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Credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Rogue Larssen on the LEC trophy: “[It’s] coming home.”


Rogue narrowly qualified to Worlds through the upper bracket after their victory against Misfits Gaming on Aug. 13, and they did so in style with Inspired’s pentakill on Viego. After the game, Adel Chouadria caught up with mid laner Emil “Larssen” Larsson on Rogue’s first round win, the contributions of Ismael “Isma” Pedraza to his development, LEC trophy aspirations, and more. 

The interview is slightly edited for clarity. 

 

Adel: 

Hi everyone, Adel here for Jaxon, alongside with Larssen who just qualified to Worlds after a pretty crazy 5 game series. We gotta say that was a pretty crazy way to qualify to worlds in the first place... 

Larssen: 

Yeah, can't get closer than that. 

 
Adel: 

Can't get closer than Inspired just jumping around and getting a Pentakill. Everyone screaming on the team. 

Larssen: 

Yeah, I mean I was not screaming, I was angry at the game, or like how we played the series, but I mean, they were happy and I am happy for him that he got a penta. Its a cool thing. 

 
Adel: 

As far as everything is concerned, sure maybe today was not the best for you in particular, maybe you didn't feel that way, but in the end, it still ended up with Rogue achieving something huge: going back-to-back to Worlds. 

Larssen: 

Yeah I mean, I am happy with my own performance in this series. Obviously I am not that happy with the performance that we showed to the fans and to ourselves, but it is kind of normal for us. 

Last summer [Ed.: 2020] and last spring split, the same shit happened, where we came out and in the first B05 played very poorly. Those times we actually got stomped, 3-0 and 3-1. This time we won, but its because we played a weaker team compared to the other 2 times. 

At least, the last two times we improved a lot from the first BO5, because the first one is very different from BO1's and they are very different. At least, we will improve from this I hope, and we always [did] that in the past playoffs. 

Its normal for us to show some rust, some individual mistakes, that usually disappear during the playoffs. There is a 2-week break before playoffs, and we usually [have] 4-5 days off, which I think might be a big problem in our rustiness in the first BO5. Because we actually take quite a break, that puts us in not that great of a shape. 

I think it has to do, a bit of that, that we take a bit of a longer break in this little pause, so we are still a bit rusty. 

 
Adel: 

BO1 you just go in, you play once, and your are done. You don't necessarily have to overprepare like in a BO5 and account for everything that a team can do. 11.15 you played on it on Week 8 I believe as well, but there is also that element, so sure, not as good as BO1's but at the same time there is a lot more to account for. 

L: Yeah I mean BO5's are a lot different. The drafts evolve to a very different draft that you never practiced because some champs show up to be a big part in the series. Camille becomes a first pick suddenly and Le Blanc grows a lot in prior, than in our games usually. 

The games evolve very well in BO5, and the draft is very funny as it evolves in such a weird way. We can take away a lot from a BO5, that's for sure. 

 

Adel: 

Especially for you, you are already in Worlds, that cannot change. Next week is gonna be a little bit weird, because you are gonna be like: “Ok, we are going to play just to guarantee that we [won't] play back-to-back BO5's in the week after. How do you think about those stakes right now, especially when you just got done with this? 

Larssen: 

I mean, I definitely try to not think about the stakes at all actually. Doesnt really matter. It’s pretty pointless to think about what’s on the line. My goal is to win the LEC and nothing else. 

I need to take a step by step to reach that goal, which is for now, just go home and resetting, getting good practice to make sure that we in a good shape for the next BO5. The stakes to reach Worlds, it's not that big of a stake. 

If I reach it, I want to make it as a very strong team. For now, we could become a third place team if we do badly, and then it’s not even that nice to reach Worlds. You definitely want to be a strong team going into Worlds and to lift the trophy before going there. I just need to focus on the next BO5 next week. 

 

Adel: 

To be fair, we can talk about 2020 summer and barely losing to G2 in the 5th game and then almost winning against MAD Lions before things just kind of went weird. This time around, its just about setting things right, is the feeling that I get. 

Larssen: 

Yeah, the trophy should be ours. Actually if you are in 2020, it’s not even that far away. We were in Game 5 against G2, and it was like the one today. It was very close, and if we win that BO5 we are confident to take down Fnatic, because G2 stomped them the day after. 

Obviously last split, everyone knows what happened and yeah, I mean, the trophy should be coming come. 

 
Adel: 

Something changed since then: you told me about resetting, I was thinking immediately of Isma's work with the team and how he helped [Hans sama], but as far as you are concerned, how did he help you, especially after the Spring split? 

Larssen: 

Isma does god's work for the people that need help. He definitely helped me a lot. Right now, I am way more confident than I have ever been. I am very confident in important games that I will show up. 

I worked a lot on my mental preparation, how to prepare for the games, with a lot of different stuff before the game. Visualizing the series, games and all the different situations that will happen like bad situation, normal situation, great situations. 

I also have a period of 20 minutes of self-talk, blast some Swedish rap to make myself confident. Then, I have 10 minutes of debriefing, where I calm down and make sure that I am in the present. It’s the big part Isma helped with my preparation, and it’s doing very good for me. 

You can clearly see during the split, when I turn my game around is when I started doing a lot of different routines. Thats my big turnaround this split, when I started playing a lot better. 

Also, we got back to stage, which is very nice for me: I feel way better on stage than online. Definetly, I had a big journey this split, for sure the biggest journey of any split, in my own development. 

 

Adel: 

I understood that there are all these things you had to do to get in the zone. That was a welcome thing to hear, because you'd think that a lot of players would just panic [in the moment]. But going game-to-game and refocusing is a much better gameplan. 

Larssen: 

Yeah, it's far better to refocus when you're hyped up or stressed, or maybe you just stomped [the enemy team] and you're too hyped up. It's very important to be balanced. Even in-game: sometimes, you can feel like "Oh shit, I'm choking a bit." 

It actually happened in this Game 5, at some point I was like: "I feel a bit weird." Then, I managed to realize it and turn it around, and come to a normal state where I'm really confident, see everything clearly. 

Usually, I wouldn't be able to do that. I would maybe stay in this choke state, but now I manage to turn it around very quickly, which is very nice. It's a very big thing. 

 
Adel: 

Out of curiosity, and I don't know anything about Swedish rap: what does the Ginger God listen to when he gets hyped up for a game? 

Larssen: 

Just some aggressive rap... It's Swedish rap. There's 1942, by Ant Wan; On the Road by Saretti is also a good one. You can check those out and see how they sound. 

 
Adel: 

Is there anything you'd like to add in hindsight, especially after all the things that happened today? 

Larssen: 

I'm happy we made it out alive. Barely alive, actually. Without the pentakill, it would have been way harder. I'm happy we made it out alive. [It's] just a normal experience for Rogue in a first [playoff] BO5, where we suck. But I'm happy we made it out, and hopefully, like in the other playoffs, we will turn it around and become a very strong team again.