MAD Lions Armut Talks About Path to Worlds 2022, Mid-Game Slip-Ups & Challenges
Armut also talked about the friendship of Nisqy and Elyoya!
The fourth seed from the League of Legends European Championship (LEC) – MAD Lions – put up a strong showing on Day 1 of Worlds 2022 Play-In despite two of its players testing positive for COVID-19 and playing from isolation booths provided by Riot Games. The overall performance of MAD Lions in the opening two matches was praise-worthy but it did have a few notable hiccups in the mid-game stages. After wins against Isurus and Istanbul Wildcats, I got the opportunity to catch up with MAD Lions’ top laner İrfan Berk "Armut" Tükek.
Armut reflected on MAD Lions’ qualification to Worlds 2022, the team’s read of the meta, and also the mid-jungle synergy which seems to be clicking for the team.
Armut comments on MAD Lions’ performance
Despite going 2-0 on Day 1 of Worlds 2022 Play-in, the looming question was why it got dicey for the European squad in both the games. For a hot minute, Isurus and Istanbul Wildcats looked well in shape to mount comebacks in their respective games. Commenting on this, Armut said, “I think we failed our macro game in the mid-game. I was one of them. I had silly mistakes like my base timing was bad once, we also gave drakes for example. Opening through mid and bot, I made some mistakes while others also made some.”
One of the biggest talking points of the MAD Lions’ second match was its attack-damage carry (ADC) William "UNF0RGIVEN" Nieminen picking up a quadra kill on Kai’Sa against Istanbul Wildcats. Recalling the action in-game, Armut talked about the team’s comms. “We were not really hyped or something because the game was still not won so we did not chill.” He added that the team asked UNF0RGIVEN not to chase Azir for the pentakill after which it took down the Ocean dragon.
Notably, when the first match of the day began after a long delay, MAD Lions was handed first blood on a silver platter as Isurus’ support Son “Jelly” Ho-gyeong was caught out on the bottom side river by three MAD Lions members. Armut laughed as he recalled the first blood kill and revealed that Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer wanted to cash in on it. He added, “We were like, ‘What is he doing?’. We just took the donation.”
Worlds 2022 meta is taking shape
While giving his general overview of the meta at Worlds 2022, Armut stated that MAD Lions has a good reading on it. He said, “For now we got the meta,” adding that the team still needs to go up against stronger teams and watch them play in order to gauge the meta better. Additionally, Armut stated that the reigning Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) champion Royal Never Give Up (RNG) from China was MAD Lions’ biggest competition in the Play-in stage. “I would say RNG is the biggest and after that DRX because LPL and LCK look really strong compared to the others. These two teams are definitely going to be our challenge in the group.”
Pressure on European teams at Worlds 2022
The LEC was allowed to bring four teams to Worlds 2022 this year since the League of Legends Continental League (LCL) could not send a representative. So the LEC is the only region to have two teams play in the Play-In stage. Given the fact that the European league has been performing really well at international events in the past few years and because Korea and China already have four seeds each, the extra spot went to Europe.
Armut commented on the pressure that MAD Lions is facing at the international tournament with four slots under its belt. “I mean there is an extra responsibility because we are Europe’s fourth seed and we have to at least go to the group stage. But for me at least, it is not as stressful.” The top laner also acknowledged the narrative of MAD Lions making it to Worlds 2022 without winning a single best-of-five (BO5). He said, “I mean they are right. We didn’t win a single BO5 but our regular season was nice. We were just lucky to get the fourth seed and there’s nothing we can do as well. I am happy to be here.”
Armut on what seems to work for Elyoya and Nisqy
Talking about the synergy between jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades and mid-laner Nisqy, Armut said, “I think they are really good friends outside of the game also so it works really well and they get along really well even though they make mistakes or they fight in-game. They always make it up because they are close friends.” The top-laner also revealed that Elyoya has the stronger voice and that he controls the game.
As closing thoughts, MAD Lions Armut confidently stated that the team’s run this year at Worlds 2022 would be much better than what transpired in 2020. At Worlds 2020, MAD Lions had a heartbreaking exit at the Play-in stage.
As Worlds 2022 resumes Day 2 action on 30th September, MAD Lions will take on a team that it currently views as a threat: Royal Never Give Up (RNG). Stay updated with the tournament by heading on to Worlds 2022 Play-in: Teams, Groups, Schedule & More.