Welcome to The Bag.
Every week, I will graciously answer your questions about everything in the esports and gaming world. From the highbrow to the gutter, I will make sure to give you my honest, unfiltered opinion sponsored by absolutely nobody (yet).
Without further ado, let’s dive into the bag and see what we can pull out.
What was the worst or most uncomfortable interview you’ve had during your career? — “Zinner”
Damn, that’s a chipper way to begin.
Yet, as I will always do in this column, I will tell the truth and try to give the best answer possible.
While I won’t name the player (since I don’t believe it was his fault), the worst or most depressing interview I ever conducted happened a few years ago at the LCS Arena.
A team had spent big on an imported player from an opposing region and there was a lot of excitement around them. They didn’t get off to a hot start and a week or two into the season, I had the opportunity to chat with them after a lost game.
I tried to break the ice like I usually do with a player talking after a loss, but they weren’t having it. I then moved onto the technical side of the game and they shut that down as well, not really wanting to elaborate further.
This left me my last option: hoping to get some fun, buzzy anecdotes about their life since moving to North America. People love hearing about how an international player had American fast food for the first time and whatnot.
I asked what the favorite food was since getting to Los Angeles and they answered “nothing.” I asked what type of music they liked to listen to and got the same response. I asked if there was anything positive about living in NA and the answer was the same.
I thanked them for the interview and they slumped off, obviously not in a great head space. It really showed how important it is for organizations to be smart, kind and proactive when it comes to integrating players from other countries. For the most part, they’re just kids, thrown into this new strange world where life can become lonely and stressful if not given proper support.
Thankfully, that has been improved upon in recent years and we’ve seen LCS teams in particular put a lot more resources into making sure their foreign players get the help and attention they need to adjust to their new surroundings. Players are more than just stat lines and Twitter one-liners.
What do you think about the Europe Regional Leagues, specifically France and Spain? — “Fertu”
I absolutely adore the ERLs and am jealous, as a North American, of the storylines and prospects produced by them. Europeans get to watch their next generation stars play in big, large-scale leagues and tournaments before taking the next step into the League of Legends European Championship.
As for France and Spain, those two regions on their own could host their own major leagues if needed. France, with Karmine Corp, has changed how I and many others view regional leagues, and Spain is quickly becoming the Mecca of live streaming in the west with the numbers their top personalities pull.
ERLs are fantastic and a reason why even if you want to argue the LCS and LEC are relatively even in strength right now, there is little doubt Europe will continue being the deeper and overall better-performing region.
Best city for a LAN tournament/event? — “WistfulHunger”
I have been fortunate enough in my career that I’ve traveled a bunch, pre-pandemic, around the globe.
The best cities I’ve been to in terms of fans and infrastructure for esports are easily Seoul and Shanghai. Those two cities are absolute class and perfect for hosting large-scale LANs.
If we are talking about my own personal experience and how much I enjoyed the city itself along with my work, here is my official top five:
Busan, South Korea
Do you think we will ever again see a team as dominant and creative as 2019 G2 in the west? — “Luka05”
I believe. As mentioned in an earlier question, the ERLs are not only a fantastic product in terms of production but also for the future of European League of Legends.
While I do believe China and South Korea will stay atop of the regional hierarchy chart until either country gets bored of League of Legends, the west, Europe in particular, will have a golden age team again where everything clicks from top to bottom. There is too much talent and money poured in for the west to stay as irrelevant as they were in 2021 forever.
2019 G2 Esports was a special team, but like everything, a team in the future will eclipse them. Hell, it might just be another G2 team.
So though I don’t think it is logical to expect the west to ever overtake Korea or China as the consistent leader in League of Legends, there will definitely be teams that can compete and win the Summoner’s Cup in the future.
Tyler1 is about to get Challenger in the support role. Do you think he could be a pro player in North America if he wanted to? — “AlphaM”
This is an interesting question that have two very clear answers.
I do believe that if Tyler1 applied himself, quit streaming and bought fully into the concept of a pro team, he could make it as a pro player. Beyond the yelling and bravado, Tyler is an incredibly intelligent player who knows more ins and outs of the game than a lot of pros today.
We’ve seen that he has succeeded in large part due to his instincts and selflessness in-game, which can be transferred over regardless of what you think of his mechanics.
The other side to it is that it will never happen because the man makes too much money streaming to ever throw that away for 5% of the salary in the Academy league.
And for people who think a franchise wouldn’t want him for his past, I can say that an LCS team a few years ago actually tried to sign him to their Challenger/Academy roster as a starter. This was a little after he was unbanned from Riot. They actually believed that he could be an LCS talent if developed properly, but Tyler turned them down to focus on streaming.
While he is older now, I still wouldn’t bet against him if he was thrown onto a random Academy roster. You might not know this, but he’s a bit of a problem.