KCorp Targamas explains what puts T1 Keria on a “whole different level” from other supports

Carver Fisher
Targamas explains what puts Keria on a different level

Dexerto sat with Karmine Corp’s support, Targamas, to get his feelings on his matchup against T1 Keria at Red Bull: League of Its Own. Additionally, Targamas discussed what went awry with EXCEL in 2023 and why, despite the way things went this year, he doesn’t need to be on G2 to be the best support in Europe.

Keria is a player who was widely known as the best support in the world, even before he finally got his first world title alongside Faker. He’s mechanically better than most other players who are in carry roles, let alone other support players. His mechanics and ability to carry really give him a step up on the competition.

Meanwhile, KCorp support Raphaël ‘Targamas’ Crabbé is a player who has a very similar identity. While both players are fully capable of pulling out an enchanter or typical hard-engage support if they have to, both of these players shine when they’re playing something a bit more unorthodox.

Targamas was willing to shed some light on what it means to truly make the most of the support role in a way only him, Keria, and a select few other support players have dared to explore on the big stage. And, while the final match result at Red Bull: League of Its Own wasn’t what he was hoping it’d be, Targamas is still optimistic about what 2024 will hold for him with KCorp.

Method to the madness

Targamas is perhaps best known for his time on G2. He came onto the team after being away from the LEC for years as someone few had faith in. He’d then go on to pick over a dozen different support champions in Spring 2022 alone, with viewers and analysts alike wondering just how many characters he had in his champion pool.

Keria’s been known for a similar level of prowess in the role, going as far as playing champs like Lee Sin and Zac alongside Gumayusi’s Senna. He also changed the support meta entirely in early 2023 by picking ADCs in support and forcing multiple nerfs to the support items that enabled that playstyle.

Though Targamas has been competing longer than Keria has, he’s been taking influence from the Korean support prodigy for years, even since Keria played alongside Deft on DRX in 2020.

Keria’s been turning heads for years, though he really hit his stride on T1.

“I’ve always had so much respect for [Keria], like even back in the days where he was less known, when he was playing for DRX. I liked him because – I remember watching him in solo queue and he was this Pyke/Senna 2-trick. And back then it was also the champs that I was playing – and I still play nowadays – and I immediately had a lot of respect for him just because of that, just because of the champs he played.”

Targamas is a player who can take over the game if he has a team that’s willing to work around his strengths, and Keria has a similar role on T1 when the team lets him get creative.

Where most teams would use a counterpick late in the draft to put their top laner in a favorable matchup, support players good enough to warrant giving them that key advantage in draft can use a strong counterpick to win the entire game for their team. And Keria does just that.

“After playing and scrimming against him, he’s just playing on a whole different level. I feel like when he has full confidence, he’s just able to do so many things that no one can. He could just bust out Zoe support when they’re in scrims and just completely smash you and play, like, a very good Zoe. Maybe some mids wouldn’t even play her like that.”

So, rather than trying to copy Keria, Targamas has taken after the legendary T1 support in his own way by trying to forge his own path ahead.

“Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t do the same things that he does, and that you will not make it work.” Targamas explained. “It doesn’t mean you can’t win against him. But you have to play to your own strengths rather than trying to copy others.”

While Targamas had praise for Keria and was inspired by seeing him succeed playing the picks he favors, Targamas has been working on finding ways to hold onto that identity while becoming more consistent as a player.

Finding new life with KCorp

As a player, Targamas has certainly had his ups and downs. From debuting in the EU LCS before it became the LEC to being in ERLs and out of pro play entirely for a bit, to proving himself once again with KCorp in 2021 and showing the best the region has to offer with his 2022 run on G2 as an unstoppable force in the role.

However, as those who saw XL’s start to 2023 would know, that high from his run with G2 wouldn’t last. Targamas went from the top of the world to dead last in a matter of months, eventually bowing out of XL entirely and heading back to KCorp. At present, he’s back to dominating with him having taken over the LFL alongside ADC prodigy Caliste.

Targamas’ affinity for carry supports gives him a lot of potential other players in the role don’t, but only if he has a team that can take full advantage of that latent potential.

