Santorin: "I'm confident in being the best jungler"
I had the opportunity to speak with Santorin about his new team and his plans for 2017.
Former Team SoloMid player and current professional jungler for Gold Coin United, Lucas "Santorin" Tao Kilmer Larsen, took some time to speak with me about his League of Legends career and his new team.
Why did you sign with Gold Coin United?
Santorin: "I signed with Gold Coin United because the infrastructure and the players showed that they're willing to do what it takes to make it into the LCS. Through talking to the organization, I quickly realized that it'd be a place I can thrive and improve as a player, regardless of playing in the challenger scene or not."
How do you feel about your chances to make the LCS with this squad?
Santorin: "I think our chances of making the LCS are very high. Right now, I am confident in us definitely being the number one team in the American challenger scene, but we still have to prove ourselves, and once we've done that, we can start discussing our chances of making the LCS."
How far do you believe you've progressed as a player since your rookie year?
Santorin: "I think, through TSM, I gained a lot of experience and knowledge that I never had before, but I didn't use that to my advantage while being on TSM, hence I feel like I have improved a ton since then. When we parted ways, I took some time figuring out what type of player I wanted to be and I decided that the player I was on TSM was not the guy I wanted to be anymore. I wanted to go back to the Coast days where I was one of the carries and leaders. I have been the shot-caller and leader on every single team after I parted ways with TSM and I feel way more comfortable and confident in myself now when I finally have taken a more important role as a leader."
What are your current strengths as a player, and what is your role on Gold Coin United?
Santorin: "My current strengths are experience, leadership and play. I'm confident in being the best jungler heading into the Challenger scene and my roles on the team include being the shot-caller and leader. I am confident in winning all mid and late-games against every other challenger team through experience and macro oriented plays, so I think we have a very good shot at winning the challenger scene."
What is your opinion about the current jungle meta? Does it fit your personal playing style?
Santorin: "I think this meta fits me well. I've always loved assassination and skirmish champions like Lee Sin and Rengar, so I am very happy with how the meta is, as of now. I like to be one of the guys who is able to carry games, so it's nice having a meta where champions fits that style. I think the jungle right now is in a very good spot, but I would like if they made more junglers strong, since right now, heading into the 10 ban system, junglers might very well be banned out and there will be a very limited champion pool that I will actually get to play."
Are there any players you really look up to and study? If so, what makes them so good?
Santorin: "I don't think there's any player that I really 'look up to,' but I definitely watch a lot of players, and from the jungle, I mainly watch Peanut. I admire a lot of pros for having as good careers as some have had, and I want to grow into being one of those players."
There are a lot of experienced veterans on the roster and on the coaching staff. Who are you the most excited to be working with and why?
Santorin: "I don't think there's a person in particular that I am more excited to work with. I am always super excited to work with new people and learn from their different perspectives and apply that to my own perspective, as well as helping them out with the same. Having a lot of veterans on the team makes it a lot easier since our mindsets are all very experienced in the way we think. We all want to make it back into the LCS and we're all putting in 100 percent effort to make sure we get there."
This roster seems like it's made of two halves. There's the English speaking portion in the top and jungle, and the Korean-speaking portion in the mid and bot lanes. How will the shot-calling and communication work for this team?
Santorin: "Having Koreans on the team has been an issue in my past due to the language barrier, but this team has Koreans who understand English and can speak it as well, so it's not that big of an issue for this team. In terms of communication, we all have responsibilities of what we have to talk about every single game and we all have to be vocal in our own way. I am the main shot-caller, but everyone participates and makes calls."
Which teams or players in the Challenger scene, other than GCU, do you think will be dangerous?
Santorin: "I think the two teams that might be dangerous besides us would be Tempo Storm and eUnited. I think Freeze is a very strong player on Tempo Storm and I think he will do very well. For eUnited, they have experienced players as well, like Gilius and Fox, so there's definitely going to be competition."
Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. Are there any closing statements, shoutouts or plugs you'd like to make?
Santorin: "I would like to thank all of my fans for the continued support and I hope they will all have open arms for my new team and the players. I am hungry to make it back into the LCS and I will do anything possible to make it happen."