Team Vitality Selfmade believes Lider and Labrov can be Europe’s best

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  1. Before we look forward to your future at Vitality, how do you reflect on your time at Fnatic? It was a big move for your career, did you improve during your time there?
  2. What went wrong last split and how do you think you performed yourself?
  3. You said in a previous interview you think Bwipo will suit the jungle more top. Why do you think that is and were you surprised he swapped roles?
  4. With Treatz moving to the jungle too, do you think it’s purely a coincidence that the LEC has had two players roleswap to the jungle or is it because of the recent changes to the jungle?
  5. Moving on, you said you really wanted to play with Lider. Was that the main motivation for joining Vitality?
  6. Do you think Lider has improved since his short LEC stint with Misfits?
  7. Speaking about coming through the ERLs with a lot of hype, Labrov has always had a lot of potential but we haven’t been able to see that yet. You haven’t been playing with him long but what were your first impressions of him?
  8. SLT looked really good at EU Masters, did you know much about him before he signed?
  9. This Vitality roster does have a ton of potential, is it safe to assume you’re going to be a really aggressive team that fights a lot? Not too dissimilar to how Fnatic were early in the year.
  10. You mentioned that on Fnatic one problem was getting on the same page or working together as a team. With three new players coming into Vitality, yourself included, is it going to take time for everyone to gel?
  11. Lastly, what are you goals and expectations with Vitality this year? How strong do you think the team is now and where will Vitality be come the end of the season?

Selfmade has high hopes for his new Team Vitality teammates (Picture: Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

The League of Legends European Championship (LEC) returns this week for the 2021 Summer Split. With a place at the World Championships on the line, this season is promising to be juicy.

With so much at stake, there has been a flurry of roster-changes during the season – many of which have come as major suprises.

Most shockingly of all, superstar jungler Oskar ‘Selfmade’ Boderek has departed from Fnatic for Team Vitality while Gabriël ‘Bwipo’ Rau has roleswapped into the jungle.

The new Vitality signee spoke with Metro.co.uk about his time on Fnatic, why he chose Vitality, and why he believes some of his teammates will be Europe’s strongest in their role in the near future.

Before we look forward to your future at Vitality, how do you reflect on your time at Fnatic? It was a big move for your career, did you improve during your time there?

Me joining Fnatic was basically the most important decision in my career, it was a big opportunity to go from a rookie team to a team like Fnatic which has huge branding and really experienced players. 

The time I spent there was great, I owe them everything. I wouldn’t be where I am right now if not for Fnatic. And for sure I learned a lot, from a player perspective and a teammate perspective.

What went wrong last split and how do you think you performed yourself?

I never thought at the start of the year that I’d go into this split without Nemesis and Rekkles. As time progressed, we knew the changes would come and I think the last split we just struggled as a team. 

The players that performed the best were the new players, Nisqy and Upset. Me together with Bwipo and Hylissang were underperforming so there’s no blame on the new players. It was basically just a bad split, I don’t really think about it as that’s in the past. We didn’t play well as a team, it felt like we peaked at Worlds and then everything went downhill. 

You said in a previous interview you think Bwipo will suit the jungle more top. Why do you think that is and were you surprised he swapped roles?

I knew that the Bwipo jungle idea was already there but I didn’t believe it would happen. I said that he will fit the jungle more just because his personality is too open-minded. He likes to think a lot about the game and talk with the team to discuss how to solve problems together. 

As we know, in recent years top-lane is a really weird role. Sometimes it can have a big impact but most of the time it’s doesn’t really change the game. Bwipo’s personality better fits a role that’s connected to the whole map like mid or jungle. I wish him the best, I hope he’ll do great.


Fnatic LEC jungler Bwipo

Selfmade believes Bwipo’s style will be more effective in the jungle (Picture: Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

With Treatz moving to the jungle too, do you think it’s purely a coincidence that the LEC has had two players roleswap to the jungle or is it because of the recent changes to the jungle?

I think it’s just a coincidence. Of course, the jungle is a bit easier than it used to be but I don’t think that had an impact on the decisions. I think Bwipo is a really smart player, I’m pretty sure he’ll figure out how to jungle in the old-school meta with champions like Lee Sin or Elise.

