Inspired: “I have to prove myself at the European Masters and win the whole tournament”

Inspired: “I have to prove myself at the European Masters and win the whole tournament”

Just after winning in the grand final of the first Ultraliga season for Rogue Esports Club, Kacper “Inspired” Słoma talked about the meeting against devils.one and team chances during the European Masters.

After an impressive regular season record of 13 wins a single loss, Rogue entered the Ultraliga playoffs as the clear favorites. With $15,000 dollars in prize money and a slot in the European Masters on the line, the Polish league was bound to get heated.

In the opening game Rogue Esports Club defeated devils.one 3:1, same team they would eventually face in the grand final. While Rogue moved straight to the grand final after a single victory, devils had to fight against Illuminar for the final spot.

In the finals the two Polish teams gave their all, bringing the game all the way to the deciding, fifth, map. In the end, Kacper “Inspired” Słoma’s Rogue defeated their opponents, winning a direct invite to the European Masters Spring 2019.

After the finals, in an interview with cybersport.pl Kacper “Inspired” Słoma talked about their games against devils, the Polish league, and their chance in the European Masters.

Congratulations on becoming the Polish champions. What are your feelings after this triumph?

It seemed it would be easier at first, but the games were very difficult. Maybe except for the first two matches.

Exactly, these first two maps looked as if they were written under your dictation. Were you aiming for a quick victory?

We did not expect the characters they chose in the third and fourth game. In the first two, they had their standard compositions. In the third, Viktor appeared under the scaling. They gave us a lot in the early stages of the game, and their characters would counter our choices.

We had to adapt to it, which did not work out so well. Only during the fourth game, and only after it we understood how we have to counter their characters and managed to do it in the fifth.

What did you feel during the fifth map? Were you afraid this could be the end and you wouldn’t win?

For now, every final that I play, i.e. the last finals of the Polish Esports League and Ultraliga, I played full BO5. Especially in the fifth game I played very well, I did not feel any pressure and I knew that we were a better team, so I should have won. Ultraliga recently did not show this because we lost 2:3, but in this match I knew that we would win it.

And how do you feel with your own game? You were very good throughout the season, and now you could sum it up.

It seems to me that I had a very good season. Now I have to show it at the European Masters and win the whole tournament.

Do you think that LEC is a possibility now? There is a lot of talk about the fact that you could play in this competition.

I can show myself, and if I go, we’ll see. It seems to me that I still have to learn a lot.

You will perform at the European Masters, which should be considered a success. You are certainly happy about it, but what are your impressions before these games?

We feel very confident and it seems to us that we will go very far. Devils.one is one of the best teams in Europe, we defeated this team, and if so, we will also manage other teams.

What now? Preparation for EUM straight away?

We have two days off and after that we start to try to get ready and prepare for the European Masters.

Source: cybersport.pl

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LEC Finals: Origen vs FNATIC

LEC Finals: Origen vs FNATIC

This is it! Three of the best teams in Europe will enter the final fight for €200,000 in prize money and a spot to represent the region at the 2019 Mid-Season Invitational. It’s time for Origen to face the unstoppable Fnatic.

Three spots to Rift Rivals 2019, one spot at a Mid-Season Invitational 2019 and 200,000 euros — this much is on the line in LEC 2019 Spring Playoffs. The first franchized split in Europe was a vibrant one and the fight for the top spots continues.

Both Fnatic and Origen, as well as G2 Esports who already in the grand final, earned themselves a direct invite to represent Europe at the Rift Rivals 2019. Tonight Fnatic will face off against Origen for a spot in the grand final.

Fnatic is facing a peculiar scenario. On one hand, their impressive 12-0 winning streak was stopped last week by Splyce. On the other, Fnatic still look incredibly impressive. Not only did they defeat Splyce 3-1, they did so in a very convincing manner.

