Immortals first match on Day 1 of the Group Stage was against #1 Korean seed Longzhu Gaming. Seen as the strongest team coming into Worlds 2017, Immortals surprised with initiating skirmishes and faster rotations. While a gold lead accumulated, the game plan didn’t pan out for long. In mid to late game, Longzhu caught IMT out, and they eventually lost.

We spoke to IMT jungler, Jake “Xmithie” Puchero, who shared his thoughts his first game at Worlds 2017, the kind of music he listens to, and ties to the Philippines.

That was your first professional jungle Ezreal game. How did you feel about your performance?
XMITHIE:
I played pretty normal in the early game to mid game. There wasn’t really anything special; it’s Ezreal so there isn’t much playmaking, but I think I played pretty bad after mid game.  I tried to do a lot by myself, I tried to make my own plays when I should have sticked with the team. I think I’m still getting used to it because usually I can get my own vision on tankers for example, and I can just back up. I got caught a couple of times.

Were you nervous? Did that have anything to do with it?
I haven’t got nervous in a while, so it was just inexperience with how we play.

(Photo credit: LoL Esports Flickr)

What was the team’s goal with this draft, with you on a carry jungler?
I played carry junglers a lot before, like Kindred, Nidalee, Graves for previous seasons. For this team, it’s pretty new. We just started bootcamping in Korea when we practised it and we know it’s pretty good. We executed the early game pretty well and got leads off of it.

In the mid game, when getting vision is really important and everyone needs to move together, they (Longzhu Gaming) also had Jarvan, Taliyah, Karma for speed, so they always want to catch us, and they got the advantage.

Will we see you on jungle Ezreal again?
It depends on our comp. I need to adapt to what our playstyle is, much faster.

Taking away this loss against Longzhu Gaming, what do you think IMT needs to work on?
The team realises that they’re not really unbeatable. They might be the best team in Worlds right now because they’re first from Korea but I think we can win pretty convincingly against them if we made less mistakes and play our own game. They’re really good at punishing mistakes, like every other Korean team.

What’s the difference for IMT before the bootcamp and after the bootcamp?
For the team, not much. Our playstyle is kind of different, like I don’t have to engage for example. I have to rely on Olleh or Cody if he’s on Varus… Or Flame and Olleh for engage, so I have to rely on them more and dish out damage. Shotcalling wise, it’s much more different when you’re on a carry because you can’t really tell someone to go in. They need to know the right scenarios.

Did you enjoy the food during Koren bootcamp?
It’s weird. Well bootcamping is bootcamping. It’s not supposed to be fun. (laughs) Bootcamping is practice all day, barely any breaks. We scrimmed 10 hours a day, and solo queued 6 hours a day, so we had 6 hours of sleep. Some people like it. Newer rookies like it because it’s a brand new experience. I bootcamped like 3 times already in Korea. It’s still productive.

(Photo credit: LoL Esports Flickr)

What’s going on in your headphones?
I listen to a lot of music. My routine before every game, I’ll listen to music for 30 minutes before the game and I’ll just be by myself.

It’s mainly EDM (Electronic Dance Music) for the past year. Before LCS I would listen to one song and it’ll replay in my head because that’s how I stay calm in any scenario. That’s been my go-to every week.

Do you visit the Philippines much?
I visited after my first Worlds 3 or 4 years ago and I haven’t gone back since I’ve been pretty busy. I have a lot of family and friends there and they watch my games and post it on Facebook but I don’t use Facebook.

I’m not big on social media; I usually just use Twitter, Discord. I haven’t posted on Facebook for 6 years. My profile picture is when I was 16. I barely use it, but maybe I should though.

Would you say something to all your fans in Southeast Asia?
To all my Southeast Asian fans, thank you for supporting me since the beginning. It’s been 6 years since I’ve been playing League.

I have a Facebook channel and people say really good things, supporting me all the way from Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, it’s pretty nice! It always keeps my spirits up, with everyone cheering for me. Thank you so much.