Betsy: "A lot of players view criticism as personal attacks. A psychologist coming in was the turning point for us"
by Darius Matuschak / @DariusExMachina
Photograph by: Michal Konkol / Riot Games
After the third win in a row, we talked to Roccat's Midlaner Betsy about the game against Fnatic, what turned Roccat around mentally and his future at the EU LCS.
Congratulations for the win! How do you feel right now?
Very good, obviously. I’ve been losing for so long and now we finally start to win games again.
Let’s be honest here, few people expected you guys to win against Fnatic. How did this win come to be?
I think it was a mix of us improving and Fnatic being in a really bad spot right now, as a team.
What happened during the pause and what caused in the first place?
There was a bug with me activating Zonyha’s but the effect not triggering because I was swallowed by Tahm Kench. When I was spat out, it did trigger after all, must've been a sequencing bug.
You’re actually not allowed to talk to your teammates during the pause, so we weren’t able to discuss anything. After the pause was over, everyone was just calm, collected and knew exactly what to do.
You guys won three matches in a row now, that’s what people call a winning streak. Two weeks ago you found yourself in a dire battle for relegation, now even making playoffs could be a possibility. What changed?
After the win against Origen, we gained a lot of confidence. But I also want to give a shout-out to our psychologist who came in before the game against Origen. She improved the mood a lot, so it was much easier to play.
What did she do exactly?
We had a lot of stuff that we wanted to tell each other but were scared about telling it straight to each other’s faces. She initiated an open meeting where we told each other all the things that we needed to improve on both individually and as a team. A lot of stuff that we needed to improve on became apparent once she came in. That’s why I think we’ve improved a lot and now are on a much better level, both as a team and towards each other.
Is this idea that players are scared about criticizing each other a common thing?
Yeah, players usually don’t take criticism as something they should improve on, but rather take it as a personal attack. It’s easy to say “just don’t take it personally” but a lot of players view it as flaming nonetheless and it can screw up your relationship with them very easily.
Do you think more teams should hire psychologists in order to fix issues like these?
I never had a psychologist like her come in, so I never knew what these people actually do. But now that I’ve seen her work in full effect, I think that psychologists are bringing a lot to the team and more teams should hire them. It’s a huge difference compared to not having a psychologist. Her coming in was the turning point for us.
You’ve been playing professionally for a very long time now and joined quite a few teams over the course of your career. Are you happy with where you are right now with Roccat?
I obviously hoped to better. If we do manage to go to playoffs, though, I’ll be happy with the result, especially given how the season started.
So that’s the new goal right now, making it to playoffs?
Are you confident you’ll win against Giants?
Yeah, I think we can beat Giants. Then we need to look at getting an upset win against Misfits.
G2 still is a bit out of your league?
Yeah, it’d be pretty hard to win against them (laughs)
There’s also the possibility that Fnatic will lose every game from now on and you guys get the win against Giants, which would force a tiebreaker between Roccat and Fnatic. Is that something you guys might look forward to?
Yeah, but I’d rather not play the tiebreaker. I prefer either being set in third or fourth place. My biggest worry is to not go to relegation again, I don't want to go there for the fourth time.
Roccat had to play in the relegation tournament in Spring 2015, managed to get to playoffs in Summer 2015, and then went to the relegation tournaments in Spring and Summer of the 2016 season respectively. Now, again, you guys find yourself right between playoffs and the relegation battle. How come you fluctuate so much?
I mean ever since I joined Roccat it felt like a downward spiral. But this Split has to be the turning point, otherwise, I don’t know what I’m going to do in the future.
Do you think Roccat managed to compensate for the roster changes, such as Steeelback leaving the team?
I think our squad is definitely strong right now. The chance of us making a comeback was much bigger this split in comparison to last one.
How strong do you think the current EU Challenger teams are?
I think Schalke is looking very strong, but the second team will be easily beatable if we do end up in the relegation tournament.
Anything you’d like to say to your fans?
A huge thank you to all the people still supporting me, despite us losing so many games and this being a tough split. Thanks a lot.