Last weekend, EXCEL announced that two players from their BT EXCEL roster would join the main LEC squad. With these changes, EXCEL has seen a new surge of life going into the second half of the split. After beating G2 in their first stage game, and an impressive 2-2 result, we sat down with EXCEL’s new jungler Mark “Markoon” van Woensel to hear
Markoon talks to us about his transition to the LEC, his experiences on BT EXCEL, what it was like facing G2 and if he expects to break the EXCEL curse and make playoffs.
Below is the transcript of the interview. The bold text are our questions, while the standard text is Markoon’s answers.
To start off, commiserations for [the loss to Fnatic]. It felt like a very back and forth game, you had some really good team fights especially but the game didn’t go in your favour. How was the game for you, how do you feel after it?
I feel like this was a game of inches, which again we lost on the inches. I think it just came down to the team fight execution again. We made some macro mistakes, they made some macro mistakes so in the end it just came down to the team fights. I think we are mis-executing the team fights and so we’re losing them.
I think the big question for you, you moved up from BT EXCEL to the main roster just last weekend. Its safe to say EXCEL was struggling, but you get the 2-0 weekend and beat G2. How has the transition been for you?
Yeah, I have to give a little credit to Henk, Advienne. I think the fact we came in as two made everything a lot easier, because when you come in as one it’s harder to make changes, the team identity doesn’t really change. When you change with two, especially with two vocal players like me and [Advienne], we get more of how we want to play. Coming with [Advienne] just made everything easier to adapt to the new team.
That’s nice to hear, jungle and support naturally have a lot of synergy which probably helped as well. For you personally, how did it feel to get the 2-0 last weekend? Beating someone like G2 must have been a great feeling.
It obviously felt amazing you know. I had to keep my head on the ground a bit, and not fly away from Earth. I knew after the 2-0 week we were going to get hyped a lot, but I also knew that we aren’t bad, but we aren’t good either. We’ve only played for 2 weeks, which you can see now in these games we have some things we need to work on. I knew there was going to be a little bit of overhyping, but at the time I was just happy to have won 2 games.
One thing I’m interested in, you came into a very tough schedule in G2, Vitality, Mad Lions and Fnatic. When you’re coming in halfway through a split, how do you mentally prepare for going against those sorts of teams?
I think you just have to not care to be honest. If you focus too much on who you’re playing [against], the players, the big names you’re against its just going to get into your head. I basically just had the mentality that I don’t really care who I’m playing, I’m just going to play my game and not focus too much on our opponents.
Would you say your time on NLC has helped be in this environment? NLC is very competitive, so has that been a good step, does it show that the grassroots is working?
I think BT EXCEL was just nice, the team was very comfortable, willing to improve and open minded. It was a great environment to work and improve in. I wouldn’t say NLC was the best, but getting to EU Masters definitely helped a lot in preparing for the LEC, playing games under pressure and stuff. I definitely give more credit to EU Masters.
You’ve gone 2-2 since yourself and Advienne moved up onto EXCEL, so what things are going right, and what do you look to improve on in the coming weeks?
First of all, we just need to clean up our gameplay a little bit. It’s kind of obvious only having 2 weeks together, not having a lot of scrims, that things are going to be messy so we really need to focus on that. So far, I just think the aggressive playstyle I and [Advienne] are bringing is helping the team a lot.
Everyone is very happy with how we have been playing so I think that has been working for us. I think team fights we need to work on, again it comes down to having only two weeks, having limited synergy with each other. We’re going to put extra focus on it to make sure our team fighting is top notch by the end of next week, or two. I feel like that’s where we’re mainly dropping our games at this point.
I wondered how you’re feeling about the jungle meta at the minute. Obviously, it’s seen a lot of changes, even within the last few patches. Do you think the fact the meta is so open is helping you feel more comfortable in draft?
I think I enjoy the jungle meta a lot. I think Riot has got a nice balance. There is still farming, but there is also more ganking champions, it’s not either extreme. I think they did a good job of that, and personally, I just like the champions that are being played in the jungle right now. They’re fun to play – Diana, Veigo, Lee Sin – a little bit of montage [champions] which you can play. It’s just fun to play these champs, so I’m happy the jungle meta is like this.
I want to look to next week, you’ll be facing off against Misfits and SK. Misfits started so well, but have had a 0-2 week, and SK has really struggled to find their footing. How are you guys feeling going into that?
We’re just going to be focusing on ourselves mainly. Misfits, I think even though they went 0-2, I still think they’re a very strong team. SK, it’s hard to underestimate them because they have shown a lot of potentials. We can never underestimate our opponents, and we’re just going to be focusing on ourselves. Let’s see, I’m not sure how next week will go. We’ll probably go 2-0 if we play well, we go 0-2 if we play bad, it’s quite simple.