As the LEC Summer Split comes into its most important phase, Rogue’s support Oskar “Vander” Bogdan in a recent interview talks about what made them surface first in the regular season and what are their hopes for the upcoming Worlds in China.
To begin with, Vander seems to be pretty confident about his performance this season. “Individually, I think I get a lot of praise for my play this split. I’m not sure whether it’s the best split I’ve ever had, though; looking back, I believe I had already played on such a high level, but only now do I get positive feedback from the fans and the press.” It’s no surprise seeing Rogue player get recognized. They have gone through a huge development compared to even their Spring Split, where they finished 6th.
As play-offs go by, Vander talks about who Rogue might struggle with. “I reckon G2 will be our hardest opponents in the play-offs. I don’t really know why it is this way, but we always have a hard time competing against them. They have the best jungle-mid duo in LEC after ours, but our advantage lays in the botlane. I think Hans Sama and I are better than Perkz and Mikyx right now, so we’ll try to focus and play around this lane.” Vander also mentions other botlane match-ups and emphasizes on both their and MAD Lions’ disposition as best in league, with Schalke gaining strength during the last weeks.
Rogue’s support then compares theirs and MAD Lions’ playstyle – “MAD Lions seem to have lost some of their courage in the past few games, losing to us and Schalke 04. Their main strength lays mostly in uncomfortable picks, they also like to make a stir in the game – that’s why they are a good match-up for G2. We, on the other hand, are better in adjusting to a slow-paced game.”
What has been the reason behind recent rookies becoming the new LEC rivalry? Vander believes the problems of former European dominators – G2 and Fnatic – stem from individual performances. Let’s recall: Perkz has had personal issues at the beginning of the split and most of G2’s responsibility was redirected onto Caps. In the meantime, in Vander’s opinion, Fnatic Hylissang’s coin landed on the wrong side for most of the regular season.
How exactly does Vander feel about the difference in their playstyle? “We deserve Worlds. Each and every player on our team has been playing better than in Spring, and it doesn’t even come from playing more SoloQ games. It’s just that I think we understand details better and our synergy has really built up.” The statistics go well with this statement, as both Inspired and Vander claimed the highest KDAs of the regular season and Larssen was tied first in average kills in-game.
Later on, he moves on to discussing Rogue’s strength and weaknesses. “We have a strong early game. Each of our lanes play very well with our jungler and we’ve improved our mid game greatly – we finally don’t fall behind teams like G2 for instance. As for weaknesses, we have a hard time finding ourselves in chaotic situations, where all the lanes are suddenly fighting at once. However, we have been keeping a cool head in our gaming house and hope to bring this demeanour on-stage.”
Trying themselves on a big stage might not be that easy, considering Worlds this year have been greatly adjusted to the current situation. With COVID-19 restrictions all around the world, the teams are supposed to undertake a quarantine after arriving in China. Fans’ attendance in the later stages of the event will also be based on the “local guidelines”. Vander believes it all greatly affects the whole atmosphere of Worlds, and although he’s happy to be a part of it after 4 years, he says it will be challenging for the organizers to bring out the best they can offer.
When asked about whether or not China will again top everyone, Vander’s answer was easy – “The best way to end LPL’s hegemony is to beat them at their own stage. I’ve been keeping track of the LPL teams and although they do a lot of things right, some unforced errors in their gameplay occur as well. They tend to be a little bit too aggresive and we, as a team, know how to respond to such behaviour.” He looks forward to competing with the best in the world, all the more was it to be somewhere far into the tournament.
There’s still a long way to go to Worlds, so before we focus on the most important tournament of all, make sure to follow LEC and other leagues for a clear view on who’s going to be a real competition for the title.