Nukeduck on rating players against each other: “Everyone plays well and everyone makes mistakes, so I think it’s really hard to say which player is the best.”

Congratulations on the win, how do you feel right now?

I feel pretty good! Always feels nice to win and it’s a good thing we won right before the break so we a have a lighter spirit when it comes to practice in the next few weeks.

Is there something specific planned for the next week of practice?

Yeah, first we have a break that lasts two days and then we start again on Monday. But we don’t have any specific strategies that we’re planning on training, and even if that’d be the case, Yamato is in charge of this anyway.

Did you like working with Yamato so far? Did he have a positive impact on the team?

Yeah, he had a really positive impact on us. I already knew that he’s a great coach since I worked with him back when we were on ROCCAT in 2015. I mean he’s here because I kept telling Vitality’s owners and my teammates that “we should really get this guy! He’s the best coach in the West” and stuff like that. I specifically wanted to work with him and I’m very happy that I now have the chance to do that.

Vander joined you guys recently, do you like playing with him?

I enjoy playing with him for sure. I played with him on ROCCAT as well and we’re really good friends outside of the game as well: We bike together, we go to the gym or just drink coffee. In-game he’s really smart and a good player for sure. His only weakness is that when things are falling apart for the team, he kinda falls apart as well, you know? I don’t even really agree with this, but that’s what people seem to think. He’s a really good player and teammate to have.

Let’s talk a bit about the Midlane discussion that has been going on ever since Caps released his list of who he thinks are the best European Midlaners. He put you at number two, some agreed with that, others didn’t. What did you personally think of that rating?

I… I found his list okay, but I find it really hard to rank who is the best and not the best. There are so many players where you could argue that they’re best solely based on individual performance. It also varies a lot, in some games Caps is the best, other times Febiven has really good games, same with Perkz or PowerOfEvil. What I’m trying to say is: Everyone plays well and everyone makes mistakes, so I think it’s really hard to say which player is the best.

When looking at all these talented European Midlaners in addition to those that currently play in NA, many like to think that Europe as a region produces a lot more and better Midlaners than other regions, except for Korea. Do you agree with that?

I’ve heard from other European Midlaners that when they went to other regions such as NA it was a lot easier for them to play against the Midlaners there, but this is purely anecdotal. I’m not too sure about that though, NA has some really good Midlaners too. I think it’s too hard to say.

You’ve been with Vitality for a really long time now when compared to other players, even though Vitality’s results have been pretty mixed in the recent splits. Is there a specific reason as to why you decided to stay with Vitality for this long?

Yeah, I have a lot of faith in the owners. Even though we had many different coaches and players, I always felt like the owners tried to make it as easy as possible for us a team to succeed. The owners are really good people and that’s the most important aspect when looking at someone that you want to work with for the long term.

What was the most important lesson that you learned from the last split?

The last split was a hard one. One thing I realized is that it’s really hard to play well when your team is not playing as a synced unit. You need to be able to trust each other and take criticism. We weren’t a team. At some point the Koreans wanted to bench players, so we couldn’t really develop a positive team environment at all. This was the most important lesson from the last split, for me at least.

Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

Thanks a lot to everyone! It means a lot to us that we still have people supporting us, even though our playstyle might not be as fun and we’re not winning as much as other teams. I really appreciate that.

Thank you for your time!

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Darius Matuschak

Darius is an esports journalist trying to nurture esports culture whenever possible. He got into esports while finishing his Bachelor in Journalism, and has been a regular EU LCS attendee since January 2017.

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