Victor "Flakked" Lirola has had a solid career start for the LEC playoffs. Though most inexperienced player on his team, he has paired well with Raphaël "Targamas" Crabbé to have some very solid bot lane performances. Through facing off against legendary AD carries like Elias "Upset" Lipp and Matyáš "Carzzy" Orság, Flakked has held his own and helped G2 Esports continue to contend for the LEC title.
Inven Global spoke with Flakked, to discuss the adjustment to playoffs, why Team Vitality had a challenging split, and what he learned from his set against Fnatic.
Congratulations on your second playoff series win, Flakked! Being the most inexperienced member of the team, how did your teammates help prepare you for this series?
I don't even know what to say... they're really insane. And they really help me and Targamas. Especially me, because Targamas has way more experience than me. They give me a lot of confidence, they always let me know that they trust in me. And players like caPs, Jankos, Broken Blade, or even Targamas — if they say they trust you, it's really hard to go on stage and choke or anything. Because when you have the trust of all your team, it feels amazing to play.
How did the loss to Fnatic in round 1 of playoffs affect your team's mentality, and what preparations did you make for this week?
After losing to Fnatic, we weren't that negative, to be honest. Of course, we lost, so we were sad but we reviewed the games and we realized that they played bad, but we played even worse. But if Fnatic are the team we consider the best in the LEC, and they didn't play that great, it gave us actually a lot of hope and a lot of stuff we can learn from.
After watching their games against Excel, as well as your own preparations against them, what were your expectations going against Team Vitality?
After seeing Vitality's series against Excel, we were pretty confident that if we play our game, we're going to be better. I feel like right now we are playing better individually, as well as a team. So as long as we didn't commit any silly mistakes, or as long as we don't choke, we should be able to take the win. And we did.
Vitality always brushed off their losses in the regular season and said that they’d turn it on in playoffs. Going against them here, did they seem any different from their regular-season self, as far as their weaknesses?
They played kind of the same as in the regular season. They probably said that because they have a lot of experienced players. And I know, for example, it's really rare to see players like Perkz or Carzzy choking, because they have so much experience on their shoulders.
And teams like us, for example, that have rookies and stuff, we might play differently, or we might choke. But I don't see much difference between their regular season and the playoffs. They always play really aggressively. I actually think their drafts got a bit better for the playoffs but I think we drafted better today. [...] I think we just out-macroed them.
There was obviously a lot of hype around Vitality throughout the entire split. Now that their split is over, why do you think it didn’t work out? Did you expect this?
Obviously, it's unexpected, because on paper you have probably top three players in every single lane. They have a lot of experience and stuff, and they're really good. But I always take into consideration there's a possibility that teams that are made with only superstars sometimes tend to not work. And it's kinda what happened with Vitality. They have really insane individual players, but for some reason — no one knows, only they know — they didn't manage to make it work.
A big criticism towards them was their bottom lane. What were your impressions of Carzzy and Labrov as a duo?
Carzzy and Labrov are really good in lane. We suffered a bit today in lane — me and Targamas — especially in game 3. I don't think we played bad, but they just played better. They had Aphelios, though, which is stronger and supposed to win lane. But I think Targamas died two or three times in the laning phase, which is never good. But yeah, I have huge respect for Carzzy and Labrov. I consider them really good. And I think, to be honest, in lane they played better.
In both game 1 and game 3 you came back from strong deficits in the mid game. Was this the fault of Vitality, or would you say G2 performed very well in the mid game this series?
For sure, our mid game improved, especially after the Fnatic series. We really had to reboot our mid game, because it was terrible. But yeah, I think that their mid game today wasn't the best. I don't think it's because we were really good. Especially early game went really bad. But not on the Jax game, of course, because we were ahead. So for sure our early games today weren't the best. But mid game: we played good, but it's more they played bad.
What are your thoughts on European macro in general? It seems most teams don't have a good sense for the later stages of the game.
There are some games that a lot of teams look lost in, including us as well. Mid game or macro game in general in Europe isn't really great. If you see the G2-Fnatic series, it was just Drake fights, basically.
Why do you think that's the case?
I don't know, it can be many things. For example, if the enemy drafts a really early game comp and they force Drakes, you kinda need to take Drake fights because if the enemy gets Soul, most likely you're gonna lose the game.It also depends on drafts: if you have a tank, you're just gonna look for team fights. And right now, the meta is kinda to just look for fights. You can play a splitpusher of course, but at the end of the day, teamfights are way easier.
How far behind is European macro to LPL and LCK?
I don't watch much of LPL, but I watch a lot of LCK. Some teams — especially T1 — can play either full teamfight or full split push. They play their draft how it should be played. But I think overall, Korea is playing way better macro right now. In Europe, there are games where there are no kills. A lot of teams are scared of doing something or playing aggressive and stuff. And people tend to play passively.
If you do meet Fnatic again — which will happen if you go all the way — what have you guys learned from your series against them to have a better result than last time?
We realized in the Fnatic series that our mid game wasn't the best. It needed to be improved. And as I said before: playing against Fnatic — even though we lost — really helped us.
What was the most noticeable weakness you saw in their team?
It sounds weird, but the main weakness in Fnatic is their mid game as well. They didn't really have the best mid game, we just played a really terrible mid game. So that's why they won. But if we work on our early mid game and manage to get ahead or go even, we can beat Fnatic, and we can beat every single team.
What do you take specifically from the matchup against Hylissang and Upset?
Fnatic's bot lane's laning is one of the best alongside the Rogue bot lane. The last time we played them, we were ahead in every single game, except for one game where we got f*cked by Razork. I'm really looking forward to playing them as well, I learned a lot from them. And it gave me so much confidence to go on stage against Fnatic, and kinda holding them, and going ahead in some cases.
All photos via Riot Games
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