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Vander: “You can’t get too cocky when you start winning”

Tom Matthiesen

Misfits Gaming is cruising to the LEC Summer Split Playoffs. With five games left to be played and at a 9-4 score, just one win separates them from guaranteeing a spot in the knockout stage. Though the team is performing better they did in the Spring Split, support player Oskar “Vander” Bogdan thinks his team needs to find another edge.

vander misfits

Misfits is in a great spot to make it to the Playoffs, but Vander sees that his team needs more to contest for the title (Image courtesy of Michal Konkol for Riot Games)

Vander sat down with us after his team defeated Schalke 04. He spoke about the team environment in Misfits, and how he keeps a level head no matter the result. Vander also shared his thoughts on the teams in the LEC and why he feels that Misfits needs to up their game in order to contest for the title.

Hotspawn: Welcome, Vander, and congrats on another 2-0 weekend! You must be happy with the solid performance of your team.

Vander: Yeah, two important wins for us. In general, it’s really nice for teams to have a good start of the Split so they feel more comfortable going into the Playoffs. You don’t have to stress out that much about the last weeks, about winning scrims… What people often do for best-of-ones is that they play one composition over and over again. They play the same three or four champions per role because they just need to win. They just want to prepare the best draft possible for this one game.

It doesn’t translate much into other games or team skill level because, even if you can prepare this one magical draft, it will probably not work for best-of-fives. It’s probably not gonna work again in the second game against a team with a brain. So yeah, it’s just better to have less stress, less tension in the team. Then you can slowly start working towards what you want to do in the Playoffs.

Hotspawn: Have you noticed that the atmosphere in the team has changed as well, now that you’re in such a comfortable position?

Vander: Well, I’m not sure. I think we have a good team atmosphere, but we have some really bad days in scrims where we just go, like, 0-6 against some teams. It doesn’t have to be top teams; it can be a team like Schalke or whatever. But then we just play really bad and then people will be really mad at each other. Even when we had a 7-2 score, we had some arguments in the team. But hopefully, it will be for the better in the long run. We often have good points and takeaways from those discussions.

Hotspawn: How are those conflicts resolved within the team?

Vander: I think some people like to throw in scrims, or they’re not on top level and they make silly mistakes, and then others will get annoyed at them because they’re doing their best. Then there can be kind of a conflict. They’ll say “Hey you keep making these mistakes, can you stop doing this?” and sometimes the other person will say sorry, but sometimes there are more arguments.

But I mean, we all like each other. In a competitive environment there will be heated moments, but after thirty minutes, one hour, or at worst the next day, everything should be fine. It’s a new day, new game. That’s how you have to think as a pro player, even when it comes to official games, right? You win or you lose. You can be happy or sad for one night, but then there’s another game coming. It doesn’t matter what happened last week.

Hotspawn: So it’s all about a reset, then focussing on what’s next?

Vander: Yeah. I think people who play for some time already are good at resetting like this. You have to constantly come back stronger after failure, so you can’t get too cocky when you start winning. You just have to calm down. You have to respect your enemies but you still have to believe in yourself that you can beat them and keep going.

Hotspawn: You play with two rookies in HiRit and Vetheo, and this is only Razork’s second year in the LEC. Do you help with creating that ‘reset attitude’?

Vander: I think so. I can sometimes be the guy that starts some conflict, but I think I was more like that in the past. In this team, I’m doing it way less than before. In this team, I’m trying to calm others down more and I try to find the good conclusions.

Hotspawn: You guys are in a great position to make the Playoffs. However, in a broadcast interview with Laure, Razork said he doesn’t think Misfits is a top team at the moment. Good, but not at the peak. What’s your view on this?

Vander: I think we didn’t change much since the beginning. I also agree with Razork that we are a good team, but we are not the best team. I wouldn’t call us a top-two team. It’s not that we can’t beat those teams in the top two, but they’re just more consistent. They’re better at small things than we are. I think their players are more aware of everything that’s happening in the game and we sometimes have those big mistakes that will cost us the games. We have to really focus on not making those mistakes.

But I think we’re a top-five team for sure. Then we’ll have to fight for the highest spot. I think, this Split in the LEC, there is a clear top five/top six of teams, and then there are four teams below that. Vitality is kind of a team that’s in between. They have a lot of issues in the team I think, but they can also perform really well. They’re a team that can beat everyone, but they can also lose to everyone. They have a high ceiling and low lows. They make way more mistakes than we do, for example, but they have really good talent on the roster.

I think we lack some things that other teams have. G2 is coming into a positive form as well, so that’s another strong contender. Then we have Fnatic, Rogue, MAD Lions, G2, and us.

Hotspawn: What do you lack that those teams have?

Vander: I feel that every team from the top five has one thing they can do consistently that will win them games, and we don’t really have such a thing. We’re freestyling a bit more and I think we’re decent at it. We are good at fighting, so I guess that’s what’s going for us. But we are working on it.

Hotspawn: Let’s hope for you that you’ll get that in order by the time the playoffs come around, then! To round up, is there something you’d like to say to the Misfits fans?

Vander: I want to thank everyone for the support. Thank you to my team, coaches, and org for helping the players a lot. Cheer for us in the Playoffs—hopefully, we can do well and we can be at least in the top three in Europe.

Misfits play their next game in the LEC against Rogue, on Friday, July 23rd, at 10 PM CEST. You can watch the game live on the official LoL Esports site.