Adrian on the strength of NA: “I think NA as a region got weaker”

We caught up with Adrian after P1’s win against Immortals during the third week of the NA LCS.

Over the offseason, veteran North American support player, Adrian “Adrian” Ma moved from Immortals to Phoenix1. Adrian, alongside P1, has had a great start to the LCS, only losing two series so far. We caught up with Adrian after P1’s win against Immortals during the third week of the NA LCS.

Congratulations on your win yesterday against Immortals. Phoenix1 has had an amazing start to the season. Did you expect to do this well heading into the spring split?

Adrian: “Yeah, I definitely expected to be this good this early because I knew all the players [on P1] were really good. I wouldn’t join a team unless I thought they were good. I expect us to remain in playoff contention for the duration of the regular season.” 

In these first few weeks of play, P1 has had some of the best decision making in the league. Could you describe P1’s in-game communication system?

“I feel that we are all really decisive players, and Ryu has a really big voice. [Ryu] demands what he wants so he always makes us move around the map and we are always ready to fight. I guess our communication system is just Ryu telling us what to do, haha.” 

This season, you’ve been paired with former KT Rolster AD carry, Arrow. What has it been like playing with Arrow?

“Arrow is a really funny guy; he’s always happy. He reminds me of Turtle actually, but I think Arrow is way better than Turtle. Arrow is really accurate with his skillshots and is a fun player to work with. I think [Arrow and I] will be very strong this year.”

How do you think you and Arrow compare to the other NA bot lanes? Is there a bot lane duo that gives you two trouble?

“I don’t think there’s any bot lane that gives us any trouble right now. I feel like we are one of the strongest bot lanes in NA. But the state of the game isn’t really bot lane focused, but more team based, so no one gives us any trouble.”

Compared to previous seasons, the support role right now is quite diverse, with a wide assortment of champions being picked for the role. What are your thoughts on the support meta right now?

“The support meta is actually pretty fun right now. You can actually almost play anything and pull it off if you practice it hard and have a specific win condition. I think there’s a place for every type of support too. You could play ranged supports. You could play melee supports. And there’s also a variety of ranged supports to play. There’s Morgana, Zyra, Thresh, Bard, and Malzahar. You really just pick whatever your team needs, and play to your win condition.” 

For the entirety of last year, you were on Immortals. How has the transition been moving to P1? Does P1 do anything differently that surprised you?

“I feel like P1’s more relaxed and like a family. When I was on Immortals, I was really stressed out. I felt that [on Immortals] I couldn’t do anything unprofessional. On P1, it’s much more casual, kinda like the ‘gamer life.’ Because of that, I actually enjoy playing the game more now.”

There has been very mixed opinions about NA as a region currently. While some say NA is the most competitive it has ever been, others have claimed that the quality of games in NA is quite weak. How would you rate NA’s strength as a region currently?

“I think NA as a region got weaker. TSM and IMT made roster changes. TSM doesn’t have Doublelift anymore, IMT imploded, and there weren’t any other super-teams, I guess. So that’s why C9’s on top currently, in my opinion. I think that despite everyone thinking that NA rosters improved, NA’s [play as a region] got worse. Hopefully it gets better by the summer split, but right now, I think the level of play is quite low.”

I would like to thank Adrian and Phoenix1 for allowing me to conduct this interview. You can follow Adrian at his twitter @AdrianMaLOL.

Photo courtesy of LoL Esports

Interview by Malcolm Abbas. Follow him on Twitter @SmashhLoL.