SEMPHIS aims to secure a new organization by helping the team retain their spot in EPL
Dust2.us' very own Michael "Duck" Moriarty caught up with Kory "SEMPHIS" Friesen ahead of ex-Splyce's opening bout against Swole Patrol to get his thoughts on their recent roster changes, their performance in EPL and online, and their recent separation from Splyce.
So you're coming to the relegation tournament for ESL Pro League, what are your goals and expectations for the upcoming games?
I mean we're hoping just to just win two best-of-threes and keep our spot, so we're pretty optimistic that we can at least beat everyone here. It's not impossible for us to lose, we haven't really played a lot with Rickeh, and after we finally got Rickeh to join we've only played with him for half a day and didn't really get a lot of practice.
At the end of the season you had to bring Rickeh in for a multitude of reasons, how much of a negative effect does that have for the entirety of the team having to bring in another player and teach him the tactics and the strats and everything around the game?
We didn't show him everything because when you've never actually scrimmed it'll just be a detriment to run your strats. Obviously the ones that are easier to run it's easy to just stick them in, but for some of the more complicated ones you kinda need to scrim a couple of times to really get the flow of how everything works.
We didn't show him all of those, so we're gonna be a little bit more basic than we probably normally would have been, but these aren't top ten teams in the world so skill-wise, as long as everyone is playing well, we should be able to grind out these maps just with good comms and communication and stuff.
Your league season wasn't the best showing you've had for a while, could you talk me through the general issues you had during the season, or was it a sense of you just weren't lucky in games?
Obviously there's a little bit of luck in Counter-Strike where there's a couple of games we realistically should have won, and we kinda just threw the lead or lost some crucial rounds that we shouldn't have. Most of it was just like... I mean I don't know what to say, we got a sixteen-year-old player that had never played even playoffs in Premier, so there was a lot of teaching of fundamentals and stuff.
It takes a lot of resources away from other mistakes that are being made to make sure that your new player is being developed properly, and... it was just one of those things where he developed too slowly for some of the better competition. Like I said, there was a bunch of games we definitely could have won, and I think if we had Rickeh at the start we wouldn't be here right now.
In your first game you will be playing eUnited or Swole Patrol, that game is still going on so we're not sure who it'll be. Are you prepared for both matchups, just in case?
Yeah, we scrimmed versus both. Not as much versus eUnited, but Swole Patrol. The one downside of scrimming someone is they kinda know your tendencies, but they haven't really played us with Rickeh. It's a double-edged sword — we don't have a lot of stuff, but it also changes the way that we play. Since we scrimmed them so much it won't be as easy for them to be able to counter us because they've never played against us versus Rickeh, but we've played versus them.
Everyone is gonna have little tricks up their sleeve for this tournament, but we've prepared for both. We have an analyst with notes and stuff, so we have a general idea of their best maps and strats they like to run.
Before the relegation tournament your organization let you go. Are you still contracted with them, or did they just let you go?
Yeah they just dropped us completely.
Okay, so contracts are dead. How much of a negative impact does that have on your team for the next season or so, since you won't be with an organization?
Well it's not that hard to find an organization if you have a Pro League spot, so I don't think anyone is really worried about that. It's more just getting the spot back, that's the main concern. The org will come, and to be quite frank, hopefully they care more than Splyce did.
Were they just not giving you enough resources to organize your team?
I was gonna make my own video eventually, explaining in more detail, but essentially I was promised to be able to buy players multiple different times. Not to talk shit about XotiC but... I mean, we didn't really want to pick up a sixteen-year-old unproven player to play Pro League with.
I do think eventually he can be developed into a good player, but it's a big gamble and a lot of risk. In a sport you can pick someone up, you don't assume they're gonna become the best player in the sport right? You just hope they become a good player. We had a bunch of good players to choose from already.
I know some people say "oh washed up players, whatever" but you still know what you're gonna get. With a young player, yeah he could turn out to be the next "best thing", but if he doesn't, then it's really bad.
Outside of ESL Pro League, you're not competing in ECS, your qualifier results have been patchy at best. What upcoming tournaments or qualifiers are you looking to take part in?
We'll probably play in ECS/FACEIT-type of qualifiers to try to get a spot in their league, which I think they're doing when we get back. I don't know if there's gonna be invites, I know there'll probably be some sort of open qualifier, and probably some invites to the closed qualifier.
I don't know what will happen or what we're gonna get, or if we'll be invited to closed or have to qualify. That'll be the main one that we'd want to qualify for, and the same thing with Pro League. If you have a spot in ECS or a spot in Pro League it makes it a lot easier to get sponsors. You can still play Premier and stuff like that if you don't qualify, but most people don't take Premier super serious if they think they're better.
They try to still scrim the good teams and then try to qualify for DreamHack qualifiers or something. Obviously you want to try to win premier, but you just assume you're going to make the playoffs just based on being the better team or whatever.
ex-Splyce are set to take on compLexity at 6AM EDT as they fight to retain their ESL Pro League spot.