“Usually I'm the shotcaller and I want to be as well.”
During a Twitch live event organized by GiantX with Sheep Esports in december, we had the opportunity to welcome an exceptional guest, plunging viewers into the heart of the competitive League of Legends universe. At the heart of our discussions was an interview with Jackies, a promising new talent making his LEC debut. We explored his feelings, expectations and how he stacks up against established players, highlighting the unique journey and challenges of rookies in esports.
| Hello, Jackies. It's very nice to have you. Thank you for coming. Well, so far in all interviews, a big subject has been like bringing a new rookie, you know in LEC. Because there are rookies every year, but usually they play in LFL. They play in big ERLs. You come from Hitpoint Masters, which probably half of the chat don't know what this league is. I'm really curious to see how you will play. How do you feel about it? Were you expecting to come in LEC? Are you afraid of other players in LEC?
Jackies: "I mean, for sure this year I didn't expect to go to LEC, right. But it's a big step from the Czech League. I feel like I skipped a lot of steps, not to lie. Usually, people go LFL, LVP. Turkey or something. But I skipped a lot of steps, not going to lie. Even my failure in EU masters at once as well. But yeah, I mean, I'm excited. I wouldn't say I'm scared of other players. We had some scrims and I don't see that much of a difference. Of course, there's a big difference, but I think I can step up pretty easily, and after some time, it shouldn't be a problem, I think."
| Okay, what I'm really curious about is, after the midlaners you were looking at this year, that you wanted to play against one day. Which of the players in LEC would you really like to play against on stage? Do you have any idols in LEC or I don't know...?
Jackies: "I mean, probably the most obvious answer is Caps, right? He is the best and was the best for a long time. Also, Perkz is an interesting one because, when I didn't even play competitive, he was like basically smurfing, right? So probably those two, mainly and of course, Humanoid, I need to win the czech midlane war (laugh). Yeah, probably those three mainly."
| Laure: You talk about all these big names that you will join, of course, in the LEC. But as you started watching the LEC and watching these guys, being not even pro, I'm at your level, just watching the LEC. What does it mean to you knowing that you're going to compete next to these guys next year?
Jackies: "I mean, it's weird that I'm going to be the one that I basically watched two months ago, but, yeah, I can't say much other than I'm really excited. Yeah, I don't really know. I'm still a bit confused about it."
| In your mind, were you hoping to go, LFL maybe to one of those ERLs, like, what was your hope for this offseason? Did you exceed it? I mean, obviously, but to what degree?
Jackies: "I mean, to a bigger degree, not gonna lie, but this year I didn't really expect to even leave Entropiq because, as I can say, I had a peer contract, right? So I was like, oh, looking for my next jungler or something to play. And then my agent is like, Oh, you might go to Excel, by the way. I'm like, oh, well, now what? So I was kind of just confused in the season was actually going to happen. But yeah, it turned out like this, and I'm happy to be here."
| Laure: You said that so far in scrims. I mean, of course you've been playing against not-so-big names, LEC names, because you're one of them now. And you were telling us that it was not that hard for now. We know that scrims and on stage is really difficult, but what has surprised you the most, whether it was difficulties, is that I know that on stage, they were talking about the fact that you communicate really well. I feel like you can't communicate to the same extent when you play against a different caliber of players. So, tell me about these first steps in scrims. And what has surprised you facing up against these other guys?
Jackies: "Probably the speed of the game in a way. The games I played were usually slower. It's like, go here. That's objective. Okay, we fight now. It's like more detailed stuff, actually. Like, the small mistakes matter a lot. If you make a small mistake, it's kind of like, for the next five minutes, you're a bit screwed. But I think I'm good at learning fast, so I don't think that should be a problem for me."
| Interesting. One question I have is, do you think it's smart for Excel to bet on you? Do you think it's good to take a player from a smaller ERL. And do you think there are other players, maybe in the Czech League and other small leagues, that should get a shot at being in the LEC as well?
Jackies: "I mean, of course I would be delusional to say it's not a gamble. Of course, it's a big gamble, right? I don't know if there are other players that also should go LEC, I don't track that many players. I mean, of course, from LFL, LVP. I'm pretty sure there are a lot of midlaners that maybe got jealous of, but I can't even blame them, right? Because for other people, it's kind of random that I joined XL in LEC. I mean, the biggest name I can probably think of that I think will be in LEC next is, I mean, it's not really a rookie but probably Random for sure from the Czech's scene. Because you asked about the Czech's scene, right? From the Czech's scene, for sure. Random. And yeah, I can't think of any names, but that's the number one for me."
| Okay, fascinating. I heard it was considered by some LCS teams before. So fascinating.
| Laure: Something that I want to follow up on about the gamble of choosing a rookie is the relationship that you're going to have with Peach. Because on one side you have a rookie midlaner and on the other side you have an import jungler from Korea who's still learning English and how to communicate. And this is something that we could see last year when he was trying to do something with Abbedagge. So, I want to know how it has been working with Peach? How is the communication going, and what do you think your synergy is going to look like? Because sometimes you have a midlaner that kind of facilitates the jungler. We don't know what the game is going to look like, of course, but what do you anticipate your relationships to be like, and how has it been so far?
