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Road to PAX: Tyler "Lautemortis" Nicholls

By Irena 'curlychan' Pencheva
Aug 21, 2012 19:30

ImageGamescom just ended but it's time for all League of Legends fans to turn their eyes towards North America where the MLG Summer Championship and the NA Regionals are just around the corner. SK brings you exclusive interviews with some of the players heading there!

In case your memory is now filled up with the amazing matches from Gamescom, let me remind you of the IPL Face Off, which was held a week before the European Regionals. US Team Legion was the big surprise of the tournament, showing very aggressive plays and getting a respectable 3rd place. After that great showing of strength the player that runs the jungle for the team, US Tyler 'LauteMortis' Nicholls was kind enough to answer some questions regarding the team's performance at IPL and their preparation for MLG Raleigh and PAX.

There are probably a lot of people, especially in Europe, that don’t know much about Team Legion, so can you tell us a bit about you and your team, how long have you been together, etc?

"We've had our core lineup of support/mid/jungle together for around a year, and recently we picked up cruzerthebruzer for top, and demunlul for AD. Our team likes to play extremely aggressively and force neutrals/towers before other pro teams do. We love to do high-risk high-reward plays and typically look to snowball the game extremely early on, using early level aggression and tower dives to take our opponents off guard."

You played with a sub at IPL Face Off and yet you showed such a strong performance and took 3rd place, which I think surprised a lot of people. What was the secret behind it?

"Our main strategy was to come out and live or die by high aggression play. Most of these took our opponents by surprise giving us good advantages. We did strategies most of our opponents weren't prepared to face and took objectives with decent gold leads and deep wards to further our early advantages."

Will you attend Raleigh and eventually PAX with your full regular line-up and if yes, can we expect for the team to be even better?

"Our full lineup will be at Raleigh and PAX. Our mid player has been on vacation for around 3 weeks so we have 2 weeks to catch him up to speed. If we practice as much as we should we will be able to compete at a much higher level than we did at IPL. I expect big things for us at both PAX and Raleigh."

We are weeks away from two very important North American tournaments - MLG Raleigh and the Regional qualifiers for Season 2 Championship. How is your preparation for them going? Are you satisfied with it?

"Our AP mid is still away on vacation for another day.* When we get him back we'll be going at it full throttle, until then I just try to keep my mind off of how far we're getting behind by not being able to participate as a full team. I know when we get our full lineup back we'll be able to compete at a high level though. As far as satisfied, I feel like we should never be satisfied. We can always be doing more and until we get to consistently placing high in tournaments I know I will not be satisfied."

What are your expectations for MLG Raleigh? Do you think you can get a top finish there as well so you can guarantee your spot in the Regionals and if you succeed in that will you be able to take one of the three spots for the Championship?

"I am extremely confident in our ability to make top 8 and secure a position at PAX. At the moment I will confidently predict that we will place top 5 at MLG. As far as top 3 for regionals we have a lot of work still to accomplish to get there. I think it'll be close and we'll probably pull out some strats people haven't seen yet to give us an edge."

We’ve recently seen a lot of early aggression, lane swaping and such, inspired by the Korean teams, but you used them pretty successfully as well. Are you ready to respond accordingly to teams like TSM, CLG and Curse, who may also try to play in such way?

"We know the way TSM and Curse play in and out because we scrim them fairly frequently. CLG has been in Korea for so long we aren't sure what to expect from them. They will probably prove to be the most difficult to figure out and get leads on. But aggression at early levels is something we are very familiar with."

Do you have any predictions for the teams that are going to take the top 3 places at both tournaments? Do you think they will be the same or can we see some kind of a big surprise?

"Top 3 best teams in NA atm are CLG.NA, Dignitas, and TSM. I would expect those to contend for the top spots at both of those events. TD, mTw, and us (legion) have the ability to finish in the top 3 as well if they can get enough momentum. I've heard good things about meat playground also but its hard to predict a high placement with a sub."

Do you think that two tournaments so close to each other is a good or bad thing? Will Raleigh make you prepare in the best way for the Regionals by meeting the strongest teams first there or will the travel between the two destinations tire you out and not let you play to your full potential?

"I wish that we had more time in between events to research teams that we play early, it’s difficult to research all other 11 teams for Raleigh to a high enough level to be confident to play them in early rounds in PAX potentially. It will be an interesting experience as after only a few days at IPL we felt burnt out. It will probably benefit some of the teams with more LAN experience, but overall the competition that we play leading up to PAX will definitely be a big benefit in trying to upset the top NA teams and place in the top 3."

What do you think of the format of the Regionals? Is single elimination good enough for such an important tournament that decides who gets to attend the Championship?

"It’s good in a sense you will probably see more upsets. But I think it will detract from the level of competition at the world championship if teams winnning use unorthodox strats and send the top teams back home. It will definitely make every team rethink any aggression because every game matters at such a high level."

Thank you very much for taking the time off to answer these questions! Any final shoutouts?

"Shout out to Razer for supplying us with awesome gaming gear! As well as Sanshee for sponsoring us. I wanna thank Wild Turtle for being an excellent sub and friend to the team. As well as SK for the opportunity to do an interview. Thanks so much. :D"

*The interview was taken last Tuesday.



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