Roaring as the runner ups of the last split of the League of Legends European Championship (LEC), MAD Lions are looking to go even further. As the team with the third most championships in the league, the Spanish organization is looking to rival the current top two of G2 and Fnatic as do all the other teams. Only difference is they are two trophies closer than anyone else.
Read more: G2 Dylan Falco: "The goal of this team is to be international."
After the newest step on that road, we spoke with the mid laner of the team, Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, about their loss to Team Vitality on the first match of Spring, the place of Aurelion Sol in the meta, how the changes will reflect on the LEC and what the LEC can do better.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Hello Nisqy, thank you so much for your time, thank you for being here. Before we get into the match, I wanted to ask how your off season went.
Yasin "Nisqy" Dinçer: I mean, off season was kind of chill, I took some vacation, I think four days or so, and then I just came back to Berlin and played since then. But yeah, I took [the vacation] because I feel like it's gonna go very long if we go into playoffs and we don't really have breaks in between, so I decided that I would chill a bit more than I did last year.
BLIX: You played the finals, so you had the least amount of time compared to the other teams. Was it hard to chill and not think about League during the vacation?
Nisqy: Not really, I kind of disconnected. I wasn't really much on my phone, I was far away from Berlin so it was kind of easy. To be fair, I also played two days of solo queue right after finals, so it was easy for me to disconnect, yeah.
First of many games
BLIX: I've spoken about this with other players, Hylissang for example, and people have varying levels of being able to disconnect, so I'm happy that it worked out for you. Now you're back, you played your first game against Vitality in this split and it was an unfortunate loss. What do you think you (as a team) could have done better about that game?
Nisqy: I mean, I think our draft was just impossible to win. I think it was just very rough from drafting's perspective and then we made mistakes which made the game unplayable. Like once you get behind with this comp, it's unplayable. I think it's a bit due to our play but mostly our draft I think.
BLIX: Speaking of that draft, that was very interesting. Besides seeing Cho'gath mid, we had the new champ Aurelion Sol play for the first time in the league, and he was banned in the other game too. What do you think about the pick?
Nisqy: I think if you can scale for free, it's really good. I do believe it's kind of weak in the early game and I think he has many downsides. I feel like other mages are just kind of better but in this game he was kind of free, he could have picked Teemo mid and he would probably have won. So yeah I think it was a good pick for this game because they had no threat but yeah, I don't know about the champion in general, I haven't seen it much before.
BLIX: We'll see the champion a lot more as the split goes on, I think. Besides that, we've had a lot of changes to the game itself with Patch 13.4. How much will your team be affected by those changes in your opinion? How will the meta be for Mad Lions?
Nisqy: I think the changes are pretty good, I'm kinda happy that ranged bots are less of a thing, Ashe for example, is a bit weaker I think because some melee supports are more played now. I also think flex picks are kind of fun. I think Gragas, for example, is fun and I think the ADC Buffs are also nice for Bloodthirster and Overheal. The meta is decent right now at least to play but I don't think it's been figured out yet 100%, so.
BLIX: That's what makes it exciting. I always like asking MAD Lions players and coaches this and I know you can't answer me fully but is there something special you're cooking up behind the scenes maybe that we will see in the next matches? Should we expect surprises?
Nisqy: I mean there are a lot of picks that we have in the cooking for pretty much every role… So yeah but for now we're just waiting and we're seeing which ones we can pick today. We tried some but it didn't work as we planned so we'll see what we bring up tomorrow.
Changes of teams and LEC
BLIX: We will see, now I'm really excited. And the League has changed a bit as well, we’ve seen new players, we've seen teams that have new coaches, and more to the point, teams achieved many more interesting results last season. Who surprised you the most in winter, with their placement?
Nisqy: I haven't seen a lot of games yet, and we didn't stream like lots of people but I think I mean Vitality is probably the one team that made a big change, I would say. I don't think Excel is gonna change much with the change they did compared to VIT for example. I don't think FNATIC is gonna be that different either, so yeah I would say that.
BLIX: So Vitality will be exciting to see with the changes, we'll see. And on your end, do you think much has changed for Mad Lions, or will things more or less stay the same?
Nisqy: I think it will kind of stay the same I think. This was just the first game, as long as we play good tomorrow and the next day, I don't mind today. I mean, I think we'll be fine, I don't think anything will change.
BLIX: Yeah it's only Bo1s, and I wanted to ask, as someone who's played Bo3s and Bo5s, how does it feel to go back to Bo1s as the new split starts?
Nisqy: I like the best of one games, when there's high pressure I think it's fun. I don't like them when they're kind of useless games or when you have a lot of them, but when you only have nine and every game matters so much then I think it's very exciting yeah.
BLIX: That is a very good recommendation of the current system. I'm glad to see, you know, players liking it. Is there anything you think that could be improved for LEC?
Nisqy: I mean, the only thing I don't like much is that we have three game days. I would like it so that we play two games, so then we actually can have four days of scrims instead of three. So then they give one off day, let's say the Monday, and then on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Friday you scrim, and then you have two official game days, now we have one more day to prepare and do our own thing because
I think the week is very packed and we don't have enough time to like practice or try new stuff etc. because three of them, or like match days and one of them is an off day, so four out of seven days are already booked, I guess.
BLIX: Yeah that sounds like a very packed schedule. We'll see if that changes as well. Lastly, before you go, I wanted to ask if you have any messages for MAD fans out there?
Nisqy: Yeah, we had a rough game, it happens. We’ll bounce back in the next games for sure. I think today was just one out of many games. It just happens to everyone and yeah today was just a very sad day.