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The analytical jungler was particularly reflective on the topics we visited. He shared his insights on his time with Lemondogs, the reasons that allowed SK Telecom T1 K to conquer the world, as well as his hopes going into Season 4 alongside CLG (with MonteCristo at the helm of coaching).
Career: Dexterisactuallyevil, DragonBorns
As far as being a player, you transitioned from WoW to League of Legends. You were involved in the creation of the two squads with Kikis and Foo Sharp, both of which had Moopz playing in them. What do you think of that squad?
I think we were an okay team. I just started my career from there. I played with those people after meeting them in solo queue. Back then, I only played with Luna Gaming, a fun team we had, with Kerp, Jree, Foo Sharp, RHadox, ImbaaaSheep, and me. It's funny that's a lot of these players, who played normal games all day long, are in the LCS right now.
It was the same with Foo Sharp. I created a team with him, and it was like “We need a toplaner, who do we take?”, “We take Kikis”. We had Yerrow as support and CookMySock as mid lane. When it didn't work out, we decided we would take in LeDuck for the Qualifier. We also took Moopz. When we started to play with the new lineup, we beat Millenium who were stomping in scrims at the time, and we threw them out of the qualifiers. We just managed to get into the LCS qualifiers somehow. We were just a normal team; we played with that setup for two or three hours, the day before the Qualifiers. Yet, we kicked out Millenium, where Tabzz and ImSoFresh were playing.
In the end, we didn't manage to beat MeetYourMakers on stage, but they got into the LCS. At that point, they were a better team than us.
The botlane was the weak point. The support was nervous on stage and had no competitive experience. Then, he had to play in front of a crowd. We always had issues with our botlane. We just let them play Varus, or those supporty picks that can win laning phase or go equal. Moopz, Kikis and myself carried the games, pretty much. That's how we won the games.
Moopz and I had really good synergy for the time we played together. At the time, Kikis was a really decent toplaner as well; he won his lane most of the time, but it was hit-or-miss with him. Inconsistency was a problem as well. If you're inconsistent, you're not a really good player. You can shine in 1 out of 3 games, but once you're in a best-of-3, that's not gonna help you.
The weak point was the botlane in the end. Moopz and Kikis played really decent in the live qualifiers.
I had never played in a LAN environment before the LCS. The first match I had to play was in Lille, in front of 5K people. My nerves were so bad, that I was shaking. I would ask myself “What am I doing?” The first game wasn't really good. I played really terrible, against Copenhagen Wolves. I was Volibear and went 0/3. It's a big factor, you have to experience it once, then it gets better as you play. It really helped me to play those two weeks with DragonBorns. It was a pretty good experience.
When I first started playing, everyone was praising Diamondprox at that point. “He's so good, he's the best jungler in the world”. Korea was not really developed that much, at that point. I have to agree, I looked up to Diamondprox a lot when I first started out in the competitive environment, because it was also the time when he dominated with Lee Sin. I was impressed by his mechanics. At the same time, when I got better and better, I realized that he was a player as well – he's beatable. I was starting to play with other people. I played soloqueue a lot, with or against him. You slowly start to realize that those players are really good, but not unbeatable.
At that time, I think Svenskeren was good with CW as well. He did a good job in the jungle. As far as Cyanide, he has the main problem of being inconsistent. I think he's one of the most inconsistent junglers, with the highest peaks of any jungle player. On his game, he's unbeatable. You saw it at Worlds, he even said it somewhere, that he didn't play any better games than the ones at Worlds. It's a really good thing to have, but at the same time it can cause you some troubles. I think he's still a good player, but being that inconsistent as a jungler is something only Fnatic can compensate for. I don't think any other team in Europe could compensate for the inconsistency of the jungler. He's still really good, but Fnatic has amazing players on every role, so it doesn't really matter that he's inconsistent one time, and has a really good game the other time.
I think consistency is the biggest value you can have on your jungler. That's why Diamondprox is considered to be one of the best. He never has an off game pretty much, he always plays well.
I don't know if there's much to say about him. He already hit the point in his career in S1WC when he was shining. Throughout season 2, he didn't make any progress as a player. He got moved into the top lane, didn't perform that well, then got kicked out of Fnatic. Then, he decided to go with DB.
He always was the guy who would play the most random picks ever. He was the one who brought Evelynn mid. He wanted to play Fiddlesticks mid. When I played with him, he was like “Okay, we're playing Gambit. Let Alex Ich pick Zed, and I will counter him with Udyr.” He picked those picks nobody heard of. His teammates were “Okay, it's Shushei. Just let him do his thing. He will play better than if you force him on a pick. Just let him play Udyr, it will be fine.” He's a good guy, but I do not think he's a good player anymore.
After DB, you went to mousesports, which almost qualified to the LCS. Then, as part of Lemondogs, you met with Tabbz, a player you actually defeated along the way to the LCS. Can you talk about Tabzz, draw the comparisons between his time as your teammate and the Tabzz in Alliance?
Tabzz is one of the funniest teammates I played with. If he gets pissed at something, he uses a lot of irony and sarcasm. He's well-spoken about it, and it's super funny to listen to. I have a lot of funny memories from when I played with him. It was fun to listen to him when he was pissed at something.
