After many doubts about their performances, MAD Lions have secured a top 4 finish in the 2023 LEC Spring split by eliminating Astralis from the Group stage. A clean 2-0 victory for the MAD Lions secured them a meeting on the rift with G2 Esports, who they will face in the lower bracket of the playoffs.
MSI is looking more and more realistic for MAD, as they can rely on both them and G2 esports for a qualification. In the case that G2 wins the split, MAD Lions will qualify for the tournament as the LEC’s second seed. However, if MAD Lions do eliminate G2 from the playoffs, they will have to win it all to secure a spot at MSI 2023.
Following the important victory, MAD Lions’ jungler Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla joined BLIX to discuss the MSI qualification, MAD Lions’ improved performances, and more.
Yohan Markov, BLIX.GG: Congratulations on securing the top 4 with the win against Astralis. Overall, it's clean gameplay from you, so what are your first thoughts after the game?
Elyoya: I think both games were easy wins, even though they weren’t as clean as they should have been. We made many mistakes, they punished us and the games got chaotic and messy. For example, the pentakill was not needed, but we knew the game was over. Our draft was better and we were in control, so we were not scared. Very sloppy games and we need to fix many mistakes if we want to beat G2.
BLIX: Already G2? So you think they will for sure win against KOI?
Elyoya: I think so… Actually, I would like KOI to win because of the rivalry, Also, it would be easier for us, but I think the chances of KOI winning are not very high.
BLIX: To me, the teamfights were what separated both teams in the series. In your opinion, was that the biggest difference maker as well?
Elyoya: For sure. Coming into the teamfights, we were better prepared, but also we played better in the mid-game. They were getting caught a lot and we were building a lot of advantages. As you mentioned, team fighting was a big factor in our win today.
BLIX: We are seeing a different MAD Lions compared to the regular split. What would you say improved the most for this difference in performance?
Elyoya: We solved some problems that we had because there were some issues between us. We had some talks and the previous week was much better. We knew coming into this week that we had higher chances of winning and were really confident.
If we beat Fnatic, we were confident in beating Astralis because we thought that Fnatic was a stronger opponent. I would say that we were on the same page coming into this week. We fixed some issues and played together.
BLIX: Talking about MSI, your chances now have increased significantly based on the Championship points. If MAD or G2 wins, you will be going to the tournament. Does that give you some sort of security?
Elyoya: Honestly, I wouldn’t want to qualify for MSI because G2 wins the split. It won’t feel deserved at all and I know we will get a lot of hate, for which, I don’t really care actually. It’s not like we are doing something wrong or it’s our fault, but I won’t be satisfied with myself with the fact that I would go because of another team.
BLIX: Talking about the hate, there have been many comments regarding MAD that the team doesn’t deserve to qualify because of the Winter split performances, but you made finals last split and now you are in the Top 4. What would you say to those people, because they keep doubting you but you still place high?
Elyoya: I think it’s deserved. I am not sure if I used the correct word, but I would say earned. Of course, It is not the way we want to qualify, but as you said, last split we finished second, and this split we had great wins and we’ll be playing G2, who is a tough opponent. Still, we have a chance to beat them and we will put up a great fight against them. It will be a good series to watch, so I think it’s deserved.
BLIX: Did that hate somehow get to you during the season?
Elyoya: Actually no. I don't care much about what people say when they are just criticizing. When there is constructive criticism, then I listen to it and consider it. When it’s just hate, because they want to hate, I even laugh. For me, it’s funny that you are tilting at me when I’m fine here, I am playing my game and I’m going to MSI. I keep on winning.
BLIX: I know you are a big fan of the other regions as I have spoken to you before about the LPL and LCK. So, who caught most of your attention from the other regions?
Elyoya: It’s for sure JDG. Also, BLG and OMG were really surprising coming to the playoffs, but the team that caught my attention since the beginning was JDG. When I saw them play in the first game, I saw how well they were playing. They are the best team right now, in my opinion. I like Kanavi’s playstyle and I would love to play against him.
BLIX: I have one last questions, which you already answered but I would like to ask you once again. You will play against the winner of KOI & G2 Esports, who would you like to face and why?
Elyoya: I would like to face KOI because the rivalry is fun for me. I am friends with Ibai and the fact that it's two Spanish organizations fighting, I like that rivalry. I would personally prefer KOI, but I think it’s going to be G2.
This G2 team, always coming against us and wanting to kick us out (laughs). It will be G2, but I wish it was KOI.