Following a busy year starting in the challenger series, reaching a dream play-off finals against Fnatic and ending in a gruelling gauntlet, we caught up with our toplaner, Paul “sOAZ” Boyer, to discuss both his and Origen’s year so far.

Thinking back to when you left Fnatic, how easy or hard was it to move to Origen?

It wasn’t actually that difficult. The new season was very close to starting after I left Fnatic so I didn’t have that many choices. Also, I pretty much knew the Origen team. We weren’t sure who the ADC was going to be, either Tabzz or Niels, but I knew it was going to be a good team, so I had the choice between finding a new organization and probably missing the spring split or joining Origen.

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Last split at Fnatic before joining Origen

Did you ever doubt your decision or even start thinking that you might not qualify for LCS before the spring split started?

No I never really thought about it. I was just concentrated on the games, same as if it was the LCS. You think about qualifying, but otherwise you try not to think about doubting or questioning yourself as much as possible. You just focus on the games and try to practice.

So you then end up in the challenger series. How was the transition from playing with the best in Europe to emerging teams?

There wasn’t actually a huge difference. As we were a new team, even if we had good players, our level like all other new teams started from scratch. We had different individual levels, but as the meta back then was also very much focused on teamplay, there wasn’t actually a huge difference.

And how did you find the formation of Origen as a team, such as putting in a new structure?

It was a bit hard to being with as with a new team and a new structure, there weren’t necessarily the same resources as in a more stable organization. Therefore it required a lot of patience. At the start, xPeke looked after quite a bit of the company structure, as he still does so if we’ve got any concerns we can always ask him, but still as a small organisation it’s a case of being more patient if we need anything.

So you join Origen and end up in Tenerife. What was the lifestyle like compared to Berlin and the LCS?

It wasn’t necessarily more relaxing, we were quite far away from everything around us, similar to now in Berlin, but life wasn’t that much more different apart from there as more sun!

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Origen’s early days, under the baking sun

Looking back at the challenger series finals, did it feel as important and as nerve racking as other finals?

It was more stressful to qualify for LCS than anything else! During the series, we had some matches that were honestly more stressful than it was playing against Fnatic in the play-off finals. Against, Fnatic, we were the underdogs and nobody really expected us to perform, whereas in challenger everyone expected us to win which adds more pressure.

How was it getting back into the LCS?

We call came into the season with different goals, and obviously the team’s objective was to try to qualify for the play-offs. My personal objective was to play in the finals which we ended up doing vs Fnatic which made it even better. We lost but it was very close. I was kind of happy. We were happy that it was so close vs Fnatic but as it 3-2 we were still a bit upset that we didn’t win. But getting back into the LCS was fine, no problems.

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Standing proud and ready for Fnatic

And how do you feel that Origen performed throughout the season?

We performed well. When we started the split, the community, be it on Twitter or Reddit didn’t necessarily think that we’d finish top two. People had us down as a top four or top five team. Basically more of a middle team than a top one. So overall I’m happy that we exceeded expectations.

How did it feel then being back in the LCS but with a different team?

It was actually really pleasant to play in a new team as you get to meet new people and learn how to play and live with them. I really enjoy that side of things, learning how they play, the different styles and mentalities they bring to the team, making the whole environment very refreshing. So to begin with it’s really pleasant and then eventually once you know how everyone works then five or six months later it became the norm for me. I learnt a lot from playing with new players.

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New team, new mentality, new style

What are your thoughts on Fnatic? 

They are a better team since getting Rekkles back. I think they are a really good team, they also have difficulties like every other team, their strength is that that they don’t need to win a certain lane like TSM. So if Bjergsen has an off day, as the play-maker and shot caller, if he falls behind, the whole team does. However looking at Fnatic, they have a really strong top, mid and bot lane so they have a much easier time

Do you think Fnatic have a good chance at worlds?

They will pass groups and then it depends. I think Fnatic have a chance to make it to the world finals , 50/50 in semis but I don’t think they will win the tournament. It’s a bit like before worlds every team is starting from scratch and then it’s the team that can adapt the most to the new meta and patches.

With the new patch 5.16, how do you think this will affect the game during worlds?

Top lane won’t change much, we might see a bit of Fiora. The bot lane will change with Mordekaiser. Jungle might change a bit but otherwise not too much.

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Soaz planning ahead (art by Sandpenguin)

Do you think we will see Mordekaiser at worlds?

I think he will be OP if he isn’t nerfed beforehand.

How optimistic are you going into worlds?

Again, it depends, really depends on the group stages. With our seed, we’re probably going to end up against two huge teams so it will be really hard as we need a top two finish.

What do you plan on doing  for your break after worlds?

I’m not really sure what I’m going to be doing as I don’t know what our schedule is, but I want to go back and spend time with my family in France.

Any messages for the fans?

Thank you for all your support once again throughout the season.

 

Posted by Will Kelly – @willokelly. Images from flickr – Riot Esports. Art by Sandpenguin.

73 comments
Jani Rintamäki
Jani Rintamäki

Maxwell Alvarado Well the thing is people aren't overhypeing asians, they pretty much ARE gods in gaming and the amount of mistakes they do is so damn low.

