Confidence is an ADC’s greatest strength and his greatest enemy. It’s a Sword of Damocles of sorts: If you play too aggressive, you’re viewed as the next Cody Sun or Wildturtle. If you play too passive, you’re just another KdA player that shoots from the backline like Steeelback. In the Spring of 2018, Upset had to learn things the hard way of what it meant to be the team’s AD Carry – with all it’s upsides and downsides.
Upset has fantastic potential. After all, he has earned the respect and praise of FORG1VEN, one of the most critical voices within our scene no less. Reaching both the number 1 and 2 Rank on the European Challenger ladder certainly proves his raw, mechanical talent. In his first LCS Split, his favorite champion was Tristana: Jumpy. Proactive. Very much unlike Varus, a champion that many other ADCs preferred during the same time.
But with the flashiness comes danger. In Schalke’s first game against a struggling G2 esports, Upset threw away a certain win by burning his Flash early and pro-actively jumping into four enemies alone; his teammates being occupied taking objectives. It was an individual mistake that not only cost Schalke 04 the game, but ended up being detrimental to Schalke’s failed goal of reaching Playoffs.
Seeing Upset play on stage of the EU LCS is a completely different picture compared to his SoloQ performance. The confident, sometimes cocky even individual that we get to see online seems flustered, nervous when playing in front of a crowd. He’s seemingly silent.
Many times, it felt like the team didn’t click. It was visible that all of the members were capable and competent. But they looked like individuals on stage – not like a unit. Maybe Schalke’s new jungler will change that. And maybe he’ll be the one to get Upset where he needs to be: In a state of certainty and determination.
But here’s the good news: The longer the EU LCS Spring Split went, the better of an individual player Upset became. From Flash-lessly jumping into four enemies in his first game against G2, to safely delivering killing blows from the backline in their rematch, Upset very clearly became Schalke 04’s primary hope for Playoffs. And even though the team didn’t reach this goal this time around, I’m certain that things will be different in Summer.
When Upset plays football, he likes to play Striker. Fitting for an ADC I’d say. The roles are similar after all: Always be in the right position, strike at the right time. But despite your best efforts, strikers, just like ADCs, rely more on their teammates than any other role.
Upset’s first Split in the EU LCS hasn’t been very successful. I’m sure he’d agree with me on that. But there have been games were Upset didn’t just show glimpses, but sparks of greatness in his play. Some strikers like Harry Kane are successful almost immediately. Some, like Jamie Vardy or Bas Dost, take their time – they need the right chemistry and confidence to function. Hopefully things will be different for Upset in Summer. I’m sure they will be.