It all came down to a tie-breaker in Group D: Misfits versus Team SoloMid, Europe versus North America, former Challenger team versus multi-time NA LCS champions.
With Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage on his signature Orianna and Steven “Hans sama” Liv on his most-played AD carry, Xayah, the Misfits lineup was fearless.
Equipped with a teamfighting composition, they finished off TSM in just 30 minutes with ten kills to two.
ClickOn eSports sat down with Hans sama just after Misfits’ euphoric win to discuss what it’s like playing against the calibre of Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng and Jin “Mystic” Sung-jun, his first Worlds experience, and the kind of manga he’d publish.
TM: How do you feel, having had to play under so much pressure on the Worlds stage?
“For me, it’s different because my mindset to win games is to have no fears and to play confidently.
“I worked on it a lot during the EU LCS split. I started developing a different mindset since the playoffs, and it’s worked out pretty well so far. I don’t feel any huge pressure coming onto the stage.”
TM: How do you manage to feel confident all the time?
“In scrims, I do my best, that’s the principle reason that gives me confidence. Or, if at the start we have a good matchup bot lane, and I can see what’s the plan, that boosts my confidence also.
“There’s a psychological coach who helps us out; gives us a lot of teaching about pre-game routines.”
TM: What was it like playing against TSM Doublelift and WE Mystic?
“To be honest, I was really amazed with Mystic’s level. He’s really, really good. Today I killed him in lane, but I also made mistakes. I’m sad we couldn’t make first place, which we had the chance to if I played better.
“About Doublelift, I think he’s a player with a lot of confidence, a lot of experience. It is an honour to play against him and I’m looking forward to playing against him again in the near future.”
TM: You’ve played Xayah a lot here at Worlds, but have not picked Tristana. What’s the reason for that?
“In my perspective, Xayah is a champion that out scales even more than Tristana. If it’s tank matchup against tank matchup, a 5v5 comp with Ardents, Xayah can do much more.
“Xayah has her passive, her [E], so many abilities to slow them down, kite them down. If I play her, it also increases my confidence. I play really good in lane with her and against Cho’gath, Gragas, Maokai and Galio, Xayah would do more – that’s how I see it.”
TM: And Twitch?
“Personally I like to play the champion. I like it lot, but for the team I bring so much more with other champions than this one. Maybe, if I’m a really, really good Twitch…”
TM: How would you describe your playstyle?
“I would say I’m aggressive, since Worlds. That’s how it has helped me shine more in the scene.
“In the past, it’s not like I was bad; I was good, but had a bad mindset—I wanted to support my team, make them carry me, like with Ashe, Varus, Jhin. I would say ‘it’s fine if you don’t play around bot, you can play around mid or top, we’ll try to delay them taking bot turret’.
“But since the meta changed, I feel that playing Tristana and Xayah made me think: Can I be like Rekkles who carries a lot of games? Or like Zven, who does the same? That’s what I hope.”
TM: You have been carrying games.
“I have been carrying games, but it’s been really recently. I feel I could do so much more as an AD role. If I give my 200%, I feel I can carry the game more in terms of shot calling. AD carry is a good role to have good leadership, in my opinion.
“In my team I’m always working on that leadership; it’s mostly Maxlore. Every time I’m up in the game I try to step up my goals. I think it’s pretty good but sometimes I’m too excited.
“Like today with Varus I was a bit too excited and we lost that. I made mistakes, but was very confident in the last match against TSM.”
TM: Which manga or anime are you into now?
“In China we don’t have good connection, so I’m not watching any anime. But I would say before that I was reading the manga ‘Nanatsu No Taizai’. At the moment, it’s my favourite. Also, I watched Sword Art Online the movie. It’s such a good anime.”
TM: If you could draw a manga now and publish it, what would it be about?
“Mmm…it would be a love story which is easy to draw. A lot of people say that ‘shojo’ is the easiest style to draw. I think so too. I’ll draw ‘shojo’ or ‘seinen’ which is more dark and fun to explore.”
TM: From now till the quarterfinals, what do you think you need to work on the most?
“I don’t need to work on something specific. I have good knowledge about the early-mid game. Late game, I still have things to improve, but if I do my best, I think I can carry those games. But I need to be, like, a Super-sama! (laughs) – I’m joking.
“I just have to hype myself up and I feel we can do it.”