Maxwell Alvarado
Maxwell Alvarado

You say it as if its wrong for western fans to be excited by the fact we have our first chance to win worlds since season 1. After that the asian scene has dominated the gameing world. And now for the first time in a LONG time, westerners might finnally win worlds. Is it so wrong to hope and dream?

Maxwell Alvarado
Maxwell Alvarado

lets also be realistic, people disgustingly over hype asians teams as if they were gameing gods that can do no wrong. Are they better? sure. Unbeatbale? No.

Tiago Marques
Tiago Marques

Ludde Johansson You talk the same UOL beat TSM in IEM ? ^^

Baptiste La Gouygue
Baptiste La Gouygue

Dude, You've sent C9 at worlds, remember the 3rd place match with Malphite vs Sion? Is that NA LCS? Madison square garden didn't deserve that. Maybe during the split, but not in play-offs I'm sorry dude.

Baptiste La Gouygue
Baptiste La Gouygue

Ils ont fait un bon early avec la première game contre les UOL, ou Reignover était super actif sur les ganks. Ils faut qu'ils travaillent des games comme ça pour les Worlds.

Thomas Pietrement
Thomas Pietrement

Pour ce qui est du problème d'early game il devrait être réglé en partit avec leur bootcamp , certe ce ne sera pas parfait comme une équipe de corée mais leur seul point faible sera en partit réglé , Fnatic à un meilleur late game que les coréens donc tous se joueras en early si il passe l'early sans trop de snowball fnatic à 70% de chance de gagné chaque game même contre des coréen qui joue très peu de longue game .

Thomas Pietrement
Thomas Pietrement

Fnatic à fait un très mauvais BO3 notamment huni bien en dessous car il jouais contre soaz qui adore les 1 vs 1 alors que huni préfère aider ces alliés, deux style de jeux différent qui lui fait défaut lors des Final OG à profitez de cette situation et à prit 2 game notament grace aux pick Braum et aux pick GP les deux champion les plus mal équilibré actuellement et Riot cherche à les nerf actuellement . Les OG n'ont pas élevé leur niveau ce c'est juste que Fnatic n'était pas dans le match ce jour la tous simplement et que la compo en face était meilleur que la leur .

Yann Lescot
Yann Lescot

Leur early EST dégueu, s'ils arrivent à aller en finale, ça sera vraiment sur des games parfaitement maîtrisées, et sur 0 catches, ce qu'on a très rarement vu, tu es pas d'accord pour dire que des équipes de très haut niveau laisseront pas passer ça et snowballeront avec des conséquences irréversibles lors de ces games ? Si OG leur prennent 2 games, dont une parfaitement maitrisée et un comeback, en effet ils ont pas plus d'une chance d'y arriver et je suis pas confiant pour eux moi non plus No offense ^^

Thomas Pietrement
Thomas Pietrement

je parle de l'interview avant celle ci que tu disais que les Fnatic n'avais aucune chance contre des équipes chinoise et coréenne à cause de leur faible early game et qu'il ne passerais pas les semi et dans cette interview tu parle qu'il ont une chance d'y accédés voila pourquoi je trouve cela drôle que tu change d'avis en si peu de temps :)

Paul Boyer
Paul Boyer

j'ai dis dans l'interview qu'ils ont 50/50 pour les semi et ENCORE sa dépend du pool et une chance d'arrivé en final, ca veut dire quoi une chance pour toi ?

Miltiadhs Mandas
Miltiadhs Mandas

replace the word "best" with the word "worst" and we are fine.He is one of the main reason that the previous Fnatic team split up.He and Cyanide were some ofmthe WORST players is S4.I still remember the days when at top lane fnatic need a top tanky pick and what did he pick?Le Blanc...also he fed the enemy all the enemy all the time

Enes Kun Agüero
Enes Kun Agüero

Let's begin with MSI Fnatic vs SKT 3-2 That was the last time they played against each other and ppl talking about compared to now SKT was nothing back then, but you also have to consider that Fnatic improved a lot and they didn't had rekless Back then. They are having a bootcamp right now in Korea and they have a lot of room to play even better now. That's my opinion and I think Fnatic have a good chance to make it to the finals!

Brian Ozuna
Brian Ozuna

FNC play game 5 with SKT and they lose becuse sejuani bug. And remember Rekkles is now in the team and de 3 rokkies have much more experience.

Ludde Johansson
Ludde Johansson

just hope Origen doesn't get LGD in their group, they're pretty much doomed if they do.

Manolo Braganza
Manolo Braganza

You have different opinions saying fnatic cant win, asian will dominate, and most inferiorating is origen doesn't have a chance... Are you all sure of that? Let's just see what will happen.... Fnc skt edg clg.....etc they are all good but it doesn't mean they are unbeatable..... I still believe in my soaz and xpeke....

Jose Luis Saenz
Jose Luis Saenz

They wont make it, They are not good ..just rely on mistakes from other team, once they hit the quality ones.. their done.

