KCorp is about to play in Red Bull’s League of Its Own, an exhibition tournament that will see them face reigning world champions T1. EsportsDotNet (Lee Jones) had the chance to speak to Raphaël “Targamas” Crabbé ahead of the action.
Targamas had a turbulent 2023. He kicked off the year on Excel’s disastrous 10th-place LEC roster before dropping down to the LFL in a fruitful Karmine Corp reunion that culminated in a third EMEA Masters title – winning the latest in front of a huge Montpellier crowd.
What drew you back to Karmine Corp after leaving Excel earlier this year?
Targamas: After the split with Excel, I was really feeling kind of bad because of the performance and because of things outside of the game that happened as well. So I think I just needed to go back to a safe place where I knew that I would be feeling good, having fun, having respect from my teammates, my organization.
I had still been in contact with KC for the whole time. Even after leaving them, after going to G2, I considered people there as friends. Some of the players I’ve been friends with for five, six, seven years already, so I was aware of what was going on in their team and I knew they were going to probably look at some changes for summer since their split also went badly. So it was just a good match, it just happened naturally that they wanted to bring me back and I wanted to go back there. Even if it meant leaving the LEC, which I didn’t mind because I was confident in the ability of the team and my ability.
What was it like winning EU Masters in the Summer during the LEC Season Finals roadshow?
Targamas: I think it’s one of my best memories in esports so far. I was really hyped when they announced that the EU Masters final was going to be in France. When we won in 2021 it was online, and while it’s fun winning online, it’s always a different feeling from winning in front of a crowd, and especially in front of our crowd. So when they announced that the final was going to be there, I think everyone put in extra, extra effort. We set the goal that we had to be there no matter what- we owed this to the org, we owed it to the fans. We just had to be there and win the trophy there, and I’m really happy that we managed to do so.
Lee Jones: KC finally gained a spot in the LEC.
What was your reaction?
Targamas: I’m just very happy for KCorp because I know, for Kameto especially, it’s a dream that he’s been trying to accomplish for the past years ever since he created KCorp. I’m just very happy for KCorp and for him that they finally managed to do it and it’s a new chapter for the organization.
After winning everything they could in the ERLs, it was time to go on and create some new stories and I’m just really happy that they will be able to.
How do you rate Caliste’s ability after his breakout split as your botlane partner with Karmine Corp?
Targamas: I think he’s a one-in-a-million player. I feel like nowadays, it’s pretty rare to find young players in League of Legends because I feel like the player base age went up throughout the years and I’m not sure that there are that many new players, at least new kids starting the game. So it’s really rare to find the profiles like him nowadays and I’m just really glad that we managed to find him and that we managed to get him.
I know some other LFL teams were giving him tryouts before, but they were not convinced with him. I’m not sure why. But I feel like the moment we started playing with him in the first tryouts, I was very convinced that he was going to be the best in the LFL and probably the future of the LEC at some point.
What convinced you so quickly?
Targamas: I think he just has a very different mentality from the usual, especially at his age. I have this view that, for a player to be great, he needs to have extra stuff. He needs to think further than how everyone thinks. I feel like most of the time, people think they need to — I don’t know — work harder? Stuff like that. But everyone works hard in the industry, everyone wants to be the best and everyone wants to win. That doesn’t make you special if you work hard.
I feel like he just has this particular skill that he always wants to push his leads, to create stuff, and I think for an AD carry it’s something that we rarely see. So, from the moment we played our first games, I immediately saw that he had this mentality. It convinced me because, as I said, it’s not something we see, especially from players at this level.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming Red Bull League of Its Own exhibition tournament?
Targamas: I think it’s great. I feel like everyone can agree that the League of Legends calendar is pretty strange, because it’s so packed for nine, or 10 months, and then for two, or three months you have basically nothing. So I think it’s good to have some events in the offseason for sure. I think to spice it up a bit, make it interesting for the fans and make them not forget the players and to start hyping it up a bit for the next season.
Are you looking forward to laning against Gumayusi and Keria?
Targamas: I think it’s gonna be very fun, for sure. It’s going to be the last game, maybe for a while, that we play together with Caliste, so I’m looking forward to playing some more games with him again and also against probably the toughest opponent we can find at the moment. So it’s gonna be interesting to see what we can do against them.
Playing against T1 is always a privilege. Not everyone has this chance maybe ever in their career, so I hope people can appreciate it – the fans and also the players.