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'It was tough the whole stage, you don’t know if you’re going to get to play a second one': Lyloun, LFO entering Major with 'house money'

LFO have got it made, no matter how they perfom at the Major.

Image via Ubisoft/@kirill_vision

No matter what LFO do at the Charlotte Major – they’ve already won. 

And not in a “we gained a lot of experience” way, like many teams like to use with varying levels of honesty. Not in a “they weren’t expected to win anything, and therefore any win is a point of pride” way either. They have "house money," a gambling term that refers to using the casino's money to play a game for free.

LFO went through a lot, starting before the stage even began. According to Laurie “Lyloun” Lagier, the team found out that Vitality was considering moving on from Siege a day before their closed bracket game against Team Secret. The Vitality heard about the possibility “from the outside”, which made their emotions during the match complicated. Lyloun says it wasn’t the only reason for the 1-2 loss to Team Secret, “but it didn’t help.”

Following the departure from Vitality, the team was left with a tough decision. They had a couple players that over the years have become a bit more passive, and it was clear they needed a bit more firepower. 

Without the backing of a team, options were limited. With the financial backing of Vitality, there’s a chance they could’ve broken out money for a buyout, but they didn’t have an option to shell out cash for an upgrade. There’s also a chance that whoever they wanted could turn them down – after all, before the stage, their future was in question. “It was definitely in the equation,” Lyloun said when asked about the risks in bringing on a new player without an organization. “Are we at that moment where we can just focus on the game and try to improve and therefore make a change, or do we have to first find a home and try to stay consistent with what we did last year, and then we’ll think about improving?”

Making the Charlotte Major all but guarantees that LFO will be picked up by an organization – even if they don’t have one for the event itself. According to LFO player Valentin "risze" Liradelfo, they’ve been in discussions with teams for a while now, spearheaded by Robin "Robz" Planus.

“It was tough the whole stage, you don’t know if you’re going to get to play a second one,” Lyloun said. “It was tough. But definitely, it’s such a relief. Again, I don’t want to jinx us, but it has been going pretty well for a couple of days or weeks … Obviously, we had orgs that suddenly showed way more interest in Siege than they used to once they learned that we qualified for the Major … but the direction that we’re going in, it feels very healthy … okay, now I can breathe, now I can focus on the right things.”

With the full cloud lifted from LFO’s horizon, Major preparation suddenly seems relatively simply. Lyloun and company can finally hone in on the task at hand and not wonder if the next peek, the next play, the next round, or the next map could be the difference between staying in the European Leauge or not. 

Key to LFO’s production during the stage, as well as in the Major, is lurker Nicolas “P4” Rimbaud. In European League play, P4 held the seventh-highest SiegeGG Rating for Stage 1. Lyloun says the keys to LFO’s success is synchronization between the team and their lurker, like many teams, and she says she can’t elaborate much more than that. 

Statistically, LFO’s lurker is the highest-rated player on their team, which suggests a level of aggression and creativity. With everything new in the game, it’s the best time to try new things. “It doesn’t feel like one big meta in general. It feels like patterns on one map, on one bomb site,” Lyloun said. 

Overall, she feels like the new normal benefits the team – even if she isn’t totally sold on attacker repick. In EUL play, Lyloun claims that their team is one of the crazier ones right now, with a lot of different looks. 

All the same, LFO will likely be upset if they don’t have a great Major performance, as most competitors would be. At the end of the day, though, their story with a new and seemingly improved roster, with new backing, is just beginning.