We caught up with Rogue support Adrian ‘Trymbi’ Trybus off the back of the team’s qualification for the LEC Summer playoffs to talk mental resilience, Rogue’s Summer development, and why he still thinks he’s too hard on himself after two years of pro play.
Trymbi is not a rookie, but he’s not quite a veteran either.
After two years in the LEC, he has just qualified for his fourth playoffs in the 2022 Summer split — but, in many ways, he’s still that same wide-eyed 20-year-old who stepped out onto the LEC stage two years ago.
Rogue’s qualification for the summer playoffs was by no means smooth sailing. In fact, 2022 has been a pretty rough year for the whole roster, which has been acclimatizing to a rebuild after losing two of its star players, Kacper ‘Inspired’ Słoma and Steven ‘Hans sama’ Liv, at the end of 2021.
They bounced back from those losses in the Spring split, and they’ve bounced back now, securing themselves a third-place finish in the regular season, but the road to get here hasn’t been easy. Trymbi is the first to admit that the team have been through their fair share of ups and downs this split, dropping some painful games for a team who’ve been consistent top three contenders.
“I think we messed up the situation where we could easily be first, I think, in the regular split and that’s just unlucky,” he told Dexerto. “That just came from us not really being able to manage some of the problems that we had throughout the split. But I think that right now we are in a really good position to go for playoffs, and I think that we’re doing better and better.”
Growing pains for Rogue
Rogue were renowned in the LEC for being the ‘safe’ team — rarely making egregious mistakes, but also rarely pushing leads to their fullest and struggling to end games where they had a clear advantage.
That has changed this year, and it’s something Trymbi is very cognizant of. “Every game will still have some of these mistakes that tend to happen” he explained, “and it has almost become a characteristic of us to makes these mistakes.”
‘Mistake’ isn’t a word you would have particularly associated with Rogue before this year. Perhaps ‘hesitance’ or ‘overcaution’, but not necessarily ‘mistake’. But that was the old Rogue — the new Rogue is dropping games to Team BDS, the undeniable worst team in the LEC, and then qualifying for playoffs one day later with a convincing victory against Team Vitality.
But despite the somewhat turbulent road to get here, Rogue are now in the playoffs. They’ll face MAD Lions on August 26, the outcome of which will see one team drop down to the loser’s bracket and one team one step closer to that finals berth.
Trymbi is happy with where the team is at, even if their closing weekend of LEC games wasn’t exactly perfect.
“I think we’re now at a point again where we’re slowly getting back to where we want to be,” he said. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re playing exactly how we want to play, and we’re just really on the same page with stuff.
“Even though problems are still going to come up, I think it’s completely natural. It’s impossible to get rid of every single problem you have as a team. But I think we’re on a good track to make sure we’re the best possible team we can be for the playoffs.”
Rogue’s history of playoff struggles is well-documented — despite being one of the best-performing teams in the regular season throughout their time in the LEC, they’ve notoriously failed to get it together in time to claim their first LEC title. And although Trymbi can’t guarantee that this split will be any different, he’s always hopeful.
“We haven’t had that many solid games recently, but I think in every game we’ve shown the kind of improvements that we want,” he noted. “We’re getting better with every game and every week.”
Personal growth and dealing with self-doubt
Trymbi is a force of positivity when it comes to discussing Rogue’s improvement — but it’s clear that that positivity isn’t always something he extends to his own performance.
In an interview with Dexerto back in February, he asserted how he wanted to be seen as “more than just Rogue’s fifth player”. He talked about how “miserable” it had been playing second fiddle to Steven ‘Hans sama’ Liv, and it’s clear that some of that self-doubt about his own role on the team lingers.
“I don’t think I would put myself in the top three when it comes to support, but I always appreciate the fact that I’m here and I get to learn more and more,” he said. “I just want to make sure that I’m the best version of myself for my teammates.”
Self-esteem and self-confidence are a huge part of a pro player’s performance — if you don’t believe in yourself and have that level of confidence in your ability, then you simply won’t be as ready to take the risky plays and trust yourself to mechanically outplay opponents.
Trymbi admits that he’s often too hard on himself and his abilities.
“I think sometimes I have too many doubts, and they’ll just take over me and affect my performance,” he said. “Some weeks I can easily make sure that my mind’s clear and I can perform pretty cleanly, but sometimes there are just these weeks where you have so many doubts and your head is not clear. Your mind is just somewhere else, and you should be able to clear it, but sometimes it just doesn’t work the way you want it to.”
A rough patch
Psychological and mental support are becoming more and more common in esports, with multiple organizations investing in mental performance coaches and sports psychologists. Trymbi says that Rogue have been a huge help to him in overcoming his mental hurdles, but that despite his best efforts, he’s still not immune to low periods.
“The past couple of weeks haven’t been great for me,” he said. “I just wasn’t happy overall, and it wasn’t really anything to do with my team, or my performance, or my environment, or really anything like that. I just couldn’t really find the happiness that I’m usually able to find in the game.”
As with any public-facing persona, fans only get to see the parts of a pro player’s life that they choose to share. Despite the content pieces, interviews, and streams that teams and players put out, there’s always going to be a part of a player’s life that they choose to keep private. But these moments of despondency can only be kept quiet for so long.
“I think a lot of people noticed that I wasn’t myself,” he revealed. “I’m normally a person that smiles a lot and tries to joke around and talk to people, but for the past few weeks I’ve had a lot of problems with that just because I felt like I wasn’t myself.”
But a combination of playoff qualification and working on his mental state with the help of teammates and coaching staff has made Trymbi feel “more like himself” as of late. Although he’s not 100 percent back to where he was, he says that he’s “on a good track to come back not just to where I was before, but to who I am as a person.”
“I think, overall, this experience with me not feeling myself and not having that happiness will help me out,” he added. “Now I know a lot better how to deal with these situations. And now I know there are people who can help me out, and I believe more than ever that we can really do a lot this split.”
When does the rookie period end?
When he was interviewed after his 100th LEC game in Spring, Trymbi explained how he’d still feel like a rookie regardless of how much he played. One split on, that sentiment remains.
“I still try to find a lot of joy in the game,” he explained. “And I try to find new options. The Malmo LAN coming up is going to be my first ever LAN of this scale – it’s a completely new thing for me, and I feel like veterans should be used to these feelings and these events in a way that I’m not.”
Even after a period of adversity, Trymbi still has that wide-eyed joy for the game that doesn’t always correlate with his level of experience. But it’s something he’s determined not to lose.
“I think I’ll always say I still feel like a rookie, unless I play here in the LEC for ten years straight or something.”