We had the fortunate opportunity to talk to the assistant coach of the MAD Lions LEC team, Cristophe “Kaas” van Oudheusden, about their great Summer Split thus far, how their coaching team has had such success and who they expect to be their greatest opponent in playoffs!
So Kaas, thank you for joining me! The atmosphere in the team must be great at the moment!
“Yes, absolutely! I think that one of the most undervalued aspects of a team is how well they mesh and click together, both in and out of the game. We are doing amazing in that regard. Although the personalities of some of our players might have some differences, they get along super well.”
“You have players like Kaiser and Humanoid (Norman “Kaiser” Kaiser and Marek “Humanoid” Brázda) who are a bit more laid back and silent, with Carzzy and Shad0w (Matyáš “Carzzy” Orság and Zhiqiang “Shad0w” Zhao) being more vocal and energetic and Orome (Andrei “Orome” Popa) being the figurative dad of the group. The fact that they are this close makes it a lot easier for us to coach as well. There are plenty of teams that don’t get along nearly as well and that makes it a lot harder.”
Do you think that you guys are doing so well specifically because all the players get along?
“No, I don’t think it’s necessarily the main reason. That would be more the entirety of the coaching staff and players combined. We have a solid support structure, very talented players and we believe in the players as well. Our scrims are always done according to certain values: what kind of team do we want to be? What kind of players do we want to see or create? All of this happens cooperatively, with both the coaching staff as well as the players having their say.”
— MAD Lions LoL English (@MADLions_LoLEN) July 24, 2020
Going beyond expectations
What do you think is your greatest strength as a team compared to the other teams within the LEC? The team’s performance has been far beyond what a lot of people in the scene expected.
“First of all, it’s hard for me to really compare MAD Lions to any other LEC teams as I don’t have any experience working with them. As for what makes us so strong, I mentioned before that I personally feel that it is the organisation as a whole. How the team has been designed, how close the players are, and how the team is always ready for them.”
We have a great manager who takes care of all the practicalities and logistics
“We have a great manager who takes care of all the practicalities and logistics as well. It all meshes together without any considerable friction. Practical issues like internet issues can very easily lead to frustrated players, and we never have any of those.”
There are more teams with talented players though. What makes your support and coaching staff special compared to the other organisations?
“We have a number of coaches in our staff. I am assistant coach to Mac (James “Mac” MacCormack), who is the head coach for the LEC team. Then we have Peter Dun overseeing the whole coaching staff because we also have the SLO MAD Lions team. Finally, both our manager and our performance coach are amazing at their job and are always ready to help the team.”
Win it in draft
One of the most iconic part of League of Legends is the drafts. How do you guys approach the drafts for the LEC team?
“Our drafts are prepared by the team itself, in combination with the coaching stuff. We take a look at our own strengths, as well as the weaknesses of our opponents. We create a profile and sort of a guide map for the upcoming draft. In League’s current state, a lot of games can be won in draft. We believe in playing around our own strengths to our maximum potential.”
— MAD Lions LoL English (@MADLions_LoLEN) July 3, 2020
“However, ideally, in a perfect draft you amplify your own strengths and abuse your opponents weaknesses simultaneously. We have 5 extremely talented players who can play basically everything, so that makes drafts a lot easier.“
What is your greatest strength as a coach?
“That’s a hard question! I think it is mainly my versatility. I help with coaching, analysing, scouting, general support, managing and leading scrims, and provide general structure for the team as a whole. I’m also in the fortunate position that we have a team that has a lot of rookies. Veterans are harder to guide and shape, as they already have a set way of playing the game through their experience. In general I think that the coaching staff of LEC outscaled the one from LCK/LCS.”
The biggest enemy
Thank you so much for your time Kaas, and good luck with the upcoming matches! One final question: who will be your biggest enemy in the playoffs?
“You’re welcome! That has to be G2 Esports. While they are not doing well in the regular split, those players are incredibly talented and if they switch on during playoffs, especially in a best of three or best of five format, they are still very scary to face. Have a great day!”
— MAD Lions LoL English (@MADLions_LoLEN) July 18, 2020
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