Dignitas sit at a clean 5-5 just after the midway point of the 2020 League of Legends Spring Split, but the season has been anything but even-keeled as far as their results.
After starting the season 3-0, they went 1-4 in their next five matches before bouncing back with a much-needed win over then-second-place Immortals last week. But despite the losses, top Laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon was grateful that they came when they did.
“I think I’m pretty happy that we lost a few games,” he told Dot Esports. “If it happens in the playoffs, that’s way worse. So for now, I think we take those, and we’ve got to still play better and put more effort in…and remind ourselves [of], when we put in 100 percent effort, how strong we’re going to be.”
Huni spoke in broad terms about the more intangible underpinnings of his team’s early success. He emphasized a recent lack of focus on practices and scrims, and an inability to transfer the lessons learned off-stage into the subsequent weekend’s matches. To him, it came down to them taking their foot off the gas after their 3-0 start and then getting a wake-up call after going through what he said at the time the team thought were a surprising set of losses to Team SoloMid, Cloud9, FlyQuest, and Golden Guardians.
“I think as soon as we won three games in a row, we stopped working hard—we got lazy,” the Dignitas top laner said. “We got big egos, [thinking] that we could beat anyone, but it was definitely not true that we [could] do that.”
The formula for a winning team week-to-week is some combination of scrims, drafts, and execution, among other things. But jungler Jonathan “Grig” Armao felt like there was a bit of an over-reliance on numbers in terms of winrates and lane matchups, and not enough emphasis on how those matchups played out in-game—the things that don’t show up in the stats. Since being more skeptical of those raw numbers as a team when going into drafts, he believes they’ve been able to play better thanks to a reliance on better information. For Grig, context is key.
“Especially in scrims, if someone’s 0/10 on the enemy team, there’s so much more context there than just ‘Oh, we won against X champion that’s considered really strong, so we’re just really good at playing against it,’ or something,” Grig said.
Similar to his top laner, he stressed the importance of the specifics of the games that they played and therefore learned from. He thought that when they put less emphasis on “results-based” drafting, the end product was better.
Both Huni and Grig did say that the team has turned a bit of a corner, citing incremental success in finding their identity as a team, but maintained that they can’t get complacent again after one good result.
Although they have both of their games against a potentially-resurgent Team Liquid behind them, Dignitas will be pushed to their limit against FlyQuest and Cloud9 in week six. You can catch the matches on Sunday, March 1 at 3 p.m. CT and on Monday Night League Match 2 at 8:30 p.m. CT, respectively.