Interview with LCS Team 8 Coach Matt Schmieder

I had the opportunity to interview Matt Schmieder, head coach of professional League of Legends lineup Team 8 who competed in the League of Legends Championship Series.

Q: Hey Matt, for those who don’t know much about you, how about you tell us a bit about yourself?

A: I’m Matthew Schmieder, the head coach of Team 8. I’m from New Jersey and I’m 19 years old. I took a break from studying at Rutgers University to live the esports life. In my free time lately I’ve been listening to music, playing solo queue or 5s with friends, and watching Starcraft.

Q: How did you get involved with Team 8?

A: I became a big fan of Team 8 during NACL Season 2, when they came from out of nowhere and started taking games off LMQ, when no other team was, and I followed them in other tourneys like NACS and Black Monster Cup. Sometime around last April/May I messaged Maple on Twitter, asking if the team was looking for analysts. I showed them some samples of my work and they decided to trial me. Eventually they said I could stay in their team house during the summer, then we made LCS and now I’m here.

Q: What’s the team training routine in the house? In other words, how does the team’s daily schedule look like?

A: We typically have two scrim blocks a day, the first usually starting at 12pm. Blocks can be anywhere from 2-4 hours, and I usually schedule at least an hour break between both blocks. After the second block, we do replay review. Other than that, there isn’t that much structure to our schedule. We tried to implement set sleep/wake-up times, but I think we are all reasonable enough about it that we don’t need it to be set it stone. Additionally, some of us have different sleep schedules so setting us all to the same time might throw some people off.

Q: As the coach, do you advise the players on strategies or play styles?

A: Yes I do advise on strategy. I see my main job as getting the players to be more mindful of overall strategy, as applied to every phase of the game. As for play-styles, every team undoubtedly has a play-style but I also see my job as trying to move our team away from a predictable “style” and instead toward being able to play a multitude of styles as necessary. That’s is a lofty goal which not many teams really achieve, but it’s good to have that final goal in mind.

Q: It’s been a bit of a rocky start so far for Team 8, do you expect that to change for the rest of the split?

A: I do expect it to change. In scrims, I think there’s tangible progress being made in our team-play which doesn’t always manifest itself in LCS games. We obviously aim to place as high as possible, but I think keeping focused on improvement just as much as LCS results will benefit us more in the long run.

Q: How is your relationship with the team? Is it strictly professional?

A: I wouldn’t call it strictly professional. I’ve lived with the team for about half a year now, and it’s hard to be strictly professional when you go through everything together for that long, not that that’s a bad thing necessarily. It’s also important to note that my relation to them previously was as an analyst rather than a coach, so I wasn’t expecting the same level of respect or authority that I do now. And transitioning to a different role has had its own unique challenges.

Q: What advice would you give to somebody that wants get involved in Esports, whether as a player or a coach/manager?

A: It is maybe true that in esports, you need a bit of luck to break into the scene, but that’s not something you can control. What you can control is that you work hard and have a mind toward improving yourself, always. I feel as if Thorin might have said the same once, and that’s because it’s applicable to anything you do.

Q: There is a lot of controversy regarding player imports from outside of the region. Do you think that there is fresh talent in North America?

A: Undoubtedly. I think it’s really on the orgs to give challenger/amateur players the environment to grow, and the right people to guide young talent in the right direction attitude-wise. At the same time, I don’t blame teams for looking overseas for talent .The LCS format is unforgiving in that it doesn’t allow much time for players to learn on the job, whether you’re looking to either compete for worlds or avoid relegation. If you have to choose between an NA player who needs time to learn to play competitive, or a seasoned foreign player (ignoring language issues), isn’t the answer obvious? By that I don’t mean that every imported player is necessarily more seasoned or always the better move, but that it’s important to consider a team’s motivations and needs before criticizing a roster decision.

Q: Thanks for your time Matt. Before we end this interview, do you have anything to say to all your fans?

A: Thanks to everyone who supports Team 8 in a positive way! We appreciate you for sticking with us through everything. Also shout out to my best friend Mike who has always been there for me.

I would like to thank Matt for taking the time to sit down and answer those questions. I wish him and his team the best of luck in the NA LCS!

For more tips to get better at league, enter your email for the free Summoner School course.

