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15 Minutes with ROCCAT Xaxus - 2014 EU LCS Week 5 Interview

During W5D2 of the EU LCS, our writer, Adel Chouadria, had a chance to sit down with Xaxus from Team ROCCATlogo std.pngTeam ROCCAT. This interview is in four sections: Xaxus’ career, the biggest tournaments he's attended, Kiedyś Miałem Team and a post game discussion after their win versus CHWLogo std.pngCopenhagen Wolves.

  1. Starting Out In The Competitive Scene
  2. The Big Tournaments
  3. Kiedyś Miałem Team: Living The Dream
  4. Postgame: vs Copenhagen Wolves

Starting Out In The Competitive Scene

Adel: Now Xaxus, the first thing I wanted to ask you is who was in your first team way back when you started out in League of Legends in 2010?

Before Time-Out, the first team that I wanted to train with and not just play for fun was ALSEN. It was a really long time ago. It was the first team that housed the best players from Poland. That's where I met VandeR for the first time. I played with him for a couple of days. Libik from Mymlogo std.pngMeetYourMakers played there as well, as did some other well-known faces in the competitive scene.

So you met two of the best Polish supports out there. What comparisons can you draw between them, back then and in the present?

Well, VandeR played AD Carry for two years so he was playing that position back then. And to be honest it was so long ago that I don't really remember much, well maybe just a little, but not enough to compare them back then. As far as the now, it's hard to say because we haven't played versus MYM in a very long time, I rarely watch their matches so there's not much I can say about them. VandeR is playing better I would say, because we're first in the LCS so there has to be something behind that.

Afterwards you went from meeting one of your current teammates to meeting two of your other current teammates. I'm talking about Overpow and Celaver. You were alongside other teammates, but for you what were the stakes in joining them in Team Time-Out?

Well, that was pretty much the first incarnation of Team Acerlogo std.pngTeam Acer Poland. I was invited to play in the team with Creaton from Milllogo std.pngMillenium and Overpow whom I met for the first time in that team. He had been playing Heroes of Newerth semi-professionally before moving onto League of Legends, and that was his first team I believe. Besides them the other players were niQ, and SuperAZE and Grom. It was the first professional Polish team. We weren't together for a long time but we were quite good back then. We only played for a month or a month and a half, because there was no chemistry between us. So we split up. I didn't actually play with Celaver until we joined up in Kiedys Mialem Teamlogo std.pngKiedys Mialem Team in December 2012.

You went through Acer Poland and then joined KMT right before going to IEM Singapore. How did you approach that?

Well, I wasn't a founding member of KMT, I was just invited to play for the team. Overpow was captain of the team, and I was playing with Shushei back then as well as Hosan, who were at the time playing for Dragonbornlogo std.pngDragonBorns. I decided that KMT was the better option for me so I joined them.

Although he jumped from team to team, Xaxus found his place in KMT.
When you left IWantCookielogo std.pngIWantCookie, there was talk that you left because you didn't like their level of commitment to the game and their seriousness in general. Can you elaborate on that?

It was because of our jungle - OniiChan. He was a beast, a very good French player even if he wasn't that known. He carried us in a lot of games even versus powerhouse teams like Fnaticlogo std.pngFnatic. But he could only play 2 days during the week due to some internet issues. So we ended up playing 1 or 2 games per week so I just thought that it was a waste of time and went to KMT.

You ended up joining a team that valued commitment way more than most teams do. How did the switch affect you?

I was happy that we could work as a team and improve. Also, I was happy that I was able to win something finally.

The Big Tournaments

Xaxus lost vs Incredible Miracle but won the MVP.
Afterwards you went to IEM Sao Paolo and you were actually nominated MVP even thought your team lost against Incredible Miraclelogo std.pngIncredible Miracle in the Finals. How was the experience for you, knowing that this was your second trip outside of Poland and it took you to the other side of the world?

