Deficio: ‘The problem with [saying] the gap is closing is that there are two different gaps. The one to Korea and the one to SKT’

Esports Asia News
NInjas in Pyjamas have returned to the EU LCS for the 2017 Summer Split, and caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge was a member of the organization during their first stint. Though the team’s current roster may not have the same expectations as the last one, it’s still a return to League of Legends for a storied organization. We caught up with Deficio to ask him about his old team’s return to League of Legends, his expectations for the summer split, and whether the gap between Korea and the rest of the world is closing. How excited are you to see NiP return to the EU LCS? I’m glad to see NiP return to LCS but not because I used to play for them, simply because they are a large European organization with deep roots in Scandinavia. I’m always happy to see organizations that bring fanbases and interest in the EU market. Europeans love their countries and regions so it gives extra reasons to watch and cheer for a team when the organization is from a specific country (Sweden in this case). What was it like to work with NiP back in Season 3, particularly as a coach/manager? I enjoyed working with NiP. HeatoN (the owner) is a fantastic boss to have and you can really feel that he cares about his players. It’s many years ago so I don’t know much about the organization right now, but I hope they still have the “player first” mindset. We recently saw Echo Fox bring back a number of popular personalities to compete in the Challenger Series. Would you ever consider such a move, if the offer was right? Haha no. I am very happy as a caster and I have no interest in playing at a high level. Besides, I suck at anything but Twitch and Lucian at the moment. What are your predictions for this NiP roster? I did not have high hopes for this roster before the split started. I didn’t know what to expect from a Nagne who was stuck in the depths of LSPL and HeaQ, Sprattel and Shook are all players who never consistently stood out in the LCS. They looked better than anticipated in their series vs. Fnatic (especially Nagne outside of the laning phase). If they have proper coaching and the right attitude then I can see them improve and really challenge ROCCAT and Misfits for that third place in Group A, but I also think this requires Misfits to perform poorly. Misfits are still my favourites to take third in the group. More generally, what are some teams that you think will surprise viewers later in this EU LCS split? I don’t actually expect that many surprises in the summer split. Most of our rosters stayed the same. If I had to a pick a team then it would be Misfits, they will improve during the split. It will take time but I think they will get better and be a decent challenge in a quarterfinal. NiP could be the other team to watch if Shook plays well. NiP’s playstyle will be focused around the topside which means Shook can work closely with his solo laners to try and gain advantages. Were you surprised at all by any of the results from Week 1 of the EU LCS summer split? I was surprised at how bad teams like Misfits and Splyce looked in their second games of their series. A full offseason of prep and then you get destroyed by Fnatic and H2K. While I am 100 percent sure Fnatic and H2K will be some of the top teams then, I didn’t expect Misfits and Splyce to be completely run over. I’m expecting both Misfits and Splyce to come in angry for Week 2 and ready to prove something. What was your favorite match? Favourite match? UoL vs. Vitality Game 2 simply due to Zac being picked. I think he is such a fun pick and something really needs to go wrong (in P/B) if you end up giving Xerxe Zac. Are there any particular teams you think will be helped by the move toward a more bot lane-centric playstyle? I think the meta is very diverse at the moment which means that not just one style will be used. Tons of different carries top can be used and the mid pool opens up with Syndra/Orianna gets banned. Strong bot lanes will obviously shine and teams like G2 and Fnatic with Zven and Rekkles can carry even harder from the bot lane. What is your favorite EU LCS offseason roster move? Profit to NiP and Maxlore to Misfits. Very few changes this split but I think the extra communication from Maxlore can help Misfits (slowly) grow. Profit is just a fun player to watch and I hope he performs well. Him, Shook and Nagne is a trio to watch and a trio that needs to succeed if NiP wants to achieve something. What are your thoughts on Europe’s MSI performance? G2’s performance in playoffs was fantastic and I am very proud of them. Happy that they improved a lot during the tournament and became a legit top team. I already enjoyed MSI a lot during the group stage due to Gigabyte Marines and WE. Gigabyte Marines challenged the other teams and could have made it out of groups. WE played some awesome games with good early games from Condi into some group teamfighting. Glad to see them perform. Is the gap closing? The gap, well… the problem with ‘the gap is closing’ is that there are two different gaps. The one to Korea and the one to SKT. The SKT one? No. The Korea one? Always hard to predict. Could G2 have taken down KT or Samsung in that MSI final? The SKT players told G2 after the final that they played better than KT but it’s honestly impossible to predict. I don’t think the gap is closing because non-Korean teams always play catch up when they show up at international events. G2 and the rest will go back to their region and get much worse practice for 3 months and then must re-learn the game once Worlds start. This always gives a big advantage to the top Korean teams. Imagine scrimming Samsung, KT and SKT all split compared to scrimming the standard western team. You need more than one team in your region to step up, you need all the top teams to get much better if you want good enough practice to consistently challenge the top Korean teams.

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