“You only joined Vitality on March 2, but you’ve just started the spring segment of the LECthe EMEA Championship of League of Legends, with two wins over Excel and MAD Lions. How do you judge this departure?
Elias “Upset” Lipp (Vitality): I’d say we’ve played pretty well so far, especially since we’ve only had four days together as a team, but we found each other pretty quickly. Our matches on stage have been good, our training is going well. There is still a long way to go, but for now I am delighted.
What did you think of Vitality’s winter segment? Did you tell yourself that you had your place in this team?
They looked really strong in the regular season, but in the play-offs they had problems as a team, which they tried to circumvent by using non-meta champions, without success. I think Vitality was missing something that I can contribute. I offer them the possibility of dominating the match via the botlane, so it’s a pretty natural ociation. They have very good players and I wanted to play with Luka “Perkz” Perkovic since a long time.
What is your relationship with Perkz exactly? He seems to have played a big role in your arrival.
We have been friends for a long time. We’ve always been very consistent about our vision of the game, our state of mind, our training methods, our priorities… He always umed his role as team leader and even when we weren’t teammates, I was trying to take inspiration from him, from the way he interacted with other players. In my previous teams, it was often me who pointed out things that were going wrong, which is not really an enviable position. When the whole team is ready to tackle sensitive subjects, it’s always better.
While the other players battled on stage to the G2 title, you missed the start of the season, which you spent on the bench with Fnatic. Will it take you some time to readjust?
No, honestly, I felt really comfortable on stage. But I really missed it, it was a difficult time for me these two months without playing. My wife helped me a lot through that. It was hard to see the other teams succeed when I couldn’t even show what I was capable of because of a contractual situation. Now that I’m out of it, it’s better. I was a little stressed before the matches, but not more than usual.
How were the discussions with Vitality during the very short period between the two segments?
Already, during the previous off-season, I had had offers from several teams. I had declined some of them and I had not been able to sign with Vitality because of my contract. But I knew that teams were interested in my profile, so I was not surprised to receive offers again. When Vitality managed to agree with Fnatic, I didn’t think twice before saying yes, because I really like the players who make up the team.
How did you spend your two months of free time?
On the one hand, I trained a lot, I played a lot of solo queues, watched match replays… On the other, I also spent a lot of time with my wife. We were able to fit out the house we bought a few months ago, I started driving lessons, I saw my family. I used this time to reconnect with my loved ones.
Professional careers on League of Legends are very dense, with little dead time. Do you think that in the long term this forced break can bring you?
Absolutely. I was able to take positives from it. I had good results in previous years, but everything happened very quickly and was stressful, between training camps, tournaments, different segments… Having a period to rest, to concentrate on me, it was good. Even though it’s hard to see other players lift trophies during this time.
Do you think it made you stronger?
Yes. I am very motivated. I always have been, but I really missed the competition…”