Interview with Yakup Özipek, manager of the Mysterious Monkeys: "I can confirm that Pridestalker won't be playing for us. Lamabear will be our starting jungler."
by Darius Matuschak / @DariusExMachina
Photograph by: Michal Konkol / Riot Games
Hi Yakup, thanks for taking your time to talk to us! First of all, could you elaborate on your personal LoL history and your position at Mysterious Monkeys?
I started out as a player for Mysterious Monkeys, back in Season 3. In the winter of 2015 I became the manager of the ESL team and we shortly won the ESL Championship after. Basically everything regarding Mysterious Monkeys now runs over me. I also helped Galatasaray with three of their transfers and essentially built the entire Galakticos team as well, which was a fantastic experience. I'm very proud of how they're doing right now, given that people thought they'd get relegated but they ended
There has been a bit of confusion and speculation regarding Pridestalker’s situation and whether he’ll play for Mysterious Monkeys. Can you tell us who the MM jungler is going to be?
I can definitely confirm that it wont be Pridestalker, even though I’m not allowed to say which team he’s going to join. We’re going to go into the split with Lamabear as our starting jungler. He was definitely the best option and would’ve played on Misfits if it hadn’t been for his ban from competitive League. This ban will be lifted on the 27th and we’re very excited to have him on the team.
Other than that, every former Misfits Academy player will be playing on the main team, so our roster will consist of Jisu, Lamabear, CozQ, Yuuki60 and Dreams. Unlimited will also return as the head coach.
How did you manage to get such a huge investor and sponsor interested in the project?
We have a lot of contacts within the German game development and hardware scene. When our ESL team won the championship and two LCS spots opened up, we knew we had to go for it and convinced these companies to work with us accordingly.
What about your relationship with Euronics? If the ESL team manages to qualify for the EU Challenger Series, they’ll play under the Euronics brand, is that correct?
Yes, that is correct. The relationship with Euronics was also very positive. Euronics also had an ESL team and we always had a lot of respect for one another. Once we decided on buying the LCS spot and we knew we’d have to sell the ESL team, we wanted to give our German team the best environment possible and Euronics provides just that. Our ESL team is full of fantastic German talents and we are dedicated to making the German scene grow as much as we can. So when we talked to Euronics, we made sure that they’d have to field the same roster and not make any changes to it.
A few people commented that some of the ESL team’s players are so talented, that they could become LCS players. Why did you decide against putting any of them on the future EU LCS team?
We gave all our ESL players the option to become LCS subs if they want to and in case they don’t make it to the Challenger Series. If they do, they have to play under Euronics’ banner of course. But if they don’t, we’ll make sure they’ll have loads of opportunities waiting for them.
Was money a factor when it came to the Euronics deal?
Money was the single least important thing that we had on our mind when we talked to Euronics. We promised all of our ESL players that they would be able to play the Challenger Series Qualifiers if they win the ESL Championship and we’re an organisation known for keeping our word. The management completely consists of former players, so we all personally know how bad it is if an org doesn’t fulfill their promises. Euronics gave us an amount that was way below what we could’ve asked for, but that was completely fine. Partially because we already had a great relationship with them and also because they needed to promise not to make any roster changes.
What are your expectations for the upcoming Summer Split?
Realistically we’re still talking about a Challenger team here. Every player on that team still has lots to prove. But at the same time we played really convincingly against Schalke, Origen and Fnatic Academy, so I’m hopeful. I think we’ll finish somewhere in the middle.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the EU LCS fans out there?
If you want the German League scene to grow, please consider supporting us! You should also get really excited for some amazing content coming up on social media that will rival the Unicorns of Love in terms of craziness!
Thank you very much for your time!
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