(Efias, centre, with teammates from left to right: Supa, Fresskowy, Koldo and Oscarinin)
When it comes to the League of Legends (LoL) European Regional Leagues (ERLs), few are as respected as the Spanish LVP SuperLiga. Traditionally counted among the best in the EU Masters (EUM), Spain has always sent strong sides to contest for the title.
For 2021, one roster looking exceptionally strong is G2’s academy team: G2 Arctic. Since the Iberian Cup, they’ve had one time MNM Gaming support Oleksand ‘Efias’ Yankovich added to their ranks and they’ve been on the up since.
Megalodontus asks Efias about his time in the UK leagues, G2 Arctic and the prospect of playing against the G2 first team and why his current coach is the best he’s ever worked with.
Please introduce yourself for those who might be less familiar with you.
Hello, my name is Oleksand Yankovich, or ‘Efias’ in-game. I’m from Ukraine and have been living in Italy for the past 12 years. I main support and I’ve played League of Legends since Season 1.
I’ve been playing competitively for four years now, starting with Team Forge in Italy alongside big Italian names such as vANEZ and Jiizuke.
Now you’re with G2 Arctic, the academy team of G2 Esports, and you’ve been with them since the Iberian Cup 2020. Tell us how it felt signing with them – and did you expect to continue playing for them after the Iberian Cup?
It felt great, honestly it might have even saved me from quitting LoL. I’ve been craving a chance to get a real shot outside of the Italian league for so long without any major success.
Now that G2 Arctic has given me this opportunity, I’m definitely not wasting it and I’m going to give it everything I have. I did expect to continue playing with them, because we all agreed to invest in this roster as a long-term project.
G2 Arctic placed second in the Iberian Cup and have started strongly so far in the first week of the SuperLiga, going 3-0. What’s the team atmosphere been like and what are your expectations for this season?
My expectations are to go undefeated in the LVP SuperLiga and win the EU Masters. I’m pretty sure everyone in the team expects nothing less than that, we just need to continue improving without taking any major steps back.
All of us haven’t won anything significant, so we’re very hungry for victory.
There’s been some talk in recent times on G2 Arctic coach Melzhet, and what an incredible job he’s doing with the team. What’s it been like working with him so far?
Melzhet is easily the best coach I’ve ever had. His game knowledge and the way he always pushes you to do your best is something I’ve never seen from any other coach to date.
The closest one was probably the Korean coach we had back in Team Forge named Sickness, but Melzhet is just on another level. We will stomp the SuperLiga this season so he stops being criminally underrated and gets a deserved shot in the LEC.
It’s still very early in the season, but from the games and the current teams, are there any teams in particular that you’re keeping an eye out for?
So far I’m keeping an eye out for the Ligue Française de League of Legends (LFL) teams since they have so many strong rosters, like GamersOrigin where my ex-teammate Beansu plays. They also have a smart jungler in Kirei and support Nukes, both whom I respect a lot. I’m also keeping an eye on Misfits Premier.
Mousesports from the Prime League are looking pretty strong, especially since jungler Pridestalkr has returned to the competitive scene with them.
What about the SuperLiga teams, which ones do you think are very strong?
S2V Esports are looking strong. We are the only teams at 3-0 and will contend for the first place today (January 25th 2021), but I think S2V have already reached their limit as a team. I just don’t see their players improving that much more in the future.
Mad Lions Madrid still have room for improvement, especially their mid-jungle duo so I’m curious to see how they progress. The last one that I think deserves recognition are Vodafone Giants. I think they are currently having some issues with synergy, but in my opinion once it’s fixed they will be the most dangerous one among those three teams.
There tends to be a lot of talk around how well the LEC teams use their academy sides. How close are G2 Arctic to the LEC team?
I really hope we will be scrimming them soon! Just the idea of playing against the strongest roster Europe has ever assembled makes me really excited. Also, we can see just how far we are from the LEC’s level of play by scrimming them.
