The second week of the LCS Summer Split Playoffs is now over. With the second week coming to a close, there were quite a few matches that did not go as fans and even some of the players expected. In the Cloud 9 vs Evil Geniuses series, many expected a 3 to 1 C9 victory; instead, C9 rolled through EG and made people believe in the Number 1 seed team.
In the Golden Guardians vs NRG series, most fans expected that Golden Guardians would match C9s decisive win, and defeat NRG within four games. Instead, it seemed like the bye week inhibited Golden Guardians, giving NRG an advantage over their well-rested opponents. Rather than Golden Guardians beating 3 to 1 like it was predicted, it was NRG that would beat Golden Guardians 3 to 1.
After a shocking win against Golden Guardians in Round 2 of the upper bracket, we had the opportunity to sit down with NRG Top Lane coach NRG sOAZ.
NRG sOAZ (Paul Boyer) Top Lane Coach Interview
So coming off of the NRG win over Golden Guardians, how are you feeling?
NRG sOAZ – Feeling good for the players mostly. I think it was a very nerve-racking day for the players. I feel like they put a lot of pressure on themselves. I am feeling good mostly because I know how much it means to them.
With having that 2 to 0 lead and then losing in game 3, how did you refocus the team or talk to them to help them calm down/recenter?
NRG sOAZ – Mostly it was just talking about the next game. What are the plans? What do we need to focus on? Also letting the players get certain things off their chest so that they can focus on the next game. It mostly comes down to talking about the draft for the next game, preferences, and what to change eventually. Also deciding on which side we prefer. Refocusing is mostly about focusing on the next step.
Now looking back at the series, what were some of your takeaways? What do you think the team did very well and what do you think needs improvement?
NRG sOAZ – Some of the early gameplay was quite shaky. I think some of it was due to nerves possibly. I think just some laning errors. Possibly they were too cocky at times in trying to win it. Some uncharacteristic mistakes. Depends on lane to lane. The early game can be improved. Even though behind, we had some pretty decent fights. Good planning for early to first tier 1 turret, we have a good shot.
With facing Cloud 9, how do you mentally prepare for that?
NRG sOAZ – We played a few scrims against C9. I would say they’ve seen a lot from us between scrimmages and past matches. Generally, I think we have had solid matches against them. In a best-of-five series, it is a bit different. Ultimately you have to adapt and prep for it. Against C9 it could go either way. I would say we can match up pretty well against them.
I believe, now there isn’t as much pressure on the players of worrying about qualifying for worlds. So now it is a different type of pressure that can be good or bad. As long as they have the will to fight and take first place. As long as they have that then we have a good chance against C9; it really depends on the kind of pressure they put on themselves regardless of how much we practice or things like that. It is going to come down to how much they want to win against Cloud 9.
The main pressure (Worlds) is going to be gone so now it’s up to them how much they want to win.
As a former pro player, how does it transition to the coaching role? How does it feel?
NRG sOAZ – Right now it is a bit different. We have a lot of people on staff and I’m mostly focused on top. I would say that I would like to eventually do more in the future. I have a good relationship with Dhokla. He and I understand each other pretty well. Hopefully, we can go for it for NA and I can help him prep for worlds. For the rest of LCS, it is going to come down to how much he wants it. For Worlds, I hope I can prepare him through my experience.
Intro to League
What originally got you into League of Legends?
NRG sOAZ – I played a lot of games Growing up I played CS (Counter Strike?) and I played a lot of D.O.T.A. for 10 years. When League first came out, some of the people from D.O.T.A. tried playing League of Legends; the prior experience made it easy for me to be very good very fast. Most of the good players from D.O.T.A thought of League as a bad game design; not as appealing to them. To me, it was easy and good so.
Do you remember the first ever champion you ever mained?
NRG sOAZ – I remember the first champion I ever played in my first game of League. I liked playing bot laner at first. I was probably playing Tristana. The first champion, I ever played was Cho’Gath bot lane. My friend had played a few games before I did and he said that Cho’gath Q was like Conquer Q in D.O.T.A. I used to main him so I was willing to try Cho’gath.
Who are some of your favorite champions overall?
NRG sOAZ – When I was playing a lot last year or two, I very much enjoyed playing Yone. I think he is quite fun to play. I’ve been trying to play K’sante this year. Since I didn’t play him in competitive play, I want to have a basic understanding of how he plays. I don’t play that much League anymore. From the last time I played a lot, I’d say Yone.
Since you aren’t playing League as much, what are you doing?
NRG sOAZ – Mainly just watching League, trying to watch a bit of the other regions. I have been playing some of the 2 v 2 game mode in League (Arena). Besides that, I have been playing some Valorant.
Get to Know
What are your other hobbies?
NRG sOAZ – I very much enjoy music. and in LA there is a bunch. In my city in France, unless I go to Paris, I don’t get to see many DJs or things like that. Going to parties where I normally wouldn’t have the opportunity to and seeing them live performing. I very much like music. When I go back home, I eventually want to try and get into it.
Do you have a favorite music genre or is it more of a DJ style?
NRG sOAZ – I like House. I like Techno. There are a lot of branches to those genres.
NRG sOAZ – I’m really not picky about food. It is probably sushi in Japan. I think it is really different. Japanese food overall, sushi & Ramen. You can go to any corner and get decent Japanese food. Italian, we eat a lot of Italian food in France.
Favorite Candies or Sweets?
NRG sOAZ – I prefer salty foods over sweets. I tried an American candy. It was sour, Sour Patch Kids. That’s pretty good.