At the same time, he's an emotional player. When he gets stressed out, it drags him down and makes him perform worse. In Lemondogs, we never had an issue because we never knew what losing felt like. We just played the game, then all of a sudden we won everything in the LCS. I don't really know what Tabzz is like when he loses. I talk to him a lot on Skype, we're really good friends. He told me about the Alliance 0-4 first week. He was like: “Everyone expected us to win. There's a lot of pressure. I never had that much pressure in Lemondogs.” No one cared about us, winning or losing. We were always the team that had 500 fans, and the rest was like “they're just 5 random guys”. No one even knew the whole team's players.
I think pressure really got to Alliance, especially Tabzz. He's not the calmest player, and he gets affected by things like that a lot. If he can bounce back and grab a couple of wins, he will be in a really good spot with Alliance.
The reason why Lemondogs were so successful was because we were really far ahead of the meta at that point. If you ask teams about it, everyone will tell you the same: We [Lemondogs] were the first one to play assassins mid. We were the first ones to do the “camp mid” meta. It worked out to be the meta, that camping midlane and playing assassins is the most effective way to win the game. When Nukeduck played Fizz, Zed, and all of those champions that relied on one kill to win the game alone, I was camping mid.
The way I jungled in Lemondogs was “All for midlane's sake.” I had the best synergy with Zorozero. But, there was no point in ganking top. He was so good in lane, there was no point to go there to hold the lane or get a kill. He was like “Okay, Dexter, come top. We have a kill here, right now.” 30 seconds later, I go there, we get a kill, 100% of the time. There was no downside to it.
We played the solo and duo lanes really well. We never lost them. We always got kills on the duo lane with me playing Jarvan IV. Zoro and I had better synergy than any other player. Still, I managed to go mid and camp Nukeduck's lane. He called me midlane to shove the wave, we denied the enemy midlaner a lot of waves just pushing it up and hitting the tower 1on2, forcing the enemy jungler to come to us. Basically what I did was jumping from wolves to wraiths and always having his back while he 1on1'd the enemy midlaner.
It took a long, long, long time for people to adapt to it. No one realized that I only camped midlane when we played assassins. I think that's the reason why we [Nukeduck and I] looked good, we had lane control and jungle pressure. He's not as good on champions like Gragas and Orianna, mage-type champions, and he even admitted it. He's a really good assassin player, but he doesn't play as well on other champions.
In the NiP qualifiers, he had Amumu in the jungle, a really passive pick in my opinion. He had Orianna, a really passive pick as well. They would just go for lategame. Amumu didn't gank until minute 20, and he just took every blue. Nukeduck just farmed mid, and he used his first ultimate without hitting anything. I was like “Okay, this is not looking good for NiP.”
I was a factor in him being recognized as one of the best midlaners in Europe, you can't play assassins without jungle pressure. Jungle is always good when the team does good as well. When mid does extremely well, the jungle looks good as well. It goes both ways. It's like Alex Ich and Diamondprox, those are two amazing players: they can always rely on each other. When we played in Lemondogs, I carried his early laning phase when he would pick a 19 Armor Penetration runepage. We won the game by one gank, he would snowball the game for us.
I don't think nRated was helping a lot in the team, as we had other problems at that point in time. He didn't help us for anything we lacked in team play. He was there for individual mistakes, or coaching us what we can do better. In reality, our problem was midgame rotations. At that point, no one knew what to do, how to rotate properly, and he couldn't help us with that either.
He helped a bit in the laning phase, and in the early game. In the end, the problems we had could not be fixed by an analyst, and that is why we couldn't manage to go past the group stage.
We played two games against TSM. In the first game, I'm really being honest: we did not take them seriously. We were like “We pick whatever, and we'll win,” then we got completely outpicked. Mid got crushed by Vi camp; she was 0/2, lv3, I was lv5, and all of a sudden she got fed off of mid lane. At level 6, Vi camped mid over and over again. It was misplayed by Nukeduck as well, I think. They killed mid over and over, and they had Zed there.
We outpicked ourselves. At one point, we were ahead. I was 2-0, got two ganks on Dyrus. It was going well, but it didn't matter how good we did early game. The comp we picked was like “We can pick whatever we want.” We didn't take any meeting before the game. Nukeduck wanted him (Reginald) to play Zed and went “Okay, I can counter him with Ahri.” That's why we lost the first game.
On the second game, we were seriously thinking of, like, “We need this win.” We made a gameplan, and we executed it properly. We won the game pretty convincingly. I don't think the synergy between Reginald and TheOddOne was that good in Worlds; you can't really tell if the synergy was good if you have both Vi and Zed pressing R on a target. They didn't really counterjungle together, and they didn't have a really good vision control around midlane. That's what synergy is.
If you watched Bengi and Faker, [they had] perfect execution throughout the whole tournament: perfect vision control over the whole jungle, and that's how you're supposed to play with them. Reginald was good at calling TheOddOne and doing plays with aggressive champions, but I don't think synergy was impressive from both of them. Bengi and Faker had by far the best midlane/jungle synergy, and that is why they won the whole tournament. They (SKT T1 K) had two amazing players, both [considered as] the best in their role right now.