LEC Spring Split 2022: Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos on Rogue’s reverse sweep against Fnatic
Rogue pulled off an incredible win against Fnatic in the 2022 LEC Spring Split playoffs. In the upper bracket semifinals, Rogue stared down an 0-2 score in the best-of-five. However, with a pivot in their strategy, they turned the tables and emerged victorious with a 3-2 score and advanced to the grand finals. Bot laner Markos “Comp” Stamkopoulos called it an “unreal” experience.
After the series, Comp sat down for a chat to talk about the thrilling clash. He discussed his mindset heading into the series and why he was still positive when his team was 0-2 down. Comp also shed light on the strategical pivot Rogue made during the series and evaluated his own performance.
Hotspawn: Comp, welcome and congrats on the victory! Man, that was a series. [Laughs]
Comp: [Laughs] Yeah it was a banger!
Hotspawn: Let’s start at the beginning: you come off a pretty easy series against Misfits. How did you head into the match against Fnatic?
Comp: Pretty much the same as against Misfits. We just had draft preparation and all of this, we just felt ready and we went for it. Of course, we knew it would be more of a challenge this time around. But yeah, I didn’t feel any particular pressure or something. I just wanted to go and play the game.
“I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel angry, I didn’t feel mad, I didn’t feel depressed like “Ok we lost, they’re 2-0 up.” I just wanted to go and play the next one.”
Hotspawn: Did you personally feel you needed to step it up, considering you were going up against the much-praised bot lane of Fnatic?
Comp: I mean, on the one hand, I get why are fans and viewers are so excited about Fnatic’s bot lane. I don’t really blame them, right? Hylissang has been so insane for so many years and, of course, it’s a pleasure playing against him every time. But I can talk from a more inside view of scrimming them a lot and playing with them on a daily basis, laning with them every time, so I know more than the viewers, unfortunately. [Laughs] I actually don’t see them as the viewers see them, but I also don’t want to ruin that picture for the fans. I think they’re really good and they’re probably one of the best in our league—if not the best, for many. Just not for me. I will always respect them and I will always be excited when I play against them.
Hotspawn: In what way do you see them differently?
Comp: I just think that their champion pools are not as big as ours, for now. We are more up to test more things than them. The champion pool of me and Upset is pretty much similar. I think we’ve maybe even played every same champion together. I don’t remember playing something different than him. But we also try way more in scrims than them, right? So we always have this flexibility in draft and we’re always just really confident picking something that other people are not willing to pick up yet. I don’t know for what reason, but they’re just not comfortable with the pick. I think that’s overall our main strength as a bot lane. I feel like Fnatic also does have it, but maybe not on the same level.
Hotspawn: About the series itself then: it started off with two games where you got kinda stomped in the early game, in the mid game you climbed back a bit, but it fell apart after all in the late game. How were those games?
Comp: Yeah, so basically after game two I had zero negativity in me. I know it’s a weird thing to say, but I actually didn’t feel anything. I didn’t feel sad, I didn’t feel angry, I didn’t feel mad, I didn’t feel depressed like “Ok we lost, they’re 2-0 up.” I just wanted to go and play the next one. I knew these games were not lost because they were five times the team we were. They were just lost on small, silly mistakes that we could just easily fix either by drafting or figuring it out while the series goes to more games. So yeah, I was really enjoying myself overall. [Laughs] I remember going off-stage after game two and I’m like “Wow, I actually don’t feel like we’re 0-2 down. It’s like it’s just a 0-0 series.” I was just very excited to play.
Hotspawn: After the second game, you guys made an important pivot in the draft. You started to let Twisted Fate through, and you picked up Hecarim and Sylas. Was that just a case of “Welp, we’re 0-2 down, let’s see if this sticks”?
Comp: Yeah so, the thing is, we’re the kind of team where, if you give us Viktor, you’ve just lost. We have by far the best Viktor player in the league. But after the first two games Larssen was just like “Guys, don’t give me Viktor please. Just give me something fun.” [Laughs] And we were like “Sure, let’s all go for it, why not?” Even in the last game, we just picked Sylas where we easily could’ve gone for Orianna or something. I feel like, whenever we play Orianna, I also feel like it’s a free win, especially into Twisted Fate because it just wins the lane. But then [Larssen] was like “Why the fuck not, what is there to lose?” and he just locks [Twisted Fate]. So everyone was just really enjoying himself. That’s one of the main reasons we won, I think.
Hotspawn: Speaking of your picks: you played four games of Aphelios this series—
Comp: I actually didn’t realize it, it’s honestly crazy. The crazy thing is that we were thinking about playing Aphelios in the first game too, but then to my coach I was like “You know what, I haven’t played Jinx for a while, and I was called a one-trick Jinx in the past, so let’s play it in game one and if we win maybe they’ll be scared of it.” But we ended up losing, so kinda sad.
” It was so scary to play against [Hylissang] on Pyke. I hope I don’t wake up in the night, sweating about it.”
Hotspawn: Did it bother you to play the same champion four games in a row, when we’ve seen it so endlessly much in the regular split as well?
Comp: I’m actually happy that I’m having success on Aphelios. I feel like it’s the type of champ that I didn’t get to play a lot, even when it first came out in 2020 because of how my years went back then. So I was always really confident that I’m really good on this champ. Even if I played five games of it today I would be happy, because it puts into perspective for people that I can play it at a high level. Maybe they’ll think twice before giving Aphelios to me. That sign of respect is always nice to see, right? It’s like the LeBlanc we banned from Humanoid.
Hotspawn: The spotlight in the series was on Malrang and Larssen because they made the flashy plays in the comeback. Are you happy with how you played the series?
Comp: If you don’t include the first ten minutes of game one, I actually think we played better in the whole series, especially in the lane, than Fnatic’s bot lane. The first game was really a horror. I was getting hooked left and right. I was perma-moving to dodge, but [Hylissang] was just permanently hooking me. It was so scary to play against him on Pyke. I hope I don’t wake up in the night, sweating about it. But yeah, other than the laning phase in game one, I don’t have a lot to say about me and [Trymbi]. I think we performed really well.
Hotspawn: You’ve made it to the grand finals in your first split with Rogue. It isn’t the end goal, of course, but this must mean a lot already given the one-year break you were kind of forced to take last year.
Comp: It feels unreal, honestly. On the other hand, right now I should be really excited and shouting and stuff, but I feel like I’m actually kind of exhausted after these five games. Maybe I just haven’t processed it 100% that I’m actually in the finals. Maybe I wake up in the morning and I’m jumping around. For sure, I’m really happy for my team especially. But I also am happy about myself today. I just hope we don’t stop here.
Rogue plays the 2022 LEC Spring Split grand finals on Sunday, April 10, at 5 PM CEST. You can watch the series live on the official LoL esports site.