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How to Form a Team That Will Challenge the Top

Since my involvement in the E-sports scene in Australia, I have played for the top League of Legends team (now known as Team Immunity) for two years. At the beginning of this year I took a step back from a player role and now am the manager, coach, and team analyst for Team Exile5 Eclipse.

During my experiences I noticed many trends between the top teams and conversely between the teams that crash and burn. Here they are.

Traits of the top teams:

1. At least one hyper-carry style player. Either through mechanics, decision making, or both, every team needs a player who consistently does well.

The term hyper-carry should not be confused with a player who plays to a high level. High level players can carry once they are fed, but hyper-carries, will influence a game in such a way that they can carry a game even when playing from behind. When you try to think of someone who can do this, who comes to mind? Perhaps Doublelift?

2. Objective-orientated play. This is where a lot of teams fall down. Since the most common form of practise is solo queue, objectives are often underrated. Weak teams only play well in the laning phase. A lead during laning phase is good but quite irrelevant without direction into the mid-game.

Top teams maintain impeccable ward coverage to protect objectives. The first dragon/tower is theirs. They’re patient and timely in pushing their advantages.

3. Synergy between the players. Synergy is perhaps the most ambiguous term that is most commonly used to describe team play. Players from top level teams seem to be on the exact same wavelength. Skills, movement, and decisions happen with fluidity.

How many times have you heard a caster say “must have been a lack of communication” when two players overlap stuns or engage at different times? A majority of the time it is down to synergy. During split second plays there is no time to communicate with your team and you have to rely on past experience to identify when your team mate is going to engage or if they are going to lead with their stun. Synergy is a skill unique to every team you play on and is only obtained through practise with your members.

Traits of failed teams:

1. Low-to-average solo queue rating. No matter what argument you put forth, you cannot deny the average individual solo queue rating of top teams. They’re all within the top 1%. I have seen a lot of teams form of gold and plat players who believe team work will prevail above all else but that is like believing that a Ferrari can be made out of wood. It is in your best interest to become the best player you can be individually before seeking a competitive team. Summoner School helps you achieve this.

2. They do not regularly practise together. Any professional sports team has a practice schedule and places importance on team practice. Even in the little leagues of soccer, cricket, or basketball, there was a dedicated day and time for team practice. If you couldn’t make it, you let your coach know and gave a reason. A lot of failing teams do not have the discipline to turn up to team prac regularly. They often will not give a reason which snowballs on other team members (“if he didn’t show up, why should I?”)

3. Expecting too much too soon. If you form a team of diamond players from scratch and throw yourself up against a team that has been together for a year or more, how do you think you’ll fair? You might win the laning phase, but you can never undervalue the experience of a well-established team. It should take at least six months of consistent 3-4 days a week of prac before you even expect to challenge first place. A lot of teams never get to this stage and disband after losing.

Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.Thomas Edison

This concept is explored in depth in one of my previous articles.

With the release of the OCE servers and the Oceanic Season 3 Championship, I have seen a handful of promising teams form as well as a number of highly talented individuals revealed by the ranking system. The Australian E-sports scene has geared up to allow for a thriving industry to unfold. If you are serious about making a career in professional gaming in the future, I implore you to have patience and not to give up easily. It is a hard road and nothing will happen quickly. Persistence is key. If you work hard enough, the outcome will be very rewarding.

Good luck,
Daniel “Kingpin” King

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7 Habits Of A Highly Effective LoL Player

Ever wondered what the best LoL players do so effectively that sets them apart from everyone else? Consistency is one of the biggest differentiating factors and apply to all of these habits so keep that in mind as you continue to read. I’m UberGiantsBro and these are 7 Habits Of A Highly Effective LoL Player.

Habit 1. Effective LoL players play at their peak and stop when they start getting tired or start playing sloppy.

Back when I was trialing for the state Futsal squad, they ran us through all of the fitness trials before moving on to the shooting drills. I thought this was weird. Wouldn’t it be better to have us do the shooting first when we were fresh and our legs weren’t tired?

The reason they did this was actually pretty simple. They wanted to see how we handled shooting with tired legs and with our adrenaline pumping, ‘under load’, as it were. They were testing us to see how we would perform with stress and under realistic playing conditions.

