For a team with their past performance, Astralis have been performing brilliantly ever since the start of League of Legends European Championship (LEC) 2023 Spring Split. With a second-place finish in the regular season, they came into Bo3’s with high spirits and a win against Fnatic.
After their victory in the series, we spoke with Astralis’ top laner Finn "Finn" Wiestå about the game and the interesting draft choices, the flexibility of Irelia, the morale in the organization and their match against Team Vitality.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Thank you so much for being here with me after your victory against Fnatic. Let’s just cut right to the chase, how do you feel about the series?
Finn "Finn" Wiestå: I mean, I feel good honestly. I think we were put in positions where a lot of teams might crumble. We had a lot of things going wrong in almost every three games which I think obviously on our part was silly. Especially game one and three should have been pretty clean, but I think we showed a lot of mental resilience today and I’m happy with how we did no matter what happened in the game.
We were always able to keep the same calm mindset and adapted appropriately. Even in game three, our enemies were around 12k, but we were holding on super well and making it as annoying as possible for the enemies to finish the game out. So I feel good.
BLIX: Yeah, if the series can be defined by one phrase, it is “mental resilience” because for both sides there were a lot of moments where one could have just given up, or you know, stop trying, but you didn’t and that led you to the victory. Were there any moments where you started to lose hope for the series?
Finn: Oh no, I knew we would win because I know that we’re a better team in team fights so I felt very comfortable if we ended up in a situation where the next team fight would end the game for us. We will win no matter what.
BLIX: Sorry, I’m just a bit stunned by how hard that line goes! You guys took the victory in the third game. Is there anything in this series where you think “Yeah, we could have changed that here?”
Finn: Maybe our draft in game two could have been a little bit better. Not obviously speaking about the Illaoi. That was the highlight of the draft and I think the rest of the draft was pretty bad. I would pick illaoi there again for sure. I think it was the only draft-saving pick, but I think in general. Maybe we were a bit too over-eager at the point when we had the lead in general, we got really good leads for games one and three. Then we kind of went for a lot of silly fights but that’s kind of how we play as well.
We take the good with the bad. And in general, I know that’s how we work and I can’t be too mad about it. If we 3-0 or 2-0 someone then it will be a miracle because I know we can’t control ourselves, but I know we’re also very good when it counts.
BLIX: I had more questions about Zed than Illaoi in that draft because we’ve seen LIDER on very carry picks like Irelia in the third game and Yone in previous games but Zed is… I don’t know, such an alienating pick. How did that happen?
Finn: I think he’s really good at the champion, and he liked the angle so I think he just picked it. Maokai has pretty good solo control, I think we had a really good comp. We had a lot of kite back and poke. We had me with great disengage or anti-dive tools so I think it was a fine pick in the game.
BLIX: In theory, it worked out well you say.
Finn: Yeah, but then Lissandra started the game 2-0 and the game was hard to play of course.
BLIX: Understandable, was there anything else that was interesting to you in the draft in the first or the third game?
Finn: Through the game, I kind of felt like “Okay I can get away with whatever I want so I should just pick my best champion for the comp” and then I saw them pick Varus and Orianna and I was like “I think you can just pick me Malphite”. Because I don’t think they were able to punish it and we had a good game.
Very happy with the pick, happy with our draft there and I think the enemy had like, this really weird full AP comp or something. It was really awkward.
BLIX: I’m now curious, We’ve seen your Kled too. Which one would you prefer as a favorite champion?
Finn: Obviously I really like Kled and Irelia. It’s my two most known champions. I like to play them in every meta if I have angles. Hopefully, I can show my Irelia on stage, Lider is taking all the spotlight right now but I’ll be able to show it soon I’m sure.
BLIX: Oh that’s such a good answer, that’s like 2019 G2 you pick Irelia and you play it. And then JeongHoon plays it in support.
Finn: I hope not. I think I can play it.
BLIX: We’ll see. The Astralis squad has very good picks cooking. Do you have anything else that you will maybe show us in future games?
Finn: I’m not sure, I think we’re playing a lot of stuff and I think teams should always be a bit careful drafting against us because we have really weird picks in almost every role. If they’re not cautious, they’ll be punished.
BLIX: And punish them, you shall. But first, you have the next series against Team Vitality, a very scary opponent in the LEC. Do you have anything specific to prepare against them?
Finn: I think Team Vitality is pretty one-dimensional. I’m not too worried about them. If we can play our game we should be able to win against them pretty convincingly.
BLIX: Okay, I am now even more excited to watch that matchup. How is the morale in Astralis right now?
Finn: It is good. I think for us we’re always kind of the underdogs so it gives us [an] obviously easier way to play. It helps our mentality, I would say. In general, team morale is very good. Sure, we have our fights but we always come together when it counts. I think we’re a good team.
BLIX: That’s really wholesome. Thank you so much for being here, even after all the time you spent in the studio. This was a very fun interview and hopefully, we’ll see you in many more interviews after against Vitality and in the future. Is there anything else you want to say for the fans, perhaps?
Finn: I just thank you, to all the fans that have been very supportive. I hope we can show more than we already have because I think we have the potential to go all the way.