PowerofEvil: "I’m confident that we can make it to playoffs"

“That’s my goal, to go back to Worlds”

League of Legends's Icon Steven Paul · 18 Jun 2019


Photo via Riot Games

It’s 33:30 into their first game of the weekend, they’re down 5k gold, and yet CLG’s Tristan "PowerofEvil" Schrage and Trevor "Stixxay" Hayes manage to assassinate Apollo’s 2/0/5 Ezreal and turn a Baron power play into a victory. Afterwards I had a chance to sit down with CLG’s star midlaner to discuss the current strength of CLG and why he feels the team is clicking so well right now.

It seems like something is a little different this time around with Ruin in the toplane. What do you feel about CLG right now in the summer split?

POE: It’s a completely different team. We only changed Ruin but the whole team atmosphere is different. We play better as a team, and we play stronger individually as well. We had a bootcamp between both splits in Korea and it felt like be bonded as a team way more than the whole of spring split. It was kinda crazy for me because I didn’t think that could happen, but at the same time it kinda makes sense. When you’re in Korea bootcamping, there’s no distractions. There’s no other games, there’s no friends, there’s no girlfriends, no real family. We’re just playing games 24/7 so I think that really helped us as a team to do together. We just feel way stronger as a team now.

A lot of different teams have different approaches to bootcamps, so what exactly did CLG do during the bootcamp?

We scrimmed against a lot of Korean teams since we have a Korean coach and he had some connections. We actually had some really good scrim partners including some LCK teams.

Which ones?

We scrimmed Jin Air, we scrimmed KT, and we scrimmed a couple academy teams. But these LCK teams were insane. We learned so much from them and improved so much against them that I think scrimming and also solo queue in general just helped us a lot.

Did you win many of the scrims?

*laughs* we won some of the scrims. Not against every team though, some of them were too strong.

Did you beat KT in a scrim?

No KT was actually insane. They were the hardest and they just destroyed us.

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When I look at CLG this summer split it seems like something is different about the mentality of the players. Last spring we saw aggressive teleport plays and turret dives but they didn’t always work out. Now they seem to be working. What do you think the change has been?

I would definitely say we’re more confident in each other. So when we go for a play or go for a call, regardless of who makes that call, we commit to it. We’re more like a unit. Even if it’s a bad call and everyone follows it, then it can turn into a good call. I think a good example was today in our win when we were behind, Apollo walked slightly up without Tahm Kench being next to him and me and Trevor (Stixxay) just both instantly flashed over and blew everything on him. Imagine if only I went for that play and only I flashed over. He would have survived with like 10-20% and I would have just died. It would have looked really bad, like a clown, but since we both went for the call and trusted the call it worked out insane. It was our entire comeback play, getting multiple kills and then the baron. So yeah, things are going really good.

This also sounds like how the CLG roster of 2016 used to explain their playstyle. Do you ever feel any pressure being on CLG, knowing their history and their past success?

Well they definitely have a very successful past, but the past few splits they struggled a lot. I would definitely be really happy bringing them back to the top. First off our goal is playoffs, same as our goal last split. Obviously last split we didn’t reach that goal, but this split I’m confident that we can make it to playoffs and then take it one step at a time. I don’t want to be like, “only first place” or “only top three”, because in my experience if you just take it by steps you’ll be the most successful. Then you don’t really pressure yourself too much. I think top six right now is our goal.

What about your personal goal? You came to NA with OpTic last year, now on CLG. What do you hope to accomplish in NA?

My goal is just to establish myself as a top midlaner. I always felt like just playing LCS is sort of sad, and that every pro has the passion to go to Worlds and all that. First I need to put in the effort and put in the time. Obviously that’s my goal, to go back to Worlds. I already made it there so I’m pretty sure I can make it back there if I manage to do my best.

Do you think this CLG roster is the key to get you to Worlds this year?

I think it’s really hard to tell so early in the split since we’re only in week 3. I think right now we’re really good, even against the top teams. It’s not like a sprint, it’s more of a marathon. It’s all about how we improve week to week and I’m pretty sure if we’re competing against the top teams in week 9 and are playing better then them, then it’s likely we can make it all the way. It’s just so long until then and so hard to tell.

Now you came all the way to North America to play League of Legends in the LCS. Outside of your professional play and your career, what’s the journey been like for you? What are the highlights since you’ve been here?

Well I’ve done a lot of sightseeing. I’ve gone to a couple of the entertainment parks also, I really like Universal! I actually just went with my big brother who visited me last week after my games. It was really fun, we really enjoyed that.

Do you like to go on the rides?

Oh yeah, I really like to go on the rides. I didn’t actually manage to go to Six Flags yet even though I really like roller coasters so I definitely want to go there. Obviously I’ve also checked out the beaches, and Santa Monica Pier. Honestly I just really enjoy LA as a whole.


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