Vitality have been winning big lately, so it's little wonder that they're also talking big. To get an idea of just how big, we sat down with Jakub "Jactroll" Skurzyński, and let it all fly. Despite dodging some of our questions, he left no doubt about the wave of confidence the team it riding right now.
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Look before we even begin I'm just going to get straight to it… Ziggs? I mean before we can even start talking about anything else, you're going to have to walk me through that one.
Honestly, all I can say is that we are geniuses. I'm not really allowed to tell you anything else. We were very clear when we made this plan, nobody could be told exactly what we were hoping to achieve because we plan on doing it again, and we have several other pocket-picks that play to similar strengths. So if I were to explain how it works I'd be throwing all that away. All I can say is that we are clearly macro geniuses. We're obviously ahead of everybody in individual skill, so I would be afraid if I were the enemy teams.
Alright, I see where this interview's going, it's not quite what I had in mind but sure I'll play your game.
Right, so if you're not going to tell me I'm just going to guess. Would I be right to assume that at least some of the planning for this particular composition, was to poke them so hard out of lane that they never got to the bit where you stop scaling and they start?
Well, I mean, isn't that the point of every composition? League of Legends is a game about pushing lanes. So sure, in that light you're right, this was a conversation about pushing. But that's all you’ll get from me.
Honestly, I just feel bad for the other teams, because it's clear that they don't have that creativity going on for them right now.
You're not going to make this easy for me, are you? Alright then, I will try a different angle. Did that game we just saw mean that we're slowly getting past the “only scaling for late” meta? Is playing for early and mid becoming viable again? Is this a sign of things to come?
Most of the teams in the European LCS are just copying the Korean teams. That's why everybody is going to late all the time. Apart from our game yesterday against ROCCAT, most of our games have finished that around 30-35 minutes. So it doesn't have to be late-scaling always, it just depends on how you choose to play the game. I also think it proves that we are one or two steps ahead of everyone else right now. We're reading the meta better.
Honestly, I just feel bad for the other teams, because it's clear that they don't have that creativity going on for them right now. So they just copy pasting what Korea does. As long as they insist on doing that they won't catch up with us because we have a lot of ideas that go beyond this.
That's kind of interesting because if you look at Europe and North America right now, it seems the general consensus is that everybody goes for late scale. There's no western Khan. No one is going aggro early. In China stopwatches and aggressive tool, in the west, it's a defensive tool. While it might not be as interesting to watch isn't everyone doing it because it's, well… best? I mean surely everybody is playing safe because it works?
No, it's because most teams aren't good enough at punishing it. But we are, which is why they can't go full late game against us. It doesn't work and we even saw that today vs. Splyce, they're just going to get dismantled. I just feel bad for them, because when they try that, they can't do anything. I mean Splyce as a team are like, “Alright, everybody, let's just go for late because we can't play for early”. But come on guys, we are team fighting elites, you can’t fight us like that. If you try, it’s over before it even begins, which we saw.
Hah, this is bloody perfect! Right, OK, so patch 8.3 doesn’t really look like it’s going to change anything. There are some small Azir nerfs, and some Ryze nerfs, and not enough Zoe nerfs, so it doesn’t look like this will be the patch that changes things. But 8.4 has AP changes everywhere. What is your take on these? Are they just trying to buff mid and get the damage going again, is this an anti-tank kind of gambit or what's Riot playing at here?
I think they're just trying to get Faker ready for Worlds again. SK Telecom T1 are playing really bad right now so if they just buff mid again, maybe Faker can carry. I mean he's the only person on that team performing well right now so if they want them to go to Worlds they're going to have to buff him somehow. That's my take on it anyway.
Alright, I give up... How do you feel about the support changes then? You know where they removed all these various quests and then just rolled sightstone into it instead? Do you think that gives you more or less options than you have before?
I think it's a very good move because it allows you to play more champions right now. It really helps a lot of them, that you can get faster power spikes because you no longer have to spend a lot of gold on sightstone. I think it opens the door to much more diverse play and it allows people to be more creative instead of just always picking the same two or three different champions who don't need items to work.
I don't think there's anyone in Europe that can stop us.
Fair enough. One last one before I send you off: Which of the teams right now do you think stand the best chance of challenging you?
Hmh. Yesterday's game was really bad, but it was because we went into it with a rough mindset and we fixed that in time for today, so if we face people with that current mindset, I don't think there's anyone in Europe that can stop us. Even worse for them if we keep improving like we currently are and can keep up the current work ethic then I don't see how we can lose the spring split. We just so far ahead in the meta right now compared to everyone else.
Nah man, I’m not letting you off with that one. You gotta pick one. If you don’t think anyone will beat you, who will get closest?
That's hard to say. I don't really view any of the teams in a vacuum, so it's hard to say who will step up on any given day. Look at it like this: we lost the game to Misfits Gaming, but Misfits lost a game to Giants Gaming really heavily, but Giants couldn’t beat us. Fnatic have a lot of really weird games and G2 Esports… I mean, really? If we were Schalke vs. G2 with that gold lead, they would never have had the breathing room to bounce back. So I guess we'll see, but if I really had to pick one from where I sit right now, I guess Fnatic might get the closest if they start playing well. Obviously, we haven't actually played G2 yet, so that's an unknown as well, but we are playing the next week and I'm really looking forward to challenging them… Or, I mean, they can challenge us, because we’re the top dogs right now. We’ll just accept the challenge.
Right now, it seems Vitality aren't at all ready to give up another game and are sitting comfortably at 7-1. Maybe G2 and H2K will change that next week? Tune in for the full EU LCS coverage here to find out.