Après la qualification de son équipe pour les quarts de finale du Championnat du monde 2020, Christopher "Duffman" Duff, coach stratégique & chef analyste de la formation G2 Esports, a répondu aux questions de la rédaction.

After their qualification for World Championship 2020 quarterfinals, Christopher "Duffman" Duff, strategic coach for G2 Esports, answered our questions. 

I'd like to begin with a throwback on 2020 Regular Season, you started by being the most dominant team in Europe during the Spring Split and everyone waited for the same thing in Summer. It felt like the team was in a bit of a slump, only to rise just before the playoffs and win that fourth title in a row, How did you manage to get such an amazing performance from your players after having such difficulties? 
I think a lot of our difficulties in Summer came from a lot things that we couldn't really control, a lot of circumstances that were out of our hands, that happened and it meant that we had a lot less time to practice together as a team, for example we had P1noy coming in for a couple of games to play so that kind of sets us behind a bit, in terms of how we play as a team, we weren't as coordinated as the other teams and it started to get really good toward the end of Summer. And I think that when we got time to practice together and to find our place in this new meta, this is kind of different of anything that we've played before, I think that’s really what made the difference. I think we had to learn a lot more that we had in previous splits because the meta overall was very different: we had farming junglers instead of just tanks who could be in lane whenever they wanted to. I think it was mostly just time that we needed, and time to play together basically.

Looking a bit forward in the tournament, which team do you think is the most dangerous walking into playoffs and is there a team that you would prefer to face in quarterfinals? 
I think that DAMWON is probably the team that I would say is the scariest, I think last year even, scrimming against their players like we had a bit of a rough time so, that's the team I’m seeing as the scariest, and I’d like to avoid them, if that's possible. However, if we play them, we beat them in quarterfinals again so that's fine.

I think any team's fine, we do our best to prepare for enemy team, we're going to play with a week or so to prepare, I think any team is really fine for us, so there's no team I’d prefer to face I think, just any team is fine for me. 

About today's games, you faced Suning for your last game of the day, then sadly, you lost, how do you proceed to get your players refocused in order for them to play their best against the same opponent? 
I think that in a game like we had when we first faced Suning today, it's really easy to refocus, you just ignore what happened in the last 20 minutes, it was really a lot of mistakes, there's not much to look at and go "OK we just need to do these 2 or 3 things better next game", it's more like: "Let's forget about that and talk about draft", just go into the next game and hope you do better. Sometimes you don't. (laughs)
We've seen some unusual picks taking their place into the meta, for example, we had Rakan that came back after a long time, Kindred as well, do you think some other champions can take their place in the meta or do all the picks that could be seen have been seen? 
I don't think there's too much that could come in. When you got some specific teams playing each others, some roles become off balance in terms of champion pools and stuff so that's when you tend to see more specific stuff coming in, today for example there was a lot of jungle bans especially in our games, so eventually we had SofM picking Jarvan for example. So I think that's the main way, we'll start to see new picks come in when players' champion pools get pushed. I don't think there's anything like hiding to break. 

Still talking a bit more about the meta, we've seen during the season that mid meta was a lot about control mages, we've seen a lot of Azir, Orianna, Syndra before the nerf was very present, and today you faced an Akali, do you think picks that are very playmaking can have their place in the meta or is this specifically for some players? 
I think they have their place, I think right now you can play a lot of different things in midlane especially, I think it just depends on your jungler whether you can play like more AP or AD options right now. So it kind of depends on your jungler, what he allows your team to play. 

I want to talk about the Tahm Kench that's been pull out by Mikyx, the one with Hail of Blades, how did you come with such an idea? That's very unusual, usually Tahm Kench is more likely to be played with Guardian, and here comes the Hail of Blades so how did you come with this idea ? 
I mean honestly we just lost in scrims to it, and it's very OP level 1, there's not much you can do in lane against and if you fight it you just get licked I guess. We just got beaten and we were like : "Ok that's really OP" and we tried it and it was pretty good and then we played on stage and it's against melee match-up so it's really really easy to go against as soon as you can and it's really hard to play against if you're the enemy AD. 

And finally, the last word is yours, anything you would say to the fans here in EU? 
Yeah, thanks for cheering for us, I know we make it really hard sometimes, especially with games like today's, it's always good to see that EU fans support us even when we int quite a bit.