Misfits Gaming have taken over the European LCS Summer Split in the first three weeks of action, signalling their return at the forefront. Following their last game, Cybersport.com sat down with the team’s resident artist and AD carry — yes, AD carry — Steven "Hans sama" Liv, who has been with Misfits since they reached the Challenger Series in the 2016 summer split.
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We're here alongside Hans Sama, AD carry — actually, yes! AD carry for Misfits Gaming, one of the few I can say "AD carry" about in this meta. Tell me something about that!
I might be fighting for the AD carries, but I heard about Patch 8.13, and I guess some ADs will not really be playable. I'm not going to tell what I'm practising, but if I need to be flexible, I will have to play what everyone plays. But since it turns out that AD carries are working well for us, I'm just going to keep playing what is the right fit for the team.
I looked at the patch and I saw red when I saw the Rageblade nerfs in particular.
The Rageblade nerf is huge for the people who are doing the [funnelling strategy]. That's more of a nerf for G2 Esports, I guess. But, I think that standard play is also good or better than this playstyle. For us, there will be some champions that I will not be able to play that much anymore, like Kai'Sa, Kog'maw, Varus; because there are better champions.
I still have the heart of an AD carry.
I am actually excited to play the week after Rift Rivals. I will have a lot of time to practice other champions if I need to, and I'm just confident that I can play all the things better than the others.
That was it for the gameplay changes. Now, let's talk about the three-year extension you recently signed before franchising even happened. That's a lot of trust you have in Misfits!
I think I made my name through Misfits, to be honest. In the past, I was not that famous. I was a name in the Challenger series where [people said], "This guy is a prodigy!" In the end, I didn't play that great, [didn't meet] everybody's expectations, but I started to make my own name through Misfits. I've always been in good [terms] with the organization, and I know that I can trust them. I've been with this team for more than two years, and there have been a lot of ups and downs, but in the end, we were always on the same page; we want to make Misfits a better organization and a better team. I can see that they're putting their hardest in this organization, so I'll do the same as they do. They helped me a lot to [make my mark], and that's why I'm returning the favour.
That's been since 2016. The context was pretty important when they picked you up after you left Millenium; that must have been pretty important.
[Millenium] picked Tabzz because I had already gone to Misfits. Wasn't that announced? [Millenium had announced that they had picked up Tabzz because Hans Sama could not participate in the promotion tournament — which was true as well — Ed.]
I care [more] about my own playstyle and the process that I'm going through, which is to improve on my weaknesses. Any weaknesses that I see, I want to turn them into strengths, and that's what I've been doing since the beginning. Although I didn't notice that I needed to play more of the other champions, I didn't see this patch coming, with everybody playing other picks. I still have the heart of an AD carry, but I'm confident that I can play other champions in the same role.
Мaybe being in the LCS helps you grow up more than you would at school.
A lot of people your age go through either high school or university, but you went through the LCS. That's a pretty unique way of growing up, in my opinion, and I want to know your perspective.
I'm not sure, but maybe being in the LCS helps you grow up more than you would at school. Maybe that's only me; when I was at school, I was the shy type, and I wouldn't talk to a lot of people. I was in my own world, watching mangas and anime and playing [League of Legends].
The LCS environment leads me to know more about people, to know more about how to be a better person and a better teammate. People don't think that it's something that you need for a team to be successful, but I think it's something you need; you always need to be consistent and positive, even though you're going through a losing streak. You also need to [set] goals.
You talked about anime and manga, and I'm tempted to let you tell me about which artists you looked up to when drawing.
I don't take any inspiration; mangas gave me the motivation to draw back then. Every time I see a drawing or an anime, I just want to create a story by myself. Even though I'm not drawing that much in the LCS, I still have the passion to watch mangas and, automatically, that helps me improve my drawing style, even though I'm not drawing. I'm just thinking about it, and that's the way that I improve.
I can relate it to League of Legends; when I was 11-14 years old, I was at school and I didn't have [as much time] as I have now to play League, but I always had the passion to play League. I couldn't wait to go back home and play LoL, and I was always thinking throughout the day [about the game. For example], "Tryndamere was really fun to play! I really want to play him again." It's that passion that made me go this far.
Also, back then, my brother and his friends had a higher rank than me, and I sort of had that motivation: when I know close friends that are better than me, I want to beat them, be [better] than them.
Playing a lot or drawing a lot doesn't mean that you will improve faster; having a healthy schedule, a healthy life, doing some [side] activities help more than playing or drawing 24/7. I had a lot of thoughts about it, and I was the type of guy who, when things went wrong, forced himself to play more, even though sometimes I didn't want to. On the other [hand], I don't think I would get as much knowledge or confidence by playing three perfect games in a day, but that's also motivation.
Sometimes, you go to Korea for a bootcamp, you play 20 games a day, and you learn a lot because you have the motivation to do so. For me, when I don't have the motivation, I don't think I should force myself, and I should have a healthier lifestyle to improve [in a] better [way]. That's the same for drawing.
Just thinking about it makes me feel excited about it.
I can understand that, and I spoke to other people about it. When someone overplays something, their life and mood vary according to how solo queue and scrims went, and they will feel negative if things don't go well when they don't have anything on the side. That also impacts how they love the game; they'd take a break only to realize that they still love the game very much still. Do you feel there is any value in what I said?
Yeah. That is what I meant. There are also some days where you just feel like playing all day. Even though you lose, just go for it if you are motivated. That is what makes you improve the most. People call a guy who is good at the game a "prodigy" but I think it's just someone who has a lot of passion for the game. Or maybe for drawing; the guy just took time to improve his skills, and that's really impressive. I want to be this artist.
I feel that, although there are other topics we could talk about, this would be a pretty strong closing point. But if you have anything to add as far as being an artist and a player, feel free to do so.
My goal is still, [in parallel with my] League [career] or after, to create stories or draw mangas. Right now, I'm thinking, What if I would draw the Misfits story? I have been with Misfits since the beginning, maybe I could draw a story that would make people read it and understand our life. It's interesting; if you read a manga about this or about your favourite team, it'd be incredible. I'm thinking, "Should I go for it?"
I would read. And I was thinking: there are those Misfit Stories [player videos by Misfits Gaming — Ed.]; how about producing and learning how anime shows are produced by taking on your own story in that format? I feel it would be interesting!
I feel I would need a lot of help! I'm just one person; maybe I could get help from my owner, or my manager, or the past players — [ask them] how they felt. That would help me a lot. It would be exciting if I started making a Misfits manga if I can improve my schedule. I think my schedule is getting better day by day, but it isn't nearly perfect. If it improves, I could draw for one hour per day because I have the passion for it; in three years, maybe I could finish a chapter or two. Just thinking about it makes me feel excited about it.
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Although we do not expect Misfits Gaming to have short turnarounds on anime-style movies (assuming the reverse would be madness), we do expect them to be there or be square for the return of the EU LCS on Jul. 13 and 14 as they take on fellow undefeated squad G2 Esports and the lethally creative Team Vitality.
More EU LCS Summer interviews
— Kold: "[This year], I'm the best version of myself that I've been in years."
— Sheepy: "I like authenticity and building upon people's beliefs and goals."
— Totoro: "It's too hard on the bottom lane because we have no clue what [the opponents] will pick."
— Memento, Norskeren, Profit & Blanc: ROCCAT's bootcamp adventures