The current meta fits Fnatic really well, allowing Martin “Rekkles” Larsson to pop off and carry his team in a big way. A lot of Fnatic’s recent success can be attached to the AD Carry of the team.

The big question for Fnatic’s success lies with the rookie of the team, Tim “Nemesis” Lipovšek. It took a while for him to get used to the big stage in LEC, but once he did, the 19-year-old player was able to shine. The question remains will the young star be able to show the same kind of stability here in the finals?

This week LEC moves to Ahoy Arena in Rotterdam, where the teams will battle in front of the audience of 15,000 League of Legends fans. Needless to say, this will be the largest stage Nemesis has ever played on. But will the young player be able to perform at the same level on a bigger stage?

For Origen situation is a bit different. OG were able to keep a stable form throughout the season but their recent performance was a bit wavering. Last week they were absolutely destroyed by G2 Esports and it wasn’t even close.

Now granted, G2 is very likely the best team in Europe right now. They were completely dominating everyone this whole split, although Origen was one of the few teams that managed to steal a game off them.

While Fnatic was playing since the first round of the playoffs, Origen got their debut just last week. And it was an underwhelming debut at that. One might say that OG got a lot of practice in while not having to worry about playing on stage, but the form they showed last week was far from impressive.

Based on that alone, Fnatic seem to be the clear favorites to take this game and move on to the grand final, where they would face G2 Esports tomorrow. One way or another the match on Sunday will be worthy of a final. The only hope is, that G2 won’t make the other team look too bad.

The last chance for Origen lies with a surprise factor and some luck — they had four weeks, they had to prepare something, right? Origen have the stability on their side, but the lack of explosive firepower that Fnatic possesses might be a decisive factor.

Only will that be enough against the unstoppable Fnatic?

Our pick: Fnatic

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FORG1VEN: “Playing at a pro level is something I do with joy but it doesn’t define who I am”

FORG1VEN: “Playing at a pro level is something I do with joy but it doesn’t define who I am”

Konstantinos-Napoleon “FORG1VEN” Tzortziou, one of the most celebrated players to have played in the European League of Legends elite, is returning to the game after nine months of military service and one year without competition.

The Greek League star was absent from the highest level since 2016 when he played in the semifinal of Worlds with H2K Gaming. After a short stint with Origen to win the EU Masters a year ago, he spent the last nine months in his country (from July to April) to perform his compulsory military service.

Now FORG1VEN announced his intention to return to the game and compete at the highest level. The 26-year-old player talked about his plans and goals in an interview with L’ÉQUIPE.

Your military service has just ended. You knew you were going to have to deal with it during your career. Why now?

In 2017, things that I put aside in Greece when I became a professional player resurfaced. Personal things. I had to stay in my country for about a year and I thought: I’m here, why wouldn’t I do my military service to get it out of the way? So I went there. Today I am free to do what I want with my life again.

So that you could focus on League of Legends?

I did not do that for League. In the end… The game is one of the reasons, but not the main one. It’s more for my life. Playing at a professional level is something that I do with joy. But that’s not what defines me as a person. I did not join the army to get rid of it and become pro again.

If it happens, so much the better. But it stops there. League of Legends is an extra. It has always been for me. My life has never rested solely on the game. But it was my job and no matter what I do, I do it thoroughly.

What did you do during your military service?

I was near the Bulgarian border, involved in the administration of the army, as a soldier of course. I also had the opportunity to discover military weapons, to practice with guns, that sort of thing. In the Greek army, you are not trained to go to war. But I had never touched a weapon before, I had seen it only in movies.

Today I can assure you that I would be able to defend my country if it becomes necessary one day. I learned a lot. Something you understand when you’re in the military is the value of civilian life. It’s very important. In terms of life experience, it was strong, useful.

But we could use these nine months differently. Can you imagine South Korean professional players doing their military service? Two compulsory years. For two years of your life you become inactive… In your life, essentially.

Have you found the time to play, to follow the competition over the last few months?

