Kryze: “I want to take it one step at a time”
Excel Esports’ start to the Summer Split left much to be desired. The team lost its first two games and looked quite helpless against Rogue and Astralis. However, the squad bounced back in their final game of the opening weekend versus Schalke 04, snatching up a victory.
After the win, Excel’s top laner Felix “Kryze” Hellström joined to talk about his opening weekend. He also reflected on his first year with the organization, what his favorite moment was on the team, and what he’s looking for in the Summer Split.
Hotspawn: Welcome, Kryze! It was a mixed opening weekend to the Summer Split for Excel; what are your thoughts on the team’s performance?
Kryze: Well, obviously it didn’t start out as we wanted to with those first two games. So it’s really nice to get a win on the board. But, I don’t know. This weekend we weren’t mentally ‘there’ as a team. Everyone wasn’t really getting along together. But hopefully, some of these issues will be fixed sooner or later.
Hotspawn: What didn’t go well in the team, then?
Kryze: There were a lot of nerves. We knew that the public didn’t have high expectations of Excel going into the Split. Hopefully, we can prove them wrong, but the first two games were really depressing.
Hotspawn: It must lift the spirits to win that final game then, right? Even if you had a really tough start to it, being camped a bit.
Kryze: Yeah, I was really scared that I was going to solo-lose us the game after I died on level one. I also played with Ignite instead of Flash, which I will never do again. I’ve learned my lesson there. I was really scared of getting killed over and over and losing my team the game. So I’m happy we won.
Hotspawn: Talking a bit more about that final game against Schalke: they were ahead by a lot, but strangely slowed down the pace and gave you the opportunity to climb back into it. What did you think when you saw this happen?
Kryze: We were really confused, we didn’t know why they were not doing anything. So we were like “ok, let’s get this free drake then.” [Laughs] I don’t know, it was really confusing. I’m sure they had something going on in the comms that we didn’t hear.
Hotspawn: At what point did you realize that you actually might walk away with a win?
Kryze: It was probably after we got Baron Nashor. We were like “Wait, it’s actually winnable.” When Akali [Nukeduck] got a double kill, that was also a glimmer of hope for us, you could say. For me, I thought we would lose the game after I died the second time. So I’m really glad that we did not lose.
Hotspawn: You’ve been with Excel for a year now, joining them last Summer Split. Looking back at that full year with the organization, how has it been for you?
Kryze: It’s very different to be here now, because now I know the people, of course. But I feel like I have a pretty good relationship with the team. Usually, everyone gets along with each other. Sometimes there are some fights here and there, but that’s whatever. It hasn’t really changed that much. I still have the same mindset towards the LEC. I guess I have developed a lot since joining the team, but that’s about it, I would say.
Hotspawn: You joined mid-year, which for roster synergy can sometimes be an extra hurdle with just one Split to work with. But it sounds like you’re still happy with the decision you made.
Kryze: Yeah, I think it was the best option that I had at the time. I could have played another Split for Unicorns of Love, but I think this was the best option for me, personally.
Hotspawn: What’s the favorite memory you have from being a part of Excel?
Kryze: Hmm… My favorite memory was probably when we beat G2 for the first time, and we beat Rogue as well.
Hotspawn: Ah, the final weekend of the Spring Split.
Kryze: Yep, yep. Except when we lost to Schalke 04 afterward, which felt really bad. I guess I got my revenge today. But yeah, those wins were probably the best moment for me. It felt like everything was doomed, but then we had some hope. Unfortunately, we didn’t make it in the end, but we were still really close and we made a run for it.
Hotspawn: Now, talking about what’s ahead of you, you’ve mentioned that people don’t have high hopes or expectations for this Excel roster. But what are yours?
Kryze: Honestly, I just want to reach the Playoffs once. [Laughs] That’s all I want to do. When we reach the Playoffs, we can go from there. For now, I want to take it one step at a time. I really want to reach the Playoffs. I do believe MAD Lions, Rogue, and G2 are for sure the strongest teams in the league, so we’ll probably see one of those, if not all, in the top three.
Hotspawn: Since, as you say, it’s a step-by-step process to improve the roster: what are the next steps for Excel?
Kryze: I feel like we still have a lot of struggles in the team, like not being on the same page and some people tilting, stuff like that. But I think it’s something we can work on and improve from there. I’m not too worried about that.
Hotspawn: Alright Kryze, is there anything you’d like to say to the Excel fans to round up the interview?
Kryze: Thank you for supporting us to our loyal fans. Without you, we would probably have been very depressed after the first two games, but I got some nice messages, which was really nice to see. To pick up a win also feels very nice. So, thank you for your support.
Excel plays their next game in the LEC against MAD Lions on Friday, June 18th, at 7 PM CEST. You can watch the games on the official LoL Esports website.