MAD Lions, two times LEC champions and MSI quarterfinalists, are not to be underestimated. The Lion might be a cat but when you don’t take it seriously, it’ll make you its dinner. And by that I mean they will knock you off Worlds if you don’t estimate them properly.
A big part of the reason they are so strong is their team backstage. We talked with Patrick ” Pad” Suckow-Breum, coach of MAD Lions, about the game and his thoughts on Worlds meta.
Esportimes: I have MAD Lions’ coach Pad with me here today. First off, thank you so much for your time and congratulations, that was a very good game to watch with all the Qiyana ults, Wukong ults. It was just a very fun to watch game and I’m sure it was fun game to watch from the coaches room, especially since you won.
Pad: Yeah, I mean, thank you. It was a game, it was very stressful haha.
EST: At this point I think that’s just all MAD Lions games.
Pad: We’re used to it by now.
EST: Normally I’d ask more questions about the game you just won, but since we’re in a very different meta in Worlds from the one we had in LEC finals. I’d like to talk more about the meta if you’re okay with that.
Pad: Yeah, sure, alright.
EST: Before we do that though, something that caught my eye and many other people’s eyes is that Gen.G’s comp being very outdated with picks like Azir, Xin Zhao, Kalista and Nautilus. Only Graves was new. Do you think the reason they lost today is because their comp was outdated?
Pad: No, I don’t think so. I mean I think our comp outscaled their team comp but they had agency in three different lanes so they should’ve for sure been able to stomp all three lanes with priority. If their picks weren’t exactly Worlds meta picks, they did what they were supposed to. They really like the use of auto priority into anything, Kalista/Nautilus is a direct response into Yuumi and it has kill pressure. Graves also gets auto priority into every single matchup in League right now. So it’s just a very Korean draft, lanes with priority and a jungler that can attack.
EST: So they drafted for priority and got outscaled, you say. Okay, now that we’ve addressed that, let’s talk about the new picks. Talon, Qiyana, Miss Fortune, what do you think is the most powerful one of them all right now?
Pad: Of them all?
EST: Of the new picks.
Pad: Of the new picks, I mean it depends on the situation but from watching Worlds, it’s clear that Yuumi might be the hidden, well not so hidden anymore, OP pick. It seems to be pairing really well with the new junglers that are in the meta right now. So Yuumi has proven to be really strong I think. That is the newcomer that’s performing the best.
EST: Oh, it’s definitely proven its power, especially in teamfights where it can heal people back up after they are poked. We saw picks like Yuumi that perform really well but we’ve also seen picks that did not work as well as those like Pyke or Jarvan IV. What do you think of those champions?
Pad: Haha, well, we don’t talk about Jarvan IV. Jokes aside, J4 is a champion that makes sense when you consider team comps. So picking J4 without any info of what enemy team is playing is not good. And we kinda did that against Team Liquid. What was the other champion?
EST: Pyke, we’ve seen it twice today.
Pad: So I think Pyke is situationally really good if you can create an early game plan around it and isolate the botlane matchup or split the map against a Yuumi. I think that is one of the ways to deal with a Yuumi but it requires a lot of precision and it requires you to execute early game really well which is obviously scary because if you misexecute one time in the first six minutes than the enemy team has a Yuumi and you have a Pyke.
EST: Yeah, you’re left with a Pyke against a Yuumi.
Pad: That’s Pyke. He could potentially see more play and be more successful but it’s hard to do it.
EST: We’ll see it throughout the tournament. While we’re on that subject, a lot of the matches have been played as of right now. When I spoke with Bolulu in Play-ins about this, he said that the best picks might not have been figured out yet. Do you think it is figured out by now and as you said, Yuumi is very powerful but do you think people will find something that’s stronger or will the cat be the most OP thing in the champion pool?
Pad: I actually think the meta is really fun right now because people are still learning how to play against Yuumi so even though it might be strong right now there are some strategies that are currently being developed towards countering it. At every Worlds we see there’s always some change in priority of the picks in the second round of groups. So when we go into these days of full games where we play against each opponent in one day, I think there’s going to be some meta changes. And who knows? There might be some sleeper OP pick like how Urgot was during Worlds 2020. I have a feeling that there might be one or two champions that are OP that we did not yet see and I can not tell them of course.
EST: Okay, I was just going to ask “If you knew them, would you tell me?”, but now I know. Speaking of Bolulu, I kinda have to ask since I write for a Turkish website, do you follow TCL and Turkish players?
Pad: Yes, yes I do. I’m close friends with Achuu, who used to be an ADC in SuperMassive. I have a lot of good friends from Turkey, Armut being one of them, naturally. There’s a lot of lovely Turkish people who have supported me and still support me on Twitter. I try to watch TCL when I can.
EST: That’s very good to hear. Do you think anyone from TCL who might play in LEC or any other foreign league next year? Does anyone stand out from the crowd, so to say?
Pad: I think the entire Wildcats lineup has been promising for a long time now. Especially Kaori when he was with them. I think it’s hard because what we see right now in TCL is that a lot of the established talents are being recycled like we saw Mr. Bao, aka Japone versus Bolulu and seeing those two still succeed and compete to go international is a really good sign especially now that they’re in veteran status. If they can keep teaching young players, like we saw a lot of Wildcats players moving over, young Turkish players moving over will have a higher likelihood of being successful. We saw it already in Armut and Closer moving over, even Luger winning the LCS Academy.
EST: In a reverse sweep, too.
Pad: So I think there’s a lot of talent in Turkey that needs to be spotted.
EST: Okay that is a very insightful answer and I love the fact that you said “Bao”, I assume that’s influenced from Armut, it must be.
Pad: I love Bao, he always sends cat pictures on Instagram. I can’t ask for anything else.
EST: Okay, thank you so much for your time, this was a very enjoyable talk, hope you guys win your matches as far as you go in the tournament.
Pad: Thank you, it was a lovely talk, thank you for having me.
Hopefully for Pad and the rest of MAD, they will win all three of their games on 18th of October. Until then, we wish them luck for as far as they can go.