The Spanish LVP SuperLiga’s first seed in Team Heretics fought a grueling five game battle against the Prime League champions Unicorns of Love Sexy Edition, and came out the victor in the Amazon European Masters 2022 summer quarter finals. They move on to the semifinals to face LFL champions LDLC OL and give the fans the dream of potentially writing a new legacy for Spain in this competition.
Head coach Fayan "Gevous" Pertijs has been in the European scene for a while now and spoke to us after their match against the Unicorns. He talked the series and how they handled it, facing LDLC OL next and some thoughts on the Spanish and French regional league ecosystems.
Megalodontus, BLIX.GG: First and foremost, thank you so much for doing this interview with us. Let’s take it from the top, you just had a five game series against USE which was very back and forth. What are your takeaways from the series?
Fayan "Gevous" Pertijs: Both teams were playing pretty good goddamn League of Legends. That's my main takeaway!
Honestly, both teams played really solid and the series was mostly lost on just the smaller mistakes, at least it was from our side, I can’t speak for the Unicorns. As I said in the interview on broadcast, I think if both teams had really solid team play, I think we have the advantage because our overall brute power is slightly better.
I also think we adapted much better to the overall vision game than they did in the new patch.
BLIX: Let's tackle the new patch then. What are your thoughts on the difference between like 12.16 and 12.15 as a coach, and is the team more comfortable on this patch at the moment?
Gevous: I don't think the difference is huge, but we've seen that junglers are now starting to take one Control Ward and one potion. But Unicorns, in the entire series, didn't figure out that we were doing this. I at least expected that they would also change to this instead of the Refillable Potion start.
From minute one, we had the overall vision advantage in place. The way that they like to play is to mostly cover lanes, make proactive plays with jungle only, stabilise and play a very neutral heavy game. Where we have a slight advantage is we’re actually more aggressively using our prios in order to set vision down, so they're always on the natural back foot in terms of the tempo game, and being able to get advantages through the laning phase.
BLIX: You also mentioned that you believe the team is very momentum based and the series, at least from my perspective, was kind of overall quite ‘stompy’ except maybe some parts of Game 4 and overall Game 5. How was the team’s atmosphere playing this series?
Gevous: This is like something we as coaches try to keep track of, like how's the momentum of the team, their overall focus and their overall mood. I still think we're momentum based, but maybe not as much as we initially thought. We really had a hard belief that we were losing games on our own mistakes and we were not making the plans or taking necessary steps as a team, and that’s the reason why we're losing. Because that's what the Unicorn are really good at: They're super disciplined. If you cannot match that it means that they are actually going to take the advantage and actually take over the game.
On team atmosphere, it was more or less another day in the office. We were like, “ah we messed up there, it's okay, just small mistakes. Go next”, you know? We fixed some mistakes, reminded ourselves we need to try to play a team based game, wait for each other's moves, make the plays together and we’re good to go!
More monkey mode at EU Masters
BLIX: In one of your previous interviews where you were saying that you're not sure why, but you felt that the team has not been able to display their full potential in the EU Masters so far. What clicked for the team today? Was it the new patch in combination with recent training?
Gevous: I don't think the patch has changed too much. When I was talking about adapting our vision game to the patch, I guess it's not really all that patch related, it's just us finding out more about the game. We already made adjustments to the way we structured our reviews and the focus points we do for scrims in groups. But…I don't know, there's just something with best-of-fives that really engages this team and makes them focus a lot better. I think Subicz "bluerzor" Dániel especially switches on in a best-of-five series and that makes the games a lot easier.
I think it’s also us constantly working on how we play vision systems and constantly covering for each other, and then where there’s room to make our plays happen, we actually play as a unit. Because sometimes we go like…’monkey mode’, you know?
Sometimes we see a guy there, we have to go on this guy and go “yeah fucking fight this guy!” So as long as they are able to control those impulses and have a bit more focus on this, we play much better LoL, because I think we really lose when we cannot control those impulses.
BLIX: Well, on those impulses, you will be facing LDLC OL next, how will you guys go ‘monkey mode’ against them? What do you think of them as opponents?
Gevous: We've actually been studying LDLC during the regular season a lot because they play really disciplined LoL. They have both strong individual players and are really good at the macro game, such as punishing mistakes on vision. So the vision game that we have been talking about, the one where we had the advantage on Unicorns, basically, we're now going to face Unicorns on crack!
It's going to be even more difficult and our mistakes will be punished harder. It's about really trying to smooth out the edges and not to make individual mistakes, and getting an overall good draft. And if we stay disciplined, play on our terms and play to our win conditions, we have a chance but I think LDLC will be harder than Unicorns.
