On the wake of Week 11, six teams qualified to the playoffs: Alliance, Fnatic, Supa Hot Crew, SK Gaming, Millenium, and ROCCAT. The eight participating teams in the final week played fiercely, and it showed even at the bottom of the table. Gambit Gaming, who were on the ropes and had a remote chance to place better than eighth, still managed to pull a stunning 3W-1L Super Week, with a victory against SK Gaming. That performance allowed them to clash against the Copenhagen Wolves for seventh, and the red-star team capped off the season victoriously.
Azubu’s Adel Chouadria was on the scene to report on the LCS as it unfolded, and he was able to interview Gambit Gaming’s support, Edward “EDward” Abgaryan. In it, the Armenian player briefly reflected on his time within the old Gambit, then spoke about Jakub “Kubon” Turewicz’s teamplay. You can read the full transcript down below.
We’re first going to talk about Gambit Gaming with Alexei “Alex Ich” Ichetovkin, the old Gambit that went on a rampage during Season 2 under the Moscow Five name, and on a different rampage during Season 3. I’d like to ask you: What was it like to play with Alex ich?
We made a team at the start of 2011/2012, I don’t remember the exact year. Playing with Alex, Evgeny “Genja” Andryushin and Evgeny “Darien” Mazaev at the time was really good. They were the three people who made the team, then Danil “Diamondprox” Reshetnikov and I joined. For me, [the core three] were like gods in League of Legends; I didn’t play much at a competitive level at the time. Playing with them was super good.
At some point, you went away from Gambit, and Alex Ich would go out a year later. Now, Alex Ich spoke about ‘zeal.’ As per Week 11′s performance, what do you think about this current roster’s zeal?
From Week 1 to Week 10, at Gambit, we would go into the game and we would know it’d be super hard to win. We didn’t know how to win actually. Now, we’re more focused, we played so much more [coming into Week 11], and we got the synergy. We know what to do in game in different situations. If we put this Gambit from now, to Week 1, we would be Top 3 of the EU LCS.
You told me you didn’t necessarily know what to do at various stages in the game. Even though you had an analyst, I’m thinking that there was no dedicated shotcaller. Can you elaborate on that, tell me if I’m wrong in my assumption?
Even before, when Alex was in the team, we didn’t have a shotcaller. We had five people who were smart in-game and had different knowledge, different things they knew how to handle in situations. It was not like Alex was our shotcaller. In the M5 times, it was more about Diamond and Alex. Even Genja talks a lot; he understands lategame very well. He knows where to go, what the team needs to do, and when he’s [at his] strong[est in the game].
Right now, Kubon is getting used to Gambit. He doesn’t talk much, but he’s really good at calling Teleports and when enemies don’t have TPs, so we can counter-drake. At this point he’s better than Darien, but I think Darien is better mechanically – but it’s going to be better over time for Kubon. I also started calling for objectives more frequently.
You’re taking a more important role within the team from what I understand. As far as Week 11 is concerned, what were the main points that you approached? What did you want to achieve – not necessarily on a result standpoint, but on a strategy standpoint?
Before Week 11, there were too many arguments within the team, about what we wanted to do and our goals, because we knew were not going to go to Worlds or playoffs for sure. We had to prepare for Relegations which happen in a month. Because of that, team morale was down, but we got the willpower to still play and, during the last week, show that we were worthy of being an LCS team. It was not about achieving something, we just practiced.
Something about the picks of Diamondprox and Kubon changed. I saw Maokai/Kha’Zix during your games. Can you tell me what they bring at various stages of the game?
It’s not like we only pick Maokai with Kha’Zix, or Kha’Zix with Maokai. In the top lane, there are two OP AP champions: Maokai and Gragas. There’s also Irelia, who can beat them. We just pick OP champions when we know we can play them properly. About Kha’Zix, he was always one of Diamond’s favorite junglers.
From the composition that I saw [in your game against the Copenhagen Wolves,] Maokai and Kha’Zix obviously provided pick solutions, Syndra has her own power spike, and Kog’Maw/Thresh have their own. I was more worried about CW’s AoE. How did you approach teamfights against them?
Maokai is one of the best champions against AoE, because his ultimate blocks a lot of percent damage if you get hit. Against their team, it was quite easy for Syndra and Thresh. Syndra can instantly destroy the Morgana shield when I try to hook Morgana or Tristana, but it doesn’t matter much lategame because Kog’Maw was just one-shotting people with the W. It’s just a good team composition [that we had there.]
Something about Genja I want to ask. You said he could call late-game situations, but are there any difficulties as far as communication is concerned? I don’t know if Genja can speak English fluently, but for those calls – how do you proceed to relay his orders?
I need to start this by saying that Poland and Russia are kind of similar in language. *chuckle* niQ also speaks Russian because his grandfather was Russian, and he learned Russian a bit. Kubon [is about the same,] he doesn’t know much Russian but he’s getting used to it from what I believe. Genja can sometimes [make the call] in English, it’s not that hard, like “Kubon, if you have TP, just go bot. We go top.” is not that hard. Everyone [is] getting used to speaking different languages.
This Gambit is probably going to choose a team during the relegations. I’m more intrigued about -not what team you’re going to choose- but what goes into choosing a team. Why would you choose a team over another?
I believe we’re 7th, so we will only have two teams to choose from. I think there’s not much difference among challenger teams, they play kind of similar. Even NiP, they have super good players who used to be in the LCS in their team like Alex, Voidle and Freeze, but they’re losing to teams like SK Gaming Prime, who never played in the LCS or in big tournaments, never won anything. SKP still beat them. It’s hard [to say.]
There’s still one month [to prepare,] so we will see online tournaments, and we’re going to decide.
I’m going to let you close the interview. Do you have anything to add, or any shout-outs to make?
I think the hardest part of this Gambit struggle was for Gambit fans, because they used to see Gambit as the #1 team in Europe, beating Koreans and Chinese teams. I want to say thank you to the people who still support us, cheer for us and believe in us, so we’re trying to do all we can.
We at Azubu would like to thank EDward again for the interview and wish him good luck in the 2015 Relegation Tournament. The 2014 Season is coming to its regional crescendo as Team ROCCAT takes on the Supa Hot Crew in the playoff quarterfinals on August 7 at 17:00 CET / 8:00 a.m. PST. You can catch the action on the Azubu European LCS Microsite, and you can catch our coverage on the content website.