paiN: Kami: "It's not possible to invest in an unstable scene"
One of the first breakthrough players in the Brazilian scene who topped the ladders in both Season one and two has been kind enough to sit down with us and talk about the infrastructural issues in the Brazilian scene as well as the team's future and retrospective of their attempted road to Worlds. Kami withholds a lot of responsibilities for the team and shows remarkable play even at the young age of 17.
Gabriel "Kami" Santos had originally done the interview with GosuGamers in Portuguese, and the original interview will be available in the near future.
To begin, I’d like for you to introduce yourself to our community and tell us a bit about your career in e-sports.
Hi Guys! I’m Gabriel, 17 years old and I’ve been playing League of Legends for 4 years, 2 of them competitively, where I played my first LAN event at IEM São Paulo 2012. Never changed my team, I always played for paiN Gaming.
In the first year with its own server, the Brazilian scene has grown absurdly, being able to host two major international events and having seen two Brazilian teams representing the country at an important tournament. With this, Brazil began to gain ground from foreign media. Could you tell us a little about the Brazilian scene and what, in your opinion, your country still needs to be able to compete against strong foreign teams?
Well firstly teams need to be more professional. Everybody says that we need more investments, however it's not possible to invest in an unstable scene, with a lot of teams that end suddenly and reappear later. It's really necessary to have investments, but it's also necessary that teams take it even more seriously. However this does not completely depend on the players, because in Brazil a lot of players can't dedicate themselves completely to the game and this is definitely a problem for them.
To Brazilian teams, the S3 ended after BGL Arena #2, where you guys were able to get the bronze medal. What is the retrospective for you, individually, and for your team from 2013?
Our performance in Season 3 was great, in my opinion. We won the most important tournament of the year in Brazil, and we travelled abroad twice for two big tournaments: IEM Hannover and Wild Card International and even though we didn't get first place in any of them, the experience we got was very valuable. We hope to have an even better year in 2014.
Thanks to the Brazilian championship title, you guys were able to participate in a qualification for S3WC. In this tournament your team got second place after losing to ex-GamingGear. What, in your opinion, did paIN lack to be able to qualify for S3WC? And why didn’t you guys focus your bans around the main champions of ex-GG’s play style such as Orianna, Jarvan IV and Renekton?
The night before finals, we were focused on making strategies completely based on our team comps, and we forgot an important fact: the team comp of our opponents and the champions that they were most comfortable with. It was a big mistake and it came back to haunt us in the games, where we had a lot of troubles against the enemy champions. I often say that we lost to GamingGear in the picks, bans and laning phase. We didn't pick teamfights where we could fight in our favor.
Shortly after you guys arrived from the international Wildcard, paiN announced the departure of Espeon and hired Minerva, a player known as a very good Mid Laner. What made you guys choose someone who wasn’t a main support to play in the bot lane? And today, five months after playing, is it possible to say that he is already a true support player?
We choose Minerva, a mid Lane player, because the level of experience and mechanics of the players that dedicate themselves totally to the role of support in Brazil is not the ideal for competitive play, of course, considering the players that were without a team at the time. We decided that since Minerva has good mechanics and knowledge about the game, we could train him in the support role, and i should say we liked the results a lot. Our champion pool has grown considerably, and we are pleased with the performance of Minerva in the new role, even though he sometimes still thinks he's AP carry, haha.
After the national, your team played other tournaments, however, you weren’t able to win one of great importance, winning only trophies from qualifications. Why wasn’t your team able to repeat your good performance? Has paiN lost a bit of their strength or have other teams have gotten stronger?
Surely our adversaries have improved, but it wasn't for that reason alone. When we got back from International Wildcards, we stayed a long time without a support and when Minerva was finally hired for the team, we didn't train as much as we should. I confess that our training time, and even the dedication to it, was much less than we did in the past and this reflected in the tournaments, where our performance was clearly inferior in comparison to before.
Looking at the Brazilian teams, we can say that there are four teams at the top: yours, CnB, Keyd and KaBuM. In your opinion, who is the main opponent of paiN and why? And what could you say about the other teams, so our community can know a bit about them as well?
I like to say that usually our biggest opponents are ourselves, usually we only lose in Brazil when we make a lot of mistakes and, sadly, this was repeated with a frequency we didn't want at the end of the year. However the other teams are extremely competent and I don't want to disparage them, this is not my intention. CNB have always been our biggest rival and for a long time the finals have been paiN x CNB and because of that, that reputation was created, however we have a lot of respect for every player on CNB. Kabum recently went to China and although their performance wasn't very good, i'm sure they went back to Brazil much more confident with the experience acquired. Keyd didn't show results for some time, but recently they changed some roles and returned very strong. We have to be careful with every team, we can't underestimate them at any time, but we also have to take care of our game and, as i said, do not make mistakes. We will see more of the Brazilian teams in IEM São Paulo 2014.
Recently, Brazil hosted the International Challenger São Paulo, a tournament which Latino teams participated, who recently acquired their own server. We know that in this event there weren’t many games played between you and their teams, but what is your opinion about those foreign opponents? Do you reckon that in S4 Latino teams may cause problems for your team and other Brazilian teams? If you think they may, who are the main opponents from this region?
Latino teams definitely pose a threat. Despite their server being relatively new, many of the players of the teams in that region have played on other servers, some for many years. The Latin scene can only grow with more investments from Riot and it's good for all of us, as the level increases as whole. I think the biggest opponent from there at the moment is Isurus Gaming.
Very recently Turkey, one of the regions you and your team played against in the International WildCard, acquired their own “LCS”. We know that Brazilian teams also dream about their own LCS. Do you think that in 2014, Riot may create LCS here in Brazil? In your opinion, which teams are prepared for it? If Riot doesn’t create this league, what do you think could be done to substitute it?
The dream of every team in Brazil is the LCS, but i think we aren't ready yet. As i said earlier, Brazil lacks professionalism and investments. The problem is that generally, without professionalism there is no investment and without investment there is no professionalism, and then somebody needs to take the first step. I believe that Riot has many surprises for us in 2014 towards the competitive scene, and i'm optimistic about it.
Two Months from now, Brazil will host another edition of the Intel Extreme Masters. This time, it will not have Asian teams, but the tournament will have two LCS teams. Do you think this will be more difficult for the Brazilian teams? What are your expectations for your team in this tournament?
Surely it will be a great challenge for the Brazilian teams, because the teams that come from LCS already have a lot of experience from playing in the most professional league in the world. But that doesn't mean they are unbeatable, anything can happen in this IEM, and i'm looking forward to it.
To Finish, I leave this space for you to make your final messages, as well as shoutouts.
Hoho! Thanks to all who are cheering for us and watching us, you guys are the best! Thanks to paiN and Razer, and we hope to give our best in 2014, you guys can count on that!
Interview & Translation by: Gabriel "gabrielpumba" Melo
Formatting & Editing: Michale "DreXxiN" Lalor
Photo Credit: paiN's Facebook