Esports News UK MSI 2023 Coverage Powered by SideQuest Gamers Hub; Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Belief is high with G2 after they beat Mad Lions 3-0 in an EU vs EU battle at the League of Legends MSI 2023 in London this weekend, moving them to round two of the lower bracket. Hannah Marie caught up with French G2 bot laner Steven ‘Hans Sama’ Liv after the match to discuss what’s changed for him at MSI – and what he thinks of Nando’s.
Hannah Marie: How was it going up against a fellow LEC team at this point in the competition?
Hans Sama: I think it was challenging to go up against them. I thought that today there was a test to see if we actually improved a lot this week, after we lost to Gen.G, because I was very confident that based on our efforts in practice – and also in my own efforts – that we would come up victorious, hopefully, with a sweep today. So that was like a test for me, I really wanted to do my best, even if in game two it seemed like it was pretty hard.
I think we really stepped up, and I feel like every game is comeback-able and winnable in this meta. I’m happy that we ended up with a 3-0 today.
Do you feel like this meta works quite well for you then?
I think personally it works pretty well, right now the meta is evolving to the bot lane. Going up against the other AD Carries, I feel very confident. I feel like I have become stronger, I’ve been practising a lot, I’m being a bit more precise and faster in how I play. So I think I’ve had a great week so far.
Last year you were in the NA LCS with Team Liquid. Do you feel like being back in Europe and being back on G2, that they kind of play around the Hans Sama playstyle a lot better, because that was a lot of criticism that came from the LCS.
Yeah. G2 is definitely a team where the play style is more aggressive and you look for other opportunities, and I’m also a player that looks a lot more for opportunities and is aggressive in the lane, most of the time.
I’m just looking to play League of Legends in a good way – you have to practise. But yeah, I think this year has also been better for me from a mental perspective – I have been able to train things outside of the game – whereas I think I kind of collapsed mentally last year. I felt like everyone could just win against me, because I tried very hard but [it doesn’t happen] when your mind is not there.
So this year has been good for me, but this week has been very special for me. I’m looking to improve, I’m looking to do way better, I’m looking to prove myself, I don’t want to give up, I just want to keep moving forward and keep improving. I have confidence that I can make it, like being very insane at the game. So I’m gonna keep working on that.
I want to ask you about game two vs Mad Lions, it was definitely a lot more hard-fought, and your triple kill opened it up for you guys to go through and end. How do you deal with the pressure in those moments? Because that was a moment where you were able to take the game.
I think it was after the collapse in the bot lane, when we died, my mentality was just – let’s just try our best. We can for sure win this game, I’ve seen many comeback-able games in MSI 2023 in this meta, and I had complete faith. So I think that helped me to make a good play.
I believe in the last fight, I was playing aggressive and then they stepped up and we put the Cassio W in – they misstepped a bit. And I think their top laner was low, so I snipe him! Then I got excited [as Jinx] and we got the flank off, and then the fight was over and we ended the game.
So I think it came from me, just keeping up the focus. Their AD Carry was strong, but who cares if he’s strong? If we still have a chance, I’m gonna try my hardest to win it. So I had the belief and I think that’s how I did a good play.
So given what you’ve said so far in this interview, Hans Sama, your teammates definitely work around you a lot better on G2. So what is your relationship like with those teammates – and how do you keep that team mentality together?
I think everyone has been amazing working in the game on a daily basis, just trying hard. Everyone is looking to come up with some new plans, some new picks and a lot of creativity. So I’ve been enjoying it a lot, and recently I think it’s been a meta where the AD Carry had to be strong. But I think we took another approach, because we’ve been playing carry jungle and carry top, but I still feel like they’re setting me up pretty well.
I try to always mention what I need and I think they’re responding to that pretty well, most of the time. So I always get to have some impact in games, and I’m very happy about that.
I think it’s great to see BrokenBlade having some really good plays, especially in the late game against Mad Lions, and the two of you seem good at pushing your respective lanes. Would you agree with that?
Yeah, I think BB has been awesome this MSI so far, but also Caps has been doing a pretty good job at moving to every single lane. I don’t know what is happening to mid meta, but they’re just plain tanks I guess and moving around, and I feel like he’s having a lot of fun discovering some new ways to play the game.
Because he’s just playing a tank, it’s not like he will do full damage in the game, he’s the guy that takes the most damage and takes the most pressure, so I’m happy to see him in form like that and he’s calling a lot in the game. So that’s how our games are more clean.
I think Yike and Mikyx have been been pretty good at setting me up for success too, so I’m very excited for this adventure with them. I think we can be way stronger and everyone in the team believes it.
On that note, do you think you can go all the way at MSI?
I would like to say so! We’ll take it step by step, for sure we’re gonna get stronger throughout this whole tournament, I think we’re getting stronger. I’m confident to go up against any team.
It’s great to see you in London. We’ve been asking players about their favourite things here. Have you tried Nando’s, dand if so, what’s your order of choice on the menu? If you win MSI, we’ll buy you a Nando’s! (What, who signed this off?! If G2 win MSI, the bill is on you I’m afraid Hannah, haha – Dom)
I don’t know, what is Nando’s?
It’s a bit of an infamous place in UK culture, they serve grilled chicken and stuff like that. So if you win, Nando’s on us! Thanks for speaking to us Hans Sama and I hope you have a great run at MSI.
Thank you for the interview.
Related article: Check out our Caps interview with the G2 mid-laner from just before MSI 2023 got underway
Dom is an award-winning writer and finalist of the Esports Journalist of the Year 2023 award. He graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Federation up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and offer esports consultancy and freelance services. Note: Dom still produces the British Esports newsletter on a freelance basis, so our coverage of British Esports is always kept simple – usually just covering the occasional press release – because of this conflict of interest.