PSG eSports: Preparing for the Future
I had the chance to send some questions to a few of the PSG players and their head of esports, Bora "YellOwStaR" Kim, before the upcoming season. Below, you will find two sections, one for YellOwStaR, and the other for questions asked to Etienne "Steve" Michels, Thomas "Kirei" Yuen and Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson.
Hampus "sprattel" Abrahamsson
Thomas "Kirei" Yuen
Etienne "Steve" Michels
You are the first player(s) to be a part of PSG eSports. How does it feel? How does PSG differ from other organizations that you have been on?
"It really feels great to be a part of PSG. Working with PSG, a club with multiple years of experience, performing with different teams on a high level compared to European/international standards combined with Yellowstar who's the leader of the esports-project I know it will be a great year. The only other organisation I've worked with was Elements who later turned into Schalke04. I think it was a great learning experience working with Schalke04 and to see how they operate as a football club and what they can bring into an esports-team but looking at the contract with PSG, what's been promised and also having spent a few days in Paris to see how they operate I believe they'll push it even further and possibly help esports develop even more and set certain standards.
It's hard to compare the teams so far though considering we haven't started working together yet, so I'll have to leave an answer to that for the future."
"It feels good to be a part of PSG since it is an organisation with a lot of history and it can fully support us. And since we're one of the first players to represent PSG, we want to live up to the reputation and make esports bigger."
"Being the first players to be a part of the PSG eSports project and knowing that we might be a part of something great feels amazing.
PSG is different from other usual esport organisations because PSG brings so much experience from their other sports teams; they are very involved with the project and I really felt the values of the club just by visiting the offices and meeting the people in Paris. It's not just a name, it's kind of like a family supporting and providing for you."
Moving forward, how do you fancy your chances of not only getting into the EU LCS for the summer split, but trying to make it to Worlds in the very same year, similar to how Origen and Splyce did the past two years?
"I think the biggest key coming into a season/split is always to look at your own team mainly and only consider other teams as an obstacle towards your final goal. I've been on a spring split Elements team who in 95% of the eyes of the community was seen as a 10th place team which would get relegated coming into the split, to end up as seventh, to being on a playoff contending Schalke04 lineup ending up getting relegated. It's all about how you work as a team essentially. Therefore, even though we are basically the only locked in CS team with a roster ready and there are still five teams to be seen, our aspirations within the team is to reach LCS for summer which I believe is definitely accomplishable, and I'd even go as far as saying our chances are very high of doing so. With a proper development as a team during the Challenger series and things working out very well, I could start visualising it; but it's not something that is realistic as of today nor would it be considered a failure if we didn't make it to worlds 2017.
Origen had a veteran lineup filled with players who had been on the world stage before and splyce had one entire year of playing in the LCS compared to us who would hypothetically only play one split of CS and one split of LCS for 2017, like Origen."
"I'm a person that looks at one step at a time. So making LCS first is definitely our first main priority. After that, making worlds the same split is definitely a huge achievement but have to make LCS first."
"We are taking everything one step at a time, but the long term goal is obviously to go to playoffs once we've reached the LCS and then we will see how far we can go. I'm taking example on teams like Origen, Splyce, H2K, G2 and maybe Misfits by going from a challenger team to a top EU LCS team."
What are your thoughts on Season 7 and how do you feel the meta will change from last year?
"Season 7 is in an OK-state at the moment, a few tweaks or changes are yet to be had to really put the game in a great state (I think primarily jungle and ADC need to be revamped). As a support, so far it has become very apparent what picks you are basically restricted to play in competitive. Overall, I believe that just like every season the metas will be swinging from month-to-month like it usually does, but I think the start of this year will be quite similar to how 2016 ended, assassin update didn't really do anything frankly; I think mostly junglers very affected. Colossus top laners (tanks) will reign so I think that's the only big change from how 2016 ended."
"My thoughts on s7 are that the team is going to be a lot more based on teamwork and trying to be ahead of the meta since some stuff got changed. There are going to be new pocket picks, which will make the game different."
"Currently, tanks top lane are the strongest champions because they are always safe even if you fall slightly behind. You will always have an impact because most tanks have strong TP flanks. I cannot predict the entire meta but that is how it is right now (in soloq you can play anything)."
What would you say is your champion; your signature champion that you love to play the most?
"It's not really debatable that my signature champion would be something other than Alistar, but it is honestly not a champion I feel prowess on compared to other champions, it's just the champion I've constantly had success within LCS. If I had to choose a champion personally, it would be between Zilean and Thresh."
"My signature champion is definitely Elise, but I like to play Lee Sin the most, even though that's one of the worst champions."
"Currently, my favorite champion is GP, but I would say my signature champs are Maokai, Poppy and Gnar."
Lastly, I just want to use this time to allow you to say anything to your fans. So if you have anything to say, now is the time.
"I'd just like to thank the people who will support me on PSG, I really appreciate all of you. I saw that I had made myself a lot of doubters and a lot of people who didn't think I was worthy of the position, and since everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I will do my best to turn every single one with a bad opinion into a good one this split. I'm very confident in my own talent. Thank you."
"Thanks to the people that have been supporting me, I hope you will continue to do so."
"I would like to thank my old fans and new fans for following me on this great adventure."
Bora "Yellowstar" Kim
Just quickly, can you explain to us what was going on with Fnatic in that final split? With you guys missing out on a Worlds place, what do you think went wrong?
Bora: "Season 6 was not very stable due to roster changes, which means that the team was trying to find a solution.
We were not able to compete against the best teams in Europe due to the lack of trust and couldn't find an identity fast enough when our opponents were only getting better."
What are your overall ambitions with PSG? Is it simply to get promoted and win the EU LCS, or do you think you can take the team to Worlds and even win it in the long run?
Bora: "Our goal is to be competitive in a short period of time. We are going to take one thing at a time, to begin with, EUCS.
Our ambition will be to perform in Europe in the first place and hope to be at Worlds when we will be ready."
How do you feel your many years as a pro player and time on Fnatic will benefit you as a coach?
Bora: "I have been living the evolution of esports since I started playing competitively around 2008.
I will be glad to help the players grow and share my experience and knowledge in order to win and have a good time."
I wanted to personally thank PSG for giving us this opportunity to interview some of their players as they prepare for the new season. I wish the organization all the best moving forward. We hope to see you in the EU LCS for the 2017 Summer Split and beyond.
Adam Newell is a journalist for @GAMURScom and can be contacted in ways displayed below. If you have any tips or want anything covered, be sure to let us know:
Credits: Alex Mahieu and PSG eSports