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Nisqy: “I have more liberty in what I want to play in Europe”

Tom Matthiesen

Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer is one of the few League of Legends players who ever crossed the Atlantic twice, leaving Europe to play in North America and returning later. After spending two years playing in the LCS for Cloud 9, the mid laner flew back last offseason to join Fnatic in the LEC. So far, Fnatic has yet to find consistency in their play, but they were able to defeat arch-rivals G2 in the third week of the competition in dominating fashion.

Nisqy LEC fnatic

Nisqy has proven that he can definitely keep up with the mid laners in Europe. (Photo courtesy of Riot Games)

Nisqy joined us for an interview to reflect on the lessons he learned while playing in the LCS, and how he is using these lessons now that he’s back on European soil. He explained the differences in the culture, how he had to adjust his behavior to fit in with LCS players, and how liberating it feels to be back being able to play more champions in the LEC.

Hotspawn: Welcome, Nisqy! Good to see you back in Europe. Let’s start by recapping a bit of what you’ve learned from the years you played in the LCS. It’s a region that’s often joked about, but I imagine you’ve learned valuable lessons as a player.

Nisqy: For me, personally, it was mostly about growing. One, as a human: I feel like I was way more responsible for myself. I was away from family, away from friends, I had to meet new people… I was in a scene where I didn’t know anyone. In Europe I was more comfy, I had friends here. So it was kind of a new start. Also, the culture there is way different from EU. I had to adapt to that as well.

So yeah, it just made me change. It made me think a lot about, for example, how the game is played. I’ve had two different junglers, I believe. Blaber and Svenskeren have two different ways of playing the game. For me, it was always about adapting, adapting, adapting. It was about learning to play the game from a more… teamplay perspective, I would say. When I was in EU, I had mostly mechanics and my team knew how to play around me, rather than me playing around my team back then. But yeah, now I know how a team should work and I how I should work in a team. That’s something I learned in Cloud9, and I’ll always be grateful for that.

For example, now in Fnatic I know that I sometimes can just pick a mage and farm in the game, 10 CS per minute, and then we’ll win the game. [Laughs] And sometimes I maybe need to pick something else that will help the team, you know? In Cloud9 I learned when to take a step back, or even when I need to change my champion pool. Maybe I need to play more mid champion that push, or mid champions that win the 1v1. I learned a lot, and the experience was just good for me, you know? I see the game in a different way than a lot of mid laners, I think.

Hotspawn: You mention the cultural difference you’ve experienced; are you talking about the culture within esports, or also the culture in daily life activities?

Nisqy: The life is way different there. The schedule we had… I think we ended scrims at like 4 PM or 5 PM, whereas in Europe you end at something like 7 or 8 PM. Also… hmm how can I say this? Things like doing the reviews, the way people act, the way people react to criticism and bad performances, how they respond to flame on social media and Reddit… It’s all way different from Europe. I feel like, in Europe, players got used to it. [Laughs] I feel like solo queue teaches you that you should not give a fuck if people flame you. But there, I felt that it was harder, you know?

In the first year, I know that I made a lot of mistakes when I was giving feedback or criticism, or doing reviews with the team. I got told to change my wording, change the way I do stuff when I want to communicate. For me, it was really natural, you know? I never meant to be a rude person, or a bad person, right? I just think that experience is just something insanely valuable. I now know how to communicate with my teammates, and it’s clear that, if I do something wrong, they can tell me. That, for me, is something I learned a lot there. I think it was also in part because I was on my own there.

Hotspawn: Now back in Europe, do you frown upon some of the habits or cultural aspects of being a pro here?

Nisqy: No, I don’t think so. For example, when something bad is happening, it is way easier to fix it in Europe compared to in NA, I feel. The reactions of the players, how we work together, how we, even outside of the game, still are… I wouldn’t say toxic, but just joking around a lot with each other. That helps a lot already, you know? We had that in Cloud9, which was something I was looking forward to. I thought that, if I went to NA, it was like no jokes, just chilling, stuff like that. For me, the guy that helped me a lot at least when I went to NA, is Svenskeren. He was the only European guy that I had on my team, right? In the beginning, I was just following his steps. He taught me a lot about NA, about how he adapted, all that stuff. Now that I’m in EU, it feels… I wouldn’t say ‘home’, but it feels more natural.

Hotspawn: That natural feeling then comes from the dynamics between the team and a player, how players behave among each other, and other such examples?