Jackies: "I mean, so far it has been pretty good. When I went to the team, I was kind of not scared but worried about going to the team with two Koreans because I never really spoke to one. I know there are a lot of language barriers with some of them. Of course, I heard about Peach and that he has some language barriers as well. But to be fair, I feel like he understands everything. His problem is mainly speaking, but he usually expresses what he needs, so communication is not that big of a problem. So far, I always know what he wants. And for Ignar, I mean, he has almost better English than me (laugh)."
| But are you confident in your ability to communicate with LEC player. You said that the game is really fast. Are you able to match it so far? Do you have to change the way you usually communicate?
Jackies: "So far, I wouldn't say I changed it. I'm still trying to lead the game in a way. Of course, sometimes it's a bit intimidating, and of course, sometimes people take over for me when I actually don't know. But I'm not really changing it. I'm keeping my communication as it was in Entropic, which was kind of trying to lead the game in a way."
| So are you still somewhat a shotcaller with Giantx?
Jackies: "Maybe not for now because the game is like, I'm not used to the game being that fast, but I think I will be anyway because I'm learning kind of fast. But yeah, usually I'm the shotcaller and I want to be as well."
| Laure: On a broadcast perspective, whenever we welcome new players, it's going to be about creating stories, creating narratives and what to expect from these players. What do you want people to know about you? What do you want to be famous for? What is Jackies going to be in the LEC?
Jackies: "I mean, my champ pool; hopefully I hope to pull out some Olaf, Brand or something, but I can't leak, of course (laugh). And probably, like my aggressive playstyle, I would say it's a bit different for other people. I see a lot of midlaners and a lot of players doing stuff by the book, and I'm not really like that. I try to play aggressively and just play for the kills, basically."
| So what's your objective now in the LEC? Do you want to win the finals? Do you want to go to Worlds? Do you want to enforce?
Jackies: "I mean, it's hard for me to say like that. I'm not going to lie. I mean, for me, I will just try my best. But of course I know my teammates, right? I think they are really good, kind of all of them. I think they have high potential, and I know that they missed Worlds twice really close. And now we have Ignar, right, that kind of beat G2 (laught), world champion now basically (laugh). But yeah, they for sure all want to go to Worlds. So I guess I will just follow them, right? And yeah, hopefully make Worlds."
| Which teams do you think will be the main contenders? Which ones will be like the top teams that will prevent you from potentially going towards? Which teams... Are you afraid of any team?
Jackies: "I mean, it has to be G2, right? That's no question there, then, I guess, Fnatic, but I don't know the support at all. I mean, I guess it's been announced already. I don't know...
Jackies: "Yeah, but I don't know him at all. But I assume it's an upgrade because why else would you do it? So probably those two. And there's been a lot of changes now, and I cannot remember them, not going to lie. Maybe Rogue looks kind of strong. It looks pretty decent. They're like almost all the roster, so they look pretty decent."
| And you don't seem to really fear any of them.
Jackies: "Yeah, I don't know. I haven't played against them. I usually judge by playing against them, and I don't want to judge from, let's say, one scrim because the season didn't even start. So, I will have to wait for the stage, and by the player names, I don't know; I feel like, I guess, Heretics, but they have kind of the older roster, not going to lie, but I feel like they still have potential. So probably those four would be the contenders. Maybe I'm forgetting a team, but I don't know."
| Laure: I have one question, because you mentioned stage and official games, and usually when I interview players, especially when they're playing on the LEC stage for the first time, I want to know how it feels for them to play on stage for them and how much of a boost it is.How do you anticipate playing on the LEC stage? Are you excited about this? Are you scared because there is going to be an audience every week, three times per week. What are you the most excited about when it comes to official games?
Jackies: "I mean, I'm really happy that there is going to be a stage game because I actually enjoy playing on stage. I feel like it's like I play better on stage, for me, at least."
| You've played on stage already.
Jackies: "Yeah, I've played on some stages, like one big one, but yeah, I mean, when I play on stage, when I can hear the fans, I don't know if it's like that in LEC studio; maybe I don't know. But when I can hear the fans, it feels good. It actually feels really good. I like to play on the stage."
| Okay, amazing. Do you have another question?
| Laure: I can go for ages because, for me, when I think about League of Legends in Europe, we had decades of really good midlaners in Europe. And I feel like it's mostly what Europe was famous for at least for so many years until Caps, Humanoid, I can say many, many names. Here, coming in as a rookie, knowing that the level of Europe has been falling a bit, what do you think of being one of the new players who can actually revive what used to be the European League of Legends and being part of this.
Jackies: "Yeah, that's a hard question."
| Were you even watching League back then?
Jackies: "Yeah, I mean a bit, not much. But yeah, I think it can get better. I hope maybe I can be the change, or maybe not. Maybe yes, but I hope for it to be right. And I think the EU should rise at some point. Again, I think there are a lot of good players that still have it and yeah, even when you can see from the ERLs, like LFL, LVP, like, let's say Caliste, right. He got kind of unlucky by because of the "18-year-old rule" not gonna lie, but I think that guy can also be a big change for LEC right. So, there's for sure some players that can step it up."
| Yeah, I hope so.
| Laure: Last question. Are they being nice to you?
Jackies: "I've heard some stuff, but yeah, I mean, so far they've been nice. So, everything's perfect."
| Okay, well, thank you, Jackie, for coming. That was really interesting. I wish you the best in the LEC and I will be watching you.
Jackies: "Thank you!"