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The Team Liquid-Splyce match was considered an automatic win for North America. Yet, Europe’s final push to victory at the 2018 NA-EU Rift Rivals event began with Fnatic’s predicted win over 100Thieves and was surprisingly continued by Splyce, who had not won a game at the tournament in the group stage.

After Splyce’s upset of Team Liquid and Europe’s tournament victory, we caught up with Splyce mid laner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer to discuss his brief return to North America, the state of Splyce, and EU versus NA. 

You’re back in North America, albeit briefly. How has the Rift Rivals experience been overall?

Personally, I felt like I learned a lot this tournament compared to some players because you just play against a lot of different styles and NA is kind of passive as a style as well. Playing against a new style is just, you learn a lot more from them. For me, I’m just trying to improve as much as possible and that’s it.

Did Splyce have any time to practice against different NA teams in scrims in addition to the stage matches?

Yeah we came Monday, I think. We had Monday off because of jet lag, you know. And then we scrimmed Tuesday and Wednesday and yeah that’s it, two days of scrims. Actually kind of one day of scrims really since we had stuff on Tuesday, and that was kind of— I won’t say it was a lot, but at least we got scrims against different teams and that was pretty cool, to scrim against NA teams.

What did you think of the strength of NA?

(laughs) I just feel like NA, they’re worse mechanically compared to Europe. I don’t know if that comes from solo queue because they’re learning on 60 ping. That’s like impossible.

Yeah you had to deal with that last year.

Yeah, when I came to NA I felt like, it’s not that I was getting worse, but it was really hard to train champions in solo queue because you don’t play at their full potential because you have 60 ping, you know? It’s just like NA as a region, they have worse macro, worse mechanics, maybe the only thing they have is— it’s not simply being more passive but they make fewer mistakes I would say. They don’t deceive you or solo lose the game or something like that because they usually play like a team and not solo plays. Europe is a lot more solo kills, just solo stuff in general.

Splyce as a team had a rough start in Europe, the week before you came to Rift Rivals won both matches, struggled in the group stage of Rift Rivals, and then pulled out a clutch victory over Team Liquid in the Rift Rivals finals. Talk me through what’s going on in the team right now.

Basically we thought that we would do well against NA teams at first because we knew that they would play passive in a way and that’s kind of our style, we like to play a slow game and stuff like that. But once we went onstage, we just didn’t play our style. We played randomly. We didn’t make anything happen and it just snowballed from there, first game, second game, third game, were all really bad from us. We just lost and forgot how to play the game, I guess. At least today we could get the win and show that we were, I won’t say that we’re better than Team Liquid, but just good as a team.

Your draft was really strong against Team Liquid, especially with the pushing Heimerdinger bottom lane that allowed Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir to focus a bit more on top side. Talk me through the team game plan going up against Team Liquid.

So basically I think that we had the choice of the first pick, and since we played them a few days ago we picked Zoe and we knew that they would pick Irelia into it. We knew that they would kind of pick the same stuff. I told our coach that even if Pobelter picks Irelia I will still get the push on lane because he plays really passive so there’s no way he wins the lane. Then we just got the better jungler, better mid laner, and went for the Heimer. I know that Doublelift really hates it and that NA cannot really play against it because they haven’t been playing it themselves. They picked Lucian and we knew that the game, I won’t say it was won, but we knew we had a really good shot. Then we just played the early game well. We were all ahead in laning phase and jungle. We just won the game by playing our style.

The Zoe-Irelia matchup is something we’ve seen in other regions as well with mixed results. Why do you think teams are still picking Irelia into Zoe?

I feel like it’s more of a comfort pick maybe? Irelia/Sejuani is not a bad 2v2 for example, so there’s that and they tried to match us but we still had the better 2v2. I knew that they would pick it since there wasn’t much else they could pick into it. It was just a free Zoe for us.

Heading back to Europe, what has your team learned and what are your expectations for your first week back in EU LCS?

Well, we’re playing Fnatic first so that’s going to be tough. Then I think we have Schalke the next day. If we just play our games— if we win or lose it’s because of ourselves not because the enemy is playing insanely good. This has been our issue for the past month and even last split when we were losing it was because of us and not because of our enemy. I think we should be doing fine. We got a lot of experience in NA.

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