In our interview with Emil “Larssen” Larsson, Larssen talks rough scrims, his transfer to KOI, and the squad’s upcoming bout with Excel.
KOI is off to a grand start in the 2023 LEC season, winning its opening match 1-0 over Team BDS. Before the squad’s next match against Excel, mid-laner Larssen graciously sat down for an interview with WIN.gg to talk about his experience on the team. He opened up on the team’s lack of leadership as well as his upcoming showdown with Excel top-laner Andrei “Odoamne” Pascu.
WIN.gg: Did KOI have an advantage against BDS in the opening match given that BDS was an entirely new lineup and KOI kept 4/5 members from 2022?
Larssen: I’m not sure it gave us an advantage, that they were a new team. They’ve been scrimming way more than us, we started very late, so theoretically they should be in better shape – I think they played way more solo queue during the off-season as well. I think they’re, on paper, probably the lowest-tiered team so I think that’s just what it was up to today.
Trymbi mentioned on the broadcast that scrims have been a bit sketchy so far – in that case do you think it’s lucky to come up against a lower-tiered team in your opener?
It’s definitely good to get an easier start considering we started very late with scrims and we haven’t been doing too well. We didn’t do too well last year either when we won the title, I think we did way worse than we’re doing right now. But it’s definitely nice to just start the season off on a win.
What are your general thoughts on the change from Odoamne to Szygenda?
It changes the dynamic in the team quite a lot, they’re very different players, I think. Szygenda definitely wants to play more carries and Odo, everyone knows him as the weak side king, which he was, so it definitely gives a very different dynamic to the team where we need to go to top lane more and draft more around top. So it changes a lot.
They’re very different characters in the team as well, so even though it’s only one change it actually changes more than people might think.
Talking of the character change, Odoamne was the most veteran player on the team before his departure. Do you feel like you need to take some of the leadership responsibility, or who is taking over that leadership role?
I don’t think we have anyone that takes the leadership role really, I think we’re just a team where everyone can do their part. I don’t think Odoamne had the big leadership role in the team either, it was just a mix of everyone.
Changing from ROGUE to KOI, I understand the sporting staff hasn’t seen much change, but what changes have you noticed since the switch – perhaps changes caused by the larger fanbase?
I mean, definitely the bigger fan base is by far the biggest change. It’s still quite similar, but it felt different to play today even though it’s still the LEC and I still have the same things around me. It still felt different because we really wanted to give the KOI fans a good start, so it definitely gave us motivation to play today. Especially because our academy team in Spain has had a very rough start, so we wanted to give them some sort of happiness.
With the format changes reducing the first stage to only three weeks, does keeping most of the 2022 roster together help KOI to hit the ground running?
No, I don’t think so. As I said before, even though it’s only one change, it still feels like more. We took a very long break and I think we are really not in shape right now. We took that long break because last year was a very long year, so we’re kind of starting slow. But I think that the format is very nice, I think it’s a very good format.
It feels like the mid-lane meta suits your champion pool at the moment, would you agree with that?
I don’t know. I don’t think it matters which meta it is, for me. I think I can play any meta to a very high level, which I showed last year as well. Personally, I don’t care which meta it is.
I think right now the meta is very up in the air, I think you can play a lot of champions in the mid-lane.
Finally, what are your expectations for tomorrow’s game against Excel?
It’s the biggest game of the split because it’s against Odoamne, so I definitely want to win more than against any other team. The same as with G2 because Hans is there. So it’s those two teams that I really want to win against.
The expectations are, hopefully, we’ll stomp them and hopefully Odoamne will feed because that would be funny. Maybe I will try to camp him.