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VIT Selfmade: “Basically we ended up playing full solo queue style in competitive”

Team Vitality jungler Oskar "Selfmade" Boderek spoke to us about his thoughts on Vitality’s summer as a whole, the current playoffs teams and a bit on the EU Masters that’s ongoing now.

Despite their best efforts, Team Vitality fell to Fnatic 3-2 in a thrilling playoffs series, ending their run in the LEC 2021 Summer Season.

First and foremost, thank you for accepting this interview. Commiserations on the defeat to Fnatic, it was ultimately a close series. Let’s start it off nice and easy. What are your takeaways from this series and what were your initial expectations going into it?

Selfmade: Well let’s start from before the end of the season, since we barely made it to the playoffs. We also knew about our issues and we didn’t have any expectations going up against Fnatic. We just tried to play our best and whatever happens, happens.

Unfortunately, we didn’t win. But at least we made it to five games which kind of showed we are a team that can compete with the other playoff teams, and that Fnatic are not as strong of a team as people thought during the regular season.

Walk me through your issues coming into the playoffs, since you mentioned it previously. What were they and how did the team work to address them?

Selfmade: I won’t speak about our internal issues, but basically our issues were game related. There was nothing outside the game, it was all just LoL. We had disagreements on how the game was played and I’d say that was pretty much it.

Vitality were known to play a very explosive style, and I spoke to your coach Tasz on this ‘double-edged’ style as he called it. Do you think this chosen style was ultimately hard to properly execute and the team should have been more adaptable? What are your thoughts on it?

Selfmade: I think we were looking for our style for the whole season and at the end we more or less decided that we should play champions that we are individually good at, regardless of whether it works well together or not. So basically we ended up playing full solo queue style in competitive. I’d say it was kind of obvious that this team won’t go far because playing solo queue in competitive League is not something that will get you far.

We made it to the playoffs at least even though our run ended prematurely. But still, it’s progress for Vitality since they haven’t made playoffs in the past 2 or 3 years. Step by step we are bringing Vitality back to life, I guess!

Speaking of playoffs, it was an interesting series between both teams and the overarching narrative was yourself vs Gabriël “Bwipo” Rau, your former teammate. What are your thoughts on that narrative and how did you feel facing him to potentially eliminate him from playoffs?

Selfmade: I mean, narratives are something created to bring in bigger viewership, which is understandable. I was on Fnatic before, I joined a new team and my former top laner now roleswaps to jungle, so on paper of course this looks like a really hyped matchup. But for me, it didn’t really matter who I faced, I wanted to defeat whoever was in front of me. This culminated in me facing Bwipo of course, which was a nice experience because I knew he would do well in the jungle because he’s a great player and a really smart person.

I wasn’t surprised when I saw him perform in the league as a jungler, but I don’t really think this series was me against him, because there are five players in each team. You win and lose as a team, even though people can say that Bwipo 1v9 this game on Lee Sin or I 1v9 this game on Diana, but the fact that one player looks the best in each game doesn’t mean he is carrying the game.

For example, in my Diana games, I wouldn’t be able to do what I did if I didn’t have Labros “Labrov” Papoutsakis playing Rakan, and honestly I thought Rakan was a very important pick for this series. That’s how the jungle is at the moment, you play as mid-jungle-support and three players basically control the whole map.

In that regard, now that Fnatic has advanced forward and you mentioned as well Fnatic are not as good as people think, which team do you think takes the last Worlds spot?

Selfmade: Why I mentioned I think Fnatic are not as good as people think was because I thought people were overpraising them once they got first in the regular season and then they fell to top five pretty quickly. Yet why I think Fnatic are a bit overrated is because they only have one playstyle, just like us, and I think teams with only one playstyle usually don’t make it far. You need to be able to adapt and play for different lanes, you can’t just only play for bot side, which is what Fnatic likes to do.

I can’t predict who will go though, all three teams are super competitive and all three can defeat each other. I can’t choose…but if I really had to, I would just choose G2 Esports because I would feel really fucking bad for Martin “Rekkles” Larsson. It’s his first year in G2 and suddenly G2 doesn’t make Worlds, it would feel really, really bad.

Speaking of Rekkles, who was also your former teammate, what do you make of G2’s form at the moment? Their form seems to be a hot topic at the moment, what are your thoughts on them?

Selfmade: It’s a team made of five insanely talented players and veterans. They all have tons of skill and experience, so if you see a team like G2 struggling, it means they have some internal issues that you don’t know about, so I can’t really tell what’s going on with them.

How do you look back and reflect on the LEC 2021 summer season, after an interesting off-season and a run to playoffs?

Selfmade: When I joined Team Vitality, I didn’t have any expectations for this season. I didn’t want to be on the bench for half a year and I got really lucky that I found a home in Vitality, and as I mentioned Vitality is happy because we made playoffs and it’s progress for them.

I’m not sure what the future will bring but as they say, next is always better, right? So yeah, let’s say then that next year will be better!

Onto next year then! What are your future goals and what does ‘Selfmade’ want to achieve? How do you want to be remembered?

Selfmade: I’m not going to use the classic answer that everyone says, that they want to be the best and they want to win Worlds. It’s kind of true that everybody, or at least most players, wants to aim to be the best and known for lifting trophies. But since I’ve been in the LEC for over two years now and I’ve not won a single season yet, I’m just setting a goal of winning the LEC at least once. I’m not going to think of Worlds at this point, I just want to win LEC.

As for how I want to be remembered… as a good player, that’s it! I don’t really care what people think about my personality, what matters is if you win or not, and that is what drives me forward.

Before we end, I’d like to ask a question or two on the European Masters since it’s going underway at the moment. How important do you think EU Masters is for aspiring players to get into the LEC?

Selfmade: I think EU Masters is not that important for newer players to get to LEC. Imagine if there were no EU Masters, people would still probably notice the players from the top regional leagues like Spain and France.

But of course, EU Masters definitely helps, since you get to see all the top teams from the European Regional Leagues (ERLs) face off there. So if you’re a newer player that wants to make it to LEC, you should definitely aim to get to EU Masters but in my opinion, it’s not really needed.

What were your best memories from playing in the EU Masters?

Selfmade: I think it was really nice back in the day, as a rookie player to play against Origen in 2018 Spring, where we lost to them. You have this feeling you are facing players who have already achieved something in their careers, and they played in the league you are looking to get into. And then you play against them and you get the feeling that you performed well, it kind of gives you that confidence that you can play in the higher league.

That was my best memory, and I also enjoyed that EU Masters a lot more than the one we won in Katowice because that one felt a little anticlimactic. The venue and audience was smaller than the one in Leicester Haymarket Theatre, it gave a much better vibe for the whole tournament, which is kind of the same when you play in LEC on stage in the regular season back when there was no COVID.

I think playing offline and in front of an audience is a very important thing in any competition and honestly if someone said LoL would be played online for the rest of its existence, I think it would harm a lot of players and many of them would retire.

We’ve come to the end of the interview. Anything else you’d like to add or shoutouts you want to give?

Selfmade: I’d just like to thank the fans for their support and say that next year will be better, I promise!

Thank you Selfmade, and best of luck next season.

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