Being a bottom team in any pro league is never a good feeling, but Immortals’ Mohamed ‘Revenge’ Kaddoura has still managed to stand out despite being on a bottom team for over a year.
It can be easy to forget that getting to be a pro player in a major region in the first place requires a lot of things to go right.
Players on lower-tier rosters can have incredible skill and a ton of potential to do great things given the right opportunities. But some players just aren’t quite able to make things come together for them.
Immortals’ Revenge is one such player, a top laner who made some of the craziest plays in the LCS 2022 Summer Split despite Immortals 4-14 overall record.
He’s a good player and a respected top laner, but his match results on Immortals may lead you to believe otherwise. We sat with Revenge to ask about his view on the top meta, some of his hard carry performances, and the mental toll of being on a bottom team for so long.
Adapt and overcome
Like many other players in the LCS, Revenge believes bot lane is the main focus in most games. However, his explanation as to why people still pick carries shed a lot of light on the drafting process for a team like Immortals.
“I think, across all teams right now, people are having the same read of the top meta. Most teams right now view top lane as a facilitator and a rock, and it’s just supposed to play the weakside and enable the carries. I think bot lane carries are really strong right now and need to be enabled in that way. Or, rather, that’s the easiest way to win the game right now.”
Easiest is an interesting choice of word here. Easiest indicates that playing through bot is reliable and works (see EG for the entirety of 2022, as Inspired explained himself in our interview with him), but not that playing through top lane is entirely impossible.
“I think, in draft, you can find certain situations where a lot of things are banned or people just blind a carry champion and you counterpick it, right? Then, the game becomes very top-centric in the early game. The Jax/Gwen matchup, Fiora/Gwen, these kind of things. I feel like that typically happens when there’s a champ that’s very strong blind that scales, such as Gwen. And then, the only way to shut down that scaling is to counterpick it with something like a carry.”
Revenge explained how this counterpick carry dynamic affects Immortals’ drafting. “Specifically against me, teams are banning carry champions, especially on the 4/5 phase, sometimes in the 1/2/3 phase. I think in the majority of our games that’s been the case. Teams know that’s my strength and they definitely target it, so I’ve adapted to more styles.”
Confidence is key
When asking Revenge about Fiora, one of the most volatile carry top laners you can pick, he had a lot to say about his strength on that type of champion.
“I think that I am, by far, the best Fiora in NA in top lane. I think it’s not even close.”
“Most teams know that, and I know how the champ works in and out. I’ve been playing her many years as one of my main champions, so I know certain carry champions that make her very hard to play. I know what kind of angles Fiora players need to win against them, so I know how to avoid it. I feel like it’s very hard to lose to Fiora in my perspective because I wouldn’t give the kind of angles that I know exist in laning against the champion.”
Revenge is confident for a reason. Out of Immortals’ 18 games played in Summer, Fiora was picked or banned in 17 of them. Teams are seriously scared of Revenge’s prowess on this champion, and he thinks that his perspective of how to play and play against a champion like Fiora gives him a massive leg up on the competition.
When Revenge pops off, he really pops off. He, like most pro players, is excited to be here and confident in his play. Not to mention, Revenge’s experience playing against so many different champions and players has made him a better top laner.
“That’s a really big factor for so many things in top lane; knowing both sides, you know? I feel like that translates a lot to even if I play tanks. I feel like I’m a lot harder to punish in tank vs. carry matchups because I know how to pressure the carry side.”
Despite Revenge being targeted in draft and still having strong laning phases and teamfighting, he hasn’t been able to use those top lane skills to bring Immortals success. This streak of disappointing results has taken its toll.
Finding small victories
It can be difficult to remember just how much winning you have to do to become a pro player in the first place when you spend so much time losing, and Revenge revealed some of the emotion that comes along with trying to better yourself and your team in the face of adversity.
“I think it’s been pretty apparent that I’ve improved a lot in the past few years. Unfortunately, the overall success of the team hasn’t been too high. It’s definitely been hard for me to go through. I’ve never been through anything like this, right? It’s very difficult to lose. However, there are a lot of lessons in losing.”
Revenge doesn’t view his time in the LCS as a completely negative experience. Far from it, actually.
“Honestly, the part of me that improved the most, gameplay aside, is just how to compete. I think learning how to compete in these kinds of situations has actually made me a better player. It’s taught me how to be a better teammate, how to grow as a person. I think that these kind of things have actually translated and helped me in my gameplay.”
Revenge’s improvement as a player is apparent, even if it does show up in Immortals’ score line. Revenge has certainly had some bad games, but he’s also been making highlight reel moments happen since his LCS debut.
When the meta dictated that Hullbreaker Graves was strong, Revenge adapted. He played sides well, and managed to 1v2 while his team did Baron.
He’s built up a wider range of playstyles than just carrying from top lane, even if that’s what he wants to do most.
What’s more, Revenge didn’t once blame his team for the losses in our time with him. He didn’t even allude to IMT’s record being their fault. Rather, he focused on what he can do to improve his own play next split.
Even after getting eliminated from playoffs the day after our interview with him, he held his head high and smiled.
It can be easy to look at a team that’s failing and think negatively about them, but that isn’t always the case. Building a roster is difficult, and Immortals have fully gutted their roster multiple times in pursuit of a team that works. 5 players can be great individually, but they’re going to look terrible if they lack synergy. Just look at Team Vitality’s 2022 performance. Good players don’t always produce good results.
Revenge is the longest standing member of Immortals for a reason, and he was incredibly optimistic about his future in the LCS.
He left us off with this:
“You have to really learn and adapt. That’s what makes a great top laner. I don’t know what people believe or how people view me, but I want to show, going into Playoffs, hopefully, that I do have a lot of styles to play and that I’m not a one-dimensional player.”