UK’s Wind and Rain might be down, and they might be out, but their journey is far from over, according to their toplaner Andrei “Orome” Popa.
Wind and Rain, who were invited to participate in the European Masters 2018 Spring Split after a successful split in European Challenger Series, where they finished in the Top 4. This split, however, the UK based team played out of their minds in ESL Premiership where they topped their group losing only twice in the regular season and finished third overall.
The start of the European Masters was much less fortunate for the team as they succumbed to Nordic champions Team Atlantis and took a beating in a face-off with another UK team — Misfits Academy. Tonight, in a battle for their honor, WaR will battle it out against one of the strongest teams in the whole tournament — the French Millenium.
To discuss the state of League of Legends in the UK, their lack of success in the EU Masters, and the future of the game, we sat down with the Romanian toplaner.
Vie: You landed in a group with Millenium, Misfits Academy, and Atlantis. What did you first think after seeing it? What were your expectations?
Orome: After I saw the group I thought to myself it’s one of the easier ones actually. I expected Millenium to be the first team, MSF second and us third, but obviously we did not do so well against Atlantis.
Vie: Looking at the EU Masters, which teams would you say look the strongest? Any predictions on who will take the whole thing?
Orome: I’d say MAD Lions and GamersOrigin are definitely the favourites to win the tournament. Personally, I prefer GO over MAD because I love their aggressive style.
Vie: EU Masters so far showcased a lot of new, young talents. If you had to guess, who you’d say are the most likely ones to move up to LCS soon?
Orome: I think Tynx [of GamersOrigin] and Milica [of KlikTech] are the two stars of the tournament. I don’t see anyone else performing to their level.
Vie: So far your journey through the tournament wasn’t too successful and there’s some talk about you guys not getting enough practice before the event, not to mention you joining the lineup just a few days ago. What’s the story behind that?
Orome: Basically, the roster was decided after UK league ended, which was 1 week before the tournament. The team’s performance in the UK wasn’t up to expectations and we kind of broke down because of it. One week was not enough to fix the issues we had. Personally, I don’t think any player should be judged based on how this team performed given so little practice time.
Vie: It’s not just you guys, UK hasn’t been doing well in general. How do you feel about the current state of the region?
Orome: In my opinion, UK league is not very good, I’ve scrimmed the teams there with our Balkan / Italian roster and we had really good results. I don’t know the exact reason for this though, maybe lack of players.
Vie: Even though this is more of a grudge match for you than anything else, today you’ll face Millenium. What do you think of them? How far do you think they’ll go?
Orome: In my opinion people overestimate Millenium, I think there are a lot of better teams in this tournament. I think they will go as far as semis if they get an easy quarter but I don’t see them advancing to the finals.
Vie: You’ll be going head to head with one of the most experienced toplaners in the whole tournament tonight — Satorius. Walk us through your state of mind going into this game. How are you preparing for the match?
Orome: It’s pretty clear to me that this game does not really matter for the standings so I will try to just pick an entertaining champion and do my best.
Vie: KlikTech became somewhat of a mystery this tournament. They win against every team they face and yet it’s still hard to estimate what they are really capable of. What’s the deal with them? Are they running on borrowed time or are they the real deal?
Orome: Since I come from the Balkan region KlikTech isn’t really a mystery to me as I’ve been playing against them for a good amount of time. I think their best asset is preparation. Their drafts are almost always optimal, and the players are versatile enough to play any style they need. That makes them really unpredictable from a drafting point of view. I would give them a 40% chance to win against the best teams in the tournament ( GO and MAD ).
Vie: Thanks for your time, Orome. Any shoutouts?
Orome: I’d like to give a shoutout to KlikTech for representing the Balkan region so well.
Wind and Rain play their final game in the European Masters tonight, 21:00 CEST against Millenium.