Dignitas became the first team eliminated from the 2021 LCS Championship playoffs after losing a three-game sweep to Immortals, ending their year on a sour note despite starting off well with a promising spring.
Fresh off a respectable finish at the Mid-Season Showdown, Dignitas was seen as a dark horse who had a chance to continue his form through the second half of the year. Along with an NA lineup with a nice mix of veteran leadership and young prospects, Dignitas was also cultivating a following who began to see them as formidable LCS contenders.
But with a combination of moves on the midseason roster involving the change of initial mid-laner and Jungler, DIG failed to muster the same spring magic that originally placed them at the forefront of the LCS, eventually turning into a three-game sweep loss to the Immortals in the bottom bracket of the LCS Championship.
Following the elimination of DIG, their Esports Director James “Bakery” Baker spoke to Gamezo for an interview about the outcome, the 2021 season in general, how the team played in the summer, what they will focus on for 2022.
Bakery, I know it was a difficult series to watch, but first I would like to know how you feel right now.
Bakery – Losing is never easy. There is also nothing that can improve the loss. There is nothing you can say but what I know is that I know how much work each player, staff member, manager, just everyone at Dignitas put in this year and I am very proud of the things that we accomplished.
Being second place in the spring split for a few weeks, getting the Top 6 in both divisions, exceeding all the expectations that people had of us and the outstanding performances of the people who stepped in and really stepped up for the team. . I’m very proud of everything our team has done this year and it always sucks to lose.
He highlighted the excellent performance the team showed in the spring, which was a wonderful thing to watch, but then the team’s level of play plummeted in the summer where it remained below the average table. From that point, I’d like to know what you’ve seen of the team’s performance in the summer and then before the playoffs.
Bakery: One of the traits we had earlier in spring was that we were just as strong on stage as we were in scrims. Teams were often the opposite, where they were much stronger in scrims and weaker on stage. That meant we had a bad record in scrims, but we had a good record on stage. We changed that and became less consistent, so our scrim record increased tremendously. We almost doubled our win rate, which is absurd in a few weeks.
The counterpoint is that our LCS stage matches were a bit more inconsistent. Things have gotten weirder, but we still saw some absolute game footsteps that really showed our potential. Think of the games against 100 Thieves (in week 7) and Team Liquid (in week 8) where we came in and stomped on them and look how good TL is now, right? There were still flashes of dominance, which was amazing, but overall we weren’t consistent enough and at the end of the day we just weren’t playing very well and that’s what led us to lose.
During that summer, you guys ran into some roster changes. We saw that change between Yusui and Soligo in the center lane and then Dardoch’s ejection that led to Akaadian playing in LCS. How did the team stay focused in the midst of adversity as the season reached the playoffs?
Bakery: Speaking of roster changes, one of them is, and I’ve said it before because it’s perfectly fair to criticize our decision making and the way it happened; and on the other hand, I don’t think it is. Talking about the center lane change, at the end of the day what everyone on the team (the players, the coaches, the staff) was trying to do was put us in the best position to win. Every move we make is with that goal in mind and sometimes it doesn’t work.
I think I’m still very proud of how Yusui played. I think he stepped up and had some really emerging games. He was also one of our best players in this series and I am still very proud of how Soligo grew as a player from when he started in that Lock-In tournament to where he finished in the spring was really impressive. I’m very happy with the two mid-laners this season and can’t wait to see them do great things next year.
With that perspective, you now look to the next year. I understand they just lost and it may not be the best time to ask in your current mental space, but how are you going to look forward to 2022 nonetheless?
Bakery: There are many things that have gone very well for us this year. The way we build our culture, the way we improve our operations and facilities at our gaming center has been a world of difference (compared to last year). As we move into next year, we have some centerpieces that I’m really excited to work with and build with, and a really great foundation, which was something we aspired to in previous years, but I don’t think we had (until now ). With our staff and players, I think we are set to be very successful next year. I’m excited to go, work on it, and go from there.
Throughout the year, you have been one of the only teams to submit an NA list. What does it mean for the amateur scene to see not only a team like Dignitas perform on the main stage of the LCS, but other players as well?
Bakery: Dignitas is an organization that puts a lot into NA talent. The evidence is not just on our academy roster and the Dignitas Mirage fan roster, but also, as you said, on the LCS team. Moving into next year, we’ve seen some incredible standout performances from DIG Mirage, like defeating Evil Geniuses Prodigies and being a series off from qualifying for the Proving Grounds with some rookies. We have been one of the only amateur teams to feature all rookies.
And then obviously we have William “Will” Cummins, who stepped in as our academy jungler this year and is still competing in the (United) Grand Prix tournament for the next week and he’s really a shining star we’re very much with. excited to work. too. I think NA’s talent has definitely shown some resurgence. You see the seeds start to grow and over the next year or two, we will see an absolute explosion when all these new talents enter the scene. They start showing up at the academy, people like Danny start showing up at the LCS and it will be a very exciting time to be a fan of NA League of Legends.
Within this specific list, we have two players whose contracts are running out (Akaadian and Aphromoo) according to the Global Contract Database. Where do they fit in next year?
Bakery: It’s still too early to talk about next year’s plans with any kind of certainty or definition. I can say that working with both of them has been a real pleasure. They have been our leadership figures this year. It has been really amazing to see them build this team together. We will have to go and have some conversations before I can share details on that.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with me, Bakery. Do you have any final words for the fans?
Bakery: I just want to thank all the Dignitas fans for cheering us on until the end. It has been really great to have that NA team at one point to be the “people’s champions” and I am very excited to return to that state for next year and consolidate it. A big hello to everyone cheering and to each of our players and staff. I really appreciate working with you.
The post DIG Bakery: “What everyone on the team is trying to do is put us in the best position to win. Every move we make is with that goal in mind and sometimes it just doesn’t work out. ”It appeared first on Gamezo.