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Credit: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Vizicsacsi on returning to competitive LoL: “I missed this competitive feeling where I’m working towards a goal every day […] that’s where I actually thrive as a person.”


Kiss "Vizicsacsi" Tamas has formally announced his return to competitive League of Legends on Sep. 8, one month after joining MAD Lions as a positional coach in the top lane. The LEC experience reinforced a decision he took during 2021, as he watched the LEC remotely.

Jaxon's Adel Chouadria spoke to the top laner about the circumstances behind his retirement and what he was up to until his return. Below is a transcription of the interview, edited for clarity.

 

Adel:

I have to admit: things are completely different from what they were in 2019, when we last spoke with microphones involved.

Vizicsacsi:

Yeah. I think the last time we spoke was at Worlds time, when we were at Worlds with Splyce. But I basically felt, at the time, that I needed a break from the game. It was a very stressful season for all of us, but I think it maybe have gotten the most to me in the end because I was the one that retired afterwards. Then I spent the last one-and-a-half years trying out different stuff that I wanted, to see what direction I wanted to go towards.

In the end, I started regaining my passion slowly towards the game. At one point, I found myself chilling on the sofa and watching the LEC playoff games again, seeing the environment, the plays, and everything. This made me really want to play once more. I thought: I think I can come back and do this once more.

I think the level, maybe, hasn't increased too much ever since. The meta has shifted, but the plays I've seen were not too consistent. That's actually what happened in MAD vs. G2: the macro isn't consistent enough from some teams. I think there is definitely room for me to come back.

 

 

Adel:

As far as getting back: First, we need to talk about the things that made you move away. After finally getting to Worlds, eliminating the Unicorns of Love in a bittersweet moment, and reaching the quarterfinals in your first and only Worlds, it felt as if you were closing a book after finally reaching that goal. But it seems there is more to it.

Vizicsacsi:

To be fair, our atmosphere at the time was really bad in the team. I think none of us enjoyed playing anymore. Honestly, it's a miracle that we made it out of the Worlds' groups. I was happy about it, but it was not something that I would call too big of an achievement. The team and coaching staff were on completely different levels, and it's a bit sad, but that's how it was.

It didn't feel like a big deal to reach the quarters even though, on paper, it might look like it. In any other case, I would have been really happy with this performance, but at the time, it didn't really get to me like that.

Source: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Adel:

There's that thing where you start off loving everything you do, and loving the game. Then, you go to a mindset where you feel like you can be the best, and you want to progress. But things happen, and you forget about it. You just get caught in a tempest.

Vizicsacsi:

You're touching on a really good point here: the love of the game is what's really important. Sometimes, as a pro player, you tend to forget that you're doing it because you enjoy doing it. You're playing your solo queue game, everyone is toxic, and you're not having fun anymore. You're playing scrims, and you're not having fun because the team atmosphere isn't as it should be. And it all gets to you eventually: you can ignore it for a few weeks or months, but it eventually gets to you.

It's really important to remind yourself that you're doing this because you want to do it. For me, that's the case right now: I'm coming back because I want to come back, not because -- as it was during my time in Splyce -- I'm gonna keep playing because I'm used to playing, and I don't know what else to do. Right now, I feel like this is the way I want to go, and I have much better long-term planning than before. I feel like it's the right decision for me to make: to come back right now.

 

Adel:

It still took you almost two years to reach this point, from November 2019 to June 2021. But I remember that you played a tournament in Hungary...

Vizicsacsi:

Yes, there was a tournament in Hungary that I participated in, but I was also having an internship at the same time. I basically participated in it without playing League, and we made it to the finals in the end. But I basically played one or two games occasionally on some of the days because I would work from 9 to 6. There was not much room left for games.

If you have such a job, working from 9 to 6, you don't really want to do too much afterwards, like work and really hardcore training. But when I was watching the LEC games, I felt really motivated to play. At the time, I didn't even have my internship yet, so I was spamming games on a smurf account and reached Master [tier]. Then I had to take a break.

Now, I'm playing on my main account, and I managed to reach Challenger in quite a short time, which is something I'm really happy about. Now, in MAD Lions, I got back this competitive mindset as well. I'm seeing how the players talk, how they communicate, how they react to things, how important waves are again. This is something that is coming back to me slowly, but now I feel like I would be ready to play competitively as well.

