After snapping a 3-game losing streak, Astralis currently occupy the 5th position in the LEC with a 3-3 scoreline. The organization matched their win record from the previous split (Winter split), and another playoff participation is on the horizon.
Before the 2023 Spring split, Astralis made one roster change by adding Adam "LIDER" Ilyasov to the mid-lane, which looks like a game-changer. Not only have Astralis improved their gameplay, but also they have beaten some of the top teams in the league: KOI, G2 Esports, and Team Vitality.
Following the loss against Team BDS, LIDER sat down with BLIX to discuss various topics around the team and himself:
Yohan Markov, BLIX.GG: Despite the 2-3 record in the LEC so far, Astralis is in an excellent spot to make the playoffs. How does it feel to be back in the LEC?
Adam "LIDER" Ilyasov: It feels good. It's a new format, though, compared to the last time that I played. It feels different, but this one is more exciting... All in all, I enjoy it.
BLIX: I want to ask you about the game against Team BDS. For most of the game, you were in the lead but lost. What should you have done differently to secure the win?
LIDER: I don't know what happened. I don't think the Baron was the problem in that game; I think it was around the drake when we got the soul. The fight should have been more of a rollover on the enemy team. I didn't rewatch the game yet, but I think something must have happened on our side where we did a mistake. I think that was when things became harder than they should have been.
BLIX: You have been on Vitality, where expectations were slightly higher. In Astralis, expectations are lower due to historical standings. However, you are proving people wrong, especially with the wins against G2 and KOI. Does actually having lower expectations help you perform better?
LIDER: For me personally, It doesn't really matter much. I take it game-by-game and day-by-day. I will play whatever I have to play and try to win. I don't really care about the pressure from the outside, whichever team I am on.
However, if I was on Fnatic, it might have crushed me because I know how it is with their subreddit and everything. They are merciless. Besides that, it's fine.
I wouldn't say Vitality was a top team as well back then because historically they weren't doing that great except for that one run they had at Worlds with Jizuke. Before that, they were not doing that great, one of their best moments was with our roster and now, they are obviously doing well.
BLIX: Last season, you played in North America for Golden Guardians. From your experience, how would you compare EU & NA, and how did you feel there?
LIDER: Honestly, it's hard to say or judge because I came in really late. The season was already ending by the time I was there because of Visa issues. So, I came in late and obviously the atmosphere was not going too great because the team was struggling. They were not doing too great in the academy and then there were swaps happening throughout the season. All in all, it was an unfortunate experience but I learned a lot from it.
BLIX: And what about living there? Did you find it pleasant?
LIDER: It's nice. It's always sunny. It's beautiful in a sense, but very very expensive.
BLIX: Earlier on, you talked about the new format, and you've played in both the previous and current versions. It's much more challenging now, so is there more pressure to perform now as the split is more fast-paced?
LIDER: For sure you can panic more, but it got compromised with the Top 8 going to the playoffs. As long as you are not in the bottom 2, you can make it. The stress and the reward are the same as the previous format, but it just goes faster now. A lot of games over and over again, there are more stage games, which I prefer and I for sure like it more.
BLIX: What would you say is the Mid lane state now, and are you comfortable in it? Also, do you see Assasins taking over the meta anytime soon?
LIDER: The assassins are still being played, right? Right now, it's Annie and then the rest of them. Pick Annie and you can flex it as a support or mid-lane. You could get one good lane match-up from that and if your champion gets banned, you can pick whatever's open. Whatever's good for your team or against the enemy team.
Assassins can work, there's Akali, and Sylas being played, all of those champions are still played all over the world so they are for sure viable.
I think every meta I have been happy with because every meta has been Assasins. When you look back, it's always been Akali & Sylas.
BLIX: We've seen Annie take over pro play and you also played her today against Team BDS. Can you tell me a bit more about the champion and how Gold players can use her to climb up?
LIDER: Annie is really simple, it doesn't matter how you do in lane or how many deaths you have, the champion deals a lot of damage no matter what. It's simple to play, a champion that doesn't need to last hit or do anything really, you should play it if you want to have a higher chance to win.
BLIX: I would like to ask you more of a personal question than the last one. How did you pick your nickname, and is it as apparent as being a leader?
LIDER: I am not the one that picked it, it was actually my father. I was playing Battlefield a long time ago when I was a kid and the client (Origin), my dad made many different accounts like "Lider" and "Viking", all of those simple words.
Then I coincidently had the "LIDER" name. My Family is from Chechnya and I know Russian. When you write it in English letters, it's different, but the way it's written in Russian it's exactly like "Leader". It's as simple as a leader, the one that leads.