“It takes a lot of trust in yourself, takes a lot to stand up to the team, right? And actually make a case that you can bring some other stuff to the table. Then the team has to trust you, which – some people that I’ve played on teams with recently – they don’t believe in this, right? They don’t believe, so they just put you in the standard support role, and you just have to do your job.

“Some people can do that. Me personally? I don’t feel like I’m thriving as a player when I’m put in that scenario. I just feel like it’s really important for me to be in an environment where I know that I’m trusted by my teammates, not only for what’s happening in game, but also for all the conversations and all the ideas that they can bring outside of the game as well.”

That said, it got to the point with G2 that even his teammates would have no clue what he’d end up picking next. In the time since his departure from the org, Targamas has been working on finding ways to hone and refine his playstyle on a smaller pool of champions so that he could be the best in the world at a few distinct options rather than being above-average at several different supports.

“Back then it was kind of a lottery, right? Like, sometimes, when I was given last pick, G2 didn’t even know what I was gonna play. Which can be funny, right? And I’m also very appreciative of them, like, giving so much trust to me. Because it worked out. But yeah, it can be scary for your teammates when they don’t even know what’s gonna happen.”

Preparing to face the best team in the world

The Red Bull: League of its Own event has put Targamas in the unique position of being able to face T1 in the off-season, with the team being hot off of their Worlds 2023 win. Prepping against a team this strong is no small feat, though Targamas’ experience with international competition gave him at least some idea of how difficult this matchup would be.

“When you play in Europe, you play the whole year against the same players, you scrim against them every day, you play against them in solo queue. And also, you’ve known the players for years already, right? I mean, some new faces come in, and then you need a bit of time to kinda learn what they like to play, how they like to play. But, in the end, you kind of know every single player, right? But, when you come into those international events, you basically have no idea who you’re playing against.” Targamas explained.

“The big shock for me was just, I think, when we had to do the first drafting prep for T1, for RNG, teams like that. You just don’t know what to expect, so you kinda have to assume the enemy team plays everything. And then it becomes way harder to draft because we are taught to find plans in game. Like, maybe the scouting becomes less useful because you have less data, all that stuff that makes it so different from playing in the safe environment that you know so well in EU.”

When Dexerto last asked T1 Gumayusi about his and Keria’s champ pool, he claimed there wasn’t anything he and Keria hadn’t tried. It seems that still holds true considering Gumayusi picked Cho’Gath ADC and let Keria play Caitlyn support in their match at Red Bull: League of Its Own. It’s truly hard to say what this team will pull out.

Ultimately, if Keria can play anything well, why put time into trying to counter what you think he might pick when you can put time into refining your own strategy? Targamas decided instead to just lock in Senna and try to beat Keria at his own game, but things didn’t work out in his favor when Keria instead picked Caitlyn, a support champ he himself pioneered.

Regardless of the result of the exhibition match, Targamas is motivated to make 2024 his year and shed the doubts generated by the way things went with XL in 2023.

Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games
Targamas plays his best when he’s having a good time with his team.

“Next year, I would just like to have fun with my team. Maybe for some people it sounds dumb, but I feel like, for me, it’s it’s something I need, right? I need to appreciate the moment that I live with my team. I need to create memories. And, of course, winning helps a lot for this. You can’t really have fun and you can’t really create memories when you’re just losing every game. But… Yeah, I know a lot of people have a lot of doubts about me, about the split I had in EXCEL, but I don’t really mind. I don’t really care about criticism too much. I don’t really care about what people say.”

Targamas was clearly confident that he’s still got what it takes to play at an LEC level or even beyond it, something he hopes to prove against T1. However, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have anything to prove. Whether he ends up in the LEC or not, Targamas wants to make it clear he can be the best support in Europe without having to lean on G2.

“It would be good to clear up my name a bit, but I know there will always be doubters and they will always be haters. I don’t mind, but also… In the future, winning the LEC would be something I’m chasing because a lot of people attribute my success to maybe getting boosted by playing with Caps and Jankos and that makes it an easy LEC win. I know that I’m able to do it without them. I’m looking forward to proving it.”