One of the newer additions to League of Legends European Championship (LEC), Team BDS are standing atop the standings of the Spring Split. Having taken down almost everyone they faced in the regular split, they are going to the playoffs as the favorites no one expected. In the Winter Split, they made the playoffs with a 5-4 score and didn’t advance further than groups. This split, they’re coming in hot with the opportunity to go even further.
We spoke with Ilias "nuc" Bizriken, the mid laner of Team BDS, about their match against Team Vitality, who won’t make it to playoffs, who they think they will face in finals and his excitement for returning to the Bo3’s.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Hello and welcome nuc. Thank you so much for being here. I don't even know how I would describe the game you guys just came out of, with that ending. So, I'll just let you describe it. How was that game?
Ilias "nuc" Bizriken: I mean, we were in a really good spot. Yeah, in a really really good spot with our draft compared to the enemy until the first Nashor . When they got the first Nashor it was a bit, I wouldn't say we were unlucky, we wanted to turn on Lee Sin but all of our tools to follow up got canceled. So, he just survived and then they got Nash after.
Then the game became really chaotic. Still, I think the draft gap was massive so even though we were so far behind, if we just clutched and fought as a team, we would win. So yeah, that's what we did, and we managed to do some good comeback, I would say.
BLIX: A good comeback is one way to put that, definitely. Speaking of the draft gap, what do you think went wrong in their draft?
nuc: I think they just they just drafted to stomp us in like 20 minutes-
BLIX: But it was more than 20 minutes.
nuc: Yeah, I mean, to stomp us, they had to stomp us really fast, but we were actually the ones stomping them. Stomping is a big word, right? Because they got our first tower and everything, and we were really ahead, comparing our comps. Then some things happened but their draft was really relying on outplaying and really clutch engages like Lee Sin kick, Gragas Flash+E and everything.
Image: Riot/Michal Konkol
Finalists and eliminated teams
BLIX: Yeah, that was a very conditional draft and you guys came out with a win in the end. It was very close until it wasn't. You guys are in first place now, you locked in groups. BDS at the top of the leaderboard.
I don't think many fans expected that but you're there and you're waiting for the next seven teams to line up with you to the playoffs. Who do you think will make it, who won’t make it??
nuc: I think it's easier to say who will not make it because there's so many teams… I mean, there's like three teams that are 2-5, I think it's like Excel, Team Heretics and Fnatic.
BLIX: Fnatic are 2-4.
nuc: Oh no, yeah 2-4. It's Excel and Heretics. And then MAD Lions and Heretics will play together, so one of those guys will be like 2-5. Between MAD, Heretics, Fnatic and Excel, they will get knocked out. And yeah, their situation is like a real crisis. I don't know how they can- it would be so close and I'm actually excited to see who will make out of this mess. So yeah, I think it will be Heretics and, uh, Fnatic.
BLIX: Oh, Fnatic again? Yeah, that would be kind of devastating.
nuc: That would be sad.
BLIX: Let's talk about you guys. You were in the same spot last year, you also made playoffs back then. Are you excited to go back there? Are you ready to fight in the Bo3’s?
nuc: Yeah, I mean, I personally can't wait for Bo3’s. Because in Bo1’s, I don't know, the pressure, it's like such a strange feeling. And in Bo3’s, I'm totally relieved. So, I just can't wait to play there, and we are actually secured. So, we just try to play as good as we can the next two days and then get ready for bo3 and just play good League of Legends, right?
Image: Riot/Michal Konkol
BLIX: Playing League of Legends, that's what we want to hear. And if you guys continue like this you may even end up in the finals. Let's say, you do end up in the finals, who do you think will be there to face you for the last time in the split?
nuc: I mean it will probably be G2, right? Because they're probably the- like either G2 or Vitality, one of these two teams.
BLIX: Interesting, you guys just won against Vitality, so…
nuc: They're still a really strong team, right? Like, we won, but everything can happen. It would be for sure, like, Vitality or G2 100% if we are in the finals, right? We have to make it there first.
“Yeah, we will just win, I'm pretty sure.”
BLIX: Are you excited about the new meta? Because we've had a very long 13.1 era of the league and now, we're in 13.4. How is that going for you?
nuc: I mean, we will see how we can adapt for the next patches. There are actually a lot of changes so we'll have to try to read the meta as fast as we can. We actually have two weeks compared to the last splits instead of one during the break, the end of Bo1’s and then the start of Bo3’s. We have much time to prepare and find the right champions to fit us. So yeah, we'll see with our preparation.
We just have to actually train well and just put as much effort as we can into this because I think those two weeks between the Bo1’s and Bo3’s will be decisive. If you prepare well, you will have a huge advantage over the other team, and if you don't take it so seriously and just skip it a bit you will struggle to play.
BLIX: I can't imagine a team not even practicing for the Bo3’s at this stage. That would be worse than the G2 vacation memes.
nuc: It would be really a disaster.
Image: Riot/Michal Konkol
BLIX: Disaster indeed. Well, thank you so much for being here and all the insight you've given us. Lastly, do we have anything to say to BDS fans out there, now that you've locked in that spot?
nuc: I mean, just a classic speech, right? Thank you for supporting us. We'll try to make you guys enjoy all other games as much as possible. And just to show good League of Legends and create some surprises. And we'll see how it goes in the group stage and further.
BLIX: Yeah, that is the classic speech, thank you. Do you have anything that's not classic to add? Any spicy takes, per example?
nuc: Spicy takes? We will win. Yeah, we will just win, I'm pretty sure.