BLIX: If you had to predict the score for the series, what would it be?
Gevous: Oh, this is a hard one. I think it will be 3-2 either way and it'll actually be a hard fought series for both teams. Either we win 3-2 if we maintain our momentum from today’s win or I think…they completely demolish us 3-0 [laughs]!
BLIX: And who would you be expecting to face in the finals if you guys defeat LDLC, between Team BDS Academy and GameWard?
Gevous: It will probably be BDS. Overall, they’re stronger and more versatile as a team. They have more win conditions they can play around because they can basically kind of play around all of their players. In comparison, I think GameWard is a lot more straightforward so BDS is most likely coming on top of their series.
On the growth of the LFL
BLIX: There's been a lot of discussion between the strength of the LFL in comparison to the other regions. I spoke to some people from the SuperLiga (like Advienne), and one of our interviewees was from GameWard and he believes there is a big gap between the top teams of both leagues. Do you agree or disagree?
Gevous: I would agree there's a gap, yes, but I'm not sure if there's a big gap. If I look at ourselves, for example, our problem is that we've been like quite undisciplined and a bit inconsistent. But if we are on a comfortable level for ourselves, we can match the LFL teams. But I think indeed, they have a bit of a gap on us.
BLIX: Do you think this gap exists due to the Spanish League just being weaker overall in terms of competition or are there other factors at play?
Gevous: It's hard to say to be honest, because I don't know how LFL teams operate behind the scenes. I know the overall competition in the LFL is a lot more contested compared to the SuperLiga. I think there are a lot better players in total on the LFL and maybe the infrastructure is a bit better as well but as I said, I don't know how the LFL teams operate behind the scenes, so I can't really make an assessment on this. The only data that I have available to myself is the overall competition is higher in the LFL.
BLIX: As a coach that came from the second division of the SuperLiga, how do you see the Spanish ecosystem developing? Do you think that it will be able to catch up in France in a few years?
Gevous: That’s a difficult question. [pauses] It's really hard to say but I think the gap might remain for a while just because the LFL is at least growing at an equal, if not a faster rate, in terms of viewership, infrastructure, and interest. I don't have the exact data available and I didn't really look into it but on average, the LFL is bigger than the SuperLiga right now whereas some years ago, it was somewhat the opposite.
I believe they will stay ahead for quite a while and it really depends on how much interest the SuperLiga can gain, and I guess it's also a question of money, what people or teams want to invest into the league. I don't really have a clear prediction in my mind other than how the league might evolve in general.
I wish it to be different but that's the thing, unless we can attract bigger competition or bigger players, it will probably remain as it is. I want to be honest about it. Although I am at least confident that we can match them, right now I think they have a better ecosystem. The SuperLiga for sure has the potential to be able to match it, but I don't know.
I would love some more digging and actually look into this more but for now, it's hard to say.
BLIX: You've coached in the LFL yourself, are you pleasantly surprised to see how much it has grown since you were coaching there?
Gevous: Absolutely. I think in 2019, the LFL and the SuperLiga kind of caught up together, if I remember correctly. At least, maybe the SuperLiga was slightly ahead. I think 2018 was like the prime SuperLiga and I hope to see that again but of course I'm super happy that LFL is growing larger.
The European Regional Leagues (ERLs) have huge potential and maybe…well, maybe not bigger than LEC has, but people want to cheer for their own country, right? We know that from football already. People really want to stand behind their own nationality, identity, etc. so I think the ERLs will only grow bigger and bigger and maybe even match the LEC in terms of viewership at some point. I wish for this to happen, because I think ERLs are really cool from both an identity and nationality point of view.
BLIX: So do you wish that ERLs or EU Masters become like the UEFA Champions League one day?
Gevous: Yeah, I personally think that's a lot cooler, to be honest.
BLIX: That's the headline then! We've come to the end of the interview. Do you have anything else to add or do you have any shoutouts to give?
Gevous: Shoutout to all of the fans that keep believing in us. We are carrying the Spanish flag right now in EU Masters and we will do our absolute fucking best to carry it home. Thanks to the people around me, I can’t name them all but they will know who I'm talking about, for supporting me in what I do, being there for me when times are also rough because honestly, times are a bit rough for myself right now.
I feel super blessed and happy to have this team. I really love working with this team. They're great guys and they help keep my spirits up. Of course also, thank you to Heretics for picking me up and we're making a wonderful journey together.
Thank you, Gevous, and best of luck going forward. The EU Masters Knockouts resumes on September 21st, and you can catch it on the EU Masters Twitch channel.