It’s most likely going to end up being an immense reality check where we get hard stomped, but I’m sure that’s going to motivate us even more.
You played in the UKLC with MNM Gaming during the 2020 Spring Season (with that unforgettable announcement video, shown below), and your former boss recalled how you were denied entry into the UK! What was your experience like playing in the UK?
Yeah, unfortunately the whole Brexit situation complicated matters because I needed to apply for a visa in order to travel to the UK, which I did not know.
Overall, my time in the UK was honestly great and I only have warm memories of that period. I think our team and staff were pretty good and the atmosphere was really family-like. There was not a single day that I didn’t burst out laughing, especially because of Sof. His sense of humor is amazing!
Despite not spending much time in the UK, do you still follow the UK scene closely like the NLC and UKLC? Are there any teams you’d potentially like to meet at the EUM?
I follow the UK scene because I’m still very curious on how the academy teams are doing. They are our potential opponents at EUM too, especially BT Excel.
Markoon [BT Excel’s jungler] and I formed a friendship through the years because we played a lot together in several teams, starting from Team Forge in 2018, UCAM in 2019 and recently G2 Arctic in 2020. Who knows which team will reunite us once again… maybe an LEC team?
Your career has spanned several regions from Italy, Spain, the UK and Turkey. What’s been your best memory in your career so far?
My most memorable moment takes place in Italy, I was 16 and playing at my first LAN event. The roster was vANEZ, Click, Jiizuke, Guilty and I. We were in the semi-finals, and I think we were 1-1 in a best-of-3 series. We were incredibly behind, probably a 6k gold deficit minimum.
Somehow we stalled the game out and I managed to catch the enemy botlaner while playing Taric in our base, which allowed us to win the teamfight and run all the way down mid-lane to end the game. Two minutes after, the enemy nexus exploded, and the amount of positive emotions I was dealing with was unbearable.
My whole team was cheering, jumping and screaming… while I was still just sitting in my chair. I couldn’t stop crying for 30 solid minutes. That’s probably the moment I fell in love with competitive LoL and chose to pursue this path of being a professional player.
Of all the champions I’ve seen you play, the one I tend to associate with you is your Shen support. I’m aware you have not played it in a while, tell us your thoughts on it in the current meta. Do you think it’s still a viable competitive pick?
I think Shen can definitely be viable especially since the meta has not fully stabilised yet. I’m pretty sure he will be able to find a place in bruiser matchups such as Alistar or Leona, since he is still a strong early-game champion during trades, and offers one of the best global abilities in his ultimate.
I recently spoke to UK support Prosfair, a name you might be familiar with, on the Season 11 item changes and he says he personally likes them. What are your thoughts on the new item changes?
I pretty much like everything, it’s like a breath of fresh air. The only thing I fully disagree with is the current state of Moonstone Renewer. The fact that pretty much every role tries to find ways to build it is just not right, and this in my opinion currently makes LoL a bit boring.
So before we end, do you have any personal goals set for this year? What are you aiming to personally achieve?
My personal goal is becoming a better person and athlete every day. If I keep improving constantly, I will eventually make it to the LEC. But my main goal still remains: becoming the best at my role.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Nothing really, I just would like to thank you for having me. I dug up awesome memories during this interview!
You’re most welcome, Efias.
G2 Arctic play in the LVP SuperLiga every Monday and Thursday at 5pm GMT on Twitch.
Megalodontus is a miraculous survivor from the mass extinction and somehow learnt how to use his stubby fins to operate complicated mechanical equipment and drink tea. Worryingly for cryptozoologists, he’s been writing League of Legends articles too.
A self-taught writer who’s had the privilege to work with good editors who aren’t terrified of his pearly whites, Megalodontus is often seen writing either independently or for various websites such as this one. When not writing, he usually runs it down mid in real life and is fascinated with watching paint dry.