This interview was conducted and edited by Kenzo "MEME REVIEW" Jeanson [2018 Marketing (Publications) Subcommittee] with the 2018 Sydney Battlegrounds Champions from UNSW: "Add ozo if u r e-girl" after their thrilling 3-2 victory over WSU1.
Photography by Stephen "PHANSCENETH" Chan [2018 Marketing (Media) Subcommittee].
How did you guys feel before the series, and how did the series go to your expectations?
XternalRageX: We felt confident of course. Anyone should before a game - once you play without confidence you're just playing to lose. Everyone expects themselves to win, and we're no different. To be honest, we thought this series would only go to 4 games, but definitely can't complain about the final result!
How did you guys prepare for this series?
XternalRageX: We put quite a bit of time into preparing for this. From scrimming Dire Cubs, talking to our analyst Kathy (shoutout again to Kathy for being a great analyst) and scrimming other OOL/OCS teams, we were able to significantly improve our early game. We were all good friends before the tournament, so it was really easy to just play together. When the practice environment is good, it's a lot more motivating to play and improve!
After a crushing defeat in game 4, tying up the series to a painstaking 2-2, how was the team mentality affected? Did you feel like you were able to recover?
XternalRageX: We always knew we had the better early game. It was about resetting our minds and not letting the past games affect us. For the people who watched the game, you can see that we used our 15 minute break to its fullest. During those crucial 15 minutes, we discussed what went wrong, what they did well and identified their main reasons for winning game 4. Then it was simply incorporating it into our picks and bans, and you could see that we changed our strategy by first picking Sejuani in game 5!
So Ozo, you convincingly won every matchup in each of the 5 games. In a series with boring matchups like game 5’s Jax vs Malphite, you still managed to make toplane very exciting to watch. Many of the discord spectators were voting you as series MVP! What do you feel contributed best to your success?
Ozo1329: As a former top lane main back the in days of season 3 when bruiser/assassin meta was around, my forte is definitely knowing how to play volatile 1v1 matchups and how to split-push effectively. My team allowed me to play to my strengths by consistently applying pressure mid to bot side during the laning phase, and extending this to heavy baron/top-mid side pressure during the mid to late game. Moreover, effective wave control during the laning phase allowed me to accrue a large minion and experience advantage in most games, which made the split-push strategy more effective in the mid-late game. Lastly, our mid-laner's confidence in blind-picking his champion during the draft phase often meant that I was able to last pick a champion that not only counters my lane opponent, but also against the rest of WSU' line-up. This allowed me to have an easier time at all stages of the game against their team. Flash is also indeed, a great summoner spell.
Morale, as the jungler, you are the creator and facilitator of team plays. How did you feel the internal communications between your team was?
Morale: I felt that at first our internal communications was a bit lacking as some people did not speak up when they needed to. However, through scrims and team discussions, we managed to improve our team communication as each member would speak up and make calls when needed. In the end, I believe our team was strong in internal communications as every decision and opinion was clear and ensured everyone was in sync with every move.
As team captain and shotcaller, it could be said that you had to have an eye on the whole game- your team and the enemy team. Were there any situations where you feel like you had to make a game-changing call?
XternalRageX: One thing that differentiates our team from others is that we started off being really good friends. We don't have a main shotcaller but we do assign roles. For example, Kantos does our rotations and I primarily call teamfights. In a typical game, we are all feeding information to each other and then decide on the best play together. Hence no specific game-changing call was needed. It's a team effort!
Stealthix, you seem to be a big Kai’sa fan, having played her in 4 of the 5 games. What was the team’s justification for the pick?
Stealthix: Kai'sa was a strong pick for us as it was very well suited to our team play style in skirmishes and forced engages. She was a comfortable pick for me despite her nerfs to the laning phase and I was confident I could carry alongside my brethrens.
Kantos, regardless of Victory or Defeat, which game in the series did you, as a support, find the most challenging and why? Were there any games where UWS focused more on vision control/denial or an unfavourable botlane matchup?
Kantos17: Well, game 4 was the most challenging game of the series as WSU drafted stronger lanes and managed to snowball their lead which made the game very difficult for me as Braum, having to be in the front lines against the fed members of the WSU line-up. Game 2 WSU also drafted Rakan/Xayah against our Kai’sa/Tahm Kench which is quite an unfavourable lane matchup for us as it is hard for Tahm to display much aggression in lane against the mobile Rakan. Hence we had to focus on just farming in lane and making plays with Abyssal Voyage mid lane to counter their aggressive Fiora pick.
Do you guys have anything to say to UNSW LoLSoc?
XternalRageX: I've heard a lot of praise about ozo1329 and Kantos17 from the community. I agree, they played amazing but I would like to quickly shoutout both Morale and Stealthix for their performance too. We won as a team and everybody contributed in their own way. Respect to the people who watched all 5 games, it made us winning feel even better. Look forward to us at Unigames this year!