by Darius Matuschak / @DariusExMachina
Photograph by: Michal Konkol / Riot Games
After a super close game against the Unicorns of Love, we spoke to Zven about the game, G2’s mentality and hopes for IEM Katowice.
Hi Zven, thank you very much for your time talking to us. What a game two that was! Tell us a bit about the final moments, what was going on in team chat?
I mean we had an open nexus and knew they had Ryze Ult and Tahm Kench Ult up. We expected them to Tahm Kench-backdoor us but we had Braum and his shield ready for that. Everyone was waiting for this to happen. They tried to go for it, even though I think they shouldn’t have. They would’ve won the game without doing this. They almost won, but then got aced and from there we just won. That was it.
That sounds like you guys were very composed, despite the situation looking very dire?
We didn’t say anything important, we were just making calls where TPs were happening, where they were pushing from etc. Talked a lot about target selection, that we need to kill Ryze and Jhin first since they do the most damage to the nexus, then go over to Gnar after the G.A. was popped. We were pretty composed when it came to target selection and not getting nervous.
The first game went a lot better for you guys, you stomped the Unicorns in a surprising fashion. How did that come to be?
I think our draft wasn’t the best to be honest. We had some solokills, were ahead in Botlane even though they had the preferable matchup. Even though we played it well, we shouldn’t have won lane that easily. After laning phase, they were caught a lot, made some mistakes that good teams are always going to punish. They also have certain tendencies in terms of playstyle, like hiding in brushes or always going for plays that you maybe shouldn’t go for, so it was easy to bait them into these situations. They sometimes just take fights that they’re not going to win, but take them nonetheless. This doesn’t work against good teams.
You’ve now beaten every contestant for first place, are still undefeated. Where do you think G2 places right now, are you the undisputed favourites for first?
We’re definitely going to make first place after the regular season, but it doesn’t really matter. All that matters is playoffs, we want to win playoffs, that's all we care for. Of course it’s nice to win and be undefeated during the regular split, but playoffs is all that matters in the end. We also still have to play against Splyce and Team Vitality.
Are you excited for those matchups?
Splyce is looking okay, but they’re losing to Fnatic as we speak, so there’s that. We can beat both, but we don’t consider anyone as weak opponents.
Is that something that has changed in comparison to last season in terms of mentality?
I don’t think we were discounting any team last split, but we definitely take lower tier teams a lot more serious this split. We do a lot more preparation for all teams rather than just the best ones like before. We also try to not outskill players individually but win as a team.
Did Weldon Green have any impact in that regard?
Not so much in that area, but he’s helped us a lot in terms of learning to play from behind. He’s been helping us a lot in our scrim behaviour. He’s taught us to always stay focused, if we lose lane or make team mistakes to not tap out and to get us back in the zone. If you die or mess up in some other way, focus on the next opportunity and make sure this time it works out.
It was very recently announced that you’re going to attend IEM, are you excited for that event?
For sure. I was pretty sad to hear that we weren’t going to attend IEM Katowice at first, so I was pleasantly surprised about this announcement. I went there last year with Origen and we went 1-3, so I want to redeem myself this year. I think the West has a really good shot at making finals again. But I don’t want to hype myself up too much. I’m also really excited about getting more international practice.
You just mentioned that you “don’t want to hype yourself up”. That’s something that Perkz mentioned in a recent interview I had with him, that’s something Ocelote mentioned when he was interviewed on stage just now. Is that too something that has changed within G2’s mentality in comparison to last season?
For me personally, throughout my entire career, I never wanted to get hyped about anything or set huge expectations for myself. It’s bad when you feel like you have to win, when you feel forced even. Always try to be in the same mindset and then you’ll always perform consistently. Hyping yourself, the region or someone else up is bad in my opinion. Always be in the mindset to win, but never disrespect your opponent. They might be the worst team in the league, they might be 0-10 and you could be 10-0, but you should always try to play against them in the same way you play against every other team. It’s just the most reliable playstyle.
Would you like to say anything to your fans?
I’m just glad about all the people that are still cheering for us. I hope we can make you guys proud at Katowice and not screw up again. Thanks to everyone for cheering for us.
Thank you very much for your time!