Humanoid: “Playing on the stage is gonna make us better”
For the second split in a row, MAD Lions locked in a top-three finish in the regular split. Though the Spring Season started a bit wobbly, the team was consistent enough to close out the regular season with a positive win rate. Now the real task awaits—the Playoffs—which kick off this coming weekend. For Marek “Humanoid” Brázda and his MAD Lions teammates, a familiar and fearsome opponent awaits: Rogue.
Humanoid sat down with us to talk about his mentality throughout the split, and how the goal of making it to the Playoffs influences his approach for each new game. He also looked ahead at the Playoffs, and how playing on the LEC stage might influence the performance of the competing teams.
Hotspawn: Welcome Humanoid! Before we talk about the games of the eighth week or about the Playoffs, I want to know how it felt to lock in the Playoffs in week seven. Was it a big relief?
Humanoid: I think for me, personally, I didn’t really care. I didn’t even know that we locked in the spot for the Playoffs. I just expect us to get to the Playoffs, so I didn’t really think about it too much.
Hotspawn: Surely it must take some pressure off, heading into the final weekend?
Humanoid: [Laughs] When I go into the Split, I just expect to get into the Playoffs no matter what. So, I don’t even look at how many wins we have. I didn’t even know that we had locked in the Playoffs after the game. It’s kind of irrelevant for me.
Hotspawn: What do you focus more on, then? The performances from day to day?
Humanoid: So, for each game, we just focus on winning that particular game. But, more importantly, it’s about how you play in the Playoffs. It’s not about which place you finish in. First place or third place, it doesn’t really matter, as long as you play better than the enemy team in the Playoffs. I’ve finished second place many times, but then I lost to the third- or fourth-placed team in the Playoffs. So, it’s whatever, really.
Hotspawn: Still, if you finish fifth or sixth, you’re seeded into the lower bracket and are eliminated if you lose one series.
Humanoid: That is not something I really care about. If you’re third or fourth, you’re playing against the first two teams anyway. So, it’s going to be really hard. If you manage to be fourth, you’re probably not going to win against the first-placed team. So it’s basically the same as being fifth or sixth.
Hotspawn: The final weekend of the regular split was a ‘Super Weekend’ once again, with three match days. Does that still excite you?
Humanoid: Hmmm, it normally would excite me, if the games were played in the studio, on a stage. But when it’s played online, I don’t really feel excited about the games anymore. I just treat it like a normal day with scrims. It’s just another game.
Hotspawn: When you focus on the individual games, what lessons do you take away from these final games that “don’t matter” anymore, at least for the standings?
Humanoid: You can learn from every game, it doesn’t matter if the game actually matters. You should still try hard to improve from that game. It’s basically the same as if it was the most important game of the Split.
Hotspawn: In the game against Misfits, for example, there was quite a bit of skirmishing. MAD Lions, in general, is a team that stands out with good team fighting. Do you learn a lot from evaluating fights?
Humanoid: To be honest, it is kind of pointless to review those fights. Unless we make a huge mistake outside of the fight… Like, if we are fighting and the fight should have been won, but everyone just messes up everything in the fight, then that’s not something you can review I think. That’s just on every individual to play better by himself. I don’t think you can just say “Yeah here you should have flashed this skillshot,” or “Here you should use your ult better,” or something like that.
Hotspawn: Let’s look ahead at the Playoffs now. Thankfully, the Playoffs will be played in the studio, albeit without a crowd. When did you first hear about this?
Humanoid: I think I heard it in like week seven. It was a few days before they announced it, I think. And yeah, I was really excited about this. But still, no fans, so it’s not perfect yet.
Hotspawn: Last year, the Spring Split was a very successful one for MAD Lions. Are there still any teams that excite you for a best of five scenario, or are they all just another opponent?
Humanoid: I think the only two good teams in the LEC are G2 and Rogue. I think the others are not that great. I think G2 is way above everyone else, so I don’t think we would be able to win against them. But against Rogue, I think we can win. [Laughs] So, I would say probably Rogue.
Hotspawn: Do you think the fact that the games will be played on stage will change anything? Overall, the players of your team haven’t played many matches on the LEC stage.
Humanoid: I think it depends on the players individually if they get nervous on stage or if they don’t. You can’t really predict that with new players that have never played there. So, it might make them worse, it might also make them better. I think, for us, playing on the stage is gonna make us better. At least for me. I like playing on stage, so I would say playing on stage is an advantage for us.
Hotspawn: You have four players that went to Worlds, and one rookie in Elyoya. Do you think he’s gonna be fine on the stage?
Humanoid: It’s hard to say.[Laughs] I think he might be a bit nervous, but who knows? He might also show up big time and just play ten times better than online. It’s hard to predict. It’s a 50/50 coin flip.
Hotspawn: Thanks for joining today Humanoid. Is there something you’d like to say to the MAD Lions fans?
Humanoid: Thank you guys for the support. Even though we lost some games that we shouldn’t lose, I’m gonna make sure that it doesn’t happen in the Playoffs, and that we’re just gonna stomp most of the teams. Probably not every team, but some of the teams we’ll stomp. [Laughs]
Hotspawn: You say “I’m gonna make sure” that you guys won’t lose unnecessarily anymore, so I have to ask: Are you the captain of that ship?
Humanoid: [Laughs] I am the captain of the team for sure! The one and only.
MAD Lions and Humanoid play their first series in the LEC 2021 Spring Playoffs against Rogue on Sunday, March 28th, at 5 PM CET.