On a random Sunday match in the middle of the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series Summer split between two of the bottom three teams in the standings, the game ironically had a lot of implications. Immortals Progressive took down TSM in an important match when it comes to playoff hopes. With eight of the 10 teams making it to post-season play, just getting the eighth seed means that the worst of seasons could be salvaged. With their third win of the season, and a 2-2 record over the last two weeks, IMT now find themselves in that eighth place spot. IMT mid-laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage knew coming into the match what the stakes were.
“We prepared for the game like a normal game but speaking for myself, it was definitely on my mind,” PowerOfEvil said. “Unconsciously I was definitely putting more effort and weight into this match because it decides more.”
The now 3-8 IMT squad have been playing much better over the last couple of weeks but it there was a reason behind it. Immortals came into the 2022 League of Legends Championship Series Summer split coming off a last-place finish in the spring split. But they were not ready to give up on the season as they made three major roster moves ahead of the summer season.
Unfortunately for IMT, the new face of their franchise — PowerOfEvil — didn’t get a chance to play with his new team until a couple of days before the start of the summer split. As a result, the team looked completely uncoordinated; they were sitting at the bottom of the standings by the end of Week 2. Despite their struggles, an extra week off in the middle of the split allowed the team much-needed practice time; as a result, the post-break IMT squad have played better than their record shows.
IMT’s plan for success
“We were able to figure out a lot of different things like how we want to play as a team, like our team identity,” PowerOfEvil said. “We were able to fix a lot of problems in that one-week break time.”
The team has been competitive in games recently; they’ve even held leads against top teams like Counter Logic Gaming. Even though they weren’t able to close those games out, being able to stand up to the best teams like that in such a short time is great progress.
“It’s like these pivotal moments where when you’re in the driver’s seat, you need to close it out like today with as little mistakes as possible,” PowerOfEvil said. “And I think today we did a good job at that.”
The work isn’t done, though; the team’s morale is higher now, but no one is content with their performance. However, PowerOfEvil is confident in his team — the team is motivated, he claims.
“No one is happy and no one wanted this score to happen but I think we all kind of are giving our best, giving 120%,” PowerOfEvil said. “I’ve been on so many teams for so many years and I know that it really comes down to ‘are you kind of giving up?'”
“You just need to practice harder, give more, use more time, review more games, spend more time with your teammates and give it your all in order to pick up the pace and catch up with the other teams which I think we are doing.”
Looking to the future
IMT and PowerOfEvil have the playoffs in their sights; although he didn’t want to put his goals too high, anything can happen in playoffs.
“I’ve seen other teams do crazier runs in the playoffs, I’ve done loser bracket runs before,” PowerOfEvil said. “As soon as you enter playoffs, it doesn’t really matter where you are, it just matters on how good you actually are at that moment.”
“If you figured out all of your problems and you have multiple different styles and you’re ready to win against every team, you can go confidently into the playoffs.”