The European League of Legends team Unicorns of Love are relative new-comers to the scene, and in September qualified for their first season in the LCS. But a surprise victory over American champions Team SoloMid at IEM San Jose this weekend have the scene abuzz about the potential of the young Unicorns.
I got a chance to talk to their jungler, Mateusz “Kikis” Szkudlarek, and ask him what he thought about the victory, the new patch, and the team’s potential for the 2015 season.
“It feels really great,” he said about the win over SoloMid, “I joined the team about two months ago. I think I fit really well and we’re all getting along, really good friends… It’s a really good success.”
One of the key decisions the team made to win out over SoloMid was a surprise strategy utilizing the champion Twisted Fate in the jungle. Twisted Fate, or “TF,” is traditionally a mid-lane champion who executes other players utilizing his stuns and high mobility.
But by pairing the champion with high-sustainability jungler items, Szkudlarek was able to stun SoloMid with surprising attacks that left the American team in shambles. In that game, he ended with four kills and nine assists, to just two deaths.
After the new jungle came out, I was spamming solo-queue for hours, 12 hours per day, trying new stuff. There are a few things that I noticed, like I don’t think Lee Sin is that good anymore, along with a few other junglers that were played before.
In the new jungle, if you leave the jungle for a long time and, say, don’t get the gank, you’re behind. So I thought the global junglers would be pretty good, and Twisted Fate came to mind. I can not take too much damage, because I can just lure the monsters with his skills, and he has stuns for ganks.
He’s still in the process of figuring out proper builds for TF in the jungle, but he thinks it has potential to become a regular fixture under the new patch.
As for the other patch changes, he’s still uncertain where things will settle. Ranger’s Trailblazer, he thinks, will be the go-to jungler item unless players are using champions with already-high sustain, like Warwick.
Additionally, the dragon, despite hitting harder than before, is less challenging because it is easier to juggle. He also noted that taking down the dragon once for its first bonus (+8 percent attack damage and ability power) far outweighs the rest of the bonuses, and keeping a team from receiving the first buff is a high priority.
Finally, whether the Unicorns of Love win or lose in the finals of IEM, one thing is critical to Szkudlarek: doing well in the LCS next year. He is aiming for a top-five finish in the spring.
We are all smart and strong players. We get along, and I think if we have a decent first split, maybe we can go for a top-three in the next one.
Photo via Unicorns of Love/Facebook