Rivalries have been a part of the League of Legends esports scene since the first day. From regional rivalries to East versus West, we’ve seen many hype moments and amazing stories come out from these exciting matches loaded with results of the past and expectations of the future.
Today, as NRG takes down G2 to qualify for the Worlds 2023 quarterfinals, we see the rivalry between LCS and LEC heat up to levels we haven’t seen in quite a while. Unfortunately for G2, it comes at the cost of them hanging by a thread to the tournament.
We spoke with G2’s support and a veteran of the international scene, Mikhael “Mikyx” Mehle, about the loss, the feeling and the pressure of the Worlds stage.
Aykut "Kots" Sapaz, BLIX: Hey Miky; thank you so much for being here with me today after your unfortunate series against NRG. I don't think anyone was expecting today to go down as it did for you guys. Did you think there was a chance for a 0-2 today in your preparations?
Mikhael “Mikyx” Mehle: No, for sure not. I felt like we had pretty good preparation. Things were going well. I think they were much better than us on the day as a team, and they individually played better. Not sure about the draft; we'll have to think that through as well. It felt like they were always making good plays as a team and we were not on the same page a lot. We were just waiting for them to do stuff but yeah, they were good.
BLIX: So it was their preparation against you and being better on the day combined?
Mikyx: I guess, yeah.
BLIX: That was a very unfortunate loss, but Worlds is a big tournament. You're still in the game, and you’ll have to fight for your spot tomorrow. How is the morale at this current moment for G2?
Mikyx: Well, right now, it's pretty depressing, yeah. Everyone kinda expected us to win. I'm looking forward to playing tomorrow; let's see who we get. I'm hoping for a good opponent so at least we can prove that we're still decent, and I hope we can bounce back from this one.
BLIX: Who do you think would be the best opponent for you tomorrow?
Mikyx: Of the 2-2 teams, I guess one of BLG or T1 would be good to play; if we can't beat them, it's kinda pointless to be in the tournament, so I think I want to play against them and regain our confidence.
BLIX: We spoke before Worlds began while you were playing in LEC Season Finals and you were very confident; you said, "If any year, it's this year". Even yesterday, you were very hopeful after your loss to Gen.G. Do you still hold that sentiment? Is this tournament the one?
Mikyx: I still think we can definitely make it. Our chances are a bit hurt; we're 2-2, but I still think we can do it. Maybe I'm not as confident as before. We lost 2-0, so it doesn't look promising for sure, but I think we can still do it. We have some tricks up our sleeves and as long as we figure it out, we show up on the day and play as well as we can, we can beat anyone.
BLIX: That is reassuring to hear. On the Worlds stage, anything can happen. The audience, the pressure, the excitement; how does it affect you guys?
Mikyx: I'm not sure; we for sure play differently than we do in scrims, especially today. It feels like we are kinda scared sometimes. Maybe that's due to the pressure of playing on the Worlds stage in front of a big audience. I'm not really sure, it just feels like we are way more scared than we usually are. I guess we need to get our stuff together.
BLIX: I have to ask, you've played in a lot of international tournaments throughout your career. Has it ever felt like it does now before?
Mikyx: Probably. I'm sure in my first international tournament, I was shaking and choking, but yeah, maybe not in the rest.
BLIX: We're used to seeing upsets at worlds; after all G2 took down RNG in 2018, but this was way out of left field. Still, thank you so much for this interview and do you have any messages to fans who may be a bit shocked currently?
Mikyx: Well, hopefully, you guys will still be cheering for us, but even if you don't, I'm pretty fine with that. I think we play better with no expectations. So, yeah, I'm hoping for a team that's much better than us so we can play like we play.
BLIX: Good luck tomorrow.
Mikyx: Thank you.