A Slice of the Big Leagues: An Interview with Gambit’s P1noy
Filipino League of Legends players received a treat last April 30 at The Lounge in Tomas Morato as they got the chance to meet with the aggressive Danish-Filipino marksman of Gambit Gaming, Kristoffer “P1noy” Pedersen.
The event, which was made possible through the efforts of RUMBLE ROYALE and Wargods, gave Filipino fans a chance to get to know the League of Legends Pro better, as well as win freebies courtesy of Garena Philippines.
League of Legends is a Multiple Online Battle Arena (MOBA) similar to Defense of the Ancients (DotA). Since the Philippines received their own server in 2011, the game has rapidly grown to become one of the most popular eSports titles here in the Philippines.
Despite P1noy’s busy schedule, he was kind enough to allow us to hold a short interview with him regarding his experiences playing in the European League of Legends Championship Series, Gambit’s plans for the upcoming Summer Split and some tips by a professional that will hopefully help Filipino League players improve their game.
Xaizen: Hello P1noy! Thanks for making time for this interview. How are you enjoying your stay in the Philippines so far?
P1noy: I’m having a really good stay. It’s a bit hot and I’m not used to the hot weather since it’s been a long time since I was here but I think it’s really nice that I to get to visit my family and meet my fans here..
Xaizen: Yeah, it’s quite hot since it’s the summer season but it’s good that you’re enjoying your stay. Anyway, let’s move on to the more serious questions. The Spring Split was your debut playing in the LCS. As one of the newer members of Gambit Gaming, can you describe what it felt like to play alongside legendary players such as Diamond and Edward?
P1noy: It was super fun at the start and it was really exciting because they’re players I really look up to. It just felt amazing for me that I was playing in the same team as them. As time passed on though, I don’t really feel much pressure anymore so I just approach and treat them normally now.
Xaizen: How about playing among the other pros? Did you feel any pressure?
P1noy: Of course you feel the pressure in some way. It just depends on how you handle it as a person. Personally, it was hard for me at the start because we lost five games in a row and I felt a lot of pressure because you don’t want to be in the bottom, obviously.
Our goal was to win as many games as possible and make the playoffs. Starting off 0-5, I felt so much pressure and I was so scared of what the future has to bring but we managed to come back and I got a lot of confidence from that. Now, I don’t really feel much pressure when I’m going into a game.
Xaizen: As you mentioned, you started the split with a five game losing streak. Now, Leviathan comes along and you managed to win seven games in a row. Recently, Gambit released Leviathan. How did that affect your team?
P1noy: I don’t think it affects us that much. It also depends on who we’re picking up as our new head coach. I guess it has some effect but we as a team are working hard. For us, we were covering for some of the things he had to do because he wasn’t as motivated as we were. We just have to put in more time and practice harder. I hope our next head coach helps to take some pressure off of us by preparing a better regimen and help us practice more efficiently so we’ll be able to perform better in the Summer Split.
Xaizen: Whoever your new head coach is will have big shoes to fill. What do you think your new head coach needs in order to do a better job in comparison to Leviathan?
P1noy: He has to watch all of our games and prepare a plan for us before we go into practice, which is something we didn’t do before. We never really had any preparation going into our scrims since we just played them then discussed what we’re going to do afterwards which I don’t think was very efficient.
I hope he has a good attitude, is good at communicating with us players so we as individuals can better focus on the game and not get distracted.
Xaizen: I see. Well, I hope whoever your new head coach is will possess those qualities. So after finishing in 5th/6th place in the Spring Split, what improvements do you think your team needs in order to perform better in the upcoming Summer Split?
P1noy: We need to be able to adapt to different patches and possible shifts in the metagame. Also, we need to improve our practice regimen. Not only do we need to practice harder, but we also have to practice more efficiently. I think that we as a team have possibly one of the highest skill caps in the EU LCS so if we practice properly and have the right mindset we have a pretty good shot at producing better results.