Yeah, that was the second trip I took where I had to travel for over 10 hours on an airplane. The first one was Singapore, where we didn't do as well. Brazil was much better for us as a team, although I enjoyed our time in Singapore more, as it was more interesting from a tourist's point of view. But the tournament in Sao Paolo went better for us. We didn't expect to get the 2nd place. Not all of the best teams were there, there were better options, but you still had teams like MYM, Millenium and Incredible Miracle from Korea, so we were really happy with the 2nd place. I was personally very happy about the MVP. I pretty much played the "OP" champions of the time and I think that was the reason I got the MVP. OlafSquare.png Olaf at the time was so good that I could win 1v2 and 1v3 situations and it looked really flashy so maybe that's why the people voted for me.

You made the journey alongside MYM and Millenium. What were the relations between KMT and those two teams?

Well, we really liked Millenium and Creaton especially, because we played with him in the same team and we always spent time together. We didn't do that with MYM. There was no hate, but you couldn't say that we liked them either. It's cold between us, you know?

Let's fast-forward to Hanover - the IEM World Championship. What was it like approaching that tournament, did you actually predict that you would break through the group stage of the tournament?

No, it was a total surprise for us. We didn't practice much for two weeks because of some problems and we just went for the trip and last-place money. I think we had a really good day, since all the matches we won were during the first day. I think everyone everyone including ourselves had the same expectations - that we would just lose all our matches. I guess we just had a really good day and got out of the group.

There were two LCS teams that faltered throughout the group stage - Eglogo std.pngEvil Geniuses and Fnatic. What did you think about that?

People said they didn't have much time to prepare for that tournament. It's hard to do that, because you have to play week after week in the LCS and they didn't have the time. I don't think that was the case. If we were about to play in the IEM World Championship in Katowice this year, I think we would put in the time to do well if we had such a chance. I think they just had bad runs.

Kiadys Mialem Team: Living The Dream

Xaxus first LCS Qualifiers didn't go as well as his second.
After that, your team prepared for the Summer Qualifiers. In the meantime you also made switches in the team. Why did you do so?

We had many switches, especially Jungle and Support are like "cursed" roles in our team's history, since those were the only roles we made switches for. We tried every single person that plays on the competitive level in Poland for those two roles. It took us a long time to find the people who would have a synergy with us. I think that's why we stayed in the shadows for so long as KMT. We just lacked the correct people to have a great team.

In the end you went up against Logo std.pngSamurai in Jeans. When the draw happened, how did you feel about it?

We faced the two strongest teams at the time and we knew that our chances were small. Samurai in Jeans were really good and although they failed to qualify, 4 out of the 5 players got into the LCS via transfers. I think we just weren't good enough to get into the LCS at that point. Maybe if we had easier opponents we might have qualified, but that's no excuse.

The current roster of Team ROCCAT
At that point you once again changed your Jungle and Support players until you finally found Jankos and VandeR. What was the reason behind those numerous changes?

Yeah, that's because there are no good junglers in Poland. I played Jungle back in Acer Poland, Overpow had to play Jungle at one point too, because of that lack of good junglers. We basically had to steal Jankos away from another team to fix that problem. We borrowed him for one event - Dreamhack Bucharest. After we won that tournament, we offered him to stay with us, since we was technically still with another team.

You managed to pick up VandeR out of the blue. He had managed to transition from AD Carry to Support during that year. What did you think of his role swap?

I don't know why he switched at all to be honest. Maybe it was because there weren't a lot of good supports in Poland and he saw an opportunity in that. It would be easier for him to find a team if he played support I guess.

VandeR wanted to be able to shotcall.
When I asked him in one of our previous 15 Minutes interviews, he said it was because he wanted to be able to shotcall. Overpow has also said that most of the shotcalling is divided amongst Jankos and VandeR. What do they bring into your shotcalling as a team?

Well, we mainly shotcall as a team during most of the game. For instance, when we see an opening, we would all just scream "Nashor Nashor". It's pretty much the same, in small skirmishes, everybody can give out orders and we just commit to them. There's no thinking behind it ,we just do the first thing somebody says. It doesn't always end up well, and that's something we're working on. There are still a lot of things we can improve and that's one of them but that is our idea as far as how shotcalling should work.

