VwS announces its new LoL team!
VwS would proudly like to announce the acquisition of a new League of Legends team! Based in North America, the VwS team is formed from an experienced bunch of League players, with the base knowledge and determination to make it far in the North American scene. The roster for the team is as follows:
Top – SandvichTF2
Jungle – RJ Pilkington
Mid – Novaks
ADC – Jibber
Support – TeeSum
Manager – Nolan Flores
Coach - Amon "Wildstarr" Jones
Analyst - Elim Song
The players all ended as High Diamond / Master tier players in the solo queue ladder in Season 4, and have been playing for a length of time to see how the meta has developed in LoL.
As some of you may see from the roster above, the team has a face which has already seen light in the NA scene. He will help to bring advice and knowledge from his experience of the scene. “RJ Pilkington” is the former vVv White player, who played top lane under the summoner name “vVV Get Snuggled” in the 2014 NACS. He has had insights into how a sponsored team works, and how living in a gaming house works for a group of players and staff. It is likely that as the team progresses, RJ may act as the rock for the team.
The rest of the team also come from a background within eSports, with some players on the team having played in the Halo scene, while others played SC2 (amongst other things). Overall, the team has a basic understanding of how competitive the eSports world is, and will be aiming to prove themselves as the season progresses.
I had the opportunity to interview the team, and learn about their past, hobbies and aims for the team. The follows are extracts from my time talking to both the players and staff of the newly acquired VwS LoL team:
JN: So firstly, what brought your team of five together?
Nicky (SandvichTF2): I met the team through reference by a friend of the team members. I simply just joined the team after I was recommended to join when there were already 4 members.
Teesum: Well I originally met RJ from a friend of a friend, and we played on a team briefly before he did his whole VVV thing. I tried to sub on VVV for a bit but I had health problems, so I had to stop playing. Then, after he was done with VVV he asked me if I wanted to try to make a new team because we had some past history playing together and we’ve just slowly picked up our current roster.
Nolan: I helped Manage RJ's his former team "Team VEX" which then turned into vVv Gaming. I then had to stop associating with the team because I had to train for the United States Navy. I recently got general (under honourable conditions) discharge from the military in Early November. I ran into RJ in November and asked if he wanted to make another team. At first he was hesitant but said sure why not. I'm happy he made that decision because now we have a very talented group of players now. We have spent about 2 months finding the right mix of players. And now have finally found a set roster to grow with.
We’ve now been playing a month and a half.
As you can see from the messages above, several members of the team have known each other for a long period of time, and a team made of friends is more likely to succeed! With a team made with those who already know each other, it is more likely that the team already has a decent synergy, as they are likely to know each other in some ways already.
JN: So what’s your favourite videogame outside of League of Legends?
Nolan: If it’s favourite game Then I will say Eve Online. Reason why is because when you have power in that game, it can make you wealthy in real life. If a war breaks out it can cost damage into the 300,000 USD zone. Also it’s, its own galaxy. Who doesn't like conquering planets ^.^
TeeSum: Probably Street Fighter 4. I enjoy how fast paced the game is and how the outcome of the game is totally in your hands since its 1 on 1, there are a lot of mind games and though that goes on. And you have to make really fast decisions
SandvichTF2: I enjoy Monster Strike, a mobile game on my phone, because it's sort of like an escape from any stressful PVP experiences if I needed it.
Again, a good sign from the team; a wide love of games shows clear enthusiasm and passion for gaming, and those who stay enthusiastic are likely to have the drive to progress in NA. Only time will tell for sure. Overall, it is clear that Nolan, TeeSum and Nicky (SandvichTF2) are ready to go out into the LoL esports scene and make a name for themselves and a team as a whole. After being such a highly ranked set of players in the solo queue ladder, it is clear that this new challenge is set to improve upon each player’s skill, while remaining an enjoyable experience for everyone involved!
After these questions, I had a brief conversation with Wildstarr, the coach of the team.
JN: So firstly, what does being the coach of the team actually involve?
Wildstarr: Being the coach of the team has two sides to it. For the moment its mainly in game coaching:
- Sitting with the players one on one.
- Giving them a better understanding of the pick and ban phase, and how team compositions should work.
- Keeping everyone’s’ mind-set under control when playing Solo Queue or Fives
- Always explaining new strategies that can broaden the skill of the team, and the diversity in plays that the team will make.
JN: As a coach, how much time do you spend playing LoL to learn the game? What rank / division are you aiming for as your end of season goal?
Wildstarr: As a coach I am slowly spending more time studying the other regions of the game than playing. I roughly try to get 3-5 solo queue games a day though to get a feel for North American picks/bans. I normally sit in low Master tier so I’ll be trying for High master/low Challenger as a 2015 season goal.
JN: Are there any professional LoL teams that you guys all aspire to and take ideas from, or do you take the pro LoL scene as a whole, and adapt to how it is changing?
Wildstarr: Any ideas that seem knowledgeable and are statistically showing numbers, I’d love to throw it at the team see how they can adapt to it.
As you can see from the chat, the team is still learning and developing around using its staff to the full potential. As with any new team, there will be a period of time where Wildstarr will learn and adjust to the team, but expect the staff to remain a key part of this VwS LoL side.
Next up on the interview list was Elim, the team’s analyst:
JN: Right then, first of all, being the analyst is a serious job for the team. How regularly do you analyse games with the team, and what do you help them to improve on?
Elim: I'm actually a new addition to the team! The team practices 6 days a week and I hope to analyze and bring new ideas to the table every single day. This game is a team game and that includes the coach/manager/analyst as much as it does the players. I look forward to helping them on reviewing their games, seeing the damage output for each game, different strategies that work with the synergy of the team, and statistical analysis. ^^
JN: As someone who is clearly passionate about League, who is your favourite champion, and why?
