Interview with TSM Hauntzer After TSM Playoff Loss

TSM Hauntzer Interview

The 2023 NA LCS Summer Split Playoffs have finally started. In the first series of playoffs, Team Solo Mid (TSM) faced off against Evil Geniuses (EG). After a dominant win in Game 1 through the double ADC and peel composition thanks to TSM Hauntzer and Chime, TSM looked to go to match point in Game 2. In Game 2, Evil Geniuses’ top laner Revenge got his revenge against TSM as Jax; in the game, there was a split second, TSM’s Wild Turtle looked like they could bring it back, but Revenge’s lead was too much (18/2/8). After securing a Penta Kill, Evil Geniuses was flying high and looking to take the lead in game 3.

In game 3, EG continued to control the map and dominate TSM; however, twenty minutes into the game, EG threw their lead and allowed TSM to get back into the game. Within five minutes, the kill disparity went from 2 to 11 to 8 to 11. After trying to stop EG from taking Baron, EG secured it and turned on TSM taking them out in TSM’s blue side jungle. At that point, the match was over, and seemed like TSM had given up.

After winning game 3, Evil Geniuses found themselves on match point and just needed to continue their momentum. However, the break in-between matches helped TSM refocus. Finally able to secure Tristana, TSM was able to run away with Game 4 and take the series to a winner takes all Game 5; TSM Hauntzer’s Rumble choice helped split the damage types in the game allowing Tristana to pick up easy kills.

After a hard-fought battle in game four. Team Solo Mid fell apart in game 5. Despite having multiple tanks and a ton of peel for their protect the ADC comp, it seemed like there wasn’t anything TSM could do in order to win team fights. After the first two kills, EG’s Revenge used Aatrox to run away with the game and steamroll TSM.

After the game, we had the opportunity to speak with TSM’s Hauntzer about the series, his goals for playoffs, and some of his interests outside of League of Legends. In bold are our questions.

Hauntzer (Kevin Yarnell) Interview

After a best-of-five series, with the loss how are you feeling and how do you prepare for the next round?

TSM Hauntzer – It was a close series, with lots to work on, and lots to improve on before the next match and we are not out of playoffs yet so we are going to keep trying our hardest. Going to try and get better at the things we need to get better at.

At one point, the playoff system was single elimination, how do you feel now that it is now a double elimination playoff bracket?

TSM Hauntzer – Double Elimination is a lot more competitive and I would say it is a lot more entertaining to play as well because you get more opportunities to prove yourself. I don’t really see a downside to it.

Looking back at the series, is there anything that you feel hypocritical about yourself or teamwise you think could have done better? At one point, we saw people questioning the Rell JG pick. What are your thoughts?

TSM Hauntzer – Individually, I think we played well. Ultimately, it just came down to us team-fighting and some draft priorities like giving them Ahri and stuff like that. Us picking Jinx Thresh was probably not the best lane. Those are kind of the takeaways from the series, just team-fight better and have better preparation for what we want to play.

On the lower bracket, which team would you ideally want to face? Since you’ve played through the whole season, you kind of have a feeling about how each team plays is there any team you want to go up against specifically?

TSM Hauntzer – We really don’t have a choice, we are playing against Team Dignitas. To me, it doesn’t really matter who we play against. I would say the toughest opponent for us is ourselves. If we can live up to our potential I think that there is really no team that can stand up to us but that’s the hard part.

Fighting with yourselves and coordinating everything.

Interests outside of L.o.L

When there is an off-season, what do you like to do?

TSM Hauntzer – I like to do my hobbies. I like to play guitar; I am getting better at that. Getting better at driving; think I am going to practice more with my car. Otherwise, chill, hang out with friends, and eat good food. Maybe I’ll go to Japan.

Living in LA, driving can be kind of a headache.

TSM Hauntzer – Yeah, lots of fun.

What kind of car did you buy or is it one TSM is lending you?

TSM Hauntzer – it’s a 2023 Subaru BRZ.

That’s a pretty nice car.

In regards to guitar, are there any music genres that you like? Also a favorite band?

TSM Hauntzer – I have been trying to learn some blues like B.B. King, Freddie King, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and stuff like that. In terms of bands I am trying to emulate, I would probably say The Eagles; I’ve been trying to learn the solo from Hotel California. John Mayer is also really good. Eric Clapton. All those guys.

Those are all good choices, though I don’t think most of those fall under blues, but I know what you mean.

Outside of League of Legends, favorite video game?

TSM Hauntzer – I haven’t played games outside of League. I play TFT and stuff if that counts. There is just not enough time during the season to play other games. The one game would be Runescape. If I had more time, I would be playing Runescape.

Old Runescape or new Runescape?

TSM Hauntzer – Old school of course. The new one, no way.

Any favorite movie or anime?

TSM Hauntzer – My favorite movie is Top Gun. Anime, I don’t watch anime. If I had to, I would say the new season of Bleach is pretty good; the new arch. The animation is really good.

Now with Top Gun, do you mean the original or the sequel, Maverick?

TSM Hauntzer – I like both.

Outside of Competitive

Are there any players that you idolize that aren’t in NA? They can be either retired or active.

TSM Hauntzer – Right now, I would say I watch a lot of Bin (Bilibili Gaming). I think he is probably the best top in the world right now. He has the best fundamentals, the best awareness, and he knows how to carry games. He is definitely someone a lot of rookie top-laners should look up to and see how he plays and try to emulate that.

Favorite champions in League of Legends?

TSM Hauntzer – What used to be my favorite champion was Swain. Ever since I became a pro, I haven’t really had a preference for champions. I kind of just like to play whatever is good and whatever will help us win.

Whatever falls into the meta?

TSM Hauntzer – Yeah, I’m not like a one-trick like Bolulu when he plays Velkoz. I don’t really like to pull out those kind of picks. I kind of just play the strong stuff and be good at those picks.

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Hardcore gaming enthusiast, cosplayer, streamer, Tall Anime lover (6ft 9), and a die-hard competitor. I have been a Pop-Culture Journalist since 2011 specializing in shooters, Pokemon, and RPGs.

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