In general, I only watch the semi-finals and up. Matches with important stakes. When there is pressure when the mental force comes into play. Otherwise … I was at home one day a week in general. I did not waste it playing League of Legends. I did some ARAM, but that’s it. This is how to summarize my relationship with the game in the last nine months.

I started again a few days ago to get used to it again. I think that before that I had not done a ranked game since June. Now that I’m free, I think I play more. If I become pro again, that’s all I’ll do. If not, I will reduce my playing time again.

You are not ready to try to come back at any cost?

It depends on a lot of things. I can not make promises. I like the competition in League of Legends. I do not particularly like the game, especially the solo q, how it works. It has become terrible, worse and worse over the years and I do not think it’s my opinion alone.

But I have always wanted to discover regions like Korea, China, the United States … It never happened. If I have a good offer, I see myself returning, yes. But today it’s more of a hobby than anything else. I saw this as my job in the past and if it must be the case again, perfect. I will do it with joy. If it does not happen, I’ll watch a few games, I’ll play from time to time and that’s it. It’s not a problem.

Were you surprised by the passionate reaction of people? It’s been two and a half years after leaving H2K after all…

There are very few veterans in the game today. Almost everyone has gone. For my part I have never paid attention to smooth my communication, to be friendly … If I see something that I do not like, I say it. If it’s something I like, the same. No doubletalk. No detours. People remember my level too. I was an aggressive player on and off the game. All of this helps, I think, to grab the interest of the people and leave a strong impression.

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The penultimate battle for Europe: Semi-finals in LEC Spring Split

The penultimate battle for Europe: Semi-finals in LEC Spring Split

Only four teams remain in the running for the first LEC champion title. Between G2 facing Origen, and Fnatic battling Splyce, who will make it out this week? We take a closer look.

Three spots to Rift Rivals 2019, one spot at a Mid-Season Invitational 2019 and 200,000 euros — this much is on the line in LEC 2019 Spring Playoffs. The first franchized split in Europe was a vibrant one and the fight for the top spots continues.

The two best teams of the regular season — G2 Esports and Origen — earned themselves a direct spot in the Round 2 of the bracket. The winner of this battle will move straight to the grand final. Both of these teams have secured a spot at Rift Rivals 2019 as well, as their finish in the Top 3 is already guaranteed.

In Round 1 Fnatic faced off against Team Vitality and Splyce beat SK Gaming without much effort. In the new system, the winner of today’s match will move on to Round 3, where they will face the loser of G2/Origen for a spot in the grand final.

Last week’s trial turned out to be an easy one for both teams. Though many expected it to be a much closer affair, Fnatic have successfully continued their winning streak after defeating Team Vitality.

The Worlds 2018 vice-champions had a tough beginning for the split, going 0-4 after the first two weeks, which was made up for starting week six when Fnatic started their eight-game winning streak. The same win streak remained till the end of the regular season. 

And after a flawless performance by Fnatic last week, that undefeated streak is now at 11-0. Team Vitality, one of the best teams in Europe, couldn’t take a single game off Fnatic when it mattered the most. That’s how good Fnatic are right now.

It took a while for Fnatic to find their game again and a certain patch, that brought Martin “Rekkles” Larsson back to life didn’t hurt either. But now that they are back, they are back in a big way. With the way they have been performing, you can almost imagine them going all the way.

Splyce, on the other hand, had a strong performance throughout the season, winning over 61% of all of their encounters. They manage to beat G2 Esports and Schalke 04 in the recent weeks as well. 

Although they entered last week’s match as clear favorites they dropped one game against SK Gaming, that fact alone paints a picture. Splyce are good, but are they Fnatic good?

Probably not. And there’s nothing wrong with that, after all, Fnatic look really good right now.

Our pick: Fnatic

It wouldn’t be fair to imply that these two teams might not bring their A-game this weekend. It’s not like there’s nothing on the line.