Afterwards your team decided to concentrate on preparing for Dreamhack and the LCS Qualifiers. Did that put a lot of stress on you, or were you calm as far as your qualification chances?

Well, we played Dreamhack mainly for fun and the experience we could get out of it. We didn't prepare for it, we just went there and played. We got 2nd place and it was a nice trip overall. We focused much more on the LCS Qualifiers than on Dreamhack itself.

Leading into the LCS Qualifiers, what was your reaction to Ninjas in Pyjamaslogo std.pngNinjas in Pyjamas choosing KMT?

We knew there was such a chance. We expected them to pick either us or SHC XDlogo std.pngSUPA HOT CREW, because Copenhagen Wolves looked really strong at the time. They had gone 5-0 in the qualifiers and they had won most of the recent tournaments. I guess NiP just thought we were weak and for me it seemed that they were cocky enough that they thought it didn't matter whether they picked us or SHC. That they would win easily no matter who they played against. And that's how they acted just before the games.

KMT's Kayle pick versus NiP was random.
How did you guys actually prepare on the way to that 3-0. What exactly did you do leading into those games?

Well, our Picks and Bans weren't really prepared beforehand. We played scrims versus Team SoloMidlogo std.pngTeam SoloMid here in the studio and Overpow decided that KayleSquare.png Kayle was really strong and that he would play her and that's how we ended up winning two games with her. It was just a random pick.

Speaking of TSM, when you scrimmed versus them what were the overall results and what did you think of them?

We won the first match. During the second match, we were very far ahead but we trolled and lost it in the end. It was a pretty hard loss, they managed to make a comeback and won. Later on we lost another 2 games in a row. It's always nice to play versus teams from other regions, since such opportunities aren't possible that often. But those matches were just random scrims and we played them to warm up for the NiP matches. It's not the same as playing tournament matches, nobody focuses as hard as he would in an official match. It was about improving some things, not tryharding.

VandeR said that the 1-3-1 that you pulled off during the NiP games was improvised but inspired by a Korean team. Which team was it?

I really had no idea that it was inspired by a Korean team. Every single player on the team is experienced and we've played and watched tens of thousands of games in League of Legends, so some things just come naturally. I think that that was just one of those times when we knew what to do based off that experience - whether it was our own idea or something we remembered seeing somewhere.

Afterwards, the games are over - you're in the LCS. What was the team atmosphere?

"What the hell happened, how is this even possible?" - Those were out first thoughts I think. We got in on our first try and we were playing versus NiP which people said was the best team in Europe, because they were winning every single scrim. We knew it would be really hard to beat them. Not impossible, but they were the toughest enemy in the relegation tournament. We were pretty amazed that we managed to 3-0 them. I don't know what to say about that moment except that it was really mind-blowing. We couldn't believe it.

Edward believed that KMT would win vs NiP 3-2.
Did a lot of people show their belief in you as a team going into the NiP matches?

Most people expected NiP to win. The only person that I remember voicing his expectations in our favor was Edward. He said we would win versus NiP in a 3-2 Best-of-five.

A few days later, before the LCS started - what were your expectations going into it? Did you expect being on top, 5 weeks into the LCS?

As I said before, we wanted to fight for 4th/5th place just to be in the Playoffs. That was our goal before the Season started. But it just turned out that we're performing better than the other teams, or they're performing worse than expected. We are doing really good right now and our goal has shifted towards doing everything in our power to stay in the Top 2. It will be really hard but I hope we will make it.

Where did ROCCAT manage to find the focus on objectives and making correct rotations?

We're still practicing our rotations, because I think teams like the Copenhagen Wolves are better than us at doing them. We are good at doing Nashor. We have the nerves it takes after we kill one or two enemies, so we go for the turrets and Nashor. We do this better than most teams because we know our limits. We know what we can do with our champions, we're good in teamfights and in the Picks & Ban phase. That enables us to take advantage of the enemy team when an opening comes up.

