Standing as the sole hope of the European League of Legends scene, Rogue managed to qualify for the next stage of Worlds 2022, now bound to face up to three Eastern teams, each match more challenging and victory more rewarding than the one before until they lift the trophy of world champions or go back home.
Before their thrilling and terrifying climb, we spoke with Rogue’s coach Simon “fredy122” Payne about their games in Group C, deep considerations of the draft, the Nasus pick, and more.
Aykut Sapaz, BLIX.GG: Hello and welcome Fredy, thank you so much for your time. Today was a very interesting day for you guys. We’ve seen a lot of interesting matches but ultimately you guys qualified out of groups.
BLIX: So let’s quickly go over the games of today. The first game was against GAM. It was a close game at the start but you guys decided to win in the end. Was there any moment through the game that you thought your team was slipping?
Fredy122: In the GAM game I think there was one moment where - I think it was a Herald fight or something happening in the top side and we - it was the Herald fight, yeah. I mean, this made me a bit nervous because the way the game was going, what we needed to do was kind of not fight even if we couldn’t get the Herald buff cause we killed the Herald but then we, like, lost free kills on this. So against that kind of comp you just need to kind of do everything you can to avoid fights or take very smart fights so, yeah. That moment made me nervous but I mean luckily for us GAM kind of did the same thing like two minutes later and they threw it back to us, so after that the thing was mostly playing sailing in that game. This was quite a comfortable game for us in the end, I think.
BLIX: Yeah it seemed very comfortable. I wanted to ask about the Karthus ban, GAM said they didn’t expect it from you guys, and their coach said that. What did you have in your mind when you banned Karthus?
Fredy122: Actually, that one was on the spot. We decided cause we looked at that comp and we thought they’re gonna pick something that, like, Karthus would fit well because their lanes were, like, so volatile they had Kalista, Renekton, and Sett. And also they had a lot of scaling. Like, they needed some scaling so Karthus, like, would have been perfect for them in that draft. We never thought about it beforehand. That was in the moment we thought maybe that pick is a bit dangerous here, so. We, like, we just played it safe, we didn’t actually know if they were gonna pick it or not but we couldn’t find a better ban anyway. So that was on the fly, honestly, so.
BLIX: Very interesting and not at all what I expected. Because they said, you know, they thought you would ban other AP junglers such as Nidalee or Lillia. But, that did the trick and you guys won the game and got out of the groups with that game. Your second game was against DRX. I wanna just talk about the draft. The game itself is not half as interesting as the draft. How did that happen? Like, the sequence, especially with Heimer and Nasus.
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Fredy122: Yeah, about the DRX draft like a lot of people might look at the Nasus and obviously the pick didn’t work and it wasn’t the best. Like, just probably something else that we could have picked better. But I think the real problem was that we assumed that they wouldn’t be able to counter our Kalista. Especially when we had, like, the last pick for support if we wanted, so… But then they did counter it, right? So, I think, like, that’s the big issue, the draft concept was just bad because they had, like, a pick that we didn’t know about. That just stopped us from doing anything around the bot side. So, it was very hard to win that game, I think. That was just… That sometimes can happen in a competitive League, right? You think something can’t be countered but you don’t know about this pick and now there is a Heimerdinger support running around and people want to forget about it again. It’s just a shame that we would attain to, like, learn that lesson, so… Yeah, I don’t think we played that well that game, we played very poorly I think. But it’s like, it’s a hard game from the draft, really.
BLIX: Yeah and it’s against DRX so it’s understandable. And your third game of the day was against Top Esports. What went wrong in that game, because you guys have beaten them once before?
Fredy122: Yeah I think that kind of bot lane is very armageddon bot lane. Whatever side starts winning is basically just gonna completely steamroll the game. And we couldn’t play the game exactly as we wanted from level one and what happened was, I mean, we just got hooked like twice I think. So the lane went bad not like- And when that kind of lane goes bad it’s like I said, the game is just, again, very hard. It could easily have gone the other way, I think. And the problem was again, like, we gave up Aatrox to get Caitlyn in our draft but the Caitlyn lane didn’t work. So it’s again, like, after that it’s also very hard just to play out from the draft because, like, the bot side didn’t go as we had hoped it would, right? And that was the plan anyway, like, maybe it wasn’t good to do that anyway- that kind of trade. On the red side, you have to give something right now and try something, and yeah… Just didn’t work out from the other game and that’s all.
BLIX: Yeah very interesting to, you know, see that happen in games. You make sacrifices in the draft and they apply to the rest of the game, very interesting stuff.
BLIX: Yeah. I mean, you guys had an interesting day. You went 1-3 but it doesn’t matter because you made it out of groups. You’re gonna play next week in the quarterfinals. Who would you like to face in the quarterfinals?
Fredy122: I think probably the best team to play would be RNG. I think they might be a little weaker than the others right now.
BLIX: That is a very spicy thing to say!
Fredy122: Yeah, well. I mean, when you have to choose between all the teams I think they’re already hard. Every team right now is very good. But I think whoever wins group D would be my choice. By this like, there’s nothing in it, right? There’s really nothing. At the end of the day we just have to, like, play well ourselves and whoever we play with there’s no - like - there’s no easy option anymore, right? So…
BLIX: Yeah, it’s all hard from this forward but we’ll see how far Rogue makes it. And besides all the games, how was the Worlds experience for you?
Fredy122: It’s honestly as always. You take it for granted sometimes when you’re like in the midst of competition and you got a lot on your mind. But at the end of the day, we’re here, we’re staying in, like, a really great hotel in the middle of New York and we’re eating whatever we like, great food, you know. And we’re not even paying for it, you know, mostly. So, I mean the Worlds experience, like, at the moment you might not appreciate it but every time when you look back on it it’s filled with fondness, right? So, I’m sure after this tournament’s done in a few weeks I’ll look back and I’ll, like- It’s great to be here. It’s kind of just like that.
BLIX: That is very great to hear. You know, this event is not just for competing but also for creating great memories. It’s more about competing for you guys but still.
Fredy122: Yeah, honestly, for both.
BLIX: And lastly I want to ask if you have a message to Rogue fans- so EU fans now that you’re the only EU team to make it out of groups out there.
Fredy122: Thanks for continuing to support us and I think today we just lowered expectations a lot but yeah, we will do our best to show up for Europe next week. And yeah, stay with us.
BLIX: Alright thank you so much for your time. And I wish you very good luck in the upcoming week in the quarterfinals whoever your opponent may be, even if they’re RNG.
BLIX: And thank you.