Last December, all eyes were on Team Vitality as it announced a new star-studded League of Legends roster for the 2022 LEC season.
Vitality’s new lineup—which the organization itself calls “the biggest LEC roster ever seen”—features top laner Alphari, mid laner Perkz, AD carry Carzzy, support Labrov, and jungler Selfmade. Head coach Louis-Victor “Mephisto” Legendre, assistant coach Simão “Simon” Oliveira, and head analyst Dimitri “Noodlez” Zografos round out the team as the coaching staff.
Vitality’s jungler Selfmade spoke to Dot Esports ahead of the season about the new team, the 2021 Spring Split, and his hopes and goals for the new year.
The new roster completed their first bootcamp in Paris ahead of the start of the new season, where they played together for the first time. With a positive outlook on where they’re headed, Selfmade felt the bootcamp was the first sign that “most of the personalities match well” both outside the game and in the game.
This year, Selfmade is joined by Perkz as the mid laner returns to Europe. After five years with G2 Esports, Perkz signed with Cloud9 for a year in 2020 before coming home to join Vitality’s revamped roster. A few months ago, Selfmade claimed Perkz was the reason for G2’s success in one of his streams. Now on the same team, Selfmade is still just as impressed by Perkz, not only as a player, but as a teammate and especially as a leader. “Everything he does is to make sure everyone is comfortable,” he said. “And to make the team better.”
Vitality’s change of direction
Vitality has opted over the past couple of years to build and develop rosters made up of new talent instead of signing big names. After last year’s sixth-place finish in the LEC’s Summer Split, however, it looks like Vitality has taken a new approach. The org started with Selfmade’s signing before last year’s Summer Split and continued this year with Perkz, Alphari, and the rest of the shiny star-studded roster for the 2022 Spring Split.
Selfmade signed with Vitality following an unexpected exit from Fnatic, who he joined in November 2019. During Selfmade’s first split with Vitality, the team earned a spot in playoffs but fell short of qualifying for Worlds after Fnatic ended their postseason run. The jungler scored the third-highest average kills (4.2) among all LEC junglers in the 2021 Summer Split playoffs and the third-highest percentage in kill participation (72.4 percent) among junglers during the summer’s regular season, according to pro League stat-tracking site Games of Legends.
Selfmade, however, doesn’t feel like his performance last year was enough.
“I feel like last year was a complete disaster,” Selfmade said. “We barely made it to playoffs in Fnatic, and then I barely made it to playoffs in Vitality. I felt like [Vitality’s] roster had the potential to be really good, but we had so many issues, and they were all game-related.”
A bad season start, but a bright future
The new roster was the best on paper, and hopes were high for Vitality before the start of the season. After losing three consecutive matches to MAD Lions, Fnatic, and Excel in the first LEC weekend, however, it looks like Vitality is picking itself up. With last weekend’s 2-0 victory against both Team BDS and G2, Vitality’s future is looking brighter than it did at the start of the season.
“This is by far the best shot I ever had,” Selfmade said. “If I don’t win in this team, I don’t think I’ll ever win. We just have to play good and win games. It’s that simple.”
Selfmade’s drive to win means he doesn’t have a preference when it comes to going up against one team or another. Selfmade knows “it doesn’t matter who [they] go against”—at the end of the day, every win counts.
Throughout the rest of the season, all eyes will be on Vitality’s starting roster as they pick themselves up after a bad start to the season. Despite having one of the strongest rosters in theory, however, Selfmade is convinced that predictions on who will make it to playoffs aren’t possible. As we’ve seen happen before, the strongest teams don’t always deliver, and those you’d least expect to see leading the rankings can find themselves on top of the world against all odds. Even if a team appears to be bottom-four material, they can still reach playoffs and pull a rabbit out of a hat, the jungler says.
Winning this year is the absolute priority, but beyond the jungler’s competitive drive, he also has the personal goal to continue developing his brand as a streamer. “You never know what the future will bring,” he said. “Maybe I’ll be out after one split, you never know how it goes. It’s always better to be safe and have a streaming brand than to just continue playing games every weekend.”
League fans will be able to see Selfmade and the rest of Vitality’s roster in action next weekend for week three of the 2022 LEC Spring Split.