Postgame: vs Copenhagen Wolves

At what point during yesterday's game against Alliance did you think that you were going to win it?

When we took the first Nashor. They just got too greedy for the Turret kill. They ended up trading a turret for 3 or 4 kills and a Nashor for us. I knew at that point that if we played it off well that they wouldn't have a chance at a comeback. Our champions were much stronger in the late game so they didn't stand much of a chance versus us unless we played it badly and threw the game somehow. We just had to wait, farm some more and there was nothing they could do. They could only turtle up for as long as they could and hope we made a mistake at some point.

There was a common element in your games this week - you picked TrundleSquare.png Trundle. What do you think of him in the current meta?

In the current patch he's the best. There are champions that can beat him easily, but people dislike playing those champions - KennenSquare.png Kennen, JayceSquare.png Jayce. Since Trundle has no gap closer he can't do much against such champions in lane unless someone ganks. But since currently teams play tanky toplanes, you can't play them. At the same time Trundle is a really good splitpusher. He is by default an anti-tank champion because of his Ultimate, so he's really good at everything. He's bad versus some AP Toplaners, but for the current meta, he's good.

In addition to playing Trundle, you pulled off a lot of clutch teleports. How do you decide which situations demand a Teleport?

Usually I teleport after I splitpush. By doing that you put the pressure on the enemy team to send someone to counter your splitpushing and there are two reasons why teams dislike doing that. Trundle is really good in 1v1 situations and players tend to get Teleport with him. So that puts the enemy team in the situation where they either have to also pick up a Teleport on their toplane, or they have to somehow disrupt the Trundle's teleport. By splitpushing with Trundle, you force the enemy to gather as a team and try to dive you or push. Because Trundle is a fast pusher, teams are usually handicapped when trying to force a fast dive anywhere else on the map. And I usually teleport behind the other team if we have sufficient warding and capitalize on that.

Now that you're first in the LCS, which teams do you think will be harder to play against in line with your new goal of being Top 2?

Definitely SK Gaminglogo std.pngSK Gaming. They are playing really well and we have a match against them next week. It will be a really tough and interesting match to watch. Gambit is the second hard matchup for us, and we're also playing them next week, making it a very hard week for us. Fnatic are also someone you shouldn't disregard, even if they aren't in their best shape right now. But top 2 are definitely SK and GambitLogo std.pngGambit Gaming.

Which Toplaner has struck you as a tough opponent to play against in your career so far?

As far as mechanical skills within the laning phase - Zorozero is the best in Europe. He's by far the player I hate playing against the most. I hate laning versus him. I think I would manage to play well versus most LCS Toplaners, but Zorozero is something else. Especially when he plays with Dr. MundoSquare.png Dr. Mundo he punishes you for the slightest mistakes you make.

Today's LCS stream will transition into the Cloud9logo std.pngCloud9 Eclipse versus Ninjas in Pyjamas best-of-three. Where do you see these teams in the future?

I can see both those teams in the LCS, since they are playing pretty well. They are by far the two strongest teams in the Challenger scene. I think the rest of the teams are way below their level as far as skill. If the Challenger scene keeps up like this, there will be a good fight for the LCS spots next relegations.

How does it feel to be at the top of the EU LCS and who would you thank for helping you along the way?

I would like to thank all of the people who helped me get here. Every single teammate I've had has in some way made this possible. I'd like to thank all of our fans and ROCCAT for the support they've been offering us. It's because of all of you that we got this opportunity and play so well.

We at Leaguepedia would like to thank Xaxus for doing the interview with us. The 2014 EU LCS resumes this Thursday, February 20th, and you can watch Team ROCCATlogo std.pngTeam ROCCAT face the subbed-out GambitLogo std.pngGambit Gaming on

If you want to find out more about other LCS players, click on the links below to go to the respective interview:

Written by Adel Chouadria - @HypeAlgerian
Edited by Alexander Kirilov - @ROCCATMatteo

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