When Team Dignitas announced last split that they were replacing Kim Jeong-soo with David “Cop” Roberson, the response was mixed. Some regarded Cop’s addition as a potentially misguided move, rather than a much-needed change to save DIG’s split.
But the critics couldn’t have been more wrong. Dignitas surged under Cop’s leadership, all the while emphasising fans should “trust the process”. And while Dignitas had a bumpy split, the team upset Cloud 9 in the quarterfinals in this split’s playoffs. Unfortunately, the optimism was stinted somewhat by disappointing losses to Team SoloMid in the semifinals, and CounterLogic Gaming in the third place match, but when I got a chance to interview Cop about the side’s prospects in the upcoming gauntlet he seemed pretty hopeful about DIG’s chances of making Worlds.
Your team had a particularly rough series today versus CounterLogic Gaming. When you’re down 0-2, what is going through your mind as you prepare for game three?
My mind is always on the next game. After every game, what I did was go straight to the draft. Basically change what I perceived was bad about the previous draft. I use Saint more for the strategic stuff. Saint is the one who watches the games and then goes over it with team before the next game.
During game two I wasn’t even watching the game the whole time. I prefer not to watch the games actually. It’s like a lucky thing. If I don’t watch, maybe they’ll play better. It happens sometimes; they started coming back during that third game. It’s too bad we had three really unlucky level ones.
When you see such an unlucky level one happen over and over again, what does that tell you for future scrims? Especially with the regional gauntlet coming up.
Going into the game, you don’t really know what you’re going to do. Just because you need to see what champions they have to know how good their level one is. For example, in game three, our level one was way better. Every champion we had was better, we scale really well, our teamfight was good. There was just no way we could lose. But for some reason we just went in as three at wraiths; we had one sitting top. One sitting bottom. So, like, already that wasn’t the plan going in. We diverged from the plan and we got punished. It should have been us winning the game off it. But sh*t happens I guess.
They just didn’t trust the process.
Sometimes. Sometimes they don’t listen to me. It happens.
Looking forward to your match coming up against Flyquest. When I was talking to Shrimp, he said that Hai is probably the player to shut down. Do you follow that same mindset?
I don’t want to assume anything. But, I mean, we have scrim’d them. We’ve played them the whole season. We’ve seen what they can do and we should be able to easily beat them. If we can’t easily beat them we didn’t have a shot going anywhere anyways. We’re just going to go in confident. Not really overconfident, since we just lost a really big game.
But, to be honest, that’s a good thing going into the gauntlet. We’re not going to be riding an ego trip; we’re just going to be humble. We’re just going to improve as a team now. Everyone is ready to go in hard and put this last week behind us.
At any point when you’re working with your players do you wish that you yourself were still a player?
Sometimes. The trust that a player gives to his a teammate is like way higher than he gives to his coach. Because my job is pretty much telling them what to do. I tell them they can’t play certain champions. When you hear that you’re like “fuck you, man. I can play anything.”
It’s tough. If I was a player I could say “that was bad game there, you shouldn’t play that champion anymore.” And then they’d be like “ah, maybe you’re right.” Then they’d actually talk to me.
Hopefully you guys get through the gauntlet and move forward to the Play-in Stage for Worlds. Most of the Play-in teams are locked in. Are there any teams in that phase of Worlds that you are particularly worried about?
What teams are that? The EU third seed and the Wildcard regions?
Yeah. It’s the formerly called Wildcard teams, China’s third seed, NA’s third seed, EU’s third seed, and I think one other.
Shouldn’t be too hard, man. I don’t know. I look at the drafts from the other regions and I feel like I can easily out draft any of the other regions. Korean team or otherwise. I feel like other drafts just have clear weakness. I mean, they [Korea] back it up with their superb team play and their superb communication.
I think that’s what we in NA really need to tackle. We see every year that TSM, CLG, etc just get destroyed by every team at Worlds. I think that’s skill and strategy and we need to improve that the most.