The team’s star jungler, Shadow, talked after the 3-1 series win about how the pressure he felt affected his play, their gameplan to neutralize Schalke, and his expectations for their matchup against Rogue and beyond.
The series actually didn’t start off all that great for MAD Lions—the team struggled in game one, but made some big adjustments for the rest of the day, mainly in their draft focus against Schalke’s aggressive jungler and crowd favorite, Gilius.
According to the 19-year old phenom, Schalke’s power relied a lot on playing around Gilius and his ability to carry. As a result, they aimed to pinch his champion pool in order to force him onto an uncomfortable pick. He also didn’t expect them to keep leaving Lillia open for him, since “she’s just broken.”Shadow also pointed out that the pressure of the moment caused him to underperform a bit in the first game. He and the rest of his team quickly regained their composure, however, and executed their plan to perfection.
“I was a bit nervous coming into the first game because it was our last chance to make Worlds,” Shadow said. “I was kind of scared that we were not gonna make it, so [the first game] didn’t go well. But I think we just moved on very fast and we had a plan. We put Gilius on a comfort pick on the first game—which did not end well—so we pinched his jungle pool in the second game and picked comfort for me.”
After the series, Shadow said that all he felt was happiness and relief. The team had multiple opportunities to lock themselves a spot at Worlds, but they continuously failed to grab that elusive win at the end of the regular season. When G2 took down MAD Lions in four game, the pressure was heavy, but winning feels like a weight taken off Shadow’s back.
Looking ahead, Shadow said MAD are very confident about their series against Rogue, due to the change in meta surrounding the mid lane. With the meta shifting from scaling mid champions to more assassins and carry junglers, he thinks that “the meta suits with [them] a little bit more.”
As for Worlds, Shadow is excited to face off against some of the best junglers like JD Gaming’s Kanavi, TOP Esports’ Karsa, and Gen.G’s Clid. He is relishing at the chance to prove himself against international competition for the first time this year.