G2 Esports and Origen had a strong on-and-off rivalry throughout the season. G2 started strong and remained strong, going 13-5 in the regular season and taking first place. Origen started off strong, then struggled for a while, and returned by the end of the season to secure a second spot.

Origen were the ones that stopped G2’s 9 game winning streak at the beginning of the season. Origen remain one of the few teams, together with Fnatic and Splyce, that managed to take a game off of G2, and at one point this spilt that was a big feat.

Depending on who you ask, Origen either performed better than expected or as well as expected this split. It’s a completely new team, with a lot of new players. They are doing things differently, they were very open about experimenting with things this split. One way or another, it worked out.

By all means, Martin “Deficio” Lynge assembled a strong team. The question is, is it strong enough to dethrone G2 Esports?

G2 gained significant reinforcements this season. The team’s future went into question when Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen left for Team SoloMid, but the acquisition of Rasmus “Caps” Winther proved to be a very successful move. Somewhat surprisingly, the team’s old midlaner Luka “Perkz” Perković adapted well to his new position in the bottom lane. 

G2 aren’t unbeatable and if anyone can do it, it’s Origen. If not now, then when. That being said, more experienced players in G2 will have a significant advantage. But just how much will that matter?

Either way, this game promises to be the most interesting LEC playoff match yet, between the two titans of the game.

Our pick: G2 Esports

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VioletFairy: “I didn’t even watch esports before joining Vaevictis eSports”

VioletFairy: “I didn’t even watch esports before joining Vaevictis eSports”

In February 2019, the CIS-based organization Vaevictis eSports took an unexpected step — the club decided to sign the League of Legends women’s team for the LCL. For several weeks, the girls became one of the main topics for discussion in the esports community.

Vaevictis ended the regular season with a record of 0-14, not being able to win a single game against more experienced teams in LCL. The female team faced an impossible task to begin with and the result seems all but expected. Nonetheless, the girls were often seen smiling even in the face of defeat. This felt like a great time to get to know one of the team members, Elena “VioletFairy” Koval, better.

In order to catch up with what the team has been up to, we talked to VioletFairy, who plays on the middle lane. The girl told how unexpectedly she found herself on the professional stage, what she had learned in a few weeks in the Continental League and what kind of atmosphere prevails in the women’s team.

When you started playing games it was still a boy’s club?

When I started to play, I was about 11. My first game was the first DotA, and there were practically no girls there. Well, or they all, like me, were using a male name, because they faced hostility. I didn’t play very well and got a lot of flame in my direction.

But as soon as people somehow knew that a girl was playing with them, they immediately began to show excessive attention and add to friends. It was very new. Then I began to play Lineage 2. This is a game of a completely different genre, and it was easier for girls there.

At that time I was playing in a computer club, in which a lot of adult guys were hanging out. I felt so adult, unusual! Not like all girls who play some board games or something like that. And I’m here with the guys playing video games!

Did you have some company there or did you go alone?

At the very beginning, I played alone. I bought a computer, but I did not have the Internet. I could only play with bots. When I played at home, I got bored and I went to a computer club. So I already met with the local guys, then it turned out that my guy friends play too. So there was a company with which we played.

Mostly there were boys, but in my footsteps some girls also joined. But often it was all just to get a little attention from young people, nothing more. Two weeks to play and they’re done.

And I often played with fanaticism. I am not limited to everything by creating an account and pumping a character to a certain level. If we are to start, then in a big way.

How did you move from Lineage to LoL?

League of Legends was created when there was no Dota 2. And my friends from the computer club told me about it. Then there was no account binding in DotA, there were no statistics — you just play, win or lose, that’s all. And in LoL, an account appeared, on which the level was pumped and statistics were saved. This interested me. And the game itself turned out to be much more dynamic, matches are faster, team fights are more mobile. So I stayed in LoL.

And in L2, they just closed the server where I played and tried for a very long time. I was upset and did not go into this game anymore.

