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MAD Elyoya: “The biggest difference compared to last year is that I now have to do most of the shotcalling”

MAD Lions jungler Javier "Elyoya" Prades Batalla spoke to us after their victory against Team BDS. He talks about MAD’s current form and progress as well as his thoughts on potentially picking Qiyana.

With the first half of the season over, defending champions MAD Lions ended it with a 5-4 score and tied fourth in the standings. With Rogue being the only undefeated team left in the LEC, only Fnatic and G2 Esports are ranked higher than them at 6-3. MAD Lions will begin the second half of the season facing G2 and SK Gaming in Week 5.

First and foremost, thank you so much for accepting this interview, Elyoya. Let’s start it off nice and easy and talk about the game against Team BDS. That was a crazy game to watch, what was it like for you playing in it?

Elyoya: I think we were ahead and this game should have been way easier if I didn’t int. We had a bit of a miscommunication, let’s say. The game felt a lot harder because we weren’t getting a lot of picks and we were dying randomly too much. This is not too worrying for me, I think this game should have been won way faster if I didn’t int, so I’m not worried. I just feel like I played bad and I had some really stupid mistakes I shouldn’t have made. It’s something really easy to fix and I know I’m not gonna do it in the future, so I’m fine with it.

I believe your teammate Kaiser said on broadcast that winning this game to him felt like “winning a World’s finals or something”. Do you agree with him?

Elyoya: I mean it was a hard game, so it felt good! I will say I hope winning a World’s finals feels much better than this, but I would say it’s a relief to win this game because yeah, if we lost one more game we would be going 4-5 in the standings and that would not look good for us.

Let’s touch upon that point then. MAD Lions now end the first half of the season with a score of 5-4. Three seasons in a row since you joined from 2021 spring, MAD Lions have always ended Week 4 with a 5-4 record. Why do you think this is the case?

Elyoya: Mac tells us, “you can int, guys” so we int and we have fun! Then when we’re going to playoffs he’s like, “hey, you guys cannot int anymore. You had your time to int before, now you need to play well!”

Jokes aside, right now we’re having shaky performances but I think all of this is gonna come together when the playoffs come about. I think in the playoffs we’re gonna step up, myself included, and improve our level of play. Right now I’m not even putting that much hours into playing, for example. I play maybe 12-14 hours but I could put in more.

I’m not going so hard at the moment because I know myself and I will get burned out really fast. So I think when the playoffs come about, we will all just try hard to the maximum.

Following up on the burnout issue that you mentioned, I believe last summer the topic of burnout was heavily discussed in the community, with your coach Mac as well speaking about it on PGL. What have MAD Lions done differently coming into 2022, or are the processes the same from 2021 to address potential burnout?

Elyoya: I think it’s mostly the same, they trust us to know ourselves and right now for every player, we know ourselves better. I know that if I start playing more than 15 hours a day from January, I’m not going to be sane once we reach April, so I need to take it a bit easier early on.

They just trust us and they said it’s fine to lose regular games right now. It’s no big deal as long as we make it to the playoffs and that during playoffs we’re in our best shape. Regular season doesn’t matter that much. So yeah, we’re fine with that.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not playing LoL to alleviate burnout? Do you watch anime perhaps, or play other games?

Elyoya: It depends from day to day. I either play Valorant, I sometimes watch streams, sometimes I play Minecraft too. Some days I just play League for the whole day and then I talk with someone for 30 minutes before leaving and going to bed.

But it depends and it’s usually just one hour a day where I have free time before going to sleep and I’m like, “This is my free time. I’m doing whatever I feel like”. I have to say last year I was watching way more anime but this year I’m not watching any anime, so I’m not an otaku anymore!

Do you watch the VCT then? Which team are you keeping your eye on?

Elyoya: I do watch some of it. I like KRÜ Esports because they are from Argentina and the Spanish speaking community. Also G2 Esports because of Mixwell. Basically, I’m just following the Spanish players.

That’s fair enough. Moving on, talk to me a little bit about the differences in MAD Lions now and last year. You guys brought in two new rookies to replace Humanoid and Carzzy, so what’s the environment like right now and what the differences have been for you?

Elyoya: We have… I would say a more ‘healthy’ environment. Last year, it was like… we just didn’t really want to scrim because we were having so much fun all the time . So we were just joking around and having so much fun, but this year it’s a bit more serious. We are taking scrims more seriously and getting better.

Last year was us having a lot of fun but I wouldn’t say there’s a big difference outside of the game. We are still making a lot of jokes and everything’s a bit more safe right now because we don’t know each other that well yet.

In terms of gameplay I would say that the biggest difference is that right now I have to do most of the shotcalling. Last year it was between me and Humanoid so I could have someone to rely on. This year it’s kind of on me. They still need to catch up and they still need to learn a bit, and once they get to a point where they can shotcall, then yeah, things will be much easier.

Has this burden of being the sole shotcaller in the team added extra pressure onto you?

Elyoya: Yeah, it has put extra pressure on me. I’m fine having extra pressure because if something goes wrong then I have someone to blame, which is me really, so it’s really easy to blame me if something goes wrong. I’m fine with the extra pressure.

Going into the next week, what are your impressions of the LEC so far since we are done with the first half of it. What are your impressions of the teams and the players for 2022 spring?

Elyoya: I don’t think I have been surprised by anything so far. I think the LEC is kinda how I expected it to be. I feel like we are going to be much better coming into the second half of the season, and this goes for many other teams too. I think now is when teams are going to improve a lot and the real fun is yet to come.

I think in terms of teams, Fnatic is looking strong and Rogue is looking close to the strongest right now. G2 is also looking good and Team Vitality have also been looking quite strong recently. I would say those are like the four best teams right now.

This interview is coming to an end, so let’s go for some fun questions: The Chemtech Drake is finally gone, are you happy about it?

Elyoya: I’m so happy! They could have removed it before the SK game, which I would have been much happier with. But I take it, I’m fine with it.

So basically if the Chemtech Drake was not in the SK game, you guys would have won it easily?

Elyoya: Yeah, easy. No problem!

The next one I’d like to ask about is Qiyana. You’ve mentioned previously you love playing Qiyana and we have seen other people pick her but not you. Is Mac making sure you can’t pick her in games?

Elyoya: Mac is pushing on the Volibear side and I’m pushing on the Qiyana side, so we are meeting in the middle so I’m playing like Lee Sin or Xin Zhao. The Qiyana might come up in later games. I was jealous when I saw other people playing her so there is a chance I will play it.

What do you think of her in the current meta right now?

Elyoya: I think in the current meta, she’s fine. I don’t think she’s too strong and I don’t think she’s above any other like S-tier junglers. I think she’s okay and has her place in the meta, but I think it’s a really specific place and you need to be really confident in yourself to pull it out because if you’re set behind early, Qiyana becomes useless.

This is the end of the interview. Any final thoughts or any shoutouts you’d like to give?

Elyoya: As always, I like to thank the community and everyone for all the support they give to MAD Lions. Not only me, but the rookies and everyone, it’s something that we really appreciate. Thanks so much for supporting us even though the results in the regular season are not always the best.

Good luck Elyoya and thank you for your time!

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