Archive:Leaguepedia Articles/Interview with Lyon Gaming's Captain, NerzhuL
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To continue on our journey unveiling Lyon Gaming's history, we decided to interview their captain, NerzhuL.
Good evening and thank you for accepting to do today’s interview. To start off, let’s talk about you. Have you played any game on a competitive level besides?
I have never played a game at a competitive level before; I played DotA before but only for fun. League of Legends is the first game that I had the opportunity to get to this level.
Okay so, how did you get into League of Legends? What was the transition between DotA and LoL like?
A few friends stopped playing DotA and they invited me to play LoL. However, I didn’t like the graphics in that season but then I got bored [of DotA] and ended up switching.
After you got into LoL you slowly increased your skills, and then started to participate in the ranked Ladders and tournaments. How did you meet the members of Lyon Gaming? What were your thoughts at the moment you realized that you could make a living out of playing video games?
In that time all the Latin-American high ELO players knew each other. I was with Seeiya in a couple of teams back and then I heard that they [Lyon Gaming] needed a support, so they asked for my services. I loved the idea [of making a living out of videogames] because I make money doing the thing I like the best.
I knew each of them, they are really good players and people too. My goals since I joined the team were to win the Riot’s [Latin American] Regional that we knew it was coming and our intentions were to be the best team in Latin America while representing Latin American on the International Setup.
And then you completed this goal by defeating Team LoL Cave in the Regional Finals. What was going through your mind once you knew that you had succeeded? What was your team’s reaction?
I felt more than anything, happiness because we were able to achieve our goal of becoming the Latin American champions. The team was really excited and happy because we won how we wanted to, demonstrating our superiority in Latin American and the level of play we achieved through training.
It must have been a huge moral boost considering you were traveling to Germany for Gamescom after winning. However, you guys didn't show the dominant Lyon Gaming we saw at the (Latin American) Regionals, finishing the tournament with a 1-3 record. What happened?
The problem we had was not preparing as we wanted due to time constraints.We couldn't study the other teams we were facing in Gamescom. Leaving that aside, we arrived in Cologne with a lot of enthusiasm. We had two days for practice and we did really well on scrims which I think made us complacent and think that we would win the Wild card easily. However, not studying our rivals was what affected us the most.
What teams did you go against in scrims? Could you tell us more about these games?
Alternate, Gambit Gaming, AT Gaming, and MeetYourMakers. We won against Alternate although in really close games. Against Gambit we were dominated in the first game, in the second game we played better but despite our attempts, we still lost. Against AT Gaming we easily won 2-0. The same happened against MYM, however, their games’ were a lot more contested. They also said that they played against the other teams from the Wild Card and that we were the strongest one.
How were the games against Gambit Gaming? Could you tell us what drove you to defeat?
The games were slow; I felt that the ability gap wasn't big. However, in strategy, they were really superior to us. We lost because we grabbed kills and they took Objectives, turrets until we were asphyxiated in our own base. I remember something interesting, in both games Alex Ich would be really behind, but since he is a god, he came out of nowhere with 300 CS and killed us easily [laughter].
After Gamescom's conclusion and you guys going back to Mexico from Germany, it was announced that h4ckerv2 would leave the team. The rumors said that it was because of personal reasons and issues with the rest of his teammates. Could you give us bit more clarity on the matter?
This is the truth, I don’t know if everyone knows this. We had a huge slump in play because he [[[h4ckerv2]]] was playing poorly. We talked to him about what was happening. However, he only defended himself thinking we would kick him out, saying he deserved to play the qualifier to play in the “Gran Desafío” in Brazil and we couldn't kick him. We told him that we needed him to improve and think more about the way he plays. He then said that it was okay and that we could kick him but after Brazil and then he would leave the team because he thought he could make more money out of his career. We told him that we preferred to kick him on the spot because we were going to stick together so it was better if we started creating a synergy with the new jungler right away. This was the reason behind h4ckerv2 leaving the team. It was really sudden because we needed to do a fast the roster change otherwise we wouldn't be allowed to play in other tournaments.
Once Thyak joined the team as a replacement of h4ckerv2, you guys played in the Amateur League Championship Series, hosted in the North American servers where you guys faced teams that had a lot of ‘hype’ teams like Quantic Gaming. What is your opinion about how that tournament ended for Lyon Gaming? What was it like to face the bot lane of Locodoco & Gunza?
I think that we did relatively well but I think that we could have gotten to the final but we threw it [laughter]. It was our first North American tournament. Locodoco and Gunza are really good; however, I think Gunza carried Locodoco. I don’t consider Locodoco to be really good but they were coordinated enough.
After facing Amateur level teams in North America, you guys traveled to China to play at the World Cyber Games representing Mexico. There you faced teams of world caliber such as CJ Entus Blaze and World Elite. What was the team mentality once you knew you were going to face them?
We had never played in front of so many people or teams of that caliber. It was a really good experience and I think the scenario affected us, we were a bit nervous. However, I did feel that our individual level was not far from them, but their team-play was almost flawless.
Despite the nervousness, the team showed an impressive level of play from the Group Stage up until you faced CJ Entus Blaze. Let’s talk about that match, in bot lane you faced the duo formed by Emperor and Lustboy. What’s your opinion of them? What did you learn from Lustboy as a support?
They are really good mechanically but at the same time they don’t play as aggressive, their lanes play passively waiting for the jungle’s presence to engage 3v3 or 3v2. From Lustboy I learned that the support has to make more plays, he always used flash to engage especially with Sona & Fiddlesticks.
After failing to the fight for 3rd place, you had to face another world caliber team, World Elite. In this match you faced the duo formed by WeiXiao and Fzzf. What were you able to learn from them? What is your opinion about their play style?
Their play style is a lot more aggressive, in that game especially because they played Blitzcrank. We should’ve respected that pick more.
In general, what’s your opinion about the Chinese and Korean scenes?
My opinion is that their scenes are in another level from the other ones, especially the Korean scene, which no one can get close to in level of play.
Once you came back home from China, Riot announced the “Circuit of Leyends”, which after 4 long weeks you guys were able to take the title and got a seed in IEM Sao Paulo. Once there, the team performed poorly - losing to Seven Wars e-Sports. What happened there?
We weren't performing well. We weren't playing in our usual level coming to Brazil, we had issues in the hotel, and we couldn’t rest or study the rival as much as we wanted. However, in general, we underestimated Seven Wars, who played really well.
It’ll affect us as every team will be different if you take a player out. However, we do think that with time, we’ll get a lot better and get better results.
There is something the people have been wondering about. Lyon Gaming are known for their history of forfeiting qualifiers and tournaments in North American LANs, like the qualifiers for LCS NA Split and then the Coke Challenger Series. Why is this?
It’s because Riot approached us that we needed to choose in what region we wanted to play on and we decided to play here because we thought that we could win more.
Recently, with the creation of Keyd Stars there has been a lot of wondering and hype around them. What is your opinion of them?
I think that they’ll be a fearsome team but they I don’t think they’ll win easily in the Brazilian scene, especially because there are a lot of strong teams there. However, once they develop a high level of coordination and team play they’ll become a strong team.
To finish off the interview, do you have anything to add?
I want to thank all our fans from all over Latin American that have been supporting us through it all. We’re still focused on getting the Latin American coup once more. Also we want to thank 7wars for making us realize that there is a good level of play here in Latin America.
We'd like to thank NerzhuL for the time he put into this interview. If you want to catch up with the latest information around the team, you can do so at their Facebookpage .