Striker: “The goal is always to win a split”

An upset win against giants G2 secured Team BDS a perfect 3-0 start to the 2024 LEC Summer Split. We spoke to head coach Yanis “Striker” Kella after the game to get his thoughts on the great opening weekend and looking ahead to a serious title charge.

How pleased are you with the 3-0 opening?

Striker: Yeah, I mean, I think that’s for sure. A good start on the wizard and thing. Yeah, pretty happy about it.

Lee: BDS opted to laneswap today even after the nerfs, eventually seeing G2 grab two turret plates bot while your side only one top – as well as some kills on BrokenBlade after his unfortunate TP back into lane.

Where do you think laneswaps are still viable?

Striker: I think that before [the nerf] you had more things to play around on the swap because you could almost go even play twice. I think that right now, if the team that is not swapping is reacting properly, you are probably giving a three-plates-for-one kind of trade. But we still think that it’s something that is viable in certain matchups.

The value is not only in gold, dodging some parts of the laning phase is something that can be good. Attacking enemy jungle topside also is something that you get from it. 

Lee: G2 have a great record in games immediately following a loss.

Were you expecting them to come out swinging given that they’d just been beaten by SK?

Striker: Yeah, we are kind of meme-ing about it right now – it’s ‘angry G2’ because SK won and everything. But we didn’t really think of it as an extra challenge. They are for sure a good team and they can adapt fast after a loss. But we are also confident in our own ability and I think that it was not something that was fazing us too much before the game.

Striker

Image credit: Riot Games

Lee: Given BDS’ back-to-back third-place finishes, I’d assume the aim right now is to break into the top two and challenge for the title.

Does the 3-0 start and victory over G2 give you confidence that you’re reaching that level?

Striker: That would be hard to say. I think if we were to play a best-of-five now, it would be really different because the best-of-five is a lot more on the preparation side. I think G2 is still a really good team. I think that it’s normal for them to have a slump at some point during the year – we just happened to play them week one which probably is a positive point for us.

So yeah, the goal is always to win a split — to win the first split for BDS — and we are not going to stop until we get there.

We are also realistic about the fact that G2 is still a very strong team and I don’t think they showed their best League of Legends this week. I think that they are a team that is going to easily pick up the slack and they’re going to be way, way better in playoffs.

Lee: Knocking G2 off the top spot seems an impossible task this year.

How do you go about trying to do that?

Striker: I think we try to basically develop our players both on the individual and on the team level each split. We try to do things a bit differently to increase productivity on a day-to-day [basic] in scrims to try to get better; conclusion-wise, gameplay-wise, draft-wise, I think G2 is also an opponent where whenever we face them, we are learning something about ourselves and we try and fix it after. I think we did a good job so far.

Lee: On the development topic, it seems like there’s been a deliberate shift to have Adam playing more ‘normal’ top lane champions and not have BDS’ playstyle focused around his ‘GODS’ pool.

Is that something he’s been working on?

Striker:  Yeah, for sure. As I said before, the individual part of the development of our team is something that is very, very important to me. We did get someone to help on the individual learning aspect for all of our players, called Ruuxi. He did a really good job.

I would say, big efforts on Adam’s side to expand his gameplay in general more than his pool. I think his gameplay is more versatile now. think he does more things around the map, he does more for his teammates as well. His champion pool is just a reflection on how he developed as a player inside the map.

I think he was always okay to play those champions mechanically, but maybe what he lacked in the past was to be a complete player in order to maximize their potential once he’s in game, and now he’s able to do both. So that’s a huge help, especially in draft for me.

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