Was it love at first sight?

I had love at first sight with the champion Katarina. I still play her, but then it was completely different. It was the first champion with whom I played in a match with real people. I liked the character so much that I ran LoL not so much for the game itself, but for the sake of playing on this champion. But since I like this genre in principle, I like LoL itself.

In life, do you like a sense of competition? Are you a competitive person?

Many people think that cybersportsmen are very gamblers at heart. And here I am, probably, more a team player. I do not have such drive that I am ready to do anything for the sake of victory. But to support my team, to see the desire of my team mates to win and to understand how I can help them in this — that’s me.

By the way, about the lessons. Games do not interfere with your studies?

Up to grade 9, I studied the minimum amount. For me, the priority was in the game. How many nights, when my mother stood near the door, demanded to turn off the computer, but I was nervous and did not want to go to bed. There have been many similar conflicts. This, of course, hindered learning.

But from the 10th class, when the brains turned on, I began to distinguish between these areas of life. I was aware that if I am playing now, then later I will need to devote more time to study. I finished school well, though not with a gold medal. This is because in grade 9 I passed some exams badly. But I managed to turn on my head and finish school with good grades.

Did it affect your skill?

Feels like, yes, definitely. There is a saying: while you sleep, the enemy swings. And it is true. It happened that during the control at school you do not play, and then you go into the game with friends, and they have already raised their Elo, and you are lagging behind in the tail.

After all, most people, on the contrary, sacrifice their studies in order to play longer. 

In fact, I never aspired for esports. And regarded the “League of Legends” as a good way to spend time. And so I was sure that if I graduated badly from school now, then where this Diamond will not help me in the future. “It will not pay your bills!” – I thought. Therefore, I did a bet on education.

Although the university was already simpler, but it was rather stuffed. In the first year I established myself as a good student, and then all the grades were easy for me, and the teachers were loyal. Therefore, I managed to play and learn.

What did you study?

I’m a computer engineer. Many people think that this is related to programming, but this subject was very superficial for us. It is rather something connected to networks and electronics. I finished my studies with a red diploma. But, as for me, this does not mean anything, because IT is a field in which if you stop being interested and develop, then all knowledge quickly becomes irrelevant. I graduated from the university almost two years ago, and everything was already a little forgotten. Basically, remember something, Windows reinstall itself! (laughs)

How did esports come into your life?

My friend Ksenia, our ADC, so she constantly watched the scene, was a volunteer in the Continental League. And all my knowledge of esports is from her hands. Then she became the manager of the Vaevictis team, when they still had a male lineup. Somehow she wanted to participate in the tournament in a public, and she gathered us girls. We didn’t play that women’s championship, but Ksyusha told us that there is an opportunity to perform at the LCL. Well, how could I refuse? I’ve been playing this game for so long!

It seems to me that no one would refuse such an opportunity. Many in the comments write: “How do you agree, it’s such a responsibility!” Well, who would have refused in our place? I think very few people.

That is, esports is completely new to you! Tell us what it is like to get from the ship to the ball?

At the very beginning, I thought that this was limited to just games on the weekend. I did not know that there are training sessions, scrims. But it turned out that this is like real work. You wake up, your working day starts, you practice, play, you analyze something with a coach.

This is like a real job — and for me it is strange. I imagined that the guys play on anyone they want and how they want, and then they come to the tournament and play.

How long is your training day?

It all depends on whether we have partners for training. I suspect that everything is not as tough as it is for the guys. Somewhere I heard that they have an 8-hour working day straight. We do not have this. Basically, we do about 3 workouts a day with other teams, and then solo for about five to six hours.

Many said that the signing of the female composition is just a PR action. How do you feel about such statements?

