European League of Legends teams have come to Los Angeles to prove that they’re the region to beat. The first day of Rift Rivals: NA vs EU was quite one-sided by the time Origen easily defeated Team SoloMid.
But Origen didn’t want to win doing the same old thing. They took Rift Rivals as an opportunity to try out some brand new strategies, and they seemed to pay off immediately. Bot laner Patrik “Patrik” Jiru had switched roles with mid laner Erlend “Nukeduck” Vatevik Holm. If that wasn’t crazy enough, Patrik was also playing Neeko, a champion he has never played in a competitive game before.
WIN.gg spoke with Patrik and jungler Jonas “Kold” Andersen about their first match of the weekend and the reasoning behind their brand new strategy.
How did you guys prepare for Rift Rivals?
Kold: Slightly differently. We didn’t prepare for a specific team. We just went here to try something. Things we had been thinking about trying for a while in games that mattered less. Mostly we went here to see if we can learn anything from North American teams to use for ourselves and to have a good time out in LA.
Patrik: We actually prepared less than normal. We mostly played some scrims to warm up, I would say. We took it a bit easier this time.
What are the differences between EU and NA team’s playstyles right now?
Kold: It’s really hard to judge from just one game. I think it’s very clear they’re less creative than European teams. In pick and bans, and how they played the map. The risks they took. They did more low risk and low reward plays.
Patrik: Comparing the top three teams, they’re slower from what I’ve seen today. I feel they’re not too crazy. They play their games safe and see where it takes them.
Do you think that EU is a better region?
Kold: Yeah, of course. From watching the games it seems pretty clear that European teams are better. At least after the first day. But we will see if they learn a thing or two from European teams. EU as a region, we’re lucky to have G2 as a partner to practice against. They push all other teams to be more creative and to be willing to take more risks. We are pushed further than the NA region right now.
How were you feeling going into the game against TSM?
Kold: I was feeling very confident. We practiced a little bit about NA teams leading up to the tournament. It went as we expected. Without sounding too cocky, we were expecting to win. We had a plan going into the game. It was important for us to win against TSM.
Why is that?
Patrik: It was important for Mithy. He was on TSM last year. He wanted to beat them and his old partners.
Kold: There’s a grudge between the two teams, in terms of some of our players. So it meant something to us. We didn’t just want to win. We wanted to win in a strong fashion. Mithy got a lot of shade for his time on TSM. So there was some emotion in the match.
You were able to get ahead early on. How were you able to pull ahead?
Patrik: We just had a better stride than them. We had a clear game plan. How to snowball it. They just weren’t sure how to counter the stuff we were doing in-game. They didn’t fight back too much, I would say.
Kold: We are willing to make some changes in the early game. That gave us a lead. You will almost never see our gank at level two in the bot lane. It’s very uncommon. They were not ready for what we were planning. It was a gamble, but if it worked we’d get ahead.
Origen made a lot of interesting choices going into this match. What made you do this?
Patrik: It’s good to trick your enemies a bit. They saw Neeko and thought he would be on bot lane. They thought we would play normally. But when we switched roles in-game, TSM’s picks were not a good match up for them anymore.
Kold: It’s something we have practiced quite a bit. There’s more to it but I don’t want to give away why we’re doing it. But it made sense in that game to do it. And both players are very good at each role. Patrik’s a young guy, but not afraid of going against Bjergsen. It had to do with confidence and specific picks the enemy team made.
Are there any moments in the match that stood out to you the most?
Kold: I was very happy with how the early game situation went. As a jungler, you have to take risks. Sometimes it backfires and you may lose the game for your team. But in this case, it went as I hoped. I’m happy to see that some of the things we thought about and practiced also worked in real games. We’re doing a lot of new things.
Overall, I’m really happy that we showcased some new things for Origen. It’s not something the world has seen us do before.
Besides TSM, are there any NA teams you’re excited to play this weekend?
Patrik: TSM was the one we were looking forward to the most. But I think it will be fun to play against Team Liquid. They have kind of the same style as us. I’m excited to see who will come out with the win in that match.
What have you been doing in Los Angeles, besides playing League of Legends?
Kold: We are playing a lot of League. But we are trying to push for as many food possibilities as possible. We have Mithy on the team. He was here last year and he has good recommendations for places to go. Some high quality Japanese steak we can’t get in Europe.
Patrik: I like LA. It’s a great city. The weather is cold so far. But I like the beach. The studio here is better than the EU studio. So yeah, I like it here. The food is really good.
Kold: I used to live in America, four years ago. It was often Korean BBQ and sushi and pho. I just want to be reminded of all the things in LA. As I remember, most of the food here is higher quality than other places around the world.