Hey there everyone, welcome to our Worlds 2017 Interview Series. As you may know, we have partnered with Travis Gafford and supported his trip to China to cover the games and get insights from the players. We will be sharing the interviews here along with their transcriptions. Enjoy!
Travis: It’s the first day of Worlds Groups, I’m joined right now by Pobelter with coverage presented by Mobalytics. Pobelter, you guys had such a great start to that game and then unfortunately lost, can you talk to me a little bit and take me through the breakdown of what went down?
Pobelter: We had a good early game and then we got some kills and pushed bot turret, swapped to top lane and then we were at TP disadvantage. So we were thinking of how to deal with that. In the end, I think we played too afraid, all of us. That should have been the part where we pressed our advantage but instead, they took Top turret really easily. That’s something we should be able to hold. We would make good plays, but we were also making mistakes as well. We were getting caught out at some points, I was playing too afraid at some points.
Yeah, f***, I feel like we could have won the game, or at least been in a very favorable position. We had this part around Infernal Drake where we caught them out, and then we went five people to Drake and then you know, we knew the whole time they’re probably going to try Baron guys, they’re going to try Baron, and then we just didn’t… It was a f***ing stupid mistake, there’s no sugarcoating it, and then they just got Baron.
We didn’t expect their Baron speed to be so fast. In retrospect, obviously, it was kind of a bonehead mistake. Usually, that situation is fine to bait them into starting a Baron if my Ryze ulti is up but… I had used it in the fight before to try and clean up the AD, but I got Trist-ulti’d out I think, or I just didn’t take it. I just didn’t factor that into us grouping around Dragon. So that’s how they got Baron. From that point, we just got steamrolled because our Flashes were down and they had Jarvan, so they essentially grouped as five and then ulted us and we just died and they ended.
Travis: I wanted to ask you about the Jarvis situation and specifically about draft. In retrospect, how do you feel about the draft that you guys had? I know oftentimes that Tristana is an interesting pick and response to Jarvan, what do you think?
Pobelter: The draft was really favorable. I think we were in a good position. When Ryze starts to get three or four core items, he becomes insanely strong and then no one can deal with his split-push. As we were verging on that point, that was when we gave up the Baron and then they just were able to close out really easily. So yeah, I mean…it wasn’t really a draft problem just we f***ed up.
Travis: What do you think of your guys’ group and everything? This is obviously the first time I’ve had a chance to talk to you guys since groups were drawn and we started to see how things go. What do you think of the group?
Pobelter: We have to be really careful of every team in our group because I feel like we can beat any team and any team can beat us. It just comes down to who’s going to play better on that day. I mean we just have to…we just have to play well that’s it.
Travis: I did see some of the NA teams around before the event started in the last couple of days, and I feel like I’ve just seen like these very somber quiet looks on everybody’s faces. Maybe I’m just catching you guys at tired times, but it has made me nervous. I’m kind of curious, and I don’t know if you’re talking to the other teams, but how is North America as a whole feeling about its chances at Worlds this year?
Pobelter: I haven’t really been talking with players from other teams like, “Oh, how do you think you guys are going to do in your group?”, or anything. I think everyone is just being really serious and buckling up. The only communication I’ve been having with Jensen or Bjergsen and is like, “What do you think about this match up?”. That kind of stuff.
Travis: How do you feel about the Worlds meta right now? Because I was talking to a Gorilla, who was complaining about the Ardent thing, though he did say he feels like that might give TSM their best chance at winning. What do you think of the world’s number that we have?
Pobelter: From a player’s perspective playing in it, it’s really kind of lame because…yeah I mean Support picks are…like if you want to break the Ardent Censer meta and then just pick like Alistar, Thresh, or something you have to snowball so incredibly hard and play so immaculately that generally, it’s not worth it unless you just execute it super well. So pretty much everyone’s playing these shielding Supports and it just feels really bad sometimes.
If their AD Carry gets too strong, even if you have the perfect engage on them, they’re gonna pop Heal, they’re gonna pop Barrier, Janna is going to use E, pop Redemption, and Locket, and ulti at the same time. So even if you literally somehow ended up all five on their AD Carry, he’s still gonna survive and just kill everyone with Ardent Censer. So as a player it doesn’t feel…well, I guess as a Mid laner – because our team can do that too right? As a Mid laner it feels like I have less impact over the game because it’s very revolved around bot.
But also at the same time, I can win lane and then gank bot and then snowball the game that way. From a viewer perspective, it also probably isn’t that fun watching teams race it out 30 minutes and be like…you know really, it’s like the biggest advantage you can get early game is you get Ardent Censer one base faster than the enemy Support. And then you take turret, you take Dragon, you swap top, and you then you take top turret. And then the enemy Support for will finally get Ardent Censer at that point, and then it’s like, “Alright, it’s time to start the game.”
Travis: Last question, and I know this is less Worlds related but you were one of the few people I saw speak out against, or seemingly against the best-of-one, best-of-three change – and I’m curious, first off your opinion it, and also do you feel like NA has a better chance this year at Worlds because they’ve played best-of-threes? Because that’s the biggest thing I hear about is “international competition” and “best-of-threes help”, and all that kind of stuff, so kind of bringing it all together here at the end.
Pobelter: Yeah absolutely, I think it’s important to have that kind of experience, just like adapting in a series and of course you can do that in playoffs and in scrims, but play on stage is a very different experience because that’s like the real deal you know. No matter how much you practice, what’s onstage it’s going to be different. The reason Riot made the choice was that they figured it wouldn’t be too bad I think and then at the same time, I think they find it necessary for viewership and interest in League.
I can see it too, if you look on Twitch LCS would get like 100-something thousand viewers, before it would easily break 200. It was a long time ago so I don’t remember, but I remember when I was on CLG and we were playing best-of-ones, the viewership was much higher. They’ve they’ve done a lot of research and stuff to make the decision that they’ve made, but I was just speaking from my perspective as a player who’s become really accustomed to playing best-of-three. They feel really fulfilling when you win. It feels like to go back to best-of-one’s, it’s going to be like, “Okay, well we won”, but…
Travis: It doesn’t have the same sense of accomplishment?
Pobelter: Yeah absolutely.
Travis: Well at the very end here, is there anything that you would like to say to any of the NA fans?
Pobelter: We’re out here in Wuhan, China and we’ve all been practicing really really hard to try and make all the NA fans proud and just do our best for us as well. We hope you guys keep supporting us. Thank you.