Filipe "Yang" Zhao is the top laner for Wildcard team from Brazil, INTZ. The team has previously been criticized for arrogance coming into international tournaments, but this year, they refused to even flash their team logo as they pushed EDG, a team many consider to be the best in the world, around like they owned the joint in an historic upset. We chatted afterwards to find out how he felt going into the match.
Christopher "chhopsky" Pollock: As an Australian, and a member of a Wildcard region, thank you for winning this game; you've done us all proud. As a Gnar main (myself), that was some of the best Gnar play I've seen in a very long time. Is Gnar something you've been playing for a very long time, or something that you've come back to as he's come back into the meta?
Filipe "Yang" Zhao: Thank you very much. Gnar is a champion that I played a lot about two years ago, but he got a lot of nerfs and got out of meta, so I stopped playing him for a while. But then he got his buffs back, and it was doable again, and I playing it a little in Solo Queue. And I was really excited that he was back. But I could say that mechanically speaking, Gnar is one of my best champions.
Chhopsky: Were you confident about the match-up going into Irelia? Or was that something that you and the team thought you could mechanically handle Mouse.
Filipe "Yang" Zhao: I'm used to this matchup, in Brazil I play a lot of this matchup because the top players in Brazil really like Irelia, however, I believe that in this matchup Gnar is always ahead, and if Irelia doesn't get one kill with the help of somebody or solo kills Gnar, he's just going to be ahead the entire match. I couldn't quite understand this pick and I think this pick wasn't that good.
Chhopsky: Interesting. Your synergy with Revolta was incredible. Is that something -- Gnar and Lee Sin -- that you guys have played a lot of together, or are you both just so familiar with those champions that you could work together to pull off these amazing combos?
Filipe "Yang" Zhao: I've played a lot with Revolta, but in the beginning I wouldn't talk too much to him in match, like ask too much for help or say 'come now and we can really do this' or communicate the right way, and we started communicating even more, so we had already been playing a lot together, but when we started communicating more inside the game I really felt that our game stepped up a lot.
Chhopsky: Yes, you can tell your communication was very good. Well, on behalf of Rift Herald, I would like to award you with this Worlds' first Titanium Spork Award. It is something we give out to the player who gets the most fed, so we'll get that to you.
Filipe "Yang" Zhao: Oh, thank you. It's like something like MVP?
Chhopsky: Yes! You solo-killed Clearlove, just, brilliant.
Chhopsky will be covering the group stages for The Rift Herald in San Francsico. You can follow along on Snapchat.
Special thanks to Guilherme Arten-Meyer of SplitPush.net for Portuguese translation.