Coming off the back of a successful UKLC Spring split and a fighting performance in the European Masters, we speak to Diabolus Esports top-laner Kerberos on his thoughts on the split and hopes for Forge of Champions.
Diabolus defied expectations to finish the regular season of the LVPUK UKLC Spring split in first place ahead of LEC academies Fnatic Rising and Excel UK. A playoff final against Fnatic unfortunately proved to be a step too far for Diabolus as they were swept 3-0. Kerberos was rightfully pleased with their overall performance across the split:
“The expectation was that top 2 would always go to the academy teams. Finishing 1st in the regular split and 2nd in playoffs was an absolute surprise, as my pre-season goal was merely to establish ourselves as the best non-academy team”.
Kerberos described how he “got gradually more confident after the weeks went by”, where Diabolus saw their play and results improve throughout the split, particularly against the academy teams from whom they took 4 wins in 8 games in the regular season.
“We were losing to both academy teams in the early weeks but every time we played the games got closer. My viewpoint changed from the beginning of the split where they felt like unbeatable titans that would hold the tower every week, to seeing them as just another UK team except with a bit more resources”.
On the final in particular, Kerberos felt that “there are lots of things we should have done differently” which could’ve led to a more positive result, adding that “our preparation versus them was fine, we just lost confidence on the day and all the teamplay we had been fine-tuning for so many weeks unraveled a bit. I also think they stepped up as a team and really started showing what they should have been playing like all split, so well played to them”.
“I’m super happy overall with 2nd. Of course first would be better, and of course I’m sad about our playoffs performance against Fnatic. But looking at the season as a whole it was super successful and qualifying for EUM over one of the academy teams makes it hard not to be happy”.
Diabolus went on to provide a fighting display in the European Masters Play-In stage, taking 3 wins from 6 games in the group stage including a victory over holders MAD Lions. A best of 3 against France’s Misfits Premier proved too big an obstacle for Diabolus as they crashed out in a swift 2-0 loss.
“Our Play-In performance was a bit similar to our UKLC performance, to be honest. We had some amazing games where we took control and strangled the enemy out of the game, but, similarly to in the UKLC, faltered at the end versus Misfits and ended up with a weak performance in our final games. Having lost in a similar fashion to both Fnatic and Misfits definitely exposed a lot of our weaknesses though and gave us good idea of what to work on for the future”.
Kerberos proceeded to highlight Misfits’ top-laner as one that he was pleased to have contended with, explaining how he was “pretty happy to play vs Dan Dan as I think we have super similar playstyles in the top lane, but he is much cleaner at it than me. Yoppa [MAD Lions top-laner] was also of course fun to play versus as he epitomizes playing on the edge, something I’ve learned from Hansen [Diabolus coach] that all players should aspire to do (though you have to learn to be careful not to overstep the boundaries too often!)”.
We will next see Diabolus compete in next month’s Forge of Champions finals, however Kerberos will also be hoping for of the Rift success with his current personal studies:
“Right now, my focus is on university. I’m in my final year, currently writing my dissertation and after that I go straight into exams. My hopes are that we can keep up the level of play that we proved we are capable of because I don’t want to let myself or the team down because of distractions”.
“We are taking a small, but deserved, break. The split has been super intense and we went straight into playoffs from regular split and then straight into EU Masters Play-Ins after that. However, Forge is the next target for our conquest so expect us to be prepared by the time it comes around”.
“Next split is where the real fun begins”.
Article by Lee ‘Couple Sodi Pops’ Jones