Perkz has been such a frontrunner in the EU LCS that he has now become one with the game, forever remembered as the legendary Yasuo player featured in the World 2018 theme: RISE. Alongside Uzi, Faker and Ambition, Perkz has earned himself a place in League history with his own RISE-inspired figurine.
While G2 had a shaky second half of the Summer Split, they have qualified for Worlds and are looking ahead. Even when there was doubt from fans, Perkz remained a captain at the helm of a team bent on attending Worlds and, through the Regional Qualifier, G2 achieved that goal. We met up with Perkz for the unveiling of RISE and to talk about his journey through the Split and Regional Qualifier.
Perkz reacts to RISE and the G2 Yasuo action figure
Of all the players in Europe, you were chosen for this video because of the impact you've had on our sport. What does that mean to you?
Perkz: I can't really explain it. I don't even know if I deserve it. I'm going as third seed and I didn't win my region this year. It means a lot to me, though, to be put with those players, those legacies, those names. I feel like I have a lot more time to build my own legacy further and further. I feel like, if I don't deserve to be there yet, I will for sure be there with some time. I'm just getting better every year and I don't think I'll stop getting better. I'm going to reach my goal one day.
What did you think about the G2 Yasuo figure?
Perkz: This is just great, honestly. I didn't expect this. I'm very happy now, I'm way more motivated to actually do something at Worlds. Hopefully we don't get a tough group, maybe we'll get lucky because of this figure. Thank you.
You've spent a lot of time scrimming between the Quarterfinals and the Regional Qualifier, but what else did you do to prepare?
Perkz: All year I've been going to the gym, exercising and playing my guitar. I've also been playing Solo Queue constantly. But this Monday, before the gauntlet, I had such low motivation to play Solo Queue– I just couldn't anymore. I didn't know what to practice, every game felt so pointless... I think I just felt that we were getting a lot more out of scrims. So I started playing Spider-Man. I would just play for about an hour after scrims to unwind but I've never done that before. I don't play other games, especially not on a PlayStation, so it was a lot of fun. I was just jumping around with my webs and going, "pshhhhh."
How did Summer Finals compare to Spring Finals for you?
Perkz: After Spring Finals, I felt really embarrassed and demoralized. I was in disbelief that I actually lost 3-0 and, after we lost, it took me a good ten minutes to realize we'd actually lost so hard. I was so stressed and tears were just rolling down my face. But sometimes you have to lose, right?
I can't believe im watching finals from home— Luka (@G2Perkz) September 9, 2018
next time ill atleast buy ticket and fly there
When I was watching the Summer Finals from home, I was just memeing the whole time. It was just unbelievable that I wasn't playing in the Finals. In some ways, my ego became more shattered and that was a good thing because it kept me grounded.
I was just playing my Spider-Man on PlayStation and just watched the Finals on my monitor. I couldn't believe it, I was playing Spider-Man while they were playing Finals. But that's how it happened.
Heading into Summer Finals you lost to Misfits, a team that you felt you shouldn't have lost to– what was going on?
I didn't want this year to go to waste.
Perkz: We had a really, really terrible week of scrims. I know people say scrims aren't everything but I think that's false. Scrims are a huge part of your play. You warm up in scrims then compete on stage one day later. You can be inconsistent in scrims, but we were consistently bad in every game. People would just die all the time and we'd get no practice. We were so lost, it was hard to play.
I couldn't believe it when this loss against Misfits happened. We lost 3-0 so it was like, "Wow. Did that really just happen?" That was a really big shocker, you know? Then I had one week off at home and I really questioned myself. What did I want to do this year? I didn't want this year to go to waste. I told myself, "You have right now or else you have to wait for next year." I just set my own goals to make my team and myself as strong as possible and as happy as possible. That's exactly what happened. I'm happy with that.
Now you won the gauntlet and you've qualified for the third seed to Worlds. Did you honestly think you would make it back?
I just had to make it to Worlds. It wasn't an option not to be there.
Perkz: I had many moments of doubt. It was looking really grim. Let's face it, we got 3-0ed and we were getting smashed in every game, but something inside of me just knew we were going to make it. No matter what happens, it was like I just had to make it to Worlds. It wasn't an option not to be there.
I'm really happy with how I played and the decisions I made in the gauntlet. Even when I made bad decisions, my team knew I was making a bad play and cancelled me out. This year, I think I'm so much better than last year. It's so sad I couldn't prove it throughout the year and I've been outshined by others, especially Caps. It just hurts because I know I can be the best. As long as we click together as a team moving forward, though, I will perform really well.
Do you feel that you are ready to take on the World Championship stage?
Perkz: You know, I felt like we were improving so much in the Summer Split so, if nothing bad happens, we should have the basics down. We've been working on them for a whole year, they should be down. I can see us easily surprising teams at Worlds and even taking games off of Korean and Chinese teams. I don't think EU is weak and I want to show it. I think Fnatic in particular will show it.
I don't think EU is weak and I want to show it.
What do you think is going to be different for you this year mentality-wise going into Worlds?
Perkz: Well, this year I guess I don't have the pressure– I mean, pressure is just a stupid term anyway, it comes from within, but there's always some kind of pressure when you're the best team and you expect yourself to do very well. But now, no one expects anything. We are just going there to prove everyone wrong. So if we lose, it's not worse than last year, right? If we win, it's better than last year, so it's a win-win situation. We're just there to compete and mess some people up.
In the post-game interview during the Regional Qualifier, the team mentioned that some people on Reddit were saying G2 don't deserve to go to Worlds. When people doubt you like that, how does it impact you and the team?
Perkz: Well I don't really read much or care what people say. When I read, it's more for entertainment than for taking it seriously because I've done this for a few years. It doesn't really bother me. I know the reasons why we lost games against Splyce. It was so unwinnable from our drafts, so when I know the reason why we lose it's like... It can't bother me because the games we won, we played really well. Playing against Schalke, of course, we played a lot better than against Splyce and we had a lot better drafts as well, better preparation.
I don't know, it feels like against Schalke was the first time we were actually playing like a team. Even in the game we were losing, we were losing as a team. Wadid and Jankos were just running it down together which was very nice to see because, before, we would just run down separately. But now we lose as a team and win as a team. I'm happy that we play as a team.
Do you have any words for the G2 Army and all of your fans?
Perkz: I would really like to thank them for supporting me and following me. It's been a great journey so far. I thought that, when I started two years ago, I would just be there to earn money and see what League was about. Then I started realizing what a great opportunity this is for me and I thought, at some point, I would get burned out of the game. But, four years later, I'm still more hungry than ever to play. I really enjoy being so good at something, I could never see myself stopping. I’ll play until I'm 90. I will be here for a very long time. I will be around.