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When the LEC Winter 2023 Group Stage format was first revealed, many LEC fans and viewers wondered how that would affect new teams heading into the new year. For MAD Lions star midlaner Yasin “Nisqy” Dinçer, the pressures of a shortened season were nearly nonexistent because of his strong belief in his team.

“The new schedule made things less exciting for me. It’s way less intense than before,” Nisqy said. “If you start the season off bad, then it is very intense, but if you are a decent team, you should easily be in the playoffs.”

Still, the new season posed some challenges regarding priorities in preparation for each week. When asked if the team prioritized the process over wins, it was an answer he struggled to conclude to, though he noted that adaptation was the biggest key to success in this new LEC format in 2023.

“It was a mix. While we wanted to win every game, we also did not want to sacrifice our improvement process because that needs to be a priority if you want to be the best team.” Nisqy said. “The schedule makes things very random, so you just have to do your best and adjust based on who you are facing that week, but the randomness of it can be difficult at times.”

With only nine games to showcase a team’s abilities, there were a lot of question marks surrounding the new-look MAD Lions built around jungler Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla and Nisqy due to uncertainty on how their new players would mix into the team.

Nisqy joined MAD Lions before the LEC 2022 Summer Split, where he helped the team rise from a disappointing seventh-place finish in the LEC 2022 Spring Split to a Worlds 2022 berth. As a result of his efforts, he was named the LEC 2022 Summer Split MVP for his performances.

That strong level of play continued in 2023 as Nisqy was the player of the game in four of MAD Lions’ seven wins so far. While he himself has been heralded for his immaculate mechanics on mages like Azir, Cassiopeia, and Viktor, he credited his continuous strong performances to the team’s quick growth.

“This new roster feels more like a team already in such a short time compared to last year,” Nisqy shared. “My botlane is very aggressive in its own way. That playstyle is something I like for myself, and I think Chasy (Kim "Chasy" Dong-hyeon) is capable of doing that as well, so you can rely on him to be aggressive when needed. That feels most different about this team than last year.”

He revealed the team's inner workings and how the primary shot-calling duties were still under the helms of de facto MAD Lions captain Javier “Elyoya” Prades Batalla. However, he was quick to note longtime Fnatic support Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov’s importance to the MAD Lions’ successes as well.

“Hylli was somebody I really wanted to play with again because he is what the team needed,” NIsqy said. “He has great morale and is incredibly receptive to feedback, so having him help me as a secondary shotcaller has been very helpful.”

MAD Lions midlaner Nisqy LEC 2023 Winter Split

MAD Lions will play against Astralis in the LEC Winter 2023 Group Stages

MAD Lions finished the LEC Winter 2023 regular season strongly by ending their season on a three-game winning streak. There, they took down the likes of Fnatic, Team Heretics, and finally G2 Esports en route to a 7-2 regular season finish just behind first-place Team Vitality.

After a successful regular season to kickoff 2023, Nisqy and the rest of the MAD Lions will move forward into the LEC Winter 2023 Group Stages part of Group B alongside G2 Esports, Team BDS, and Astralis. Their first opponent in their campaign toward a playoff spot will begin with a best-of-three against Astralis on Sunday, Feb 12, 2023.