The transferable lesson here, as it were, is that it’s crucial to practice on or near a stress level – an arousal level (teehee, arousal) – that is similar to what you would be performing with in a highly competitive scenario or when you think you would be performing your best (think maybe that promo series where you played really well).

stress and arousal

This means that you want to be playing when you are feeling fresh. The ‘optimal arousal level’ and ‘peak time to play’ varies for everyone but generally you’ll find that you perform your best after 1 or 2 games, as these get you in the zone. I’ve found for myself that I tend so play sloppy when I am physically tired near the end of a big day, so I know now to generally just avoid playing late at night when my brain just wants to shut down.

Arousal and stress (a little bit of stress) makes you aware and keeps you alert in game. When you start letting your guard down, well that’s when you start making silly mistakes, slipping up in lane, losing track of the jungler or just flat out feeding. The most effective practice is when you are in the right mind frame.

The most effective practice is when you are in the right mind frame.

So here’s what you do; when you start losing concentration or start getting tired, stop playing LoL. Take a break. You will only play worse and possibly develop bad habits, and the time you spend playing sloppy you could spend doing something that would be more productive like going to bed earlier or doing your chores or something.

Some people like listening to music to get themselves in the zone. Maybe you play your best after a short jog or some other physical exercise to wake you up. Alternatively, you could #getfitwithsnoopeh in between games to keep yourself alert! Check out Snoopeh doing pushups with Froggen on his back.

The important thing to remember is to stop playing when you notice yourself getting tired and playing sluggishly. This is the time where you are most likely to go ‘on tilt’, and tilting is one of the biggest elo killers that you want to avoid.

Habit 2. Great LoL players instinctively look to analyze and correct their own mistakes before thinking about what others did wrong.

I recently did an article on using Immediate Reflection to improve in LoL which I would highly advise you check out if you haven’t already.

I truly believe this is the hallmark of a great LoL player, especially, especially true in League of Legends where the typical reaction to anything bad in a game of LoL is to blame others.

Could you imagine how much more fun to play (and in turn, competitive) League of Legends would be if every player was more concerned with what they could have done better themselves in every situation rather than what others could have done better? What a powerful concept.

Adopt this attitude of self reflection and practice this skill when you play and I guarantee that with time you will be well on your way to reaching your League of Legends goal. For more info on how to take ownership of your mistakes and the beauty of immediate reflection, read more about what I believe to be the secret To improving fast at LoL.

Habit 3. Smart LoL players focus on something specific and put what they learn to the test and practice it until it becomes routine.

Believe it or not, Doublelift – NA’s best ADC and one of the best ADC in the world – used to be ‘just a good ADC’. He always use to be great at cs’ing but he was generally very passive and average at harassing. Focusing on being more aggressive and smarter with his harass is what Doublelift says turned him from a good ADC to a great ADC.Doublelift is the greatest... everyone else is trash

Harassing is a specific skill, and Doublelift had to concentrate especially on this part of his game until he became good at it. It doesn’t just happen, you have to put extra focus on it to improve.

When you find something that is not so great in your game, focus on improving it. Techniques for finding these things include replay analysis (which will be discussed later on) and duoing with another good player.

Near the end of the first LCS split, team Dignitas were facing elimination. Crumbzz (Dignitas’ Jungler) stated in this interview that it was really going in to scrims and practice with intentions of focusing on something specific that carried them through the elimination process. Unfortunately you can’t time stamp with Gamespot videos but the part of the video I’m talking about is at 2 minutes in.

Habit 4. Pro LoL players play as if they are in the lead, but they know their limits.

There are a couple points I want to make with this habit that mostly revolve around a Pro player’s mindset in LoL. Firstly, there’s this whole thing about being positive that can help you play as if you have an advantage from the get-go.

For any of you that are familiar with the Law of Attraction (there’s a wiki link for you), this idea won’t take a lot of effort to get your head around. If you focus on the positive stuff, more positive stuff is likely to happen. Great.

Now how does being positive help you play as if you have an advantage? It basically comes down to knowing that you have the ability to change the flow of the game, even if you are behind.

knowing that you have the ability to change the flow of the game, even if you are behind

It’s the confidence in your own ability as a player and knowing what you can and cannot do. Think about these two mindsets and you’ll see what I mean;

Player A. Uhh he’s 30 cs ahead of me and we’re 8 minutes in. I think this game is over.

