Abbedagge: “We’re going to beat Rogue at their own game”
Schalke 04 has done it! After a narrow loss against reigning champions G2 Esports last week in the LEC Spring Split Playoffs upper bracket, they eliminated a household name in European League of Legends: Fnatic bit the dust. It wasn’t a difficult series for Schalke 04 either, dominantly sweeping their opponents off Summoner’s Rift with a clean 3-0 victory.
After the series, Schalke 04 mid laner Felix “Abbedagge” Braun sat down with us for an interview to talk about the series. He spoke about his team’s preparation and reflected on a few key moments in-game. Abbedagge also looked ahead at their upcoming series against Rogue, and what he thinks his team needs to do in order to continue their march through the lower bracket.
Hotspawn: Welcome Abbedagge, congratulations on that dominant victory against Fnatic! I think nobody expected it to be this one-sided. Or did you feel, heading into it, that it would be a clean 3-0?
Abbedagge: Thank you! And… I did not expect it to go this fast and be just a clean sweep. I thought it was gonna be a lot more hard-fought. But I feel like every game the luck was on our side and we just got the better of them. I’m pretty proud of us, as a team.
Hotspawn: You came off a tough loss versus G2 last weekend, which was a super close series. Was it easy to brush off that loss and focus on Fnatic next?
Abbedagge: Hm, we knew that we could play well on the stage and that we weren’t bad, of course. So, for this series, we just wanted to focus on our own strengths. We wanted to make sure we play really solid, against Fnatic. We feel like they are always going to try some scrappy stuff. And if it works, they can take over games fast. But if you just play solid, don’t give them edges, then you can just play slowly and win the game.
Hotspawn: Many people thought that the bot lane would be a big focus in the series, since Fnatic’s bot lane had been so consistent in the Split. But it seems like you guys deliberately shifted a lot of focus away from the bot lane.
Abbedagge: I guess jungle and top are just OP roles. [Laughs] We thought they are stronger roles than the bot lane, so we just focused on getting Rift Heralds, getting Broken Blade in a good lane state so that he’s winning. We slowly took the game over from the top side. Our bot lane played really well on the weak side, they just minimized losses. I’m pretty proud of them.
Hotspawn: We didn’t see a lot of spice in the draft from you guys, not much targeting like we saw you do against Excel, for example. Is ‘stick to the basics’ how you feel this meta should be approached?
Abbedagge: I feel like we just kind of built a brick wall and we let them run into us. [Laughs] We didn’t have to do much more. We saw their champions, and we thought that they would be pretty weak if they didn’t get ahead early. They didn’t even get ahead. They were actually behind in almost every game. So yeah, clean.
Hotspawn: Talking about the team performance: you said you didn’t expect a 3-0 either. Do you feel that Fnatic was underperforming, or did Schalke 04 step up in this series?
Abbedagge: I think we stepped up for sure. I don’t know about Fnatic, maybe they stepped down. [Laughs] Or maybe in the wrong direction. I think they just had a really rough day. They were also out of luck in some situations. They were really close at killing people, but then they couldn’t do it and it turned into a disaster.
Hotspawn: Many people were very positive about your play in this series, but how do you feel about your performance?
Abbedagge: I’m not 100% happy with how I played, because I think there are still areas where I should step up more. But overall, I think I played a pretty solid series. I didn’t need to do much more than I did. I think against the better teams I need to step it up though, so we can have a good chance.
Hotspawn: What’s an area where you think you could step it up then?
Abbedagge: It’s mostly just small things. Missing CS, making wrong rotations, maybe also making some wrong calls. I can’t really pinpoint it easily, but I think I gave up more pressure than I should have, and I died more than I should have.
Hotspawn: I definitely do want to talk about that Corki triple kill, which was such a hectic moment in the series. What went through your mind as it happened?
Abbedagge: I think they were looking for a dive, and then some weird stuff happened. Everyone was split up and then I ended up being under the tower. My team was kind of dying, and then Rell jumped onto me while she was kind of alone. They really chased very far under the tower and tried to flash on me. [Laughs] I think, if they cc-chained me perfectly, I might have died. But I was able to Flash out and after that, they just didn’t have anything to follow up with. They just all ran into the tower. [Laughs] It was a bit of a run-down. Honestly, there is really not much credit to give to me there. It’s just one of those moments where it just falls into your hands, served on a silver platter.
Hotspawn: Let’s look forward now: you’ll play against Rogue next. In this past week, how much preparation for Rogue were you able to do, knowing you’d have to defeat Fnatic first?
Abbedagge: I think we didn’t specifically prepare for either opponent: we just prepared what was best for ourselves. We thought that we just needed to play solid against Fnatic, and then we were gonna win. Versus Rogue, we have some stuff that we didn’t show today, obviously. But other than that, I think we’re just going to play similar to how we played today.
Hotspawn: Rogue was dominant in the regular Split, but looked very shaky against MAD Lions. How do you feel about facing them next?
Abbedagge: I feel like Rogue is really predictable. They’re not gonna do anything special, I think. So either we surprise them or we just play their game but better. I think that’s how we are going to win.
Hotspawn: Last Summer Split, Rogue lost in the upper bracket too, but woke up and played much better in the lower bracket. Do you think this roster could suddenly awaken too?
Abbedagge: They didn’t really impress me much. They are just doing the same thing for two years now. [Laughs] We’re going to beat Rogue at their own game, I think. With their own weapons.
Hotspawn: So we’ll see you on the Azir?
Abbedagge: We might!
Hotspawn: Is there something you want to say to the Schalke 04 fans, to round up the interview?
Abbedagge: I would say: thanks for believing in us, even when the regular Split was a little bit rough. Keep supporting us, we’re very happy to have you guys. And enjoy our series on Sunday!
Schalke 04 plays Rogue on Sunday, April 4th, at 5 PM CEST.