Russian champions Albus NoX Luna pulled off arguably the biggest upset in League of Legends history Thursday, taking down Korean champions ROX Tigers in the group stages of Worlds. Albus NoX and ROX are the two Group A teams that will be advancing to the quarterfinal round, making ANX the first Wildcard team to ever make it out of the group stages of the tournament.
After the game, The Rift Herald was able to catch up with Albus NoX Luna jungler Alexander "PvPStejos" Glazkov. A full transcript is below the interview.
Christopher “chhopsky” Pollock: Hey everyone! I’m Chris, from Rift Herald, otherwise known as chhopsky. I am here with Albus NoX Luna’s PVPStejos. Am I saying that right?
Alexander "PvPStejos" Glazkov: Yes, but Russian casters call me “Стажер” (intern) -- without experience.
chhopsky: Yeah! Because you’re reasonably fresh in the jungle role, and you’ve proved this week that you can mix it with the best in the world. Is that a strange experience for you or have you migrated through the roles over the years?
PVPStejos: It’s my first year playing jungle. Before that I was playing top lane and before that I was playing AD Carry, so like for the first year of jungle I feel myself pretty successful.
I can say that I was really impressed with like the early game of like EU and NA junglers, because G2 and CLG are like really good teams and I actually would like said G2 better than CLG across all the results, because like playing versus G2 is always very hard mechanically. You need to hold the pressure and understand that these guys can outplay you.
Versus CLG, they are more like team-play oriented team, that you are not afraid before you go to the objectives. So you are afraid to win the team fight, but you aren’t afraid to get caught or maybe to die in the lanes or something. So, my expectations from Korean teams are fully agreed, because like ROX Tigers are insanely good opponents, they are mechanically very hard and sometimes even dodging their spells or outplaying them in some cases was an insane experience.
chhopsky: So that game with ROX Tigers was probably one of the best games of League of Legends I’ve seen in a really long time, it was an absolute mind-blowing thing to watch. How was your plan going into that, and how did it change over the course of this 70-minute epic?
PVPStejos: Ok, well our plan was, well I think actually some teams may even take our ban phase from those games, because I think actually you need to ban Kennen and Rumble vs. ROX, because Smeb is just winning games on these champions, and we got these two bans, we removed Sivir, I don’t know, some of our internal issues [laughs], we have like 25 or something bans of Sivir and one pick, and one loss to Sivir at the moment. For me, I knew that if I get Nidalee, I can impact the game really hard and I will have even some pressure to carry it in some moments, and I think that I did good.
chhopsky: Yeah, I definitely agree. You guys all played out of your mind, and it was really incredible as the game wound on how you kept taking small incremental steps and pushing them back further and further, you know, they didn’t take a tower until almost 40 minutes. Did you ever feel that the game was out of control?
PVPStejos: Well, we had some issues in late-game teamfighting because I think that their combo, if they would have towers on their base, we would lose the game. But they didn’t have, because they took two Barons, they took Elder Drake. And we were outplaying them sometimes with macro by pressuring, by finally taking it at Baron with this whole big minion wave, and Taric, like the main minion of this wave, like the king of the winions, but it was insane, it was insanely hard to close out the game against ROX Tigers.
chhopsky: Yeah, it looked it. But the entire crowd was cheering for you, the press room was cheering for you, Twitter was going nuts for it, I think that you’ve earned the respect for the Wildcard regions that it didn’t have before, and as a Wildcard native myself, thank you for doing that, you’ve made history here today, and I’m sure that, yeah, you guys have already exceed expectations, we can’t wait to see how far you go, so thank you.