MDK Alvaro talks joining the LEC and building synergy with Elyoya
After closing out week two of the winter split with a victory over Rogue, MAD Lions KOI are just a couple of wins away from clinching playoffs with their, rookie-filled, Elyoya-led squad. Following the win, we spoke with support Álvaro “Alvaro” Fernández del Amo.
What are your immediate thoughts on the win over Rogue?
Alvaro: I think we can play way better, we didn’t really see our level still – I would say it’s a fine game. I think in the G2 game we did well early but we didn’t finish the job well, and then against BDS I think we were not really trying to play well. So coming from these two games, I think the team should be happy, but I think we can still do way better.
Lee Jones: There was a lot of doubt about this roster starting with so many rookies and, although not mathematically guaranteed, it’s almost certain now that you’ll reach playoffs.
How far do you think you guys can go this split?
Alvaro: When we were in Movistar Riders, we didn’t really do well in the best-of-ones, and then when it came to playoffs we were doing a really good job. So I’m just really looking forward to playing in best-ofs.
I think our own expectations were higher, so we still need to develop. Right now, because we lost against SK and BDS it’s hard to fight for, say, the top three or two. But anyway, I’m just thinking already about the best-of-threes.
I know that we are not mathematically in playoffs already because I think we need to win one more. I’m just thinking about the next week already. We need to perform and train as best we can, and then go on the playoffs in the same routine and the best level possible.
Lee Jones: From the outside, it didn’t seem like there were many expectations on the roster, but I can imagine there’s still pressure to succeed from such a huge fanbase.
What’s the pressure been like playing for MDK?
Alvaro: So I think our Spanish fans, and overall the fans of MAD Lions KOI, are really doing a good job. They are cheering for us even on the losses as well as the wins.
I think on the outside, overall, people tend to underestimate us a bit. I know that we are still not consistent enough; we can have a really good game and then the next day is not the best. But I will say that we are kind of fine with the pressure, I don’t think we have a problem with that. I think mostly we put the pressure on ourselves, and especially on myself. I don’t really have pressure from my teammates or my coach or anything.
What’s the experience been like not only joining the LEC, but doing so with so many familiar faces?
Alvaro: When I started the Superliga Split on Movistar Riders, I was already thinking, if we had the chance, to go to the LEC with the same team. I think it was even better because we could bring Myrwn and Elyoya now. I’m really happy that I’m able to play with these players. I have a lot of value in them and I really respect them.
I think Elyoya’s a really good professional because he’s been on this level for a long time and he’s helping us with a lot of things. I also think that, with us joining him, we are making him a bit refreshed – he’s way more motivated now because he sees that his teammates are really pushing him. We are trying new things, everyone is open-minded to do the things.
Lee Jones: Given Elyoya is the ‘veteran’ you’d imagine he’d be helping everyone get comfortable, but since you were a team already you may need to help him settle in.
How has the process been of moulding with Elyoya?
Alvaro: Melzhet has been working with Elyoya for a long time, he was working with him in Worlds and individually 1v1 so he already knew how he was. We already knew how he was as well… so when we got into the bootcamp and started scrimming together, the pieces were joining already.
We still have things to learn, but the pieces were in a good spot. I think we are able to adapt to him but he is also able to adapt to us. As you said, he has the role of the leader, but there are some some games where, if I’m having a really good game, I’m taking the lead. Or if, for example in today’s game, Supa started 5-0 so he took the lead and we were just following what he said. But mostly it’s Elyoya, he is usually the leader and he is the one short-calling.
Lee Jones: G2 just picked Seraphine/Sona for their bot lane. What are your thoughts on that pick?
Is that something MDK might be bringing out any time soon?
Alvaro: So the thing is that because of the double support item right now, there are a lot of variants that you can do.
I think it gives a lot of room to try these things, especially because the LEC patch is still the same for next week. I cannot really tell you if I have something prepared, maybe we try these things and it’s not the best for our team or it’s actually the best thing that we can try.
A question for the Spanish fans – what do you like more, Cola Cao or Nesquik?
I really don’t care, they are both good. But for example, I think Nesquik is the one that always dissolves in cold water. So I prefer Nesquik. But they are both very good.