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mouz Pridestalkr: “I feel like Zed jungle is overlooked by other people”

Pridestalkr took time off and spoke to us about mousesports’ run in the Amazon EU Masters 2021 summer, his experience returning as a pro player and a comprehensive look at why he thinks Zed jungle is a good pick (even on the previous patch).

Milo “Pridestalkr” Wehnes is a familiar name to those who have watched European League of Legends during the EU LCS days. After taking a break from the scene, he returned once again with mousesports and for this Amazon EU Masters, was placed in the Group of Death with Vodafone Giants, Macko Esports and Karmine Corp. Mousesports did not go on to the next round but were able to end their campaign on a win.

First and foremost, thank you so much for taking time to do an interview with me. Commiserations on mousesports not making it through to Knockouts. How do you reflect on your games in Group D?

Pridestalkr: I feel like the games that we lost were really winnable. I think that our games were pretty close, aside from the one against the Vodafone Giants. They could both go either way and I feel like it could have been us making it out, but it was Giants instead because they won that one game against us and it was super close. The same could be said for the other teams I guess, because they would probably feel the same way about it.

Did you enjoy the game against Macko Esports in the first round robin then?

Pridestalkr: That one was… really stressful. I think we had some fuck-ups going on and in bot and mid as well, and I had to kind of suffer through it. Yet we made some really good plays in that game to come back and we still came out on top and won. It was quite an alright game, honestly!

The interesting thing about this EU Masters is that in the final game against Giants, you pulled out Zed jungle, and you’ve also picked it twice in the Prime League. Can you tell me a little bit about this pick and why do you think it’s so good?

Pridestalkr: I used to play Zed off-role because I thought he was a really fun champion. I like playing junglers with fast clears and ones that can have a lot of impact later on in fights as well, being able to do a lot of damage and set us up really well. I feel like Zed jungle is overlooked by other people because generally only one-tricks play him. However, they actually buffed him a while ago in the jungle and his clear is really good.

I also feel like there’s really good lethality items right now, Serpent’s Fang for example. I think it’s really hard to counter lethality champions as well compared to before, shielding and stuff would be good into it but now it’s the opposite where I think Zed is really good into those shielding champions right now.

I think it’s just a really overlooked champion but I’m not too sure if it only works for us, because I haven’t really seen other players play it, which makes me doubt the pick a bit as well. From my experience at this, at least, it has been good and we’ve got good practice results with it too.

Maybe we should have done it earlier and stick to carry junglers because we played two Trundle games, and I feel like you have an impact in the early game but then the game is not really in your hands anymore after. Yet on Zed, I can always have a lot of impact in the game no matter what.

What about Rengar these days? I remember you used to be a Rengar one-trick and I think you have not played him competitively since 2017.

Pridestalkr: I think in Season 9, at one point, I was playing him a lot. I think Rengar is a really bad champion right now. They’re giving him a mini rework on PBE and I think it’s gonna be a lot better to play him, so I got something to look forward to because it will be fun to try him out, at least. Maybe he will be good, maybe not.

Interestingly, what everybody’s talking about now is the patch 11.18 and a lot of people have been saying that we potentially will see Qiyana, Talon and Zed jungle be somewhat meta on the Worlds patch. What are your thoughts on this?

Pridestalkr: It depends how open-minded people are to these picks. Qiyana jungle has been a thing before so I think people will definitely try that out, but I’m not sure how people will feel about Zed and Talon. I actually played Talon jungle a lot in solo-queue and we were even thinking of playing it against Giants! But then they picked Twisted Fate, so we went to Zed instead. I will probably regret not playing Talon jungle.

They’re good and for us it works really well, but I’m not sure if people are ready to pick these champions at Worlds. Personally, if I were to play at Worlds – which I obviously don’t – I would definitely play Zed and probably Talon too. I don’t know about Qiyana but I already think Zed and Talon were already good, and will be better on 11.18.

Fair enough. Moving back to EU Masters, what are your general impressions of the teams and who do you think will win the trophy this summer?

Pridestalkr: Honestly, I feel like every team could kind of beat each other. I don’t think there’s a clear favourite. But I do think Misfits Premier, BIG and Karmine Corp will probably have to edge over to other teams, but really anything can happen, in my opinion. I think Giants or UCAM Esports Club could win too, but I think it’s less likely. It’s hard to say but if I were to pick favourites, I would say those three teams.

Moving away from the EU Masters, you’ve actually played in the old EU LCS before you took a break and came back into the competitive scene. What are your fondest memories from playing in the EU LCS back then?

Pridestalkr: There was one time in Team ROCCAT where the standings were kind of decided already and I remember we agreed with Misfits Gaming that we just pick whatever we wanted!

I was playing Draven bot lane against Steven “Hans sama” Liv and Lee “IgNar” Dong-geun. I played a Draven/Nunu bot lane with Felix “Betsy” Edling and we were playing against Kalista/Kled. That was a pretty fun game. It obviously didn’t mean much but it was fun to play something other than jungle on the EU LCS stage.

On your return to the competitive scene, why did you decide to stay in the European Regional Leagues (ERLs)? Did you get any other offers from other regions like North America?

Pridestalkr: I got really lucky with mousesports I would say because this was by far the best roster I could join. Adam “LIDER” Ilyasov was close to joining an LEC team but it fell through, and he ended up forming a mousesports roster he thought could win EU Masters in spring. I was the jungler he picked and I’m really grateful for that.

Besides that, I don’t think I really had that many other good offers and I was maybe overlooked a bit, because I hadn’t played competitively in a while. Maybe people had forgotten about me. I tried to climb in solo-queue to prove myself again and I think I showed myself pretty well in EU Masters. I’m pretty happy with how I played in both seasons in 2021.

How has your experience been coming back as a pro player now compared to when you were in the EU LCS?

Pridestalkr: I took a one and a half year break and when I first started scrimming again, it was super fun. It was really fun playing in a team environment again but I noticed it was really exhausting as well. I was not used to it anymore and with four people talking all the time in-game and having to communicate constantly, it was pretty exhausting.

I was a bit nervous for my first game which was against EURONICS Gaming, because I was not sure how I was going to feel since it’s been so long. I was a bit worried about how I would perform but I played really well in my first match and I got used to it again. It’s been really fun so far and I did miss being able to compete and play against other good teams and players. I’m happy to be back.

Glad to have you back as well. Since you returned, you’ve made Prime League playoffs and EU Masters twice as well. What are your goals as a player now that you’ve returned back to competitive play?

Pridestalkr: My goal right now is basically to just get back into the LEC. Obviously if I’m still in the ERLs, I would really want to win EU masters but ideally, I would want to play in the LEC again and hopefully be able to win something there. I just want to make it back to the LEC and take it from there. I’m not sure what it would take, whether it’s winning EU Masters or something else.

Thank you Pridestalkr and best of luck in 2022.

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