Elim: Ooh, that is a hard one. Well my heart has always been with Pantheon. Although he doesn't scale very well, I find that his hard cc and awesome passive help in the jungle and in ganks. Also, Dragonslayer Panth ftw!
JN: Again, good answer, cheers. Third question, do you feel like imports into the NA and EU scene are going to be beneficial for the LCS?
Elim: It's definitely beneficial in the end. Although communicating because of language barriers will be difficult, I believe that the strengths and different mind-sets of foreign players can really change the game and set a higher standard. We will be able to see plays that are seen in Worlds at the LCS. You can see this is evident with all the imports of Korean players to the NA scene.
JN: Couldn't agree more haha! Last question for you then I'll let you get on with your evening! Do you have any messages to those who are thinking about backing you as a team, or may be fans in the future?
Elim: Not a problem! Our team has incredible passion for this game, and hopefully by fuelling our focus into improving mechanics, techniques, and strategies, we'll be able to prove that we are determined to make it to the top!
Elim is clearly a young and focussed member of the VwS squad, and is aiming to help the team leave a lasting message on North American League players and fans alike! Analysis will be key to the team’s success in the long run, and Elim will be aiming to analyse every single performance to the best of her ability.
Next up was RJ, the team’s jungler and the guy who is set to be the driving force behind the VwS team.
JN: So, first question. As the shot caller of the team, when do you make the calls for your lanes? Do you allow lanes to make calls early game, or do you ensure that you have a tight control over your team at all times?
RJ: I will call before the game what I want to do level one, right off the bat. So where to get wards out and what camps I want to start then transfer to afterwards. After a few minutes into the game I look for opening and I usually just ask the lane that would be involved. I often ask the question, can you do this (a specific call)? If they say no, we don't do it. If they say yes then i confirm were going to do that and we go. E.g. invade enemy blue buff, or bring support up to gank mid with me. Likewise they will make calls saying that i can come to their lane for a gank and if I think it’s a good idea we'll do it.
After lane phase it’s more chaotic. The same thing goes where it’s better to ask before you make the play to make sure everybody is on top of things. But there are times where you need to take the opportunity and at that point, whoever is in the position to initiate the call is up to them just doing it. If we have top Lissandra or bottom Leona, if i were to tell them to go then by the time they hear me and react it’s often too late. So we have to be ready to follow up and the person engaging has to be aware if we are in position to do so or not.
JN: So, next question, what sort of jungle champions do you enjoy playing? Are you a fan of carry oriented junglers, or do you play specific champions based on each individual situation (for example)?
RJ: Jungle isn’t usually as diverse as other roles can be. Usually just a few junglers dominate the scene at a given time. Since I like winning, I usually play those. Also, if you get ahead enough on any champion it's a carry champion ;)
JN: How can fans get in contact with you and the rest of the team?
RJ: Yell really, really loud.
After the witty response, RJ then provided me with the following links! Feel free to follow him and the rest of the team!
Lastly was Jibber the ADC of the team. Unfortunately Novaks was not present during my time talking to the team, but I am sure we will hear from him in the future!
JN: How do you feel the synergy is coming along between you and your team's support? As a team who has recently formed, do you have natural synergy in the bot lane, or are you gradually learning how each other play as you go along?
Jibber: When I first joined the team Teesum was our mid laner and we had 2 supports trying out. It was decided that he wasn't performing consistently enough and we changed mid laners. He tried out for support and immediately impressed me with his lane pressure.
My ideal way of playing the lane is to try and dominate the lane and create a large amount of map pressure. With matching aggressive positioning, Teesum and I will take every opportunity to punish the enemy for their mistakes in lane.
Although I think our synergy is great, I think we both tunnel vision in our over aggression at times. We're improving on one person keeping the other in check so we don't get blind-sided by jungle pressure under their tower in lane or walk up to Annies’ as Soraka.
I think our synergy is more natural. We both enjoy each other's company and take the other's criticism well. I personally love teasing people and Teesum can always take it and dish out his own. I'm glad we kicked this scrub off the team as a mid laner.
Which region do you feel is strongest at this current point in time? If Korea, what do you feel can be done to close the margin in other regions?
Jibber: It's hard to tell at the moment. There's was a huge player shuffle during the pre season and new competitors have emerged. What was once the strongest organization in League with both the top 2 teams in 2014 has now been relegated to a group of new blood at the bottom of the ladder in Korea. I don't think any region can be considered the strongest at the moment.
Having said that I do think China is currently in the strongest position. They currently have the largest amount of talent out of all of the leagues after their acquisitions of the top talents in Korea barring Faker himself. If they can overcome the language barrier I wouldn't be surprised to see a strong showing from them at World's.
I do think Korea has the strongest team in world currently with Huya Tigers. They have shown a dominating performance in LCK with a perfect record dropping only a single game to the 2nd place team Jinair. Their teamwork was already there as the old roster for Najin Black Sword and their coach NoFe pushes them over the top. Although they may be preying on a weakened scene, I haven't seen many mistakes from either their play or picks and bans.
Being the last member to talk to is not always the easiest, but it appears from my time with Jibber that he has a great understanding of the game, and how bot lane works within the current meta. With continued practise and communication between both Jibber and TeeSum, it could be that they become one of the strongest pairs in the North American scene.
The team has its hopes set high, with the plan to try and achieve a spot in the NACS within the next season. It is now up to them to produce what we hope will be a successful year for them personally, and the VwS organisation as a whole. Stay followed for updates on streams from the team members and social events that the team are going to be involved in!
We look forward to seeing the VwS team in action and hope that you as fans of the organisation can help to get involved and support our team as they go all out in North America!
-James “Drizzable” Naylor