With only a few days until the start of the new LCS split, Robert "Roscoe" Wery has visited our gaming house to show you the thoughts of Team Dignitas League of Legends players. While preparations for the split are going on rapidly, our midlaner Danny "Shiphtur" Le took some time to answer our questions.
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Welcome to another spectacular interview with Danny "Shiphtur" Lee himself! I am Roscoe. How are you doing, mate?
Shiphtur: I’m really good, how about you?
I’m pretty good. It’s fantastic few days before the LCS, I’m excited. It’s gonna be cool! Are you excited for the LCS?
Shiphtur: Uhm, a little bit. At the beginning of the season everyone is rushed to get ready because of the offseason, holidays, etc.
It is true, holidays are right before this. But you were together for the scrims even before the holidays?
Shiphtur: Yeah, we were scriming a bit before for IEM Cologne, but the break was really long and obviously there’s a new patch coming up, so practicing before wasn’t as effective as it could be if we grinded out right now.
With the holidays before it can get kind of tricky. But, of course, you guys will be fleshed out and everyone will smooth out as you get into the LCS. How has the team practice been? I guess at first it was a lot more about just getting the synergy between each other. How was Cologne?
Shiphtur: Well, I’ve been there last year and this year was pretty much exactly like last one. It’s the same venue and everything. The only thing that was different was that there were Korean and Chinese teams signed and they are really interesting to play against. They are a lot different from western teams.
Do you have any particular instances that you can remember about the differences between Asian and European teams?
Shiphtur: For Chinese teams specifically, they actually want to fight you all the time. On Reddit, everyone says that Chinese teams really look good but you don’t really know it until you actually experience it. It was really cool to play against them.
It’s always nice to experience some international play. Speaking back to scrims, you guys have not been able to scrim with everybody, of course, but was anyone standing out or not standing out so much?
Shiphtur: I’d say the only team that really stands out is Immortals. I think they’ll definitely be a top 3 team judged by scrims. Other teams are just kind off under level at the moment.
When you scrim against them, it’s mostly about practicing your strategy. Are there different things you can learn when you’re scriming against somebody or is it just about yourself?
Shiphtur: I think every team has their own kind off niche or a different shot call and a different position. There are obviously things we can copy, but we don’t copy the exact, we take what works for us and what doesn’t.
Not necessarily copy it, but see it and now what it is so you could expect it at the event. Are there any mid laners you’re looking forward to play against in particular? Maybe Froggen, that could be interesting?
Shiphtur: Actually, Froggen is the player I want to play against but mostly because I’ve played against other mid laners before. Except for that other Korean guy, I can’t read his name for what it is, haha. Yeah, probably Froggen.
He’s a fun guy and a pretty good player. What are your thoughts on your current roster? You’ve been with us for a while, so how have you been feeling about this particular year and these guys?
Shiphtur: Oh, I love this roster! Me and KiWiKiD have been here like forever now, and I’m really happy to have Apollo on the team. We were good friends back on Coast. It’s really refreshing to play with him again. This is probably the smartest roster Dignitas has ever had. We are five players with brain and we figure everything out together and that’s really nice to have.
There are lots of old connections. Apollo and KiWiKiD used to play Dota together and you used to play with Apollo on Team Coast. You’ve also got a lot of different staff; you got Jesiz, Raz… How have they been, so far?
Shiphtur: It’s so nice to have them in the house. Conversations are really well, there aren’t any arguments and if there are, it’s discussed healthily and we always come to a conclusion. It’s really, really positive.
With all those good words, what are your expectations for the upcoming split?
Shiphtur: Everyone thinks we’re going to be 9th so anything above 9th place would be a bonus, haha. Realistically, we’re obviously aiming for playoffs this split. I don’t think we’ll be top 2, but playoffs are a good goal for a new team for spring split.
It’s interesting to talk about goals and Worlds because it can become some sort of cliché, but at the same time, that is the goal. It will be cool to see how far you guys can get. Let’s talk a bit about your individual play. You did go to Korea, do you feel you have changed? How do you feel you have changed in growth since joining Team Dignitas?
Shiphtur: What Korean soloQ taught me is that you must be a smart player or you will lose. You can’t just brainlessly run around the map or brainlessly trade. You have to think of the every single thing that you do and if you don’t, you could lose. It’s a game for your team. It makes you stay sharp in the game. In NA soloQ, you easily go about and do what you want to do, but it’s really strictly in Korea and it helps you focus a lot.
One of the next questions was talking about what you’ve enjoyed the most while playing internationally. Cologne, Korea? Is that something you’ve enjoyed learning, or is there something else?
Shiphtur: Experiencing different play styles is so cool. In NA you experience the same trolls, you’re matching with same kind of players, it gets repetitive. You know that this person could do that, this one can do that, but when you go to Korea and play against their players… They play the game right, I don’t know how to explain it. Everyone in the game knows what to do and it feels a lot more like a scrim than the soloQ. NA is just a mess.
With all those NA trolls, it’s nice to experience Korean and Chinese trolls, haha. Are you enjoying the current meta? How are you feeling about the Season 6 changes?
Shiphtur: I think this meta is great, actually. I feel like every champion is valuable, every team composition or play style is valuable. You can play safe, you can play aggressive. Honestly, it’s just about how your team wants to play and there are no champions who are more worth than others, except for a few.
Are there any things you would perhaps like to change? Is there something to add or to take away?
Shiphtur: The only thing I think is weird in the game right now is probably the Frost Queen’s Claim. It’s super valuable for mid laners. Not even valuable, it’s overpowered. The active gives you so much control and it replaces CDR with something so much more useful. It sort off breaks the mid lane meta and I don’t think it’s healthy for the game.
It could be interesting to see if that item was exactly what Riot meant to do or if they might to tweak it a little bit. Are there any champions in particular you’d like to see but are not in the current meta? Any at all you’d like to play in the LCS?
Shiphtur: Probably Diana. I think Diana is really fun to play and I don’t think she’s particularly bad to play, but I might not be in a situation where I’d think “Woah, Diana is really good”. There’s no situation which will make me think that. Maybe Akali too, she might need a rework or something. She’s terrible, haha.
To wrap out the interview, do you have any last words, shoutouts you’d like to say?
Shiphtur: Yeah, shout out to our sponsors, Corsair and all those good guys! Shout to our fans, to the ones who tried to stick with us. We’re gonna try our best and I think we’re actually gonna do good this year. With this infrastructure, the players and the correct mindset, we might actually go far this year. So, thank you!