For Team ROCCAT’s new top laner, the debut game was something out of a nightmare as he was relentlessly camped by the H2K squad.
But Etienne ”Steve” Michels won the crowd over in his second game and then he was a part of ending Origen’s win streak, something he says could prove valuable to the team going forward.
– The morale boost was needed going into the next weeks, he tells Aftonbladet Esport.
Few players in the LCS have had a debut quite as rough as the one Etienne ”Steve” Michels experienced. Going up against H2K, the game quickly snowballed out of control for both Team ROCCAT and Steve himself, and the rookie was quickly given the nickname ”EU Dyrus” by certain fans in the community. A not so flattering comparison to the Team SoloMid top laner Marcus ”Dyrus” Hill who has been known to get camped in his lane. Looking back at the game, Michels says he didn’t exactly help himself to an easy first outing in the league.
– It was my first LCS game. I was quite nervous and I misplayed a couple of situations which made it easier for them to camp me. I’m not sure if it was because I was the ”new kid on the block” or that kaSing and the others rated me high and wanted to shut me down… but they sure did shut me down.
”Didn’t know the crowd was chanting”
As Steve would notice only 24 hours later, everything can turn around on a dime as he finished his second game against Gambit Gaming and the crowd in the arena – and on the Twitch chat – chanted and spammed his name. This time, it wasn’t sarcastically, because the rookie had just put up a 1-4-15 game to help Team ROCCAT claim their first win in the split.
– I didn’t know the crowd was chanting my name until we actually finished the game and I was already high fiving with the crowd, but it actually felt good. I gained some confidence and actually felt really good being there. At that time I didn’t really think about the H2K game.
Steve had received his baptism of fire in a league where he didn’t quite know where he’d fit in beforehand.
– It was a big change for me as a player to go from playing in Challenger to the pro level. I didn’t know my exact level compared to the other top laners in Europe, but now I could see that I can do pretty decent versus them, he says.
How did the team help you get into the LCS tempo? Was there a long adjustment period or did it go smoothly?
– I think the adaptation went pretty fast. Every player on the team is quite open for any discussions and they’re easy to work with. So pretty much as long as I got champions I feel confident and comfortable with, I didn’t have much problems in the games.
”We can be a strong contender”
Last week, Steve and the ROCCAT squad pulled off the greatest upset so far this LCS split, when they took down the ”dream team” Origen and ended their undefeated run. Showing off what they can do when every cog turns, Steve thinks that was an important game for his team.
– We didn’t know what to expect from Origen before the LCS but they showed up as a really strong team. For us, beating them means we can be a strong contender for the playoffs and maybe Worlds. Also, the morale boost was needed going into the next weeks.
Tonight ROCCAT, with a new ADC in the shape of Rasmus ”MrRalleZ” Skinneholm who replaced Paweł ”Woolite” Pruski just the other day, will face SK Gaming and Elements. Two highly important games against teams that have underperformed so far, but ROCCAT won’t take anything for granted.
– Both SK and Elements, even with bad results right now, are teams that can’t be underestimated. We are preparing as much as we did for Fnatic and Origen, but on paper those matches should be a bit easier. But hey, it’s the European LCS, anything can happen, Steve says.
And he should know by now.