As for Treatz, I have no idea what he’s like as player so I can’t know if he will do well or not. It’s going to be a really exciting split for sure.

Moving on, you said you really wanted to play with Lider. Was that the main motivation for joining Vitality?

I didn’t really have joining Vitality in my mind. The plan with Fnatic was to go into summer with the same roster but I knew that in the air there were possibilities of changes in the team. During the whole offseason, I didn’t know who was most likely to leave so I tried to have a backup plan. Something I always wanted was to join any team with Lider because I know this guy has insane potential, he’s much different to every LEC mid-laner in the past few years.

I believe he deserves a real shot at the LEC, people were underlooking him because of the public opinion that he’s toxic – that’s completely untrue. Yes, he was toxic in the past. I was super-toxic in the past too. But I don’t think this is something you should consider when choosing a player. The other thing people say is that he doesn’t play meta champions, sure he might not play Oriana but that’s the only one. 

I’m really excited to prove everyone wrong, he might be the best mid-laner in Europe one day.

Do you think Lider has improved since his short LEC stint with Misfits?

For sure, not during his time on Misfits but through the previous year in the German league. On Misfits, he played two or three games and that was it. It doesn’t matter if you play in a national league or LEC, it’s all about how much you work for what you want to achieve. 

The skill difference between top national league teams and bottom LEC teams is really not that big. It was the same for me when I was with MAD Lions in the Spanish league. We were scrimming LEC teams at that time and we were doing pretty good against them – I already knew that the LEC is the top league you can get to in Europe but the skill difference isn’t as big as you think it is.

I think the national leagues get stronger with each year, which means more rookies come up every year. I’m really happy when I see coaches exploring rookies rather than washed-up veterans.

Speaking about coming through the ERLs with a lot of hype, Labrov has always had a lot of potential but we haven’t been able to see that yet. You haven’t been playing with him long but what were your first impressions of him?

I have no doubt that Labrov will one day be the best support in Europe. The kid is insanely talented, he works really hard, and he’s super young. I think if you give him one or two years… I mean I already believe he is a top support in Europe but he hasn’t proved himself yet, results-wise. This next year, he’ll be able to show his full potential.


Selfmade with his former team Fnatic

Selfmade says Labrov is the LEC’s best support but must prove it (Picture: Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

SLT looked really good at EU Masters, did you know much about him before he signed?

I didn’t know anything about him when I joined Vitality. As I say, I’m always ready to give rookies a shot and since he was one of the best-performing top-laners at EU Masters, I don’t see a reason to not pick him up.

So far, I think he’s doing pretty damn good for a rookie competing in the LEC for the first time. He’s going to improve a lot through the next months too. It’s the same situation as Labrov, both are insanely talented they just needed a good team to show their full potential which I believe they have right now.

We’re doing really well in practice so it’ll be all about moving our performance to official games – as we know you can do really well in scrims but all that matters is what fans see on Friday and Saturday.

This Vitality roster does have a ton of potential, is it safe to assume you’re going to be a really aggressive team that fights a lot? Not too dissimilar to how Fnatic were early in the year.

It’s funny, people say Lider is that aggressive mid-laner that can only kill people but in reality all the champions he likes to play aren’t strong in the early-game. We’ll try to play the game correctly, you’re not always going to play aggressive early because what matters is your champions and your opponents’ champions.

There is no such thing as one play-style, as you can see in the LPL – which is considered the region where everyone permanently fights – but even there you can sometimes see really slow games. It comes down to what the meta is and how we use our champions.

You mentioned that on Fnatic one problem was getting on the same page or working together as a team. With three new players coming into Vitality, yourself included, is it going to take time for everyone to gel?

We’ve been practising for maybe a month I think. I already feel like we’re on the same page, it even feels like we’re more connected than we were on Fnatic last split at least. I’m looking forward to the LEC starting.

Lastly, what are you goals and expectations with Vitality this year? How strong do you think the team is now and where will Vitality be come the end of the season?

Honestly, I don’t have any expectations. I will just try to perform as best I can along together with my team. I was on Fnatic for a year and a half and didn’t win anything there. I got to Worlds, I’ve been in LEC finals twice, but still I don’t see any trophies on my shelf so even if we don’t succeed on Vitality, I won’t feel any different than on Fnatic.

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