Player B. Uhh he’s 30 cs ahead of me and we’re 8 minutes in. It’s k he’s basing now and I might be able to pull some cs back. I’ll try to farm it out and have a bigger impact than him in the teamfights – Malphite is weak early and a beast later on anyway.

Player B has a better mindset, he knows that he scales well and that he has the ability to get back in the game. He is confident in his Malphite pick and that later he can still crush team fights.malphite-coral

Focusing on this keeps him more positive and has an immediate impact on his cs’ing and communication with his team. He is now a positive, unstoppable rock.

My second point is that Pro player’s are confident enough and sure enough of their own ability that they know if the enemy slips up, they will be there to capitalize. They just have to put out enough pressure safely and within their known limits to give their opponent opportunities to slip up.

I played mid against MandatoryCloud” (mid laner for Team Vulcun) and even though I was on my most comfortable champ at the time, Lux, I felt like he was always 5 steps ahead. Yes that is a Swain quote, yes he was playing Swain. The point is that he was confident enough in his play and on his champ that he knew how aggressive he could be while still playing relatively safely.

One of my teammates used to say, “If I can’t play aggressive in my lane, what better am I than these randoms?”

Obviously there’s more to it than just playing flat out aggressive, but the essence of what he was saying is very true. It’s knowing when it’s a good time to play aggressive that is the key. [Smooth transition to next habit, oh yeah]

Habit 5. Switched-on LoL players rarely get greedy, they know when it’s safe to take an advantage and when it’s a dangerous risk.

Ever been caught out farming that one last minion wave before going back to base or trying to take that inhibitor only to be caught with your pants down by Homeguard boots? I know I have, I’m sure you have. HotshotGG has.

Switched-on LoL players rarely get greedy. They take what advantage they can safely. They are confident enough in their own ability that they know they don’t need to take many risks throughout the game to win.

They are confident enough in their own ability that they know they don’t need to take many risks throughout the game to win.

It’s often been said that the team that makes the less mistakes in League of Legends wins. I think this holds considerable truth, and often the majority of mistakes stem from that ‘solo queue greed’ for kills, cs, towers, objectives or whatever.Greed often comes down to knowing what you can do when you’re fed and what you can do when you’re not fed/when a certain enemy is fed. For example, I’ve seen plenty of Singed players farm well and maybe even get a couple kills in their lane, but when it transitions over to a team fight they give up easy kills for free because they think they are indestructible.I recently played a solo queue game which illustrates common solo queue greed perfectly. In this game, the enemy team just got greedy/cocky again and again and it eventually led to their demise. Check out the greatest comeback in solo queue history.

A large portion of not getting greedy is again, knowing your champion and your own ability well enough (experience, practice) to know what you can and cannot do in every scenario. Knowing this will limit the amount of times you get caught being greedy.

Habit 6. The best LoL players use their time efficiently, this includes time allocated specifically for replay analysis.

They focus on one skill at a time if it is lack luster, they focus on one role at a time if the ranked queue allows them, they take time to fix aspects of their game through replay analysis.

Dyrus, when commenting on having a dedicated replay analyst in preparation for All-Stars, said, “It feels like cheating.”

Unfortunately most LoL players don’t have the luxury of a dedicated replay analyst however this doesn’t mean replay analysis shouldn’t be done. Take the time to correct (or even discover) parts of your game that are letting you down.

Go through your replay, preferable straight after you play the game, and actively watch for mistakes that you made. Don’t just sit there and watch it like a movie, you won’t notice much. Here’s your chance to be critical of your play, but don’t get down about how bad you are!

Once you find something that you can work on, put extra effort into focusing on that skill or part of your game until you get better. An example is if you notice yourself missing a lot of last hits under your tower, you might choose to practice pushing out the wave (trimming) better so you don’t have to last hit under the tower so much, or maybe you might concentrate on perfecting your last hitting technique under the tower with that specific champ instead ie. I don’t have AD runes on this champ so I have to hit these ones twice.

