During the Intel Extreme Masters Katowice 2019, Renegades experienced an extraordinary adventure. Despite the complete lack of expectations from the fans, without losing a single map they advanced to the New Legends, and then, yielding only to Astralis, made it all the way to the playoffs.
The reigning Polish champions Illuminar Gaming will be facing PRIDE on their way to the finals of Ultraliga Season 1. Team’s midlaner Gaweł “Kashtelan” Paprzycki talked about League of Legends in Poland.
Illuminar surprised everyone last year after their run at the first ever European Masters. Back then, the Polish team lead by Paweł “Woolite” Pruski and Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek secured a win after win, making their way to the grand final. Even though they failed to overcame a star-filled Origen line-up, they showed the worth of Polish scene.
This season, however, the Polish league features many more high-level teams, most notably Rogue Esports Club, devils.one, Wisła Płock, and others. Even after losing their star players to bigger clubs, Illuminar remained a contender for one of two spots in the next European Masters.
In the opening playoff game Illuminar overcame Wisła Płock and will face off against their rivals PRIDE, who convincingly defeated ACTINA PACT.
Before the deciding game, the 20-year-old Polish midlaner Gaweł “Kashtelan” Paprzycki talked about Illuminar’s chances, the Polish scene, and League of Legends in Europe.
Behind you is a very difficult meeting with Wisła Płock. You had a 2:0 lead that suddenly became 2:2. What went wrong?
It seems to me that the problem was that we changed the champions slightly in the middle. In the two losing maps I played matchups, in which I was able to get pushed and in no way could I regain control of the lane. For this reason, the early phase of the game was much harder to play because I could not drive it through.
A match with PRIDE is ahead of you, in which you’re rather not seen as the favorite. How do you assess your chances in this meeting?
Before the match with Wisła Płock, I decided that it would be much harder with the Płock formation than with PRIDE. Maybe PRIDE look cool online, but they have a lot of new players and I’m sure they will look a lot worse on stage.
Which player seems to you to be the most dangerous part of PRIDE?
I have the impression that PRIDE is so cool that it does not have the strongest and weakest link. Everyone plays more or less the same and each of them can suddenly present an amazing play. However, if I had to choose the best player, it would be Artur “Rybson” Gębicz.
If you win, you will meet in the small final with devils.one or Rogue Esports Club. Which of these formations is stronger right now?
It seems to me that especially at LAN, the Rogue line-up will be incomparably better. I bet they will win 3:0.
We know well that many mishaps have happened for you during the regular season. Do you think that problems with those matches have already been solved?
Certainly, many of them have been solved, as can be seen in our matches. Of course, we still have a lot of problems and we’re not a very clean playing team. We still miss a lot of team status, but I think we can win against PRIDE and then we’ll see.
After a few defeats in the regular season, Veggie left the League of Legends European Championship commentator spot to focus on IHG training. Did this have an important impact on the disposition of your team?
It certainly worked well because from then on he could be on all of our scrims. However, not all of us are available all the time, so even if someone suddenly becomes available a few or even several hours more a day, it still will not change the fact that I have studies, and Adam “CrAzY” Fedoruk has graduation.
In the current LEC or Ultraliga season, we are dealing with a new playoff system with double elimination for the first two and a small finale. Do you think that it is better than those used previously?
I liked the previously used system much more. At the moment, the disparity between the second and the third place is huge. Now, in order to play with the lost match of the best formations, the team that took the third place, in fact only one place lower, must win two Bo5 matches. I have the impression that this is too much and that is why I liked the earlier format more.
You played in Spain and you know what that scene looks like. Do you think that Poland has in any way approached the level we seen in Spain?
I have the impression that Rogue is better than any team in Spain. If I had to compare Ultraliga and LVP SuperLiga Orange, I would bet on Rogue in the first position, then two teams from Spain, and then who knows.
It seems to me that we are on a similar level, but the average of the leading Spanish teams may be slightly better. I am sure, however, that Rogue is much better than, for example, MAD Lions.
And when it comes to the level of organizations?
There, each team lives in the gaming house, and in Ultraliga most teams do not have players available anytime and anywhere. Only devils.one lives permanently in a gaming house, PRIDE sometimes bootcamp in their own, and Rogue don’t have anything like that, because Kacper “Inspired” Straw and Emil “Larssen” Larsson have a school.
It is difficult for me to say whether the organizations are on a similar level because the players simply have no choice to be in the gaming house, because they do not sacrifice their whole life. If they had such a potential, then I could assess whether the organizations would adapt to it.
We know well that at the moment you are studying and the season has entered the decisive phase. How do you deal with the combination of these two issues?
For sure when the finals of the season are in progress, I set the studies aside a bit. For this reason, regardless of where we finish, after the end of the games I will have to focus mainly on education. I was able to pass the first semester on difficult studies without any problems and it seems to me that I’m good at Ultraliga, so the combination of these two things is quite possible.
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