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Challenger Player Spotlight: Sprattel and Kirei

Paris Saint-Germain made headlines when they entered the European Challenger Series at the beginning of the 2017 Spring Split. The French football team invested heavily in a lineup including former LCS pros Thomas "Kirei" Yuen in the jungle and Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson as support. Though they had a shaky start to the split PSG finally secured a Playoff spot after winning five out of their last six games. We sat down with them ahead of their Playoff match against Fnatic Academy to see how things are going.

How is it working with YellowStar?

Sprattel: Bora is the manager of the team, so he’s not helping us every day, but in the beginning he really helped us with the team, like learning how to play the game.  He really helped me a lot as a support, and that was something that was important to me before I joined PSG. It’s really great to work with him.

 

How is the communication on the team?

Sprattel: The mood is really good in general, inside and outside the game. We of course get into the usual arguments after games sometimes, but at the end of the day when scrims are done we all hang out and are friends, so it’s really good.  But communication is a bit special since we have to Koreans who didn’t speak much English at the start, they’re learning and every week it’s getting better.

How was the 2017 Spring Split of Challenger for you overall?

Sprattel: The split was a rollercoaster. Before the roster was announced people had a lot of expectations, they thought PSG would get superstar players like Dandy and Mata, and then they ended up with us who were relatively known but nothing special.  Then the season started quite roughly since we played Schalke and Fnatic Academy who were the two strongest teams.  It was definitely a bit rough, a hard start. But I think it was valuable, because instead of getting a few wins here and there against weaker teams we got straight up smashed, and that taught us how to improve and what to work on, so that’s good.

Kirei: I think one of the things we do really well now is our map movement.  Everyone is playing really structured - maybe a bit too structured - but it’s good, everyone knows what we need from each other and what we will all do.  We as a team know what to do.  

 

How did losing to Schalke 04 and Fnatic Academy show you what you needed to work on?

Sprattel:  Well they exploited our weaknesses, so we knew what to work on.  It was still pretty early, we had only been practicing for maybe three weeks at that point, so it was obvious we wouldn’t be gelled together. But over time we really worked on the small details, and week-by-week we improved, and now I think we’re really good.

Kirei:  Yeah.  Once you hit rock bottom all you can do is rise, and that’s the best feeling. We really worked on our communication, especially with our two Koreans. I talk a lot, sometimes too much, and sometimes we weren’t all on the same page. Now we all understand each other, and we all know what to say in the game. It’s become way easier.

Are you at all afraid to face Fnatic Academy on Sunday?

Sprattel: I wouldn’t say there’s any fear, the practice we’re doing is going so well, and we’ve had a three week break now after the split where we really focused on our weaknesses.  I think we’ve cleared most of them out, and we’re in a really strong state. I don’t fear Fnatic Academy, I respect them, but I think we’ll win.

Kirei: I think we will win. I’m mainly confident through our play, and through our scrims. They also really rely on the “Kikis special”, like he just roams to midlane 24/7, so we know to be careful of that. We know how to play in general, and maybe they’ve changed over time, but I think they still play pretty similarly.

Paris Saint-Germain will fight for a Promotion Tournament spot when they face Fnatic Academy on Sunday, March 26th at 16:00 CET on watch.lolesports.com