Stoyan Dimitrov
Stoyan Dimitrov

they lost 3-2 to SKT playing with steelback in team who has not enough experience and not enough skills to be compared to rekkles and they had a chance to win but there was a bug with sejuani ;) I am sure they can make it but I am not saying its going to be anywhere near easy.

Thomas Pietrement
Thomas Pietrement

L'interview était à la fin du split juste avant les BO3 je n'ai plus le lien mais son interview était récente .

Clément Michel
Clément Michel

il l'a dit au début du split qui aurait pu prévoir, on était tous septique tout le monde pensait la même

Justus Maurer
Justus Maurer

Fnatic took SKT to a close 5th game at MSI and didn't even have Rekkles at the time.

Raoul Grah
Raoul Grah

I dont think fnatic showed their very best vs origen

Alberto Inigo Salvado
Alberto Inigo Salvado

Eres el lastre q le sobra a Origen... Pasó lo mismo en Fnatic, lo repetiste en esta final y lo seguirás haciendo. Soaz fuera YA !!!

Jani Rintamäki
Jani Rintamäki

Jefferson Kevin Ocana Cmon now lets be realistic. The competition in other regions is just too damn high, there is no way Fnatic would make it to finals... Unless on some really stupid miracle a team like CLG would win their group (Which is just complete nonsense) and one of the semi-finals would be like Fnatic vs CLG but I REALLY HIGHLY DOUBT something that good would happen to them...

Francisco Rojas
Francisco Rojas

Oye tranquilo, yo me refiero al competitivo y soaz esta atrás en comparación de varios top del mundo

Seba Oviedo
Seba Oviedo

Claudia Diaz Ruiz They still got to Worlds in season 3, 4 and 5. On a side note, I don't think fnatic is being overhyped, it's just getting the respect it deserves not only because of their LoL achievements, but because they are one of the oldest e-sport organisations in Europe along with SKGaming. And while I've been an fnc fan for a long time, right now my favourites (LoL-wise) are Origen, they've built a team from the ground up and proved everyone what they can do. Even if they don't win worlds, they were (at best) top five in everyone's head, and they've proven to be top 2.

Ismael Piña
Ismael Piña

Yo creo que lo dijo para aventar la presion a otro lado

Jani Rintamäki
Jani Rintamäki

Marcel Werner I was sure EDG was going to take the worlds UNTIL LPL playoffs started... They like what, lost all their games in semi-finals and only won one game in a Bo5 during 3rd place match? And now there is a chance that they won't even be at worlds...

Marcel Werner
Marcel Werner

Agreed, I don't think that they could take another 2 or even 3 games of SKT. SKT look very strong in Champions Summer and totally destroyed KT in the final. Certainly this can seen as a weekness of Korea over all but I think SKT will do very well at Worlds. China is difficult in general. LDG seems to be very strong but their matches aren't without mistakes either. EDG was amazing at MSI but they lost quite a few games recently. It is really hard to predict Worlds this year. There is no perfect team like SSW last year.

Tomas Otero
Tomas Otero

obvio! Con xPeke a todas partes , tienen un equipon solo falta mas confianza y todos unidos vamos a llegar lejos n.n , confio en que todos juntos llegaremos lejos , origen un solo corazon ♥ Saludos desde argentina , y Aguante origen

David Cárdenas
David Cárdenas

Teneis que confiar más en vosotros mismos! Habeis creado un equipo de la nada, quedasteis segundos en el split de verano a sólo un partido del título y os habéis clasificado para los mundiales sin oposición!! Dejad de pensar en que otros sean favoritos y os los merendaréis a todos!

IMad ElHo
IMad ElHo

The first Time we got a good team in Eu and peoples says ''asian will win''

Jani Rintamäki
Jani Rintamäki

Hippolyte Gonin ... Honestly I don't like it when people bring up that 3-2 against SKT. Sure, they might have taken some games off from a team that was if not 1st then 2nd best team at the moment, but the thing is... That thing is long and gone, and I highly doubt that would ever happen again. And on top of that Korea doesn't seem anymore the strongest region, rather than China does, and if Fnatic got in to a same group with any chinese team they would have really hard time, maybe not even get out of groups, they're just that much more strong.

Hippolyte Gonin
Hippolyte Gonin

I think they can make it to semi finals, don't forget the 3-2 against SKT T1 last time. They will fight, they are strong, just wait and see if they are strong enough ;)

Lucas Guignet
Lucas Guignet

Of course it depends on the group they have, they can be unlucky like next year. But today we have a really strong Fnatic that won against SKT (wich are really strong this season too), so I think, this year is the year they have the biggest chance to make it to the finals. My opinion.

Claudia Diaz Ruiz
Claudia Diaz Ruiz

Fnatic not win, SKT1 has already done everything, which made Fnatic is nothing new, the only ones who can have a second world is SKT1

Claudia Diaz Ruiz
Claudia Diaz Ruiz

Seba Oviedo Fnatic not participate in the World Cup season 2

Ludde Johansson
Ludde Johansson

and I am not hating? I am EU player and I hope Fnatic does well but people are overexaggerating so much, just don't think too much will happen

Alexian Lejeune
Alexian Lejeune

ahahahaha il m'a tué mais on l'aime le petit Soaz :p