Nisqy: Yeah. For example, in NA I could not, well, I technically could, but if I would flame someone in an interview, on social media, or in solo queue or something… Even if it’s a joke of if I just emote, they’re getting offended, triggered. In EU it almost feels like the opposite, that when you don’t do stuff like that they’ll be like “Why the fuck are you not doing it?” [Laughs] That’s the difference, in my opinion. When I talk to Larssen and other EU mids I can just say “You’re so shit”, you know? And I feel that, if I would do it in NA, they might think that I actually mean it and that I’m actually flaming them. But I’m just having fun. I think it got better over the years, but still, I think EU has a bit of a thicker skin.

Hotspawn: You’re one of the few players who have ever made the transfer back from NA to EU. Did it add extra excitement for you to come back, having a chance to prove you didn’t get washed up playing in the LCS?

Nisqy: A bit. When I got announced, I didn’t expect to have so much shit being talked about me, that I had gone to the retirement home bla bla bla, all that shit. I think all of that was such bullshit. I thought I didn’t need to say anything. I’m used to it. If you wanna flame, just flame. I don’t really care about it too much. But I know that I’m good enough myself. I know I’m a top mid laner. As long as I do well and as long as my team performs, that’s all that matters to me. I don’t think too much about “Oh, what do other people think?” or that I’m coming back from NA and that I need to justify myself. I went to NA because I had the chance to go there, and at the time it was team to go to. Now I’m back in EU because Fnatic was the best team I could go to. For me, NA or EU doesn’t matter too much. You play League in the end, and you play to win a tropy and do well at Worlds. A lot of people meme NA a lot, but I think that NA has some decent teams that they can send to Worlds.

Hotspawn: Regions have different styles of play, slightly different metas, and things such as scrim culture also differ. Did adapting to that go smoothly for you?

Nisqy: Yeah, it was pretty chill. I’ve been here before, I know how it works. It’s the same thing for me, you know? I have more liberty in what I want to play in Europe. We kind of decide as a team what we all want to play. In the end, it’s still a team game. I feel that, in EU, from a team perspective with coaches and players, they all just like more aggressiveness compared to NA. For example, the Irelia pick is something I brought up there, but it’s not like my teammates would be up for it. In EU, my teammates were not like “Can you just pick Viktor and scale?” That’s what I really like about this team and about EU in general. That’s also why, I think, EU players have more champions in their pool, more aggressiveness. It just feels like you have more freedom in EU. As a mid laner, at least.

Also, when I was playing in NA and everyone would only play something like Orianna or Azir, I was like “Oh, maybe I should also play that”, you know? But in EU there are so many different picks that people play. So now I’m like “Oh, I want to play that too!” That’s what helps me to grow as a player as well, to be on top of my mechanics. Spam solo queue, learn new champions… it just feels better.

Hotspawn: That growth is the final topic I want to touch on. You’ve been on top teams and you’ve found success with them. But now that you’re on Fnatic, where do you see yourself still grow in?

Nisqy: For now it’s basically that I want to be a top tier mid laner. I want to do well as a team, not necessarily personally. I feel that, if we want to do well, I need to be good individually anyway. So for me, it’s mostly figuring out how I want to play the game with my team and what I can do to help them, and see it in a bigger picture. Think about the champions to play, the consequences of playing them, positives and negatives, those things. Also, I’ve been on the same page with my junglers a lot. Fnatic is not on the top yet now, but I feel like we’re getting there slowly. I just want to be on the top. I want to win.

Hotspawn: That mid/jungle synergy is an aspect many people praised you for when you came over, saying how well you constantly enable your junglers. Selfmade is a jungler who had a very good year last year. Is it exciting to you to start working with someone like him and see how high you can push the synergy between you two?

Nisqy: I think the synergy I have with Selfmade is way different from other junglers I have played with. I don’t think we’re one-dimensional. There is not one way for us to play the game. With Svenskeren, it was just ‘play for the 2v2 mid’, you know? Always. He would always be there, and I would always be there for him. With Blaber I had to push mid, or else he would die. [Laughs] He would just always fight and that’s how we thought we would win the games.

I think that, with Selfmade, it’s very different. We’re trying to play every style. Control Mage, melee champions, roaming mid… I feel like I have a lot of freedom. It’s not a case of “Just pick a champion to push mid, and support Selfmade’. Now we’re asking ourselves “As a mid/jungle, how do we want to play?” and we can change it every game. In my opinion it’s the best way of playing the game, when you can play it on so many different levels and you have access to so many types of gameplay. I found it harder to do this with other junglers in the past, but I can do this with Selfmade now. I am excited for the future.

Fnatic play their next LEC game against SK Gaming on Friday, February 12, at 10 PM CET.