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Finn: “I just wanna show that I’m the best toplaner” in LCS

Dan Smyth-Temple

Things seemed to be turning around for CLG with the approval of Broxah’s visa— a bright light of hope for a team in serious need. One of the bright lights of CLG through the first several weeks of the Split has been, fellow European import, Finn “Finn” Wiestål.  We caught up Finn after CLG’s loss to C9 on February 19, talk about the nailbiter loss, Broxah’s arrival, and dealing with criticism.

Finn Rogue

Finn believes that CLG’s record is a poor reflection of the team’s strength (Photo via Riot Games)

Hotspawn: I just wanted to start off by hearing some of your thoughts about the loss versus C9. I’m sure you’re experiencing some mixed emotions right now— a loss never feels good, but you did pop off on Aatrox, and CLG looks significantly improved from previous weeks.

Finn: I think in general I’m not too sad about how we played, but I’m a bit frustrated that we keep showing the same problems as we have the whole time so far. We really overreach a lot of times, and we don’t really take winning situations as you should. After we overreach and disrespect what the enemy can do, [it] often costs us big advantages. [That’s] for sure what we need to work on moving into next week, and we need to find a way to put on the brakes at times and learn to not overreach. I think we’ll be a very good team once we find that.

Hotspawn: That game looked a lot different than past CLG games— how much of that can be credited to Broxah’s arrival, and how much is just a result of the work you guys have been putting in? 

Finn: I think Broxah coming in was obviously nice, we’ve waited for him a long time now, it was just a matter of time before he came. But we only had like 2 days of scrimmage with him. As of now, we’re a little rough around the edges in our team dynamic. Broxah hasn’t been able to play much with RJS or smoothie, so our map movements aren’t as fine-tuned as they should be at this point in the split, which some other teams will have over us.

I think as you can see today that he for sure is a very good player, and I’m sure that eventually, we’ll be able to mesh well and that’s why I’m very hopeful for the future. I think this game and a lot of our previous games show that we can be a really good team, but we’re kind of our own biggest enemy as well. We make it hard for ourselves at times [laughs].

Hotspawn: Last week I spoke with Smoothie and he was feeling a little unsure of what was going wrong in CLG’s losses. Do you feel like you have a better sense now of what you all have to work on?

Finn: There’s always a bit of a vacuum, there’s things you can take away and there’s things you can’t really control. In a game like this there’s a lot of really clutch calls that need to be made, and this isn’t something that you get to practice every week or every month. This is stuff that’ll happen maybe once every 200 games, these kind[s] of base race-y situations, and should we look to chase them and get Nash or should we go for the end. This stuff is not easy to practice, so [it] comes down to player intuition. I think especially in these cases that you have five players that are on the same page because as long as you commit to one play you can probably succeed with it.

I still think we’re a bit split in our calls, especially at this moment. We have a lot of work to do still, but I’m very happy with the individual skill level on this team because I know it’s very high. That’s the hard thing to become better at, right? The things you need to fill in can be worked on and coached.

Hotspawn: I’m sure you’re going to be asked about Broxah a lot this weekend, but I wanted to hear how it’s been welcoming and integrating RJS to the team.

Finn: RJS is great. He’s very open-minded, and he’s very talented as well, individually. Working with him has been very easy, he knows a lot of good stuff about the game and he knows how he wants to play, so there’s not been any problems there. With a new jungler it’ll take time for a mid and jungler to grow that proper synergy so we can have really fluid map movements, but so far I think he’s been very good for our team. 

Hotspawn: Shifting away from teammates and more towards you, I wanted to hear how you’re feeling about your recent individual play.

Finn: I’m not sure. I’m still striving for higher consistency. I think this game was very easy for me to play, and I think this level is kind of what I expect of myself. But I would want to be able to perform like this even when the game isn’t that easy for me to play. Which is still something I’m looking towards improving on.

Cause if you get a good matchup and a nice laning phase and you’re not really getting pressured that much, then you’ll get a lead. Then you’ll play well in teamfights [and] skirmishes and then you’ll translate that and it’s really easy to play, right? But if I’m the one that’s getting attacked a lot or I’m not getting much help or if I have a rough matchup, that’s when I still need to be able to perform at a higher level, and that’s what I want to become better at right now.

Hotspawn: If you’re okay with it, I wanted to ask about dealing with the criticism that’s been leveled against CLG in the past few weeks. How’ve you been dealing with that on a personal level?

Finn: Well, when it comes to individual critique I think I’ve seen the worst. Now what people write about me online doesn’t really bother me that much. Maybe it was more impactful for me last summer, but I think I’ve learned to distance myself from the online comments a lot more now. Obviously last summer I was a bit scapegoat for Rogue after we lost, so I’ve seen the worst of that spectrum already. For me, it has not been an issue at all.

Hotspawn: Is it easier now because you’ve been playing for a while, or is it just from running that gauntlet of criticism once before?

Finn: It’s not something you like to get used to, right? But it’s something that you learn to brush aside after a while. And you learn to realize whose opinion matters to you, and whose doesn’t. And you can’t always please everyone, right? There’s gonna be times where you have to make people sad or people are gonna be frustrated, and it’s not your job to make them happy, and it’s not your job to listen to their frustration either. I don’t think I should waste a lot of mental energy on doing that.

Finn Worlds Rogue

Finn faced a lot of criticism after Rogue’s disappointing 1-5 finish at Worlds 2020 (Photo via Riot Games)

Hotspawn: And what are your personal goals for the split? Of course, everyone wants to win LCS, but more on an individual level.

Finn: I just wanna show that I’m the best toplaner in this league, because I truly believe it myself. I don’t see any other toplaner in this league being better than me at all. I hope I can translate that confidence to my team and we can go really far, cause I know people in my team also think really highly of us. I know we have the confidence and the base, we just need to fill in the blanks.

Hotspawn: It seems like you’re not quite ready to confidently call yourself the best toplaner in the LCS, but you’re close— What are some of the things that you need to work on first? You mentioned consistency before. 

Finn: I still think consistency is one of my core issues. It has been for a while, I’ll have some really good games then I’ll have games where I don’t really do that much. Just making sure that my floor is really high, and keeping my ceiling as high as it is right now is what I need to do.

Hotspawn: That sounds good! I think that’s all the time I have. Do you have any parting words for the faithful CLG fans out there?

Finn: Coming to CLG I realized there’s still quite a lot of fans, which made me very happy. Obviously, the fans that are still fans right now are very loyal, so I ask of the remaining CLG fans to keep being loyal and keep having faith because I think if they watch our games they’ll see that we’re not as bad as our scoreline suggests. And I think we can be way better than this. Thank you!