Xaizen: Let’s talk more about you as a player. Among your fellow marksmen in the EU LCS, who was the hardest to go up against and why?
P1noy: I’d have to say Forg1ven, because he’s super aggressive during the laning phase and if you don’t respect him even a little bit, he’ll just punish you. That, along with his tendency to get perfect CS, makes it very hard. But if you can adapt to how he plays, you can actually do super well against him.
Xaizen: You’re also known for your aggressive playstyle as a marksman. What advice can you give players who seek to emulate your style?
P1noy: Just play a lot of solo queue and know your limits. I think the best players know their limits. If you know your limits as a player, you can do a lot of stuff. I personally don’t play solo queue to win, but to improve and try out new and unexpected things. Depending on the results, I’ll know the things I can and cannot do next time. So yeah, I believe that learning from your limits is the best way to improve.
Xaizen: Since you mentioned limits. What do you think are your limits and weaknesses as a player that you think you need to learn from and then improve on?
P1noy: I think I need to limit my aggressiveness and improve my positioning. Once I improve upon those, I think that I’d be able to do a lot of unexpected stuff and become a better player.
Xaizen: Another important part of being a marksman is their synergy with their support. While one may be a good marksman and support individually, their synergy with each other is one of the factors which determine their success as a duo. That said, you have a legendary support in Edward. How did you build up your synergy with him? Was it more of a case of you adjusting to him or him adjusting to you?
P1noy: It’s 50/50 and it depends on what you both like. At the start, he was my mentor and I was adjusting to him because I was coming from the challenger scene and was the new guy on the team. I have a lot of respect for him. He has a lot of experience and he knew a lot of things that I didn’t know before so I learned a lot from him. But we’ve been playing together for a while already so right now it’s 50/50. We just talk about how we think things should work out.
Xaizen: I want to know your opinions regarding the scenes from an international perspective. With the Mid-Season Invitational coming up soon, how do you think Fnatic will fare against the other regions?
P1noy: I don’t really think they have a good chance. I think the top level of the NA LCS is really good now. I don’t think they can beat TSM but since the initial stage of the tournament is a best of 1 round robin, they might be able to pull off some upsets. But as a whole, I think they’ll have a really difficult time against teams like Team SoloMid , Edward Gaming or SK Telecom.
(Editor’s Note: This interview was done prior to the MSI games. Turns out, Fnatic did really well compared to TSM. Sweet games.)
Xaizen: For majority of League of Legends players around the world, we look to Korea as the bar. They’re the best. We see them as the region to beat and expect them to win in international tournaments. However, during IEM XI’s World Championships held in Katowice, we saw the GE Tigers get eliminated from the tournament by World Elite which was seen as one of the weaker teams in the LPL at the time. With that said, how do you think Korea will fare in the MSI? Are they weaker now because a lot of the region’s best players moved to China or are they still the strongest region in your opinion?
P1noy: I think they are the smartest region in terms of strategy and tactics but China has plenty of mechanically gifted players and they have a super aggressive style of playing wherein they like to fight a lot and outplay you in teamfights. I think EDG and LGD are teams that are going to crush everyone. Especially EDG.
Xaizen: Okay, that about wraps it up. Thank you for your time, but before we end this interview: do you have any parting words for your fans and the readers? What can we expect from Gambit Gaming in the upcoming Summer Split?
P1noy: First of all, I’d like to thank everyone who showed up to my fan meet. Do follow me on Facebook. I think it’s really nice and I’m thankful that the people here in the Philippines make me feel welcome and I’m hoping I can do something in return. If any Philippine team needs any advice or help they can try to contact me and I’ll try to do my best to help the Philippine teams.
As for my team, Gambit, our goal obviously is to go to Worlds so we’ll do our best to reach the playoffs and put up a good performance.
Gambit Gaming will be looking to bring themselves back to their former glory as they’ll fight in order to qualify for the Season 5 World Championships. You can support P1noy and his team by watching the EU LCS’s Summer Split starting on May 28.
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