Hey Shiphtur hows it going?
It’s going pretty good, just been practicing hard for relegations.
You had to sit out during the Spring Split due to visa issues. What was it like watching your team compete without you?
It was definitely hard to watch the team struggle to find a replacement in such short notice and their performance at the beginning of the split was a result of that overwhelming stress. Being on the sidelines and not being able to do anything is a terrible feeling.
What is it like to know you’re the first professional esports player to receive a P-1A Visa? How big is this for eSports?
Hmm, doesn’t really mean much to me if I don’t accomplish anything with it, but it is definitely a stepping stone for the growth of eSports and will only continue to grow.
After resolving the visa issue you were finally able to compete in the LCS with Team Coast. Unfortunately Coast didn’t find the success that they had in the first split. What were some of the problems the team encountered that led to a 7th place finish?
There were a lot of factors that resulted to our 7th place finish but the major problems with our team before was our attitude and dedication to the game. Pretty much all the members on the team were really young and even just getting out of high school, so it was a change of pace that needed time getting used to.
Some people questioned if you were a better pick over Jintae since GGU finished 2nd with him. Did this criticism effect your play at all?
I’d be a liar if I said it didn’t.
Team Coast has been competing in the challenger scene for awhile now and have been performing quite well. Have you resolved some of the problems that plagued you last split?
We’ve resolved most of them but still have a lot to work on. Personally my play has gotten a lot better and have taken on a much more proactive role as a mid laner where I used to spend a lot of time reacting to my opposing laner’s actions but now I usually set the pace of the lane.
What are your thoughts on the current challenger scene? Are the teams strong? What does a strong challenger scene mean to LCS teams?
The challenger scene has drastically improved from practically non-existent to weekly matches just like the LCS. At the moment there are only about 2 or 3 strong teams but they will continue to improve especially with the introduction of the Coke Zero league. A strong challenger scene means an opportunity for the next generation of pro players to be introduced into the competitive scene. When people grow old or lose their ability to keep up with other players, it makes it possible for them to be replaced with equally or if not better players.
Voyboy has recently made the change to the mid lane. What are your thoughts on him at the moment?
Voyboy has always been a strong mechanical player with great solo lane knowledge and a vast champion pool. At the moment he’s definitely still adjusting to the role but I have no doubt that he will become a strong mid laner.
As a mid laner has there been any other mid laners that have impressed you in the challenger scene?
The only challenger mid laners who stand out are Pobelter and pr0lly.
Something that I haven’t seen anyone give you credit for is being able to find out what mid laners are strong in the meta before most. Last split you played a significant amounts of Zed and Ahri. Throughout the challenger scene you have played Nidalee, Syndra, Leblanc, and even Ziggs who are all hotly contested picks lately. Why do you think you are able to find out whose strong before most players?
When I think through champion picks, I don’t restrict myself to champions that are currently being used. Just because champions like Zed, Ahri, etc are popular does not mean they will be popular forever. So I think of possible champion counters that are also suitable for the current meta, the counter to that meta and champion picks that are suitable for the counter. Just an endless cycle of metas really.
What makes Leblanc, Syndra, Nidalee, and Ziggs strong right now in your mind? Are there any other champions that you think are strong at the moment?
At the moment the meta heavily favors siege compositions. Nidalee and Ziggs gives your team unreal siege potential and are playable because of the nerf to many assassins. However with the nerf to Ahri and Zed, other assassins(Leblanc) are playable because there was no reason to pick her before when Ahri and Zed were available. At the moment Riven is very strong.
If Team Coast makes it pass relegations do you think your team will have a competitive edge over some of the LCS teams due to the fact that Coast hasn’t stopped competing in tournaments?
I don’t think so; teams have been already getting back into practice so not really. We may have a morale boost because of our success in the challenger tournaments but that’s pretty much it.
What are some of the goals you have for yourself and Team Coast for Season 4?
My goal is to be the best mid laner in NA and to compete internationally. #1 ALL THE WAY
Thank you for the interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your fans and sponsors?
Shoutouts to our sponsors CyberpowerPC, LoLClass, and Corsair. Thank you to my fans for supporting me and watching me grow as a player and I’ll make you guys proud this upcoming split.