summer Hamburg where they finished behind the reigning German champions EURONICS Gaming and ahead of mousesports, SPGeSports, SK Gaming, and others.
With the goals set on the European Masters 2018 Summer Split, BIG isn’t pulling any punches.
Käpp told us about breaking into professional gaming, competing at the highest level, learning to deal with the pressure, his roots in the Baltic League of Legends scene, and sharing the top lane with his teammate Juho “NilleNalley” Janhunen.
Vie: How did you decide to pursue the path of a pro player?
Acidy: I spent most of my time after school playing League. I’ve always loved the game and competing. Winning as a team is so much better than winning alone, so I decided to join a team to improve my team play and communication to become better as a player.
Vie: How hard was it to explain it to your family, friends? Were they accepting of your choice, or was there mistrust?
Acidy: My family didn’t like it at first because my grades in school were dropping and I wasn’t doing any physical activities. When my grades improved and they saw me going to some Baltic LANs they realized how much I like doing this. After that, they were pretty supportive of me. My friends, on the other hand, have become a small fan club now, they are always asking when I’m going to play or how I’m doing in soloq.
Vie: Speaking of the Baltic scene. Do you think there’s any hope for it yet?
Acidy: The Baltic scene currently in general is pretty bad. There are lots of good players from the Baltics such as Puszu, HeaQ, Sirnukesalot etc. but not enough for the Baltic scene to be strong. They recently announced that Baltics will have a spot in the EU Masters, so maybe in a few years there’s hope for it but I doubt it.
Vie: What’s your opinion on the professional play so far? Is it exactly what you thought it would be like? How do you feel about the overall level of teams in the German league?
Acidy: In the professional play the most important thing is communication. I’m quite talkative in-game, so I didn’t have that problem when I first started out, but playing in a team with four good players that expect you to play well is pretty stressful.
Early on I would be so nervous that I died a lot to ganks because I was so focused on not dying in the lane that I would forget to ward or watch the map. Professional play has a lot higher highs and much lower lows. Beating a good team is such a great feeling and losing to a bad team just has you depressed for the whole day thinking about what went wrong. The Top 4 teams in Germany are at a pretty good level, but we’ll have to wait for the EUMasters to know for sure.
Vie: You have two top laners on the roster currently. How does that work?
Acidy: NilleNalley plays in the ESL Meisterschaft matches and in the upcoming LANs we split the games. I play blue side games and Nille plays the red side because of our different champion pools. I didn’t go to the Premier Tour LAN because I massively underperformed in important matches. So I benched myself so that the team could still go to LAN.
Vie: Isn’t it hard for the rest of the team as well, having to play with two different top laners every other game?
Acidy: It’s definitely hard, but [learning to adapt and] playing different styles is important for a team to succeed and do well.
Vie: There has been some talk about the Korean imports lately. Where do you stand on the subject?
Acidy: Europe has players from very different countries and cultures, so importing Korean players doesn’t really change much in a team, as long as they are actually good players. Being able to speak English well isn’t that big of a problem in my opinion since it can be learned pretty fast. For example, Huni and Reignover, they didn’t know English that well when they first came to Europe, but they are good players so the language barrier didn’t stop them from succeeding.
Vie: You just turned 18 a few weeks back, are you done with the school yet? What are your plans for the future?
Acidy: I still have one year of school left and I don’t have any big plans after that. At the moment competing in LoL is what I enjoy doing the most, Io i want to give it a real shot and see what comes after that.
Vie: Thanks for taking the time. Any shoutouts?
Acidy: I’d like to shout-out to my interviewer and all the readers of this interview.
Follow Markus “Acidy” Käpp on Twitter @Acidy_