We had the chance to talk to Unicorns of Love bot laner Ronan "Jinjo" Swingler and pick his brain on the Winter Cup Finals, Australian cuisine and much more!
The LEC is the highest level of League of Legends play in Europe. Players from all over the continent come together, to try and take home the LEC trophy – and have a chance at competing at the highest level worldwide. But where do these players start off?
Throughout Europe, designated local Leagues have formed with the help of Riot Games. Teams compete for a chance to make it to the EU Masters tournament, where they can showcase their talent to a broader audience.
What is the Prime League and the Winter Cup?
The regional DACH league – referring to Germany, Austria and Switzerland – is called the Prime League. It is the final stepping stone for young players before they enter the LEC. Each Prime League season is split into 3 splits.
The Winter Cup is the final split of the year for the Prime League. This is where players have a final chance to show off their skill to bring home the Prime League trophy. This year's finals will take place between MOUZ and Unicorns of Love on November 14, 2021.
We had a chance to interview UoL's bot laner Ronan “Jinjo” Swingler, and ask him about the upcoming match against MOUZ, as well as learn some new recipes for Australian snacks and more!
Our Interview with Bot Laner Ronan "Jinjo" Swingler
You’ve made it to the Finals in the Prime League! Congratulations!
Thank you very much.
So, in summer, UoL didn’t make playoffs, so what changes did you make as a team between the Summer and Winter season?
I think at the start… some of my teammates and myself included were a little nervous on game days, or didn’t have that much confidence or we didn’t have the greatest understanding of how to play the game fluidly, like when something happens on bot side, or something will happen on top side – just playing cross maps intelligently and keeping the game stable rather than using mechanical skills to win the game. Like try and use our brain.
How did your playstyle change in this regard?
It’s hard to find consistent practice [when playing only mechanically], whereas if you play the game to keep the game from getting too volatile, in terms of kills and trading really heavily in lane and stuff, then you can start coming up with concepts on how to leverage advantages without needing to brute force your way through with clicking buttons well. I think we trained really fucking hard, for the past month and a half. So yeah, I don’t see a world where we would lose finals.
Talking about finals, you’re facing off against MOUZ again, and you’ve played them already in the semi-finals where you 3-0’d them. Do you approach the final the same way you approached the semi-final, or is there a different way of approaching the game because it is the finals of the Winter Cup?
We also versed them at the end of the regular season and won. Overall, we had good preparation against them in the last best of five. They played very heavily around their jungler. He seems like the superstar of the team. He gets all of the resources and he looks very good when he has resources.
How will you play around this then?
Their mid to late game has looked relatively shaky. I also think their bot lane is rather abusable in lane. I wouldn’t say I'm underestimating them. I think they’re a strong team and they have extremely strong individual performers, but when it comes to preparation, like, I don’t think we’ll be treating the match any differently from anyone else. I think whether we’re going to win the match on the day or not will come down to our team skill.
Because you guys were always in the upper bracket, you’ve played fewer games “on stage”. Do you think that will have an impact, or does that not matter at all, and you don’t even think about that?
There is an argument to be made that playing more games on stage means more on-stage practice or high performing practice means people try a lot harder. They definitely try a lot harder on stage – if that makes sense? Like, they’re playing with their life on the line, rather than playing to practice.
What is the counterargument, then?
The counterargument to that is that we get to watch. They don’t get to watch. We get to see what they prioritize in draft, we get to see how they play the map, we get to watch and prepare for either team that made it through. And in my opinion, that’s a much, much stronger edge.
In the Upper Bracket Finals, you fell behind 2-0. So I just wanted to know how you keep your mental from going boom, especially in a situation like that?
I was pretty upset with how the first two games went, I think specifically in the second game, I was the main reason we lost that game, so coming into the third game I just had to make sure my play was on point and that I let my team perform well. Then, after you get one win, then the next win comes and then it’s just a Best-of-one in the end and I think after the first match, I wasn’t really very nervous.
In the Schalke Series, you drew Aphelios bans against you, so do you think that is going to happen again in the finals?
To be honest with you, I’m not really fussed. I think if Aphelios is banned, it makes my life easier in terms of draft. If Aphelios isn’t banned – I get Aphelios. So, I mean I’ve shown what I can do on the champ and I would recommend to MOUZ to ban him against me.
I know you played in the OPL last year, so what exactly made you come to Germany?
I also have Irish residence, so I don’t actually take up an import slot in Europe. After the OCE league was dissolved and we didn’t know if there was going to be a new league I thought 'fuck it' and decided to move to Europe.
Did you have a team right away when coming to Europe?
I used my savings that I had saved from my previous teams and just had a pretty strong belief that if I played well in solo queue and that if I just start grinding and getting connections, eventually I’ll get an opportunity to prove myself and it came pretty fast. I think the skill level gap was a lot smaller than I had thought.
So, we have an Australian in our office [Evan Williams] and he told me to ask you these short quick questions: Do you prefer Marmite or Vegemite?
Vegemite for sure.
So, he also told me about toast with butter and sprinkles – which is a snack in Australia apparently – and we were wondering if you put butter or margarine with your sprinkles?
It’s called Fairy Bread! My family at home doesn’t really eat butter. So while I was growing up, we always had margarine, so I’d have to say it has to be margarine. If I’m being honest though, Fairy Bread is hot trash. It’s pretty trash. There are better snacks to be had.
Thank you so much and good luck in the finals!
Thank you and take care!
The 2021 Winter Cup Final will take place on November 14, 2021. You can watch the event live via the official Prime League YouTube channel or the official Twitch Channel! Thanks to the Unicorns of Love and Jinjo for the interview, and let’s help cheer on the future talent of the LEC. Heck, maybe we’ll see someone from these squads on Fnatic or G2 next season.
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