July 24th, 2012
Author: Harry Cook
Support player for Team Dignitas’ League of Legends’ team, L0CUST, talks about adjusting to having a new member in the team as well as preparation before going to Korea for the OGN.
I had the chance to catch up with Team Dignitas’ League of Legends’ support player, L0CUST. I spoke to him about his experiences as a pro gamer and the effects of the recent team switches, with Crumbzz being a new addition to the team.
L0CUST give us an insight into the daily life of a professional gamer?
L0CUST: We take gaming a little more relaxed, practicing about 5 times a week at around 3 to 4 hours a session. Other than that, we pretty much do whatever we want. For me that’s hanging out with friends, family, and my pets, watching movies, reading, and browsing the internet. However, all that will change when we’re in Korea!
What LAN event has been your favourite and what made it so special for you?
L0CUST: The first and the latest events are always special, but WCG 2011 was probably my favourite so far. It was my first international event and everyone was so friendly. The atmosphere surrounding the tournament and ceremonies really felt like it was all done for the players and people that make eSports possible. WCG was a very cool experience and a big reason why I am so excited to go back to Korea and compete in the OGN Summer League.
Can you give us an idea of the run down leading up to an event and any complications you have had in the past e.g. flying, hotels etc.?
L0CUST: The few days leading up to an event can get fairly hectic if we are involved in online tournaments. Trying to hide and practice a couple strategies, while competing online can be challenging. For the actual travel, I haven’t really had any complications, personally. Probably because I pack light and live near a nice airport. That tends to make travelling easy. I know Scarra always has some issue going anywhere and imaqtpie had his baggage lost on the way to IEM Hannover. I guess I am just lucky.
We haven’t seen you stream much recently, do you think it may increase when you receive your Alienware laptop?
L0CUST: For sure. I think we all plan to start streaming when we move in together for the couple months we are in Korea. Though, we still won’t be streaming scrims or practice, we plan on playing solo queue and interacting with our fans fairly often. The hours we do stream may not be the best though.
Do you think the recent team swaps shows eSports becoming stronger or still being a young sport where people jump ship often?
L0CUST: It’s still young for North American players as we generally come from an age group that has a lot of other life choices pulling at them. Maybe in a couple of years professional gaming will become more of an accepted career path rather than a gamble and life experience. That being said, eSports is definitely becoming larger and stronger as more and more people actively watch and follow the different scenes. I’m excited to see where eSports goes from here, especially now that Twitch.tv and CBS are actively finding ways to push competitive gaming into the mainstream.
Team Dignitas recently picked up Crumbzz. In the switch do you think that this will in the long run suit your play styles better or was losing VoyBoy a large loss for the team?
L0CUST: That’s basically how we view it. In the short run we felt it would be tough. VoyBoy has been a phenomenal player for us, and seeing him go was hard. After working with Crumbzz for a few weeks and taking 3rd at MLG, it already feels like we have better team coordination. He brought another strong voice to the team and a fresh outlook on the game, which I believe are essential to continue our stay at the top.
Do you feel stronger going into Korea knowing that even with your roster changes you grabbed 3rd place at MLG?
L0CUST: I feel the main reason we did so well is just having more LAN experience. It's nice knowing we can place highly even after just a short time practicing as a full team. Though, I think the real test will be our performances during our stay in Korea and then the Season Two regional, which every team in North America is practicing very hard for.
Many complained about how players were treated, do you think teams may have performed better if their needs were catered to?
L0CUST: Yes. However, that is how every LAN event is. Players just have to deal with situations and play their best. For most of the teams at MLG, it was either their first or second live tournament, so hopefully these teams stick around, learn, and improve. There is so much going on at a live event, something is bound to go wrong, it sucks, but the tournament was BO3 double elimination, so I'd say the outcome probably would have been the same.
What preparation will you be taking into Korea to help you improve after seeing your flaws at MLG?
L0CUST: Working on keeping our focus up throughout a game. Our losses were pretty much from a couple of mistakes that snowballed into more mistakes. Some careless deaths early on and a silly call late game is all that it takes to lose. It's pretty amazing what CLGNA did on the final day of MLG. Knowing how easy it is to lose a game, and how many games they had to win in a row to take home the gold. They had a great run and having that endurance is something we need to work on as Korea tends to use BO5 matches in the later stages of their tournaments.
Has support always been the role that has taken your fancy?
L0CUST: Sort of, when I started playing support, I thought it was cool, but I never really thought it was going to be my permanent position. I had mostly played jungle for my previous teams, and even when I joined Rock Solid which is of course now known as Team Dignitas, I joined as the jungler. When the game shifted into having dedicated support instead of a roaming support, nobody was too thrilled about filling the role, so I tried it out when Rambo played jungle Lee Sin. It was alright, but I thought I would be back in the jungle eventually. Turns out the position mostly stuck. I went back and forth for a bit, but ended up supporting full time.
What is it about support that makes it so appealing to you?
L0CUST: The rare moments where the most under-levelled and item-starved player in the game can make the most impact.
Why are support champions played in the current meta over say a bruiser bottom lane like Darius who has some utility and scales well into the late game as well?
L0CUST: Keeping up wards and oracles is too important, in many games I will end with only one completed item. Bruiser supports typically just explode late game without doing too much of anything, whereas characters like Alistar, Leona, Soraka, and Janna bring loads of utility without having to build items.
Do you think eSports has the potential to go further in the future possibly making a splash on TV with large events such as MLG being bought up by CBS Interactive?
L0CUST: Absolutely. I’m very excited to see what these organizations and others bring to eSports in these next few years.
Do you see yourself keeping a career in eSports 20 years into the future or is it just an experience that you want to have in your life for now?
L0CUST: I’m only 23, but yeah, if eSports is what I want to do 20 years from now, I will find a way to make it work.
Thanks for the interview L0CUST is there any shout-outs that you wish to do or links you want us to share?
L0CUST: Shoutout to our fans, it was awesome seeing everyone at MLG. To the team and crew over @TeamDignitas and to all our sponsors. Be sure to check out our streams and wish us luck throughout our stay in Korea!
-Harry 'Zerockk' Cook