 

Adel:

To be fair, we skipped the part where you stepped away and tried to find something beyond League of Legends in life, at least from the way you made it sound. From having that be part of your daily life since 2013-2014, to going for an internship and doing other things.

Vizicsacsi:

I think it's important to try out other things in life as well, in order to know what you actually want to do. When I retired after Worlds, I was kind of lost about what I wanted to do, but I was optimistic that I would try out several things--maybe something would catch my attention. I did try out things, but in the end, I felt that gaming is what's for me--not necessarily League of Legends, other games as well. I like playing games.

But what's amazing about League of Legends is that you come across a lot of hurdles, a lot of tough situations especially when you play at the top level. It's very hard to progress at some point, but that's the beauty of the game: to overcome those hurdles. I missed this competitive feeling where I'm working towards a goal every day--I felt I wasn't doing this anymore. But that's where I actually thrive as a person. That's what I enjoy in every single game that I play: to set the difficulty as hard as possible, and to overcome any situations that come up. In every game, I make it--if necessary--harder for myself to play it, just so that I figure out something, to overcome something else that was blocking me from progressing.

Source: Michal Konkol/Riot Games

Adel:

I'm tempted to ask about examples during your climb to Challenger on Ranked at some point.

Vizicsacsi:

I definitely felt like I needed to work on some stuff, but it was hard to grasp what exactly I needed to work on. I was spamming solo queue, and it's so different from competitive that I felt I was losing track of the competitive mindset--to look out for waves, jungle pathing, stuff like that. In fact, I didn't have this knowledge because the meta shifted a lot ever since I stopped playing. I was trying to figure it out, but figuring this out on your own is much more difficult than coming to a team and getting this information instantly.

In two-three days, my mindset switched to this competitive mindset again, and I'm really glad I got this opportunity with MAD Lions. It's also a different perspective from a coach's perspective, but I'm also learning a lot. For me, as a player, I will benefit a lot.

 

Adel:

Speaking of a coach's perspective: in 2019, you had Malaclypse as a positional coach. Now, YOU are the coach for Armut. There's a dynamic that I'm really curious about here.

Vizicsacsi:

[Malaclypse and I] worked for quite a few months together in Splyce, and we were doing a lot of habits, but we were not really progressing. When he first came, it was a really big help for me, and I progressed a lot. But it stopped at one point.

Positional coaching is very difficult, because it comes down to the player themselves. For example, Armut is a very open person; you can talk to him about matchups and give him feedback, and he's very open to that. He wants to improve his laning phase and matchups, and any other input (like macro) is something they do in the team. I don't want to impact that because they have their own team dynamic that is seemingly working very well.

It's something else to be the positional coach, but at the same time, I'm watching the top lane matchups very closely in every single scrim, giving matchup feedback, everything I note. I think it's quite useful for both of us.

 

Adel:

Sometimes, [Armut] would see something different that ends up helping you.

Vizicsacsi:

Yeah. He sees something I don't see, and I can see something that he doesn't see at the same time. Armut is actually a very instinctive player. He knows instinctively what's good, but he would not necessarily be able to tell it until he sees it, then the words start to form. I was also playing some 1v1s with him, and we were researching some matchups together.

It's very interesting when we do that: there are some matchups that we played 7-8 times in a row, and we still can't figure out what the breaking point is. That's the beauty of top lane: you really need to put a lot of thought into these matchups because some of them break at Level 1 already, and it's very important to play it out perfectly on stage.

 

Adel:

Looking at your return in a competitive setting and as a coach, I can't help but notice that you are now helping one of your former coaches in MacC. How do you operate?

Vizicsacsi:

It's actually interesting. MacC [and I] have always had a pleasant relationship, so I was very happy to accept when he asked me. Everyone welcomed me, giving me every resource I wanted. Even MacC during the series vs. G2 would always listen to me if I had something to say. It's very nice that he's so open to feedback, and I think that's a great quality as a coach to listen to others, then you can filter the information that you don't need.

It's definitely good to listen to others because they will keep giving input, and keep putting thought into what the say, because they know it counts. The team atmosphere overall is really great here as well. MAD Lions are building up something that's quite good.