Fresh off qualifying for the North American LCS with Challenger team Enemy E-sports, Danish jungler Jonas 'Trashy' Andersen talks about his run through the North American Challenger scene, his history in competitive play, and the upcoming split of the LCS.
Trashy started playing league three to four years ago while his competitive adventure started roughly 2 years ago when he was playing small Danish LAN events with some of the best Danish players. After a year of competitive play he joined Reason Gaming and played under their name for about 2-3 months, which launched his career.
Now that a few weeks have passed since the Challenger series playoffs, has the high of finally making it into the LCS run its course?
Trashy: To be honest I don’t think I still realize that I'm in the LCS. I have been fighting for almost a year now to get in, and now I'm finally here. I just can't wait to get started and play on the stage.
After such a dominating run through the Bo2 Challenger series, was it an easier transition into the bo3 and bo5 of the Challenger series playoffs?
Trashy: Since we have such an adaptable team, going into bo3 and bo5 was even better for us, since we have so many threats on our team. Combining that with the help of our coach Brad, who has been doing a great job the whole split it seemed very easy to transition into bo3/bo5 playoff games.
When it was announced before the start of the NACS that the first place team would be automatically promoted into the LCS, did it change the mindset of the team in their approach to the regular season?
Trashy: At first when I started playing Challenger Series it seemed very easy to get into the LCS because we all believed we were better players individually than some of the LCS teams, but the first time I played a relegation match against CPH Wolves I got very surprised by the level of teamplay they brought compared to us, so with this change to the NACS getting auto promoted to the LCS I knew this was my chance to give it my all and get in. So it definitely gave me a lot of motivation as a challenger player to perform.
In addition, was there less pressure going into the Grand Finals of the Challenger series because you immediately go into the promotion tournament should you lose?
Trashy: At first you would think that, but going into the Grand Final I think everyone on my team had a lot of pressure from the community because everyone had us as the clear favourites and failing was not an option. As a result I think we played worse than normal, but still managed to get the win. Going into promotion tournament is never easy, so winning the Finals was definitely very relieving.
Both you and Innox had participated in Promotion tournaments before, and even Otter had back in Season 3 with Team Summon. Did this experience help with the pressure of an important Bo5?
Trashy: It helped a bit I think, but not too much. Playing on stage is always difficult in high pressure situations, but Innox seemed very calm and collected in the games, so he was probably the one who used his experience the most out of all of us and showed up huge in the games. For me it was a huge relief since the last promotion tournament was a very bad experience for me, so I was just happy overall that we didn’t fail.
After beating TDK with Kyle in the midlane, they chose to sub in Alex Ich for the Promotion tournament against Winterfox. Did you feel the move was fair, and would the TDK with Alex Ich have given you a more difficult time than with Kyle?
Trashy: So when we played TDK, Kyle got a lot of flack for his performance and his champion pool, but what most people didn’t see was the bigger picture of the games. We had purple side every game, which means we had the counterpick mid every game and that was our specific plan going into the series.
On top of that me and Innox spent a lot of time shutting Kyle down and getting Innox ahead. So if we had to go up against Alex Ich im sure we would have drafted a bit different and approached the game different, so its hard to tell if it would have been harder. To be honest though I do see Alex Ich as a better player than Kyle and in the current meta I think Alex would have done better than Kyle, but I still believe we would have won the series.
In the 2015 Spring Promotion tournament, you played with H2K gaming, but then after an 0-3 defeat, you left for SK Prime shortly after. Were you benched from H2K in favor of Loulex, or was it your decision to move on even though H2K was already guaranteed a spot in the expansion tournament?
Trashy: I don't think a lot of people know what exactly happened in H2K back then, and it has been something I have been holding to myself because I didn’t want to cause any problems for myself and others, so I can't mention any names. But to keep it short I was at first removed from the lineup due to them wanting to tryout Amazing in the jungle, and at that point when I heard the news I decided to leave on my own, since I knew at that point the players didn’t believe in me as a player anymore. The tryout with Amazing then didn't go as planned, and some of the members wanted me to come back, but one of the players would rather have had Loulex on the team, so they went with him. When I look back at the time it was very stressful and not an enjoyable environment, so even though I’m pretty sure I would have managed to qualify for the LCS with the rest of H2K, im happy how it turned out for me.
Do you think H2k would have met the same success with you as the jungler that they did with Loulex, taking 3rd in the regular split and playoffs?
Trashy: It hard to say, I think Loulex have done a great job for them in the split, but it's a very different team now with the addition of Ryu and Kasing. At the time I got replaced I saw myself as an equally good jungler as Loulex, but he has grown to be a top tier jungler during his time in H2K.
Did you feel that you were worthy to have a team fly you all the way to LA from Denmark after failing to qualify for LCS twice in less than 3 months?
Trashy: I still had the drive to play league so yes I think it was worth, but from an outside point of view I might have been questionable. I think the NME management had a hard time figuring out if they wanted me or not. Something most people don't know, is that I offered them to pay for my own flight to tryout for the team, and I think that was the deciding factor.
In addition, when it became clear that you were coming to North America was Santorin already a part of TSM, and did you ever try out for the position?
Trashy: I have been friend with Santorin for over a year now so I talk with him regularly, and he even asked me for advice if he should join TSM at that time. I never got the chance to tryout though for TSM, since they wanted someone already in NA and Santorin was an obvious option, and I'm happy for him. He’s a great player and also a great guy.
After playing with so many big names in League of Legends by now, do you feel it's finally time to prove that you deserved to play with them during your challenger series days?
Trashy: Back when I got replaced in H2K I got some flack from the community and of the high elo players saw me as a weak link on H2K, so I started doubting myself as well if I was good enough. So when I got the chance to go to America to play I knew this was probably my last chance to prove to first of all myself that I was good enough, but also to the people that were doubting me, and I think I have proved myself so far. Im still not satisfied with where I am though, so the LCS will be a great place for me to show that I’m worthy.
Do you often thank your Danish heritage for your obvious talent in League of Legends?
Trashy: Danes are literally the European Koreans. nothing more to say.
Do you feel that Danish players would be best in all Danish teams, such as Team Dignitas EU?
Trashy: Not necessarily, I think Danes have a pretty easy time adapting to other cultures etc. so whether if its full danish lineup or not isn’t going to change the amount of success.
Should NME have failed to qualify for the LCS, what was your plan?
Trashy: To be honest I have no clue. Right now I’m playing league of legends full time and that’s not going to stop until I feel like Im not enjoying where I am in my life. I do see myself going back to studying at some point of my life, but right now I’m putting all my effort into league.
I heard the team is moving into the new gaming house this week, where was the team living before?
Trashy: We have been living out in nowhere 10-15 minutes outside Corona, and we’re looking to move closer to the studio so we can have an easier time going back and forth. Its not 100% settled yet though where we are moving, but hopefully we will know soon.
What are your predictions for NME in the Summer split of 2015?
Trashy: I have been asked this question a lot, and to everyone I said, “I have a goal of us making playoffs this split,” which means top 6. For me personally I just want to get more used to playing on stage and show how well I can play. Im sure if everyone have the right mindset and we work our hardest we will get where we deserve to be.
Thank you for the interview Trashy, do you have any shoutouts or anything you'd like to finish with?
Trashy: Shoutout to the management in NME who not only believed in me but the whole team, they have been a great support all the way. I want to thank everyone who have been supporting me and our great sponsors Forge and Battle Buddy Apparel, I hope we can make you guys proud in the LCS. And lastly my family back home, I probably wouldn’t have made it without their support.
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