With the All-Star Event held in Barcelona, Diario AS met with Enrique "xPeke" Cedeño to talk about the event and his club, Origen.
Fernando Cardenete: You’ve played many international events in your career, but none of them were in Spain. What does playing in front of your audience in an event like this mean to you?
xPeke: It feels really good to feel the support of the fans, especially when they vote you to come here and they have your back every time. I mean, there is no way to describe it but knowing that everyone likes seeing you it’s really cool to be honest. I enjoy it more when I get to see the reactions of the crowd.
FC: You’ve done well so far in the one versus one tournament. You said you wanted to write SPAIN with yours and Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black’s bans, but something went wrong. Whether it is a message or a special champion, do you have any other surprises prepared for the one versus one tournament?
xPeke: I don’t know. I’m training with Martin “Rekkles” Larsson and other members of the team, but I haven’t thought about a strategy I’m going to do 100%. I have several tactics that I’ll try, but I don’t really know. I get new ideas from every one versus one game that I see
FC: It may be a difficult question to answer, but I’d like to talk about your relationship with Alfonso “mithy” Aguirre. The Spanish community split when he and Jesper “Zven” Svenningsen left Origen. Until now there has been like two opposite poles, but in this event we’ve seen you together even in the opening ceremony as Spanish representatives. Is there something you’d like to say about this division of the community? Any message that you’d like to send to the Spanish fans about this topic?
FC: So everything is ok between you two, right?
We already had some trouble playing the games before that and when you add new people problems become harder to solve
FC: Perfect. You’ve been picked for the All-Star Event, but actually this hasn’t been a good year for Origen, especially after reaching Worlds semifinals last season. Which reasons do you think that made the team not work as intended?
xPeke: Well, it was hard when mithy and Zven left because we didn’t have much time to adapt and approaching a new split with new people is always complicated. We already had some trouble playing the games before that and when you add new people problems become harder to solve, especially if the new guys don’t fit with the old ones. We didn’t have the same way to approach the game and therefore didn’t have a clear strategy. As the split progressed it only got worse and worse because we ended up playing with me as AD Carry. None of the marksmen that we were trying played well and we lost many scrims, while we won some with me. But, in the end, our roster was a mess. We were already playing poorly as a team before all of this happened and when I had to fill in as AD Carry we were playing even more handicapped
FC: Last split you added Javier Zafra as your CEO, but still people always criticize Origen for its apparent lack of infrastructure. Why do you think that Origen does not have a good image in that sense?
xPeke: Oh, I don’t really know, probably because people have that impression due to what has been said, but nothing else. There aren’t many differences with other teams. It’s true that we can’t compare with organisations like Fnatic, which have like twenty or thirty people behind a team, but when it comes to players they’ve always had a coach, analyst, manager… The team has always been covered as well as any other. We just don’t have any other teams, but the main one is ok.
FC: Well, you don’t have teams in other games but in EU Challenger Series latest open qualifier there was an Origen B line up. Could you explain the reasoning behind this new project?
xPeke: Right now we’re also looking for opportunities in the future. It’s like a test: we pick up players with some potential, make them practice, teach them a bit and see who of them could be a promising prospect. We also do this, in case they play well, to make them stick together and maybe participate in Challenger Series. If they don’t work well together we can always see who may be promising and keep teaching so they may have LCS level someday.
PowerOfEvil had other style, Unicorns of Love’s style, which was a bit more chaotic, and he never really adapted well to us
FC: One player that had potential after his first season and signed with Origen was Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage, who has now signed with Misfits. Overall, his time is Origen is seen as lackluster. What do you think about his time in Origen and him moving to Misfits?
xPeke: It was complicated with PowerOfEvil because we picked him up when we already had a team that was working, but we thought that he was very good individually and that he could adapt well to the team so we could have an elite roster without me on it.
It wasn’t like that. We were a very strategic team in which everyone had a lot of experience besides Zven, who was a rookie but was used to the way we played. You could say that we were a team that always knew how to improve, that always knew how we wanted to play. PowerOfEvil had other style, Unicorns of Love’s style, which was a bit more chaotic, and he never really adapted well to us. We didn’t adapt to him either, so it never worked.
In the end I think it was mainly a strategic issue. Individually I think that, with the exception of some metas in which he lacked some champions in his pool, he played well.
I’m going to see how the team works and if they get along
FC: I’m not going to ask you to reveal the new roster, but I want to know how you think Origen will do in the next season with the players you have in mind.
xPeke: I think it always depends, because you see the scrims now and it depends a lot of the first weeks. I think the team has potential to reach Playoffs and maybe, with a lot of practice, play the semifinals or even the finals, I don’t know. Right now the goal is to reach Playoffs and improve from that point. It’s going to be something different, more focused on improving. In the end the important thing is that everyone is on the same page and having players that are eager to win and improve.
FC: Now that PowerOfEvil has left the team, the roster is going to be completely new unless you keep playing. Are you going to keep competing or do you want to focus more on the administrative side of Origen as you said last season?
xPeke: It depends on how the team works. It’s going to be the perfect time to decide. If the team works well and starts improving I may forget a bit about playing and focus more on the administrative side; if the team has flaws and I see myself playing mid seriously I may come back, but first I’m going to see how the team works and if they get along.
It wouldn’t cost them much to design a plan in which everyone would make more money
FC: Last question, more as Origen founder, what do you think about the debate that says that Riot Games should give teams more ways to earn money and that stuff? What’s your opinion about that topic?
xPeke: Well, everything is still very new yet. Riot Games don’t have a thousand ways to learn yet. There are a lot of possibilities and I think that they’re going to do it little by little. What we have to do is work together because making both teams and LCS earn a lot of money and players get high salaries is possible. Right now there aren’t many ways to earn money and I think that Riot Games should hurry on adding new ways but well, it’s part of their plan and they’ll do it step by step. I only hope that they put in on a high priority because it wouldn’t cost them much to design a plan in which everyone would make more money.
FC: Finally, are there any words that you’d like to say to your Spanish or even international fans?
xPeke: Thanks to everyone who support me and have voted for me to be here. I hope you’re enjoying the All-Star Event. Cheers!
Special thanks to Shakarez for the translation