After his successful time with Team SoloMid, Lucas “Santorin” Tao Kilmer Larsen has faced a lot of criticism and obstacles. Even so, he has persevered and continues to strive to prove people wrong and crush the common perception of him that he is a passive Jungler. Fighting his way through the NA Challenger Series, Santorin and his current team Gold Coin United are looking to get back into LCS for the Summer Split. Break The Game’s Natsu talked to Santorin about his current team, his brief stint on NRG Esports and his plans for the future:
Natsu: You will be playing in the NA Challenger Series throughout the Spring Split. How confident are you in your team that you’ll be able to make it to the LCS?
Santorin: I am pretty confident in making it back into the LCS with my current team. I think we have a very strong lineup, but we have had some issues finding our identity for communication and playstyle. The last few days we’ve been doing a lot better at identifying the way we want to play the game and I expect huge progress within the next weeks so heading into playoffs we should look very dominant.
N: What’s your opinion of your teammates so far? Do you guys all get along?
S: I am happy with my teammates so far. We have not been doing too well in the Challenger Series so far, but we’re staying motivated and only working harder every week which is all I want from my teammates.
N: Which team do you think will be your biggest opponent in the Challenger Series and why?
S: I think EUnited and Tempostorm are our two opponents in the Challenger series. I think they both have potential to become strong teams as well, but I do expect us to be the strongest team heading into playoffs.
N: I know this is a subject you don’t want to talk about but can you tell me what went wrong with NRG Esports in Summer of 2016? Why was the team never able to ramp up and improve even though there were glimmers of hope?
S: I think back on NRG there were a few players who didn’t feel like playing anymore or had a hard time dedicating their time to focusing on improving so we ran into a lot of issues. I personally felt like I developed a lot as a player and caught up on a lot of shot calling responsibilities etc, but in the end we sadly didn’t pull through.
N: You’ve been on a number of teams. Which team did you enjoy your time with them most?
S: I am not sure what team I enjoyed playing on the most. I personally liked Team Coast a lot because my teammates and I were extremely good friends and we had a lot of good moments but we didn’t have much success sadly. I would put TSM as my most enjoyable team mainly because we had a lot of success and I value success/winning over anything else since that’s the main goal of being a pro player.
N: The most common criticism you receive as a player is that you’re too passive and you don’t have enough impact. Why do you think that is and how are you planing to prove people wrong coming into 2017?
S: I don’t think I am a passive and not so impactful player. I do agree I had moments on TSM where I didn’t do as much as I could have and I had a hard time engaging on jungle champions but I have put that behind me a long time ago and I don’t think I have any of those issues anymore. I have developed a lot as a player since the TSM days and whenever I see a comment like “santorin ward” or something like that, I only smile and laugh knowing I am certainly not anything near that anymore.
N: You participated in the 2015 World Championship. How was your experience at Worlds? Do you miss being on the international stage?
S: I definitely miss attending worlds and I regret not playing better during that time. I feel like if I had another opportunity to play on an international stage I could gain back a lot of the respect I used to have on TSM during the Katowice days where I played extremely well. If I was put up on a stage like that again, I would not be as scared/nervous and I would be able to play way better. It’s just hard as a rookie player to attend such a giant event where you have to play against the best teams in the world.
N: What are your goals coming into 2017? Personal and team-wise.
S: My main goal is obviously to get back in the LCS team-wise. For personal goals, I definitely want to keep improving on my shotcalling/leadership and grow into an even stronger player. I think playing in the Challenger Scene allows me to work on those goals quite effectively. So as long as I put in maximum effort, I feel like I can achieve those goals.
N: Do you idolize any players?
S: I don’t think I idolize any players but I certainly look at other junglers to see what they do better than me so I can improve as a player. I especially put my attention towards Peanut but I don’t think I specifically idolize him, I do think he’s the best jungler in the world as of now though.
N: Any final words or shoutouts?
S: I would like to thank all my fans for supporting me, and having such a supportive family and great friends also makes it a lot easier and it means the world to me! I will start streaming again as much as I can, but I do have to prioritize success in the Challenger scene so it won’t be as frequent as I would like.
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