First of all, thank you for your time Richard. What made Selfie stand out to you as a player and make you want to invite him to join H2K as a substitute?
Selfie has been one of the most underrated mids in EU for a long time now. H2K had the pleasure of working with him before when he came in to replace Ryu for six games in 2016. He performed excellently then and I have no reason to think this time around will be any different.
Why did you decide to bring on Selfie now, instead of before the season started?
Selfie had a very difficult off-season, particularly from a timing perspective. By the time he was allowed to explore his options, almost everyone (ourselves included) had filled their rosters. I have no doubt that Selfie would have been on an LCS roster had he been available earlier.
Why have you decided to replace Caedrel with Selfie?
Caedrel came into the season as a strong, reliable carry. However, during the first few weeks he has been very unhappy with his performance. It's not what he expected and it's not what H2K expected, either. It’s principally an issue of team dynamics and the players being able to consistently implement an agreed upon game strategy.
Instead, Caedrel will be starting in the jungle. H2K believes that with his aggressive playstyle, he and the team will play better with him as jungler, and I believe that Selfie was the obvious choice to come into this roster with Caedrel now in the jungle.
Has Selfie had any time to practice with H2K? How is communication with this new roster?
So far Selfie has had next to no practice with the team. However, he has previously worked with both Veteran and Smitty, and he has a great relationship with Caedrel so there is a pre-existing chemistry that we are looking to build on.
How experienced is Caedrel as a jungler?
Caedrel has always played jungle as his offrole and he believes that it plays more to his strengths right now than mid lane. Time will tell if this is a smart decision; we feel it is worth a try based on what we have seen in scrims. We have faith in him as a person and player.
Additionally, we are working a lot with Caedrel's jungling. Kelsey in particular is going through his scrims and soloQ games and giving him a lot of 1 on 1 time. Veteran also has excellent knowledge of jungle pathing and playing to lanes, so I think you will see a rapid improvement in his understanding of the role.
Do you feel like Santorin is underperforming right now?
It is hard to tell whether, as an individual, Santorin was under performing. What is clear is that stylistically the team dynamic wasn’t working out. Gameplay wise, I feel there was a mismatch of aggression and passivity with in the team which led to team indecision. You can have an excellent player who simply doesn't fit your team style; it happens all the time.
I think Santorin is highly motivated and very professional in his approach to the game. If Santorin were to join another team, with a different play style, I believe he could perform well and that wouldn’t surprise me at all. Sometimes it's just not the right fit. This is one of those times.
What does Caedrel bring to the jungle that H2K prefers over Santorin’s style?
I think that Caedrel's communication is totally different from Santorin's. Santorin is more controlled and deliberate in how he communicates while Caedrel is more aggressive and more likely to pull the trigger. There are obviously pros and cons to both styles but we feel that Caedrel's overall approach to pushing the envelope will be a good thing for the aggressive play style of the team.
H2K IN THE FUTURE
Do you see Santorin, Caedrel and Selfie flexibly interchanging on the H2K roster?
I believe that a consistent starting 5 in a perfect world is always going to be more ideal than a rotating roster. I don't know what will happen in terms of how we utilize subs in the future but my preference is certainly to work with a core group of 5.
How long do you think H2K will need to adjust to these roster changes and start performing better in the EU LCS?
It's very hard to say. When using a new jungler, the obvious answer would be to say that we expect to be better as the season goes on. However, you never know and maybe we will be lucky enough to experience an initial 'honeymoon' spell as well.
Can H2K make it to Playoffs this year, or is the goal to improve as a team and aim for Summer Finals?
The goal from the start was always to build towards Summer. However, that doesn't mean that we can't make playoffs this split, but it is a very big ask. There is so much parity in the EU LCS right now, I suspect it wouldn’t just need H2K performing at a higher level, but also favors from other teams to get us there.
Do you have any closing words you want to include for H2K's fans?
I'd like to thank everyone who continues to support us, especially those that are still here from the beginning who didn't just switch their flair because player 'X' or player 'Y' left. We have a team of great, likable and talented guys and we hope as a team and as an Org, we are worthy of your support!