Mikyx on Joining Excel: “If I wasn’t aiming for Worlds, I wouldn’t be here”
It was a roster move that sent a shockwave across League of Legends esports. Just two weeks into the LEC Spring Split, Excel Esports suddenly picked up former G2 Esports support player Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle and benched Henk “Advienne” Reijenga. For Mikyx, the chance to return to the LEC and help Excel to their first-ever Playoffs was a saving grace.
Shortly after the signing was announced, Mikyx spoke to Hotspawn in an exclusive interview about his signing. He shed light on the spontaneous pickup, what his first scims with the team had been like, and how he sees his future on Excel.
Hotspawn: Welcome, Mikyx, and congratulations on joining Excel. It’s a very surprising move to basically everyone—to you as well, I suppose?
Mikyx: Yeah, it was kind of sudden. I was not really expecting to play in the Spring Split, but when they came around, I just grabbed the opportunity.
Hotspawn: When did you hear that they were interested in you?
Mikyx: Maybe a week ago, maybe a bit less than that. But around a week ago.
Hotspawn: So, after the first week of the LEC Spring Split.
Mikyx: Yeah. Around that time, yes.
Hotspawn: Was this the first time that Excel showed interest in you? Or did they want you in the offseason as well?
Mikyx: Yeah, but there were certain issues why it couldn’t happen. [Laughs]
Hotspawn: Certain issues like… your buyout price?
Mikyx: Perhaps. I cannot confirm or deny. [Laughs]
Hotspawn: When they reached out to you last week, did you have any fears of the deal falling through again?
Mikyx: No. I felt like it should be doable and it was kind of an easy decision, I think. Sitting at home, doing nothing, just watching LEC is kind of boring. I think this team is good enough as well to actually win. So, it was pretty easy to make the decision. They showed interest, I showed interest, and that was kind of it. They said, “Can you come over?” and I said “Ok, sure,” and that was that.
Hotspawn: Paired with your signing, Excel suddenly removed Advienne from the team altogether and is letting him explore options for other teams. I guess that this is something you weren’t aware of, and you just focused on being signed.
Mikyx: Yeah, pretty much. It kind of blows for him. This was a weird situation. I’ve never really been in a situation like that before. So, I assume it also must suck for him because it’s not happening because he was playing bad or anything. There’s not really much he can do about it. So, I don’t know. It’s weird.
Hotspawn: You’re joining a lineup that was struggling to close out games. How do you see yourself fit into the team?
Mikyx: In a lot of games, I felt that they had early leads. From watching the games, it felt like they didn’t really play well around drakes or knew how to start teamfights. I could be good at doing that because I like to just f***ing get in there and start a fight. So far, we didn’t have much practice together yet. But I think we should be fine.
I think they all played pretty well individually so far, from what I watched. But again, whenever they had a lead, it felt like they didn’t know how to close it out cleanly. They threw a lot of games because of that. Otherwise, it was pretty promising.
Hotspawn: When did you start practicing with them?
Mikyx: Yesterday. We played three games. I was a little bit rusty, but it can only go up from now.
Hotspawn: You’re playing against MAD Lions and Astralis this weekend. What are your priorities for these games in terms of personal performance and team performance?
Mikyx: I mean, first, we’re gonna try out a few champion picks. There is a new patch as well now, so I guess we’re just trying out stuff for now. Then I’ll just play whatever I get told to play because I’m not entirely sure what the high priorities were for the last few weeks of the LEC. So, I guess I’ll just practice a few champs, and then the last two days we prepare more for those specific teams.
Hotspawn: Well, you’re joining a familiar face on Excel with Nelson, who was one of your coaches at G2 last Summer Split. Are you excited to be reunited?
Mikyx: It’s good. I guess he’s the only person there that I’ve known from before. Otherwise, I’m kind of going in blind. I’ve never really talked to any of the rest of the staff or the players. Nelson is the only person I know. It’s nice to have a familiar face. But I think fitting in should be fine.
Hotspawn: I spoke to Youngbuck, who said that Playoffs is the minimum, but the team is hoping for a Worlds spot. If you look at the competitive field, do you think this is realistic?
Mikyx: Yeah. If I wasn’t aiming for Worlds, then I wouldn’t be here, probably. So, I think, this Split especially, other teams are just bad. So, I think a top-three spot is very realistic. I think Fnatic is good, I think Vitality is probably gonna be good. G2 is like… they’re ok. [Laughs]
Hotspawn: [Laughs] You just have to highlight them and not Rogue and MAD Lions, huh?
Mikyx: Actually, I guess Rogue is kind of winning right now, but I feel like they had a pretty easy schedule and they’re gonna fall off like usual in the Playoffs. [Laughs] MAD is just a bit worse than before, so I don’t know. I don’t feel like they’re gonna be insane, or anything.
Hotspawn: Alright, to round up, is there anything you’d like to say to the G2 fans who now officially see you depart, and tot the Excel fans who see you arrive under these strange circumstances?
Mikyx: To G2 fans: I hope that, if you were a fan of me, you’ll still keep supporting me. Otherwise, good luck against me!To Excel fans: I’m happy to be here. Hopefully, we can get that Playoffs spot. [Laughs] It didn’t happen so far, so we’re going for that.
Excel Esports plays its next LEC match on Friday, January 28th, at 7 PM CET against MAD Lions. You can watch the game live on the official LoL Esports site.