Smoothie: ''I Haven’t Been On A Team This Dominant Early Game Before''
Even with a handful of League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) experienced players Counter Logic Gaming have been having a number of issues in the 2021 season. This, of course, is in part due to substitutions in the top lane and the jungle early on in the season and later in the Spring Split.
Finn “Finn” Wiestal was finally able to play for the team in Week 1 of the LCS but Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen wasn’t able to play until a number of weeks later due to visa-related issues.
Early on, this team was better than what their record showed in the standings, as they got themselves strong early game leads, but struggled to translate them into wins. Once in Week 5, Counter Logic Gaming were able to nab themselves a 2-1 week for the first time this split.
We had a chance to catch up with their support, Andy “Smoothie” Ta after their dominant win over Immortals in their first game of the week.
Congrats on your win, Smoothie, I bet it must’ve felt pretty good seeing as it was dominant from start to finish. How did it feel to finally be able to convert those early game leads that you have been able to build early on into a win?
It felt pretty amazing. We’ve been working really, really hard these past two weeks - I mean last week. Scrimming every day, two scrim blocks; it’s been a constant grind so seeing some results is really satisfying, and it makes our hard work worth it for sure.
I haven’t been on a team this dominant early game before.
This is your second win in a row now, the first one was last week versus Dignitas where you clawed it back and now a very dominant and solid game versus Immortals. Did anything click or change between last week and this week?
Well, I think what we learned from last week to this week, is our macro just kinda sucked. And it’s no surprise - we couldn’t close games for the life of us. We just couldn’t win, even though we had substantial leads (which we don’t have any issues getting), which is really impressive. I haven’t been on a team this dominant early game before. I think the biggest thing we took away was how to play together as a team, how to use our winning lanes to help each other, and how to snowball better as a team in general. It’s just been a constant grind - we all just constantly try to help each other as much as possible, and we ended up learning a lot from it. It’s really nice to win, finally.
I don’t like making excuses. I think it’s just for us we didn’t play as a team especially before Broxah and Finn both came. It was really hard to focus on a lot of things because when we’re subbing out a top laner and a jungler — every role is so integral to the game.
As you mentioned you’ve never been on a team this dominant before,and seeing as how it has so much experience on this roster. Do you know what was causing the mistranslation from getting yourselves leads in the early game into later faltering down the line in the mid to late game?
Well, I don’t like making excuses. I think it’s just for us we didn’t play as a team especially before Broxah and Finn both came. It was really hard to focus on a lot of things, because when we’re subbing out a top laner and a jungler - every role is so integral to the game. We were learning, but playing with players that aren’t gonna be our main players is really difficult at times, because all our lessons we’ve learned aren’t really translating as well, or as fast as we want it to. Not to say that Solo or Wiggily were the reasons, of course, I think they played really well for the situation they were put in. But yeah, I think for the most part, all of us didn’t really know how to play the macro together as well, and we didn’t know how to play the team game. That was really bad for closing out games, and now we’re a lot more decisive, we’re a lot more slow and methodical with our play. Closing out games, getting our advantages and helping each other out, it’s coming a lot more naturally now, and it’s really nice to see.
As of the last few weeks you’ve been pretty positive even when losing on Twitter, and it’s known that Counter Logic Gaming has a passionate fanbase. How have you been dealing with social media as of late?
I’ve been neglecting it a lot. It’s honestly really hard to see the upset fans looking down upon us and stuff - yeah it sucks, we know. I didn’t really look at Twitter or Instagram a lot. But after we started playing better, I started being able to look at it more, and all my time and energy went to improving at that point. I never really cared about anything else; it just didn’t feel right. I didn’t feel like I deserved to use social media until I started playing better, and I think right now I’m playing pretty good for my standard, and it’s only up from here. And I think everyone else on our team is getting a lot better every day too, and we’re all playing really well together as a team. It feels really good to play.
Speaking of playing, you’ve been a support in the LCS for years now, and you’ve got to play with a plethora of different AD carries. What’s it like playing with WildTurtle knowing that he’s such a tenured player and has been on a couple of high profile teams?
First of all, Turtle is a really good friend of mine. We’ve lived together, he’s really close to me, so we have that going. It’s really easy to talk to him and give and get critique. There’s that, and he’s also a really good player. He likes to limit test a lot which has its blessing and curses. But, for the most part, we’re really on the same page on a lot of matchups in the bot lane, which is a really strong thing I haven’t had in a while. And we kinda know what each other wants to do a lot of the time. So yeah, it’s been really great to work with him; he’s a really good friend of mine, it’s been a really good time.
Is it correct to assume it's a perfect fit?
Yeah, for the most part. We were struggling together, and now we’re doing better together. It’s gonna be a great year.
Although eliminated from playoff contention, Smoothie and the rest of Counter Logic Gaming look to close out the split strong as they face the team who's been dominating the league, Cloud9 on Friday, March 12.
Images via Riot Games