Wickd Talks New Team, Fnatic, Elements Struggles: "It's impossible for the current team to be on top"
Former Elements top laner gauges strength of teams.
Following Mike "Wickd" Peterson's departure from long-time team Elements, the top player found a home on challenger team Denial eSports as part of the EU Challenger scene. His former LCS organization is currently ranked eighth in the standings while Fnatic continues their undefeated streak.
I caught up with Wickd to discuss his new team, his thoughts on Elements, and the strength of Europe's LCS teams.
GameSpot: How have you been these past few months, Wickd?
I’ve been pretty good. I’ve decided to join a challenger team because I feel like there weren’t many opportunities in LCS I had to go from because I want to be in the top of the league. The offers I had weren’t going to be in the top of the league so I thought it would be better to go from the bottom all the way to the top rather than start from the middle and help them go to the top.
How do you feel about your new team, Denial eSports?
Since it’s a very young team it’s very important after a winning a tournament you don’t let it get to your heads and you continue working hard. You see a lot of teams who are doing well who let it get to their heads and then start losing. It’s important everyone understands that we’re not that great, that we won a tournament but we have to put in more effort than before.
What do you think are your chances of the team entering the LCS in the future?
I think our chances are really good but it depends on the effort we put in. We beat every single challenger team recently so we just need to keep going.
What do you think of the Elements situation in the EU LCS?
I think as a team they are playing better together, but Elements as a team—I think every single role that they got a different player for is worse, but they are doing fine because they are playing better as a team, which is important
What are the problems preventing them from being a better team?
I think they weren’t working together properly and there wasn’t the necessary leadership. Without the leadership it’s impossible to be successful in my opinion. Right now they will have problems at Worlds because they are not good enough to beat the top 3 teams based on player skill.
Do you think they will need to make roster changes in the future?
Well if they want to be the top team, yes I think they have to make roster swaps. In my opinion I think it’s impossible for the current team to be on top. For example Fnatic and Origen and H2k are doing well, and unless the players become insanely good I think they will have to make changes.
What do you think about Fnatic’s 14-0 record?
It has a lot to due with Yellowstar being a great leader.
Well, I think you have a lot of great teams with a lot of great players. Fnatic always works well together. They always have a really good sense of direction and they keep improving every single week, which is a problem for a lot of teams. You can see, for example, Elements had a lot of really good players that just all sucked together. So I think it has a lot to due with Yellowstar being a great leader and the support staff of Fnatic being extremely good. All the players are good as well but it’s important to note that Yellowstar and Fnatic’s support staff are doing a lot for the team.
Besides Fnatic, are there any other teams that you’re impressed with in the EU LCS?
I think H2K and Origen are both roughly the level Alliance was the split we made it to Worlds. They can do really well at Worlds. Fnatic’s obviously outclassing everyone. But it’s going to be super great to see how they’ll do at Worlds. Since S2, this’ll be the first season that you’ll have a team in Europe have a chance to win the whole tournament. Like, at Worlds last year, Alliance could’ve won the tournament but that’s very unlikely. If we faced Samsung White, we’d probably lose. We scrimmed against them and we won two scrims and lost eighteen.
What do you think about the strength of Europe vs. North America?
I think Fnatic’s obviously better than all NA teams as well.
It’s difficult to say because I think Fnatic’s obviously better than all NA teams as well. That goes without saying. But if you take the Korean league last year and deleted Samsung White at Worlds, then I think Europe would’ve had a chance to win Worlds. I think NA could’ve had a chance to win Worlds. I think Korea and China both could’ve had a chance to win Worlds. I just think Samsung White was too powerful of a team. I think NA is not too far behind Europe at all, but it’s just that Fnatic is too strong and because of Fnatic, Europe is better. But without Fnatic, I think Europe would be pretty close. Slightly better, but not a big difference.
What are your opinions on the coaching staff working in Europe right now?
I’ll start with the basics of coaching. Coaching is good but the problem is not every team is going to improve from having a coach. Some teams actually get worse because they don’t know what to do. A coach might be new to the team—might be new at coaching. He has a huge responsibility and might not know what to do with that. I think some teams get worse. For example, Elements this first split.
But on the other side of the coin, if you find the right coach, and he knows what to do, and he does the job right—for example, Fnatic—they’re winning every game and still improving. It all depends on the coach. You have the right one. If you find the wrong one, you’re going to have a bad time. If you find the right one, you’re going to have a really good time.
What is the relationship between you and former Elements/Alliance players? Are you on good terms with them?
It depends what you mean by “good terms.” I’m talking to Elements staff quite often. We have no problem at all. We just knew that it wasn’t going to work with the players we had. So we had to change something. So that’s good—we figured that out. With the players, I talk to Nyph once in a while. I haven’t talked much to Froggen. We scrim against them but there’s no bad blood or anything.
Anything to say to your fans?
Thank you guys for supporting me even though I’m in the challenger series right now. I know it’s not as exciting, but hopefully it’s only for a couple more months before we’re in the LCS. I’ll make a good showing for you guys.
(Image Credits: Lolesports)