The final game of the 2016 League of Legends World Championship quarterfinal round was played on Sunday between the EULCS’s H2K and the International Wildcard team Albus NoX Luna.
H2K has been absolutely dominant in this tournament since the second week and quarterfinals looked no different for them, as they took down ANX in only three games. After the series, the Rift Herald had a chance to sit down with series MVP Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu to talk about his Jayce play, Ryu memes, and what an H2K Rammus skin might look like.
Ryan Gilliam: You did so well on that Jayce pick tonight, why do you think they didn’t ban it away from you in game two and game three? What was going through your mind when you got to pick that champion three games in a row?
Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu: I kind of expected them to ban it at least in the second game, but as the games went on and I kept getting the same pick and the same match-up I kind of felt a bit of pressure to do better than before, and I think I did fine in that aspect. But I don’t know, I expected them to just ban Jayce and at one point just ban the two or three tops, and I would be forced into something a little off-meta, not so lane dominant but I don’t know. When I got it once every game I pretty happy about it.
Ryan: After that dominant performance, do you expect not to be able to play Jayce coming up in the Semis?
Odoamne: I think it will still be open, maybe be more contested and I think drafting against Samsung is going to be a lot different. We maybe won’t be able to afford to just go for first pick Jayce. Given that they might just ban something and have different priorities in champ select. But I think the first-pick Jayce worked fine against Albus NoX, but it might not work so well against Samsung. But, maybe if they ban it I wouldn’t really be upset about it. I think it might just be left open. I think they will just find a way to play around it maybe.
Ryan: When looking out on going up against CuVee next week, what does that match up look like for you in your opinion?
Odoamne: I met him once in Korean solo queue and it went pretty fine for me. He is probably the best top laner I will face at this tournament so far, and it’s not going to be that much of an easy task. But I am really confident that I can play well and get an early game lead and do really well against him in lane.
Ryan: As the only Western team going into the semifinals what is the pressure like on your team?
Odoamne: To be honest, I don’t really feel pressure at all. Probably, the most I felt pressure was in group stage when we were down 1-2. Yeah, that was the most pressure there has been. My mindset is like, I just go into the games. Whenever I go into the game and I don’t care about the outcome I play a lot better, so I just try to keep my mind in that zone pretty much. Even though I would really like to win, I think it is best if I just go in and I just play.
Austen Goslin: Speaking of group stages, what exactly changed for you guys between week one and week two?
Odoamne: Thing is, in week one against ahq we threw a huge lead at like 15 minutes. In that game pretty much, we were snowballing really hard then we just did a mistake and they just had an advantage over us and they just kept rolling with it. Then we dragged the game out and we kind of did a mistake. And against EDG we failed level 1 on botlane and me and Jankos failed the 2v2 on the toplane. So, against EDG we lost early game and against ahq we made a mistake and that lost us the snowball. So I wouldn’t really say a lot changed. I think we play a lot cleaner, we play more with our jungler and more with, like, where our pressure should be. I just think we are not making mistakes like we did in week 1, so I think that is what helped us out in week 2 in the groups.
Ryan: Having been with H2K since 2014 what has it been like to watch this team grow into a team that’s now contesting in semifinals?
Odoamne: It’s been tough. When we went into LCS first time we had Febiven and then he left for Fnatic so that kind of sucked. The roster back when we first played in LCS did much better than I expected. I expected us to be middle of the table, and then we got third two times and got to Worlds in my first year as a pro, that was like really good. With this roster, I had huge expectations because we pretty much drafted the roster to be the best in every position. And we just had those weeks in playoffs this year, both Spring and Summer, we just were in a bad form when it mattered. So it cost us a lot. But I am really happy and I am really proud of this roster because we got so far and I think we are like the highest ceiling of any European team and I think we are hitting that right now. I think we are kind of hitting it now. I think we are playing a lot better than we ever played before. I think most of our issues and overcoming them were trying to work around it. It feels really nice knowing that our roster used to be weaker and we just kept progressing every day.
Ryan: In the past you had FORG1VEN on your team for a little while and he left and came back. How do you think he grew as a player and how do you think the team grew without him that allowed him to come back?
