Rogue closed the 2021 LEC Summer’s regular season in style, with a victory over SK Gaming and a first-place finish. Afterwards, they chose Misfits Gaming as their playoff opponent.
After the victory over SK, Adel Chouadria caught up with Rogue’s AD carry, Steven “Hans sama” Liv, on his progression from the spring split to the summer, his synergy with Trymbi, and his personal growth.
The interview is presented in the transcription below:
Rogue have made it to the playoffs as the first seed and everything seems alright. But I can’t help but remember last split, spring split. How much did that follow you?
I think we stepped up on some points where we might have felt we were struggling with in spring. Losing spring was hard for me, I really wanted to win it. Now it gives extra motivation to win summer. I’m very happy that we made it to first seed going towards playoffs. Cause it’s really nice to show that we are that strong.
At least, for myself, I think I tried a lot of things during the split, not really try but practicing a lot of things. I think I got the chance to play a lot of Ziggs, Syndra. I got to play Xayah today, Xayah-Rakan. I think we’ve done well today. I’m happy about it.
Quite a lot of things were tried, all in the sake of making sure, and that is something we spoke about last time: that everyone knows Hans Sama is a winner, not someone who is going to come close but fall at the finish line or be a little far from winning and lifting the trophy.
Yeah, I always want to make people feel like I’m very strong and I think a lot of people might think that is the case. But I always want to put as much pressure as I can do. I’m picking the champions that are the most beneficial for the meta, which is always switching every two weeks.
I think I’ve done pretty nice on that one. I kept improving over the split. I think I’ve polished my laning phase a lot and ways to pressure the map. I can go even further, that’s what’s exciting to think about. I’m excited to see how I will do next week, in playoffs.
You said you were going to tell me more, could you please do so?
I think, since I came to Rogue, I have become much better at the game. I’ve become much smarter on how to deal with this competitive environment.
It can be very stressful if I get into that negative force which happens all the time when the team is losing. I think there were many instances where Rogue was losing and I think I've done pretty good at coming back mentally, bringing back some positive energy so I can keep my focus towards what matters every day in practice.
And I think that is something that I couldn’t do back when I was in Misfits. When things were hard, I was like “Yeah, I feel bad, I guess it will go away” but I didn’t proactively try to change it. While now in Rogue I proactively try to change all the time.
When things are going bad, some weeks, “things are just doomed.” And I’m changing that, and it helps the team. And this is something that I’m proud of, of myself. Also, playing better in the game, having great teammates to work with.
I’m actually interested, is this a personal growth thing? Why you weren’t able to do that with Misfits, but you are able to with Rogue?
Yes, I think I’ve grown as a person, how to deal with everyday life, how to deal with teammates, how to problem-solve. I was pretty bad with problem solving. I’m really excited to think that a problem can be solved.
The past weeks, I’ve been literally only thinking about league. That doesn't mean I’m playing it 24/7, but I’m doing a lot of visualizations about the game which help a lot.
I’m always thinking about the draft, what to improve as a team, what I can improve, how I should behave when I’m reviewing. Anything. And there are so many things to think about, that I’m able to think about to be a gamechanger inside the team.
Okay, this is a little curious. When you said “visualization,” I think of image training.
Yes, I’m doing a lot of image training before a matchup. Maybe tomorrow, when I practice at 2pm, for example, I’m visualizing what state of mind I want to be in. And most of the time, when the moment arrives, I feel ready.
I do a lot of visualization about everything. A bit more about how to play certain matchups in the bot lane. That is my specialty, I guess. I’m putting a lot of focus on how to pressure the lane.
Also on how I want to interact with teammates, because it’s important and I don’t want to act in a way that would make my teammate feel bad. Which could happen, if I’m not careful. I always try to bring that positive vibe.
For my final question I want to talk about your personal performance, with Trymbi really unleashing something in you that I haven’t seen since 2016 or 2017. You go in for the play. Tell me a bit on that.
I thought that Trymbi was a player that does not go for a lot of risks when he was joining the team. But along with me, the way we practiced and the way he improved, made him to be… I was wrong, I feel like he improved to be someone that is not afraid to do stuff.
He’s finding engages, he’s making a lot of aggressive plays in the lane. I didn’t see that in the beginning. I think it’s nice that he’s able to enable me now in a lot of matches in the LEC.
I think our duo synergy has been way better than the beginning of spring. He understands how I want to play now, as I tend to always look for opportunities. That does not mean that I only want to be aggressive, I just want to create a way to be ahead. Even though you might not see it, but I’m trying all the time.
So he understands me now, and it’s nice to play with him. And I understand how he wants to play the game as well. Its been a good improvement year. It’s nice to see our growth.