I believe that there is some truth in this. To assemble a women’s team, when no one in the Continental League did it — this is a challenge, a strong media move. Of course, as many have said, it was possible to arrange triads and choose girls who will be much stronger according to their skill. But first, it would take a lot of time and resources. Secondly, this composition would still be an outsider, in my opinion. The newly minted team compared to the guys played, who train every day, would still look weaker. Of course, they could show more promising results. But I doubt that they were earning super-victories or prizes.

I think the organization made the right choice. As far as I know, Vaevictis did not win much in the last season and with the male line-up. So to make a bet on our team, the composition of the beautiful ladies is a good decision.

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It’s playoff time in Europe: deciding LEC clashes

It’s playoff time in Europe: deciding LEC clashes

After nine weeks of regular season games, it’s finally playoff time in Europe! The final fight for the title of the best in the region starts this weekend, with a showdown between legends.

Three spots to Rift Rivals 2019, one spot at a Mid-Season Invitational 2019 and 200,000 euros — this much is on the line in LEC 2019 Spring Playoffs. The first franchized split in Europe was a vibrant one and the start of its conclusion starts today.

The two best teams of the regular season — G2 Esports and Origen — earned themselves a direct spot in the Round 2 of the bracket. The winner of this battle will move straight to the grand final. Both of these teams have secured a spot at Rift Rivals 2019 as well, as their finish in the Top 3 is already guaranteed.

In Round 1 Fnatic will face off against Team Vitality and Splyce will battle against SK Gaming. In the new system, the winners of these games will move on to Round 2, where they will face each other. The winner of that match will enter a final showdown against the loser of G2/Origen, for a spot in the grand final.

Somehow it feels very fitting seeing Fnatic opening the playoffs. The Worlds 2018 vice-champions had a tough beginning for the split, going 0-4 after the first two weeks. It took a while for Fnatic to find their game again and a certain patch, that brought Martin “Rekkles” Larsson back to life didn’t hurt either.

What is in-fact impressive is how Fnatic went from the biggest disappointment of the split to one of the most feared teams in the region (again). After the first four matches, followed a few weeks of 1-1 games all the way until week six. That’s when the fun started. That’s when Fnatic entered the eight-game winning streak, which is yet to be broken.

Fnatic look unbelievably strong right now. Not only did they manage to beat both G2 Esports and Splyce last week, they did it in a rather convincing fashion as well. If anyone is feeling nervous before today’s match it has to be Vitality.

That is not to say that Vitality look “bad” by any means. It would be more accurate to say that they are in a slump. A big, scary slump. In the last three weeks of the regular split Vitality managed to win only once, against the heavily underperforming Rogue. Last week they even lost to Excel, another team from the bottom of the table.

Thing is, if Fnatic show up to this match, even on a good day, with a full roster Vitality would have trouble stopping their winning streak. There’s a good reason why Fnatic went from 3-7 to 11-7 in a regular season and it ain’t luck.

Our pick: Fnatic

On the other side of the bracket, Splyce will be trying their luck against SK Gaming on Saturday. Much like the opening game, this one has a clear favorite as well.

Splyce had a strong performance throughout the season, winning over 61% of all of their encounters. Not only did they manage to beat G2 Esports and Schalke 04 in the recent weeks, but Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir and his team also defeated SK Gaming themselves in week 8 of the split.

SK, on the other hand, have nothing to lose. It’s the return to the highest level of League of Legends for the German organization and some might say they already beat all expectations, finishing ahead of more veteran teams.

Last week alone, SK overcame Schalke 04 in a tiebreaker match, leaving the latter out of the playoffs for the first time since Spring split last year. SK saw a lot of eyebrows rise their way due to their very young line-up, their roster, however, ended up bringing mixed results. If not for anything else, the 19-year-old Oskar “Selfmade” Boderek proved to be a worthy pick-up for the German organization.

The strengths of SK Gaming, sadly, start and end with the young Polish jungler. Other parts of the team seem weak and heavily rely on luck to succeed. Even considering their wins in recent weeks, SK still looks like a much weaker team compared to Splyce.

Our pick: Splyce

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