Habit 7. The up and coming LoL players learn from resources available to them that speed their way to becoming a better player.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if some high level players took everything they knew about the game and combined it into one super awesome, amazing, ultimate League of Legends guide for your ease of access? Wouldn’t that just speed up your improvement like no other resource?

When I was new to the game, I accessed sites like Mobafire fairly regularly to learn the good builds for my champions. But even then, I didn’t exactly understand why I was building the items that I was as most guides didn’t go into that. At Summoner School you learn the theory behind everything you do.

What is Summoner School? Summoner School is a complete League of Legends guide created by 3 Australian brothers who wanted to share what they’d learned through their years of (sometimes frustrating) solo queue and competitive experience in an easy to access format. These 3 brothers (myself being one of them) all went from being Bronze/Silver level players to Platinum/Diamond level players and now want to help you do the same!

Feel like you’ve missed the boat in terms of having the time to be a highly effective LoL player? Nonsense. League of Legends is just heating up and there is plenty of time for you to achieve your LoL goal. So go check out Summoner School right now, hit me up on Twitter @UberGiantsBro to let me know how you’re finding it and have a great day!

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The Secret To Improving Fast At LoL

If I had to choose one piece of advice to turn an average or below average LoL player to become a platinum or diamond level player, what would it be? Maybe warding more is the answer? Maybe I could tell them that they need to just focus on one role and get really good at that? Maybe being a real ‘team player’ is the ‘secret’ to improving fast at LoL?

All these things are great, but what I have to share with you right now is even more powerful than being cooperative or warding more. This ‘secret’, as it were, could be one of the biggest determining factors between you being stuck in ‘elo hell’ or ‘league hell’ and you achieving your League of Legends goal. This piece of advice turned me from a bronze scrub in season 1 to a diamond level player in season 2.

The secret is owning your mistakes and using Immediate Reflection to improve.

Seems simple on the surface right? But yet it’s not always simple. People in general and gamers especially (LoL players especially!) don’t want to see their imperfections. They don’t want to see that they aren’t the perfect League of Legends player. It’s everyone else’s fault, not mine. I am the best.

introspection

Introspection reflection inspection

Do you think pro players got to where they are now by thinking they are the best? No. They got there by constantly critiquing their own play and using their mistakes to improve.

Bad LoL players are blind to their own mistakes, good players know they made a mistake but they focus more on others mistakes while great LoL players reflect on every play and see what they did well and what they could have done better.

This skill is called Immediate Reflection, Summoner School students would be familiar with this already. I would estimate about 80% of LoL players are in the ‘Unconscious Incompetence’ (see picture below and right) phase of this skill – they are just oblivious to their own mistakes.

fourstagesofcompetence

Noel Burch’s ‘Four Stages of Skill Competence’

Let’s take a look at your average LoL game with a specific (but all too common) scenario. Mid just roamed bot and got a double kill on an overextended bot lane. Immediately the ADC starts cussing his support for not warding the river and his mid lane for not calling MIA. Now, it’s quite possible that both the support and mid misplayed in their own right, but this ADC (who is actually fairly skilled at the game) fails to see his own mistake in poor map awareness. This ADC just missed a good opportunity to improve his game.

Now let’s take a look at the same scenario, but with an ADC who makes use of Immediate Reflection;

Mid just roamed bot and double-killed an overextended bot lane. The ADC thinks to himself, “Oh wow, our river ward just ran out and I didn’t notice. I was too zoned in on my own lane that I didn’t notice this, and that their mid laner went MIA too… I will have to keep a closer eye on the minimap and how long those wards have left.”

The ADC in the first scenario could not see past the mistakes of his teammates and so did not learn anything. The difference in the second scenario is that this ADC looked first to his own play to see what he did wrong and accepted his own mistake, then reflected on what we he could have done/should do next time.

But it gets better. The real beauty of Immediate Reflection is that you can use it all the time. In other words, even though League of Legends is a team game, you can always look at what you yourself did right/wrong in each scenario and what you could do better next time.

Although Saintvicous had had a few drinks, he made a good point about admitting your own mistakes. The video that I linked there also serves as an interesting case study for blame, although it goes on and on a bit. Take it with a grain of salt!

The part that I had difficulty with in season 1 (and even into season 2) was owning my mistakes. I sort of knew when I had made a mistake but