Interview with dignitas Scarra: "I always have a spot in my heart for Katarina."
Wed 3rd Jul 2013 - 7:11pm
Team Dignitas went 2 for 1 in Week Three of the North America Summer Split at MLG, with William 'Scarra' Li dominating on Master Yi and Zed. I managed to have a chat with Scarra about where the NA LCS is heading and what we can expect from Team Dignitas in the weeks to come.
Master Yi seems to echo Katarina in being a high snowball, reset-reliant champion. Is this just a playstyle you really like? If both champions were considered viable picks, which would you prefer to play?
Scarra: I like playing Master Yi primarily because I pretty much enjoy all reset-based champions. To be quite honest, I'm not quite sure why I enjoy the champion so much. I originally picked it up as a very specific counterpick to one champion, but I extended his playtime once I realized that he was actually incredibly strong and not nearly as one-dimensional as I thought.
I always have a spot in my heart for Katarina and even today I constantly want to play that champion. The problem about her is just that's she's inherently extremely weak in multiple situations. If it was possible, I'd love to be able to play Kat in every single game of LCS, but that's highly unlikely unless Riot buffs her (Riot pls).
What are your thoughts on the Master Yi rework?
Scarra: I have no comment on the Master Yi rework because I haven't been following it at all. I typically withhold judgement on reworks till the actual numbers come out, but almost every single rework where they change a champion into a more viable hybrid variant tends to be underwhelming for competitive play.
We haven't seen you play Diana or Gragas in a while - champions you're well known for. Why is that? Are they simply outclassed by other mid-laners at the moment?
Scarra: There's a couple problems with Diana and Gragas. Both are champions that have counterpicks available and are not able to be blind picked due to their inherent weaknesses whether it be range, laning, or sustain (mana or health).
To compound this problem, the introduction of Doran's Ring at 400g allowed most of the mid ap carry archetype to start a way more aggressive item build without punishment through lack of health sustain. Champions such as Orianna/Lux/Lissandra are now able to start Doran's Ring and punish melee champions really hard.
Also, the introduction of Lissandra counters almost every melee mid in the game and is highly used in the current meta. The combination of these problems make it so while my actual skill in the champions themselves haven't decreased, my overall ability to pick these champions safely and transition into a mid-game has.
Vulcun had strong wins at MLG, including handing losses to Team Dignitas and Cloud9. What went wrong in your game against them?
Scarra: Our main problem with our game against Vulcun was incorrect early game map movement and communication. Due to picks alone, obviously they were trying to bait an AP Master Yi pick. Their counter to AP Yi was camping middle with double CC. However, this strategy actually isn't that effective against Yi if the Yi has an early pressure jungler like Lee Sin. The problem was, Lee was never mid to turn a countergank, and I played my lane incorrectly on one occasion (also RNG failed me on Q procs in the 1-2 lvl phase).
Even after I started 0-3, qtpie was beyond massive, but I lost control of my character during the middle of an important team fight where I was all but guaranteed a quadra kill.
Those major mistakes cost us the game.
Lissandra has been picked up quite a few times by other teams. What's your opinion of her and is there a chance we'll see you picking her in the near future?
Scarra: Lissandra right now is a champion that's just incredibly strong. She has only a handful of bad lane matchups and is consistently strong throughout the game. Her laning phase is incredibly easy due to the low CDR of her Q and if you space correctly it's really hard to lose lane if you do nothing but cast your Q on CD. She doesn't really have mana problems so she isn't required to go Tear or Chalice and isn't reliant on CDR.
The best part about her however is that she's a super CC-oriented champion that can initiate, which is something that is always incredibly good at any point of the game.
I think we'll be seeing a lot more lissandra in all the regions, not just NA.
What's your perspective on the ownership of the LCS spot between the players and the organisation? Should an organisation have the ability to change a roster such as the 60% roster change in Ninjas in Pyjamas?
Scarra: Honestly I'm unsure. This is something I'd need a lot more time on before I could answer truthfully. I think it's weird that you can replace 2/3 of the players on the LCS team that qualified and think that it's really strange that the organization can typically have more power than the players.
Curse and Team Dignitias were both strong contenders last split, and Team Coast were runners up, yet those teams make up the bottom three at the moment. Has competition really heated up this split? Has the standard of play increased dramatically?
Scarra: The level of play overall has increased a lot from the original spring split. There's not really a true front-runner after C9 and any team has the potential to upset.
What was the most enjoyable part of MLG for you?
Scarra: The most enjoyable part of every MLG is the fans. I love winning games and all, but honestly I don't really get to socialize too much with the schedules that we set up. Every time we are able to go to a live event, it's just as exciting to see the turnout and meet the fans for me as it is for the fans that meet me.
You play Cloud 9 and Vulcun this coming weekend. Are you going to prepare any differently for these games? Will you formulate specific strategies against them or simply work on your own play?
Scarra: Each team has their own nuances, and C9 and Vulcun are no different. Each of the teams needs a very different style of drafting and gameplay that we adjust to before we play. The point of creating strategies against these teams isn't to deviate from our own play, but rather to make it so you can control the game at your pace. There's not a single team that just wings LCS and hopes to win without some serious preparation.
You've played in big live events with crowds numerous times, but how does that compare to playing in a studio? Which do you prefer and do you think that the environment has an effect on players' performance?
Scarra: I honestly feel that I play better in a comfortable studio setting, but the games are way more enjoyable when I play in front of a live crowd. Each individual person has different reactions to live audiences and it's really just up random depending on the individuals.
Thank you so much for your time and best of luck in the upcoming matches. Do you have any closing statements?
Scarra: Just a thank you to the fans who met me and to the ones who couldn't make it there. And of course, thanks to all our sponsors.