Odoamne: I don’t really know because when he left we kinda started playing with Freeze and it was like completely different. We had like a different play style we were more team-oriented and more about rotations and stuff, and we just had like poor execution. But once he came back it just felt like everything clicked again and I think his time on Origen helped him realize things. And I think it helped him, I don’t know. I don’t know if mature is a good word, but it helped him like appreciate us more. Once he saw how Origen was and he came back to us and everything clicked again I think it made him a lot better.
Ryan: So you feel like he became a better teammate, or team player, when he was on Origen?
Odoamne: That changed going H2K to Origen and back. I think it just made us all mature more and just accept each other. Even before he left for Origen there weren’t really like issues or whatever, but things just got better.
Ryan: Prolly has been the coach of H2K for a similar amount of time as you have been on there. How instrumental do you think he is in his coaching to you guy’s success?
Odoamne: He was new to coaching when we first got him and he still doesn’t really have experience. Sometimes the way he coached wasn’t the most proper, but it was like a learning experience for all of us. There were times where I felt like he might have been sub-optimal but in the long run he was always great. I think he just kept getting better and better.
Ryan: How does it feel to exit this series, the last of the quarterfinals, and be named player of the series?
Odoamne: Was I?
Odoamne: That’s cool I guess. I personally feel like I played better than I did so far, so it doesn’t really surprise me. But I feel like everyone on our team played really well. It might have equally went to Ryu and Jankos even, or even Vander I think played really well today. But I’m definitely happy, I think it’s just like recognition for the work I’ve put in so far and I’m really proud of it.
Ryan: You were talking about how you found a lot of success in your first year as a pro player. What was it like then in 2015 when such a legendary midlaner as Ryu came in and joined your team?
Odoamne: It was so funny cause we just split out of promotion tournament, cause it was like the expansion thing. So we did the promotion tournament there and we won. We knew that Febiven was going to leave already, we knew before the games the Febiven was going to leave to Fnatic.
Then Ryu was, like, randomly playing with Roccat for IEM, he wasn’t signed to any LCS team and he just played on Millennium and had that really rough patch, like the team failing to qualify and stuff. When I learned that he was going to play with us it was kind of like weird. I was still kind of like a kid back then and I was like watching the Faker-Ryu meme and I was laughing at it cause Ryu got outplayed hard.
But when I got to play with him it was really weird, cause I felt like that guy just came from being one of the best in the world at his thing in Korea on one of the best teams. Just randomly coming to play with H2K I felt like I didn’t want to disappoint him, I just wanted to impress him because he was just like kind of a god for me you know? It was really weird and funny.
Ryan: Do you and your teammates still make fun of him for the Ryu Zed meme?
Odoamne: We don’t really make fun of it anymore because he doesn’t really get triggered anymore. At one point, what was it? Me and Loulex. we had Ryu’s face wallpaper, you know after he got outplayed, on our desktop? So he would just look at us, like the ‘Ryu Face,’ and he would be like, “what the fuck?”
We laugh about it. He doesn’t get annoyed by it, he always just rolls with it. We made fun and he kind of rolled with it because it was funny. But he didn’t really care, you know, if you made fun of him. At first we were like, doing it in secret, but then we were like, “fuck he can’t see it.” At one point one of us did it in front of him and he just looked at us and was like “why are you doing this,” but it’s funny.
Now we joke around it, and he says that the game was over and he didn’t really care cause the enemy team was stomping them. So he just went there randomly thinking it was a free win. And he said that Faker only went in cause he had qss. It’s funny we just laugh about it, but he doesn’t get mad he just rolls with it.
Ryan: I have one more question for you, before I let you go and celebrate. If H2K go all the way and win worlds this year. Who would you want your championship skin to be for? And can you describe it for me?
Odoamne: Oh man. Me and my team were memeing and like making fun of it, that I wanted Rammus to be my champion. And you know his quote is like “okay,” like he just says Okay? Well the quote for the Rammus skin would be like “H2 what? H2K,” and it would just keep going like this. Those would be the only two voice lines he would have. On a serious note though, I don’t know, I don’t really think about it. All the top champs are so cool right now. I don’t know, maybe Jayce or Kennen. Probably Kennen. To be honest i wouldn’t mind anything all the champions I play I like them equally as much. Kennen maybe because I think Kennen has been maybe my best champion so far this tournament excluding the Jayce games today.