Albus NoX Luna pulled one of the biggest upsets in League of Legends history yesterday after beating Korea’s number one seed ROX Tigers, managing thus to secure a spot into the 2016 World Championship quarter-finals – making it the very first time a team coming from a Wildcard region advances to the playoffs.
In an interview to BR LoL Esports’ Bruno “Leon Butcher” Pereira after the hectic day , the team’s midlaner Michael “Kira” Garmash discussed about the wins against Counter Logic Gaming and ROX, thanked fellow Wildcard side INTZ for practicing against them before the tournament, and said a few words about next week’s quarter finals in Chicago.
“Today was a truly crazy day. We won two games and advanced to the quarter finals. I am very surprised,” said the Ukrainian. “The first game, against CLG, was the most important one. With a win, we would have like a 50% chance to advance to the quarter-finals.” The player also explained why he was so successful against Choi “HuHi” Jae-hyun’s Karma: “I was on Viktor against Karma, which was a match-up that a practiced and lost a lot against a Polish team, so when I arrived to this game, I already knew exactly what I needed to do, so it wasn’t that hard.”
Regarding scrims and practice, Kira didn’t spare words to praise INTZ: “since we arrived here, practically only INTZ accepted to scrim with us, so we have to thank them a lot. They were the only ones who didn’t turn their backs to us, and I am extremely grateful for that. I think that because nobody else practiced with us, nobody knew what to expect – not even us.”
Moving to the match against the ROX Tigers, Kira praised his team’s early game and objective calls: “We managed to pick Vladimir to counter Syndra, and moreover, managed to kill her twice at the start of the game, putting me into a very comfortable position. Our calls are very good, especially when we are talking about objectives.”
Despite losing the second baron of the game, stolen by Yoon “Peanut” Wang-ho, the midlaner still believes that the team made the right call: “their first steal wasn’t a bad call by us, but we played it terribly. The Lee Sin and Syndra combined their damage very well in order to walk away with the objective.”
After the Baron respawned, NoX moved once again to the objective – despite not having Alexander “PvPStejos” Glazkov present. “That second Baron was a grotesque mistake by us. We didn’t have Stejos and they did have Lee Sin. We sent Dmitri “Smurf” Ivanov to stop him, but Peanut is simply too damn good, and managed to take the objective.”
The team apparently felt the pressure, and suddenly, the Koreans were back to the game. Kira admits that he didn’t play well during the latter stages of the game: “I need to apologize to my team, I played truly badly at the end, and almost threw the game. We didn’t want to fight, we were playing through splitpush and through the pressure our minions were applying.”
At the end, everything worked out for the underdogs, and they came up with a huge win against the Korean Champions, securing their spot at the playoffs. When asked about the quarter-finals, Kira remains focused, despite achieving a historical feat for the Wildcard regions: “I don’t think our egos will be much of a problem. But I admit that we will have more problems now, considering that the other teams know us and will study us more. Nevertheless, we should be confident about our own game, and enter the game to do what we always do: surprise and win.”
Photo courtesy of Riot Games
Special thanks to Bruno Pereira for the original interview, published in Portuguese and translated by SplitPush.