TSM Hauntzer: “I want to make it clear that I’m the best toplaner NA”

Esports Asia News
[hkes_show_google_ad] On February 18th (PST), the fateful match between TSM and Cloud9 took place in Day 2 of 5th week of the 2017 NA LCS Spring Split. These top two teams duked it out in the series that went down to a wire. Eventually, TSM came out on top, breaking C9’s undefeated status in the season. We sat down with Kevin “Hauntzer” Yarnell who led the team to victory by showing stable performances on champions like Maokai and Shen. Congratulations! Any thoughts on the today’s victory? We expected the opponent to be a lot stronger overall because they’ve doing really well last few weeks without dropping a single match. After the first game, though, we realized we had in us to win and that there was no reason to overestimate them. Early game didn’t go that well, but we were still able to hold it in and regain momentum. You finally broke C9’s undefeated streak. How did you prepare against them, who are one of your biggest rivals, as was the case in the last season’s finals? Honestly, it was the same for any other teams. We didn’t prepare anything special just because we’re big rivals. There were new meta changes we had to adapt in this week’s 7.3 patch. Champions like Zed weren’t played as much before, so we just had to adapt to those picks. I feel like it favors us a bit more. Rengar, LeBlanc, and Camille were nerfed, which freed up our pick/ban strategy. We all drafted them in the first and last game. When you got Baron stolen in Game 3, you were still able to turn it around by aggressively engaging the enemy. What thoughts went through your head at the time? After we failed the Baron play, the enemy ended up getting it. We realized we still had to play to our win condition, which was to have Zed dive the backline and to splitpush really hard. Shen and Zed are both good splitpushers. If the enemy try to group, we’ll collapse on them while playing all three lanes and pushing them up as much as possible. If they come in, we collapse and look for a fight in the backline. Otherwise, we make sure we get tempo back again and push our lead because we saw an advantage. Unlike the early season, players are starting to prefer different champions. How do you feel about new champions who see more play like Zed? Obviously, AD champions like Zed, Jarvan, and Jayce are all really strong because they pretty much do true damage to all carries, and it’s hard for tanks to stack armor against it. Rengar, Camille, and LeBlanc are really strong because of the rework. Camille was overtuned on release, while Rengar and LeBlanc are quite strong since the update. As the three champions are now getting toned down, they’re not as strong as before but still pretty strong. What do you think about Echo Fox’s using Camille support today? As a support, I feel like she can do pretty well. I’m not sure about how she does in lane because I don’t play support. She’s really good in terms of getting vision, looking for picks, and engaging in teamfights. Her Hookshot/Wall Dive and Hextech Ultimatum are such strong abilities. A couple weeks ago, your team won a bet with the owners of CLG. Any follow-up on that? Did HotshotGG really paint his face? He’s going to do it in Week 6 when we play CLG again. The original bet was to cosplay a LoL champion, but they ended up getting too scared because it’d be really embarrassing. Imagine HotshotGG or Andy being Janna or something with the bra and everything. So, we toned it back to a set of tattoos on the face. How will you prepare against FlyQuest, who’s in the third place right now? Going into the week, we prepare for both matches – picks/bans, what they prefer to play, and etc. We try to adapt accordingly. What do you think about FlyQuest’s creative picks like Jarvan mid? They used Jarvan mid twice. When Rengar, Leblanc, and Camille were super broken in 7.2 patch, they left it up and countered LeBlanc with Kassadin. Their innovative draft is something we have to get used to. As one of the best toplaners in NA, how do you feel about newcomers who came from Korea this season? Personally, I really like seeing many strong players come in. In last season, Huni and impact were considered the best, and everyone else was a step below. It’ll be interesting to see well-known players like Flame, Ssumday join. They’re good laners, even though I think it’s tough for them to communicate with the teams about what they want to do. They’re still good individual players, and it makes everyone in NA all play better in the top lane. As more Korean players join NA LCS, how do you feel about their bringing Korean strategies? We usually don’t try to copy their strategy. What works in one region may not work in another because of the meta and playstyle. We try to take the good from it and use it ourselves because playstyle in a certain region is completely different. For example, Europe used to prioritize Ivern a lot. Just whatever wins in scrims is how people play. What are your goals for the rest of the season and any messages to the fans? I’d definitely like to be in the first place and become the best team in the Split. We don’t really care about winning or losing right now. It’s more about improving as a team. We’re confident that if we can make it to the playoffs, we’ll be really good by then. I want to make it clear that I’m the best toplaner NA. People highly rate Impact, but I want to prove that I’m better. [hkes_show_google_ad]

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