Korean portal Naver has published an interview with our support player Edward "Edward" Abgaryan. In this interview, conducted in the beginning of December by Mike "Noctt" Huh, Edward is talking about the changes our team has undergone in 2014 and shares his thoughts on the PreSeason patch. Below you can find an English version of this interview.
Noctt: Hello, Edward! Please introduce yourself to Korean fans.
Edward: Hello, Korea! My name is Edward Abgaryan and you used to know me as "GoSu Pepper", but my current nickname is Edward. I play support for Gambit Gaming.
I've been living in Russia since I was very young, but I'm from Armenia and my parents are 100% Armenian! I started playing League of Legends in 2009. Initially, I didn't aim to play competitively, but ended up doing it anyway.
Noctt: How is the team doing? Are you already preparing for IEM and LCS?
Edward: We started our team practice around one month ago. We had a good start until we discovered that we had some problems that we had to work on, but we managed to solve them, so we are doing fine now. We practice every day to be ready for IEM Cologne (December 18 - 21) and for an upcoming LCS Split. Personally, I play League around 12 - 14 hours every day.
Noctt: You had several roster changes over the course of 2014. What are your thoughts about it?
Edward: Yeah... It is pretty sad that we had to change our roster a few times and it is really hard to get the same synergy with all the players on the same level as with our original line-up. But every team is undergoing changes, because some players lose motivation to play, don't want to play competitively anymore or they just got tired of it and want a break. I hope we will do a good job in LCS next year, since we are trying really hard.
Noctt: Let's move on to talk about the game. There are lots of changes in the PreaSeason patch. What do you think is the reason Ryze is not played in the top lane anymore? What's the main change concerning this lane?
Edward: Indeed, patch 4.20 is pretty big and there are some huge changes. People stopped playing Ryze at all, nobody even plays him in SoloQ. All of his spells got nerfed and he deals significantly less damage. But he is still good in mid/late game when he gets some items. But right now you need some presence in every lane, because early game became much more important, you need to control Drakes very well to increase your chances of winning a game. Besides, there is a new champion in the top lane! Gnaaaaaaaaaaaar! He is really powerful and he became a priority pick for most of the teams. Balance changes aside, his addition itself made a huge difference.
Noctt: Do you think any new champions can become popular in the top lane? Any chance we could see Renekton or Gankplank?
Edward: Meta is shifting very fast right now. I'm pretty sure there are more viable champions for the top lane, but no one has discovered them yet. We'll find out as time goes on.
Noctt: Jungle as a whole was an aspect of the game that changed the most. What does your team make of these changes?
Edward: Personally, I like the jungle changes, because you can't just farm jungle all the time anymore, since camp respawn is way longer and Smite system seems to be really interesting. I played a couple of games in the jungle on 4.20 patch and it was very fun :) My teammates also feel good about this patch, and I think this patch fits out team very well.
Since jungle became a bit more difficult at early levels, only sustain junglers are doing very good (Warwick and Fiddle). Most melee junglers have to recall more frequently to restore their health. Also, there is more room in the jungle for ranged champions. For example, Twisted fate and maybe even Ezreal. I've seen people playing Lulu and Vayne in the jungle in SoloQ :D It can work in certain circumstances.
Noctt: Do you think that Dragon provides more snowball potential now?
Edward: I think it is a bit easier to snowball games with new Drake. Even though they provide no gold, their buffs are really strong and that's what helps you to close out games faster. And for now it is easier to get them by juggling aggro, but I've heard it will get nerfed next patch and Drake will just murder everyone.
Noctt: Is there a chance champions like Amumu, Xin Zhao and Shaco will be used in the competitive scene?
Edward: Right now every ranged champion with good AA and some CC or just good sustain can be really good in the jungle. Good example is Xin - he has healing on his W, charge+slow and a knock-up, and at level 6 he can push enemies away. But champions like Xin are hindered by the fact that they have an all-in style of play. You jump in and you are either dead or you get a kill :) I think there are a lot of good jungle champions to play, but people won't try a lot of things and will play regular stuff. After all, it all comes down to execution.
Noctt: Let's transition into the bot lane. Why are Ezreal and Corki getting so popular? Why don't we see Kog'Maw anymore?
Edward: Corki has already been really popular, but I'm not sure about Ezreal as he is still the same. It is more like people stopped playing Kog'Maw and Tristana due to nerfs and you don't need hyper carry ADC in game that much anymore. As a result, people started using Ezreal. He is a bit more safe to play, because you can get jungle camp before you go to lane and get level 2 ASAP and it is harder to punish him for his early weaknesses. Moreover, it is hard to play Kog, when assassins are really popular.
Inven: Janna doesn't seem to be that good right now. What is the reason?
Edward: Janna is still very good :)
Noctt: Last season you tried playing champions like Kennen and Amumu. Do you have any secret weapons this time around?
Edward: I played a lot of weird stuff like Amumu, Gragas and Kennen, but it doesn't work very well every time and all what you need right now is consistency. That's why people play a lot of Janna and Nami. But I am pretty sure that I will pick up something new!
Noctt: Right now assassins are really popular in the mid lane. Do you think TF or Viktor can be used competitively as well?
Edward: TF and Viktor are the kind of champions that you pick after enemy team picked their own midlaner and I think we will see these champions, but not as much as you would want to.
Noctt: We have a couple of questions from fans. Your former ADC "Genja" sometimes opted for weird item builds. What was your reaction when he itemized this way?
Edward: True, I didn't always agree with his builds, but he is a very smart player and he does the math behind his builds. He always aims to do more damage and have a higher impact in different scenarios. It was great playing with him.
Noctt: Is there a chance you could play another role in Gambit?
Edward: I think not, at least not in the near future. I'm playing support right now and I feel good about it, even though I used to 'hate' supports xD One day I might become the best ADC in the World though. Just need a great support like myself to crush other bot lanes :)
Noctt: What was the reason you guys had a tough time last season?
Edward: Indeed, last season was incredibly hard for us, because we had so many roster changes and we couldn't stick with the same players for a long time. That's the main reason. Overall, that season was pretty unlucky for us.
Noctt: Thank you for your time! Do you have any shout-outs to your Korean fans?
Edward: I'm not really close to Korean fans, because not many of them come to my stream or my Facebook page to talk with me. But I'm really happy that we have a lot of fans in Korea, because Korea is the best region :) and I'm pretty sure Korean fans are great and I'm looking forward to coming to Korea one day to meet all of you :) Thank you for all your support and for respecting us for what we have done.
Feel Free to come to my Facebook page and chat with me or just come to my Twitch and talk with me live when I'm streaming.