Martin "Rekkles" Larsson went from being one of Fnatic’s most valuable assets to riding the bench following meta changes that affected his position, then called “AD carry.” The bot lane has since become grounds for experimentation for champions other than traditional marksmen picks, impacting his career prospects in the short term.
Independent content creator Travis Gafford spoke to Rekkles as he watched the games from the sidelines. From a lengthy 28-minute conversation, we looked at the situation leading to his benching (which only encapsulates the first seven minutes).
Why he benched himself
The main reason is because of the meta. The champions that are the strongest [in the bot lane] are not the champions that I played before, [but] are champions that Bwipo plays consistently, so we thought that it was better for the team if Bwipo plays rather than me. Instead of having issues with 10 champions and how to implement them in the game, the only issue we have now is the synergy between Hylissang and Bwipo, which is a very easy fix to the one that I will have.
We hoped that Riot would fix it, but there have been two patches and a mini-patch, and they haven't really done what I considered [the actions] needed to be done. It's a bit stressful, because I feel like, even though I am part of the team, I'm not really. I'm there, you know, but I'm not really there, and I don't feel like I'm valuable anymore. I can jump in on discussions and give my take on the macro, but there isn't much macro involved. I can [do the same on] matchups, but the matchups aren't the same that I play. I feel, in a way, that I'm in the way, and I don't want to bother them too much.
Widening his champion pool
Two or three days ago, I made a change to play some new champions in the bot lane, because I saw the mini-patch for 8.13, and they said that they're holding off the next patch for another two weeks. I realized that I can't continue playing AD carries, because at this rate they might not even be back for Worlds. I have been trying ever since to learn Swain, Yasuo, Irelia if I can get my hands on her, maybe some Ryze, some Vladimir. Maybe I will see some stage time again, but [the way] it looks right now, I'll be riding the bench.
AD Carry’s relevance in the current meta
We have completely given up on playing AD carry bot lane, and the only idea we have right now is potentially playing me for a funnel game, or me for the RNG style where I go into a side lane for a good matchup and get some impact from there. How it looks right now is: playing AD carry looks kind of int, and we prefer not having one.
It's not that great, obviously. I still want to be around, so I don't feel like: "I just go home, and if AD carries come back, just give me a call." I know them, it's going to be really hard to come back into the team, so I need to stay in a way. I need to show my face, be there every day with them, so that if by any means [AD carry] comes back, it's a smooth transition. It's very stressful, but what can I do? Honestly, it's out of my control.
His thoughts about the changes, and their impact on lifetime AD Carry players
I actually think it's pretty cool, the way [Riot] changed the game. It's not like I'm sitting out for no reason, I actually believe that AD carries are not the way to go right now, but I don't mean that Riot should fix it back, because I think it's a lot of fun to play the other stuff. It's just really hard for an AD carry player who tried to perfect the role in the very few champions that have been shown over the years to go from this to 10 new champions, and be good at them instantly. That's impossible to ask for any player, especially for us AD carry players. We've always been tunnel-visioned on what we need to do to win the game. It's kind of the wrong role to make the change for.
You can watch the full interview on the video down below:
As Rekkles keeps practicing new picks, his team takes on fellow Rift Rivals attendees Splyce and on the wild Team ROCCAT on Jul. 13 and 14 respectively. Stay tuned to the 2018 EU LCS Summer Split by visiting the hub!