OPT Meteos: “Jungle is inherently one of those roles where it’s hard to have perfect relationships with all your teammates because with every given action that the jungler performs, it’s going to help one person but hurt someone else on the team”

Izento 2019-02-25 04:33:08
  OpTic Gaming have gone 2-0 in Week 5 as they defeated both 100 Thieves and Clutch Gaming, both games having shown some struggles for OPT. For what was considered to be one of the weaker teams in the LCS, OPT are in the middle of the pack, fighting for a playoff spot in the coming weeks. Esports Heaven got a word with OPT’s jungler Meteos on his victory over his old team 100T, his previous criticism of sharing time on a starting roster, sandbagging in inner-org scrims, and narratives surrounding his herbivore style of jungling.  

How does it feel to beat your old team 100 Thieves?

I don’t feel much about the win. I don’t really have feelings towards 100 Thieves. The fact that I got traded off was kind of weird but hasn’t really been on my mind. I don’t really have animosity or resentment towards them. I’m sure they’re doing what is best for their team. I still like their brand. Nadeshot is cool, I’m still cool with all the staff. It feels good to win but it doesn’t feel much different than beating any other team.  

This game specifically your team pulled 100T across the map for the majority of the game. Do you think using that strategy was for 100T specifically? Is this their kryptonite in some sense?

I don’t think we went into the game knowing beforehand this was what we wanted to do. Given the champions we had and the ones they had, it’s just kind of how the game played out. Olaf is a really dominant early game champion and they were able to find opportunities to get those advantages, especially top side early on. So, basically we were on the back-foot and given the champions we had, the best option was to split them up. Their champs were really hard to kill. I’m playing Nocturne, they have an ADC with a blink and 200 armor, they have Lissandra, Urgot, like, who do I kill, right? Basically we got off to a pretty big disadvantage early and I think the fact that we got the Mountain drake early was pretty good for us because the way the game is right now, if your team has Mountain drake, you kill Baron twice as fast as if you don’t have it. If they were able to get Mountain and pressure Baron I think we would have been in trouble, but because they didn’t have it we were able to split them up. Basically we were saying, “Our champions are much better than theirs later, let’s just keep defensive vision and see what they’re going for, try to defend or counter-play whatever play they go for and look for them to make some mistakes”.  

You and Dardoch have been swapped out quite a bit. Is this relationship kind of awkward because previously when talking about the substitution situation last year, you were a little vocal in saying that you didn’t really like the substitutions as far as sharing time with another jungler. So, do you feel this relationship is a bit different when it comes to sharing time with Dardoch? Is this ideal for you?

That’s a good question. So, in regards to me and Dardoch, it’s not weird actually, it’s super cool. It’s a valid point that last year when I talked about it in an interview that I didn’t like it as an idea, and so coming into OpTic it wasn’t really the case that this was going to be the setup. When I signed they were like, “you’re going to be the starting jungler and that’s it”. It was a little bit at the end of free agency that they realized Dardoch was available and they could take him for the Academy team, so they were like, “is that going to bother you? Do you have anything against that”? I was like, “no, he’s a good player and I’m sure we can learn from each other”. He joined as Academy and he ended up playing in LCS the first week because of visa issues with Arrow. I think Dardoch is a really good player and we’ve been splitting time in scrims recently. I think it’s helpful because everyone has different views on how to play the game. Jungle is inherently one of those roles where it’s hard to have perfect relationships with all your teammates because with every given action that the jungler performs, it’s going to help one person but hurt someone else on the team. If I gank top then I’m like, “alright bot, you have to play safe, their jungler can gank you”. Then they’ll be like, “well, screw you. We’re winning our lane, why can’t you help us”? Everyone in solo queue knows what it feels like to be a jungler and even in the pro scene you’re still going to feel bad when you get ganked as a laner and that can be redirected towards your own jungler. So, I think having two people with very different perspectives on the game…well, I wouldn’t say ‘very’ different, like, we have sort of the same fundamental understand of jungle but there is no way two people are going to see the game perfectly aligned. Just having another perspective come in and, maybe if a laner is asking something of me that I don’t think I should do, then maybe Dardoch would be able to do that or he would also be like, “no, that’s a completely ridiculous thing to ask”. It’s not jungler vs laner at that point, its junglers vs laners. I guess it kind of feels good to have someone that goes through the same things that you go through because being a pro jungler is kind of hard to find people that have been through the same thing you have. Even other pro players, like laners, don’t feel the same thing a jungler feels. It’s like, the feeling of saying, “careful you might get ganked”, and then they’re just like, *SIGH*. You’re just causing so much disappointment in your team with anything you do and you feel responsible when your teammates get ganked. On the mental aspect, jungling can be kind of stressful, but having someone else to share that with definitely lightens the load a little bit. Me and Dardoch have a good relationship and we have a lot of respect towards each other as players and it doesn’t feel like either of us cares that much about who is playing, we’re just both trying to get better at the game.  

I’ve heard this theory before where teams are scrimming against their Academy teams at least once a week and OpTic Gaming has been vocal about using their Academy team and their entire 10-man lineup. Do you feel counter picks are far more sought after when doing these games due to fighting for a starting spot? Could you see that as a theoretical possibility even for other teams?

I feel that fighting for a starting spot can be an issue and it was definitely one of the reservations I had before being involved in a system like that. I don’t think that is the case with this team whatsoever. I feel like that is a team-by-team basis and I still stand by the fact that this system could be disruptive for a team and break apart the team trust, but for us that’s not the case. For instance, Allorim and Dhokla are really good friends and it doesn’t feel like they’re competing with each other, but more that they’re helping each other. With me and Dardoch, we’re not super close friends but we have a lot of respect towards each other and we’re super cool with one another. I guess with everyone it doesn’t really feel like anyone is trying to take someone else’s spot, so this system works, but I do think it’s an issue that could arise if there are two people that are dead set in trying to be in LCS, it could lead to some sandbagging. I do think it’s something that could happen. We have a good relationship, we’re all in the same area, we see each other, eat food with one another, talk together; it’s definitely better than what I thought it was going to be going into it.  

Your style is referred to as a farming jungler. Do you think this narrative is true for the most part? Does it irritate you for not being known as what they call a carnivore jungler versus an herbivore jungler?

(laughs) People love slapping their own perspective on things. Like, what’s the alternative of being a farm jungler? Like, a not farming jungler? You’re just fucking level 1 ganking and never take camps? People are going to say what they’re going to say and they love getting caught up with stats and narratives, and that’s what I consider them as, just narratives. If you go on Reddit and take players take stuff they say about you, you’re gonna have a bad time, but at the same time, it’s not like I hate them for that. If I’m watching pro sports, I’m going to have my uninformed opinion about stuff and it’s not like they’re dumb for thinking that, it’s just that, given the info they have, that’s what it seems like to them, but I have a lot more info than that. My playstyle has never been, “oh, I’m going camp to camp. Screw you laners, I’m farming”. It’s just never been like that. The way I play is very information based, it’s reliant on anticipation, predicting what they’re going to do, thinking about what they think I’m going to do and just coming up with surprises. I don’t take that kind of criticism seriously. ___ Izento has been a writer for the LoL scene since Season 7, and has been playing the game since Season 1. Follow him on Twitter at @ggIzento for more League content. Image courtesy of LoL Esports Flickr

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