G2 Esports’ League of Legends Worlds 2022 campaign has certainly gotten off to a shaky start. The blushes from defeats to DWG KIA and JD Gaming in the first round-robin of the Group Stage have only been spared by a victory over Evil Geniuses.
However, with a former world champion and one of the teams favoured to win the entire tournament in its group, it’s not surprising that the LEC second seed has had a rough time of things.
Now on the back foot, G2 desperately needs to make it happen in the second half of the Group Stage should it wish to see more of the States than just New York. Despite pressure mounting, G2 botlaner Victor ‘Flakked’ Lirola remains certain that there’s enough fight left in the Samurais to turn things around at LoL Worlds 2022.
During an interview conducted at the end of the JDG game, Flakked talks to The Loadout about the Seraphine/Yuumi matchup, the nerves G2 has been dealing with on-stage, and his intense schedule that is driven by the needs of an incredibly diverse meta.
The Loadout: Flakked, commiserations on the defeat today. I just wanted to start by getting your thoughts on the Seraphine into Yuumi lane you guys played, because usually you see teams opting into stuff like Lucian/Nami or Rell/Tristana that have more kill threat into the cat.
Flakked: Usually when you play Seraphine into Yuumi it’s kind of a handshake lane. Both teams should be even in the laning phase and look to play in teamfights and outheal, especially now that Yuumi goes Ludens [Tempest] with more of a poke build. Basically, you want to stay safe in lane, scale, then go into teamfights and be the better enchanter.
Now 4-0 in groups, it feels like Yuumi is becoming a bit of a problem again. Obviously it has its counters, but for you as a botlaner how is it playing with this champion in your games right now?
Yeah I don’t like playing with or against the champion. I think it’s pretty boring, and depending on the meta the champion can be really strong, and if Yuumi’s strong it’s a disgusting experience. But right now I don’t think the champion’s broken, or has no answers. I think today we had a really good answer, but we kinda griefed it.
In what ways did you feel that you didn’t quite play out the game how you wanted to?
I would say in lane we made bad decisions on when to fight. In the first fight they had a level advantage on Yuumi and we went in, then the second time we got ganked. But later on we were chilling, even though Sivir got a bit accelerated.
Today I think the pressure got to us, especially in late game teamfights. I think in the last two teamfights I was mega split from my team, and then in the last teamfight it was me and Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé on one side of the wall, and the others on the other side when usually you want to stay grouped when playing champions like Seraphine – we didn’t play teamfights properly.
Talking about pressure. When you’re playing against these top, top teams, how much do these games come down to the mental battle as much as other factors like the draft?
[For today] I don’t think we were choking or anything, but we were nervous. I don’t think it was a case of us not knowing what to do, but we were just a bit slow making decisions. Later on when the Sivir was really fed I could feel we were pretty nervous, but even though the game was not looking the best, I think we still messed up a bit.
Thank you for your honesty. Stepping away from the game and hopefully towards happier moments, how has your time in New York been in general so far? Have you had a chance to explore, or has it all been work, work, work?
We went out some days, but not for long. The times we left were usually to get coffee or have lunch somewhere. But it’s a really nice place, it’s really cool. There are some crazy stories people could tell, like some of the people are really crazy here, and there’s sometimes a lot of weird stuff going on. But it’s really beautiful.
So what’s your schedule been like then if you haven’t really had a chance to do much in the city?
Our schedule is very tight. Between meetings, scrims, Champions Queue, and other stuff we don’t have much time to do anything.
Thinking about all the intense scrimming and Champions Queue practice you’ve been getting, what have been the biggest things you’ve learned as a player from this process so far?
What I’ve learned the most is how to play a lot of lanes, because there’s a lot of new matchups, especially when you mix all the metas. Some regions prefer to play scaling, some prefer to play really aggro in lane, and then depending on the team there’s different stuff there too.
I also think we are learning to deal with extra pressure, because even though we played in the LEC Finals both times and went to MSI Semifinals, Worlds just hits different, and we are still trying to find ‘us’ in-game when we go on stage.
It sounds to me like you’re absorbing a lot of information on so many different matchups in a very short space of time. How are you going about that?
I mean when we find a new matchup, or a matchup we feel like we misplayed, me and Targou usually talk to each other or talk to Dylan [Falco] to come up with the solution. We also watch games from other regions when they’re playing so we can learn what they do in specific lanes.
Last but not least, I would like to get some general reflections from you on how you feel the first round-robin has gone overall.
Of course, we are 1-2 and this isn’t the desired result for us. I still think we need to transition how we play in scrims onto the stage – in scrims we play way differently, and way more confidently, while on stage we’re a bit shaky.
Even though right now the mood is not the best, I’m sure that starting from tomorrow we’re gonna tryhard for our lives, and do everything we can to show up with a better face on Friday.
And on Friday, October 14, you’ll be able to see Flakked and G2 return to action when they take on Evil Geniuses.