Golden Guardians secured the final seed in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Playoffs after a rollercoaster ride of a weekend. GG entered week 9 of the 2020 LCS Spring Split with a record of 6-10, and needed to win both of its matches to even have a chance at the stars aligning for the team to qualify for playoffs.
Golden Guardians completed its miracle run after an extra day of tiebreaker matches extended the Spring Split by an extra day. With a record of 9-10, Golden Guardians punched its ticket to the post-season as the sixth seed. GG will play the loser of the match between 2nd seed Evil Geniuses and 4th seed FlyQuest, which takes place on Saturday, April 4.
Golden Guardians Mid Laner Greyson "Goldenglue" Gilmer spoke to Inven Global's Parkes Ousley after the tiebreaker to talk about the team's mad dash to the post-season, subverting expectations, and a look ahead at upcoming playoff matches.
Hey everybody, Parkes Ousley of Inven Global here and I'm joined by Goldenglue. Golden Guardians just secured playoffs after a crazy weekend. How does that feel?
I mean, it feels fantastic. We kind of needed a miracle to happen, and we needed to perform really well, and both those things happened.
It was a bunch of really exciting games. For League of Legends to be played online entirely from home, I think it was about as exciting as it could have been.
Yeah, I'm still really amped and excited. It almost feels the same to me, it's just that there is no crowd.
Everyone is talking about how playing from home will affect them, but as someone who is known as a scrim god, how has it affected you?
*laughs* Last week was the first week we played LCS matches online, and I had probably my worst week of the split. After week 8, I was able to become aware that I wasn't able to focus as much during practice. I became aware of it, and then I fixed it for this week and I think things went a lot better.
Golden Guardians put their trust in you by picking you up and immediately giving you the starting position. How did that feel?
It felt really good. This is the first time I've made playoffs when playing for the entire regular split. I played in playoffs on C9, but this is the first time I've played a full regular split, so that feels really nice. Now, I'm just excited to see how far we can make it.
In general, esports athletes are driven by competition, but having a stable environment is also important. Have you benefitted from the comfort of having a starting spot, or did you feel there was more drive when having to compete for a starting position on the roster every day?
I think it's important to have a stable environment 80% of the time, but you still need to have something that drives you. For example, my performance last week was when I think I had that because there's no real stability in competition. If you play badly for long enough, no matter who you are, you will get fired or benched. I think it's important to have both of those things, and I also think it's really important to be an environment where you feel like you can make mistakes and improve off of them, and that's the feeling I got from Golden Guardians right away.
You've been on quite a few teams throughout your career. How does the Golden Guardians environment compare to the others?
I think our coaching staff is really good, but especially at constantly checking in on all of the players. We have one-on-one meetings every week, and I feel like we do a good job of addressing issues within the team and keeping people accountable. That's been really nice.
Last time we spoke, it was the first week of the season. Golden Guardians was expected to miss playoffs, but every time I spoke to one of your players, it seemed everyone was determined and knew you could make it. What was it like to dance on that knife's edge, and how does it feel now since you've proved you can make it to the post-season?
I think we all think we're a pretty good top-tier team. Ideally, we wouldn't have had to fight this hard just for 6th place. I think the thing that feels good is that we were able to be clutch when we needed to be to make playoffs.
I know a lot of people predicted us to be 10th place, but they aren't invalidated. Making the post-season doesn't prove them wrong; I want to go further. If we make 6th place instead of 10th place but then instantly lose in Quarterfinals, who cares? I want to make it further than that.
What are your thoughts about the 2020 LCS Spring Playoffs?
I think the most important thing is how well we can adapt in a best-of-five series. We haven't played in a bo5 together as a team, and I think being able to make good decisions in the heat of the moment during that type of series and bounce back from taking a loss is an important thing that we need to focus on. That's going to be a really important factor for us in playoffs.
You mentioned what you think the team has to do to prove yourselves, but what about you individually as a player?
I already proved I deserve to be here, but that's not really what I'm trying to prove. I'm trying to prove that I'm the best. I still don't feel like I've achieved that, so that's what I'm going for. To me, it's pretty obvious that I deserve to be here, but it might be different for other people.
What's it going to take to do that? Defeating Cloud9 in the Finals?
Yeah, that's the goal.
Is there anything else you want to talk about before we finish the interview?
I just look forward to playing and practicing every day. I'm glad that we can continue doing our profession during these crazy virus times.