Aladoric: “I don’t think I’m going to experience something like this ever again”
Underdog OCE representatives PEACE grabbed their first Worlds win on the second day of the Play-in stage, scrapping their way to a hard-fought victory. Sitting at 1-2, their hopes of continuing their international run rest on their ability to take on Red Canids and push through tiebreakers and best-of-fives. It won’t be an easy feat, but Ryan “Aladoric” Gregory Richardson and Leo “Babip” Roamer have proven themselves as a strong playmaking duo. Teams have underestimated OCE before to their own detriment.
We sat down with Ryan “Aladoric” Gregory Richardson, PEACE’s support, to discuss their Worlds run thus far.
Hotspawn: Good morning from North America! Thanks so much for joining me, Aladoric. First of all, congratulations on that win against Infinity. How’re you feeling after that game?
Aladoric: It feels pretty good to win. There were a lot of moments in the game that we fumbled and made mistakes, so we definitely have to review that and get prepared for tomorrow’s game. Try and fix up some of the things that we did wrong. But at the end of the day, a wins a win. So, very relieved with that one.
Hotspawn: I’m sure, especially with the tough scheduling hand PEACE got dealt. Your first two games were against LNG and HLE, the two teams that most consider the strongest in play-ins. Were you happy to get those matches out of the way early? Or would you rather have had an easier game to start out with?
Aladoric: I think it’s a double-edged sword in a way, because the expectations are really low to beat those teams. But it also puts a lot of pressure on us, [being] down 0-2, to win the next two games in order to make it through the best-of-fives.
But it’s also good because it gives us a chance to warm up on stage, get used to the stage, and do that kind of stuff. It helped us prepare for the easy matches, because those two teams are the best teams right now in play-ins.
Hotspawn: This is your first time competing internationally, let alone at Worlds. What were some of the ways that you prepared yourself for international competition?
Aladoric: Just playing a lot more. Back home in OCE the solo queue is really bad, so it’s hard to practice. In challenger, it takes like 30 minutes to an hour to find a game. But here, it takes like two minutes. So you get a lot more practice in mechanical skill.
Scrimming is also really useful here. Back home there’s not nearly as much competition, so I feel like as a team, and especially as a bot lane, we’re learning a lot more playing internationally. It’s definitely helping us become better.
Hotspawn: That’s something I’ve heard from both players and coaches, that one of the most valuable things about international competition is the rate at which you improve and learn. If you could expand on that for me, what are some of the things you’ve learned since coming to Iceland?
Aladoric: I’d say that laning has to be part of it. I thought my laning phase was pretty good before I came here. I still think it’s fine, it’s just average here. Laning against better opponents has really widened my perspective on things. It’s definitely a lot harder to punish [certain] matchups at Worlds, because everyone knows how to play the matchups. Everyone knows what to do.
I think roaming is a big one. in OCE I could just roam and leave Violet on an island, and nothing would ever happen. But here if I roam at a bad time he’s gonna get punished. Every little misstep gets punished here. It’s really good to get punished and learn from it because it just makes you a better player.
Hotspawn: Jumping back to what you said about OCE solo queue versus EU West, do you feel like that EU West solo queue has helped you improve at all? Apart from the queue times you mentioned.
Aladoric: To be honest, right now in the ELO I’m in, it’s like Master 200 LP or something, it’s not that impactful. It’s more so that I get to refine mechanics, since I get to play the game a lot. It’s a lot easier to keep my mechanics up to a high standard compared to OCE, but I think not particularly [helpful] because the meta in solo queue is completely different from scrims.
Everyone just plays enchanter supports and it’s not exactly good practice for stage, they’re not really meta right now. It’s mostly scrims because the controlled environment is a lot easier to learn things in compared to solo queue.
Hotspawn: You’ve got one more game in the Play-in stage against Red Canids. How’re you feeling about that matchup?
Aladoric: They’ve actually looked pretty good to be honest. Against LNG today it was a really close game that could have gone either way. They put up a really good fight and I think that draft was really good as well. Watching their game [against HLE] will be very important.
Not just for draft, but also to see how well they play. I actually think they’re one of the better wildcard teams. People are underrating them, I think. Their jungle/mid synergy is really good. Their individual skill is pretty good. They just, they know how to control the game tempo, and I think it’ll be harder than today’s game [against Infinity].
Hotspawn: One last question for you: How have you enjoyed Iceland? Have you had a chance to do any sightseeing outside your busy schedule?
Aladoric: We went out once in the morning but apart from that, not really. But it’s really nice. Obviously, it’s really cold because it’s Iceland but it’s a really beautiful country. Honestly, I don’t think I’m going to experience something like this ever again. Even playing Worlds in China or like a different country in Europe, I think. Iceland’s just… it’s different. It’s just so cool here, I’m not gonna lie. It’s really nice to live here.
Hotspawn: Is there anywhere that you are hoping to see before you go? Volcanoes and such?
Aladoric: Not really specifically. I want to go to the Sky Lagoon, maybe. I want to go to the volcano, but I don’t think that’s open to tourists currently. That’s it really. Maybe just go check out the nightlife.
Hotspawn: I think that’s all I have for you. Thank you so much for joining me! Do you have any parting words for the PEACE fans out there to close us out?
Aladoric: I want to thank everyone who has been supporting us, even though we had a really rough first few games. I think the second game was a lot better than the first but it was still, you know, we got stomped pretty hard in both games. But I appreciate everyone that’s sending me all the love and all the support, especially my teammates as well. Everyone’s been really supportive. There’s not really any negative comments. It’s really nice. So thank you to everyone for that.