Inspired: “I watch LPL or LCK VODs for four to five hours per day”
Rogue have reclaimed the top position in the LEC, sharing the number one spot with Misfits after four weeks of Summer Split action. Though the meta has changed drastically from the Spring Split, Rogue has not lost its trademark strong map play combining decisive action with a well-paced approach. And, similar to the Spring Split, jungler Kacper “Inspired” Słoma is crucial to the team’s success.
Inspired joined for an interview after his team closed out the first half of the regular Summer Split with a victory over MAD Lions. He reflected on his team’s performance and what they can do better. Mostly, Inspired shared what he does in order to stay on top of the league and which teams he keeps an eye on to learn every single day.
Hotspawn: Welcome, Inspired! You finish the first half of the Split in shared first—what are your thoughts on Rogue’s performance so far?
Inspired: I think we are playing quite well, but I think there is still a lot of stuff that we can improve. Our games were not that clean. A lot of the games that we won, we could have also easily lost. So, I think it’s a bit lucky we won all of those, I guess. But compared to other teams as well, I don’t think we played that bad. I think every team has a lot of issues currently. I think we are on a good way to fix them, though.
Hotspawn: Which issues have you seen with your team?
Inspired: I’m not sure. I think, in the beginning, we weren’t sure which champs we should play. I think it was the hardest thing about this Split: the meta changed very hard compared to the last Split. So, we didn’t really come to an agreement that fast. I think that’s why the beginning of the Split was a bit harder. But now the mages are getting buffed again, so it’s becoming a bit easier I guess.
Hotspawn: People have been praising you so far for your performance—how do you feel about your level of play so far?
Inspired: I don’t think I’m playing better than in the last Split. I think I played well in the last Split, and in this Split I’m playing pretty fine. But I think I could play way better, even in the games than we won. I think you can’t really see it as a viewer, but from reviewing the games, I can see that I can do way more in the game. I’m not that happy about it, but yeah, I think I play decently. I don’t make many mistakes, but I think I can make more good plays. I think I’m not making mistakes because I’m not taking too many unnecessary risks, but I think sometimes I can push our lead even harder.
I think solo queue in EU is just not good to play as a jungler.
Hotspawn: So by being more proactive and committing to plays more?
Inspired: It’s more looking for windows that the enemy gives you to look for a fight, or look for an invade or something. You can’t really see that as a viewer because you have a very small window to start fighting where the enemy is not able to answer it. Sometimes you don’t see it in-game, but then you see it in the review, so you have to have a feeling in-game to go for it.
Hotspawn: What many people don’t see is how a pro stays on the top level. Obviously, there are scrims and playing solo queue, but there is much more to it. Let’s talk a bit about that. How do you stay ‘in shape’?
Inspired: About solo queue: I’m actually not playing much. I feel that, as a jungler, solo queue is pretty bad to play. You just learn wrong stuff. I think solo queue in EU is just not good to play as a jungler.
Hotspawn: Can you expand a bit on that? Why is solo queue not good to play for junglers specifically?
Inspired: I think the game is way different in a competitive game. You can pick up so many bad habits by playing solo queue. Playing jungle in solo queue, you have to play differently than when you want to win the game in competitive play. In solo queue, you should try to gank as much as you can and everyone is very toxic, pinging the jungler to gank every lane. People get affected by it and it makes very bad habits. So, I feel like it’s not very important to play that much. But I like playing off-roles in solo queue. I think it’s still fine to play solo queue just to keep your mechanics good.
Hotspawn: Back to the original question: what do you do in order to keep your play up to speed, then?
Inspired: I watch a lot of VODs of LPL and LCK. Right now, I think LCK is not that good. It’s kind of weird, what’s happening in the league right now. Damwon is changing things and they are winning, then losing, it’s very weird. But in the LPL, I think most of the teams are very good, so you can learn a lot from them and see which champs they like to play. I think, to improve, you should just watch the players that are the best in the world. I think you can learn more from that than from playing solo queue and stuff.
Hotspawn: How many hours per day do you watch VODs?
Inspired: Before the scrims, when we have two hours, I just watch the VODs of the games. Then after the scrims, I watch for another two, three hours. I think that’s all. We play scrims for five hours, and I watch LPL or LCK VODs for four to five hours per day.
Hotspawn: Are there any particular LPL teams whose VODs you watch?
Inspired: I just watch most of the games, unless it’s two bottom teams that are playing. Then maybe I will not watch it. But if there is at least one good team, from the top six, I will just watch what they did in the game. EDG, Suning, JDG, Top, all of those teams are really good. Even RNG, even though they’re losing, I think they’re not that bad. The games they play are kinda unlucky sometimes.
Hotspawn: You said the LCK isn’t looking extraordinarily strong, but Damwon KIA is still considered a top team. Do you then not watch their VODs at all, or will you still watch to see how a player like Canyon plays?
Inspired: I mean, only recently Canyon came back to the jungle. [Laughs] But before that I could only watch him play mid lane. They are for sure a good team, but I think in the LCK the meta is a bit different. It looks like they are legit not fighting for anything. They’re just playing those Diana/Rumble matchups and they’re both farming. It looks very weird from what I’ve seen. I also prefer to watch the LPL because it’s more entertaining and they are more creative with the plays they make.
In Asia you can learn a lot. I don’t think you can learn that much in EU.
Hotspawn: Besides watching VODs, I know Rogue invests a lot in making sure the players are mentally and physically healthy. Is that something you value?
Inspired: It didn’t really affect me. I think all of my teammates really like this because they’re deeper into all of this performance stuff, but for me, I don’t really see it as that useful. Obviously, it’s nice to have, but I kinda feel like, if I focus on myself, I don’t really need it. I will just prepare myself to play the game and then I can play on my level.
Hotspawn: So what does that preparation look like for you, then?
Inspired: I lay down on a couch for like twenty minutes and I just chill.
Hotspawn: [Laughs] You’re just taking a nap?
Inspired: [Laughs] Yeah, a little nap or something like that.
Hotspawn: To round up, let’s talk about the LEC a bit more. It’s looking good for Rogue at the moment, and in general, the LEC feels very competitive. How do you compare the state of the LEC right now to previous Splits?
Inspired: I think it’s way more competitive than last Split. When SK, Fnatic, and Schalke all made it to the Playoffs, I felt like all of them were pretty boosted. So, basically, there were only three good teams in the Playoffs: us, MAD Lions, and G2. But right now, I think that every team that will make Playoffs—which will probably be us, Misfits, Fnatic, MAD Lions, and G2 at least—are very good. That’s already two more teams that are good. I think Vitality can still become a very good team, so then it will be six very good teams. It’s for sure more competitive.
Hotspawn: Some teams are underperforming—G2 is a good example—whereas other teams are showing up stronger than initially expected. Misfits is the prime example there. How do those unexpected performances affect your view of the league?
Inspired: I mean, for the viewers, it’s nice that there are a lot of good teams, right? For the player, it’s better if there are bad teams because then you are winning everything. [Laughs] But if you want to improve, it’s better if you play against better teams. Then we’ll probably perform better at Worlds. But I still think that in EU you will not learn that much, even if there are a lot of good teams. I think the breaking point is when you go to Korean or Chinese solo queue and then you play scrims against those teams. In Asia, you can learn a lot. I don’t think you can learn that much in EU.
Rogue play their next match in the LEC against Misfits Gaming on Friday, July 9th, at 9 PM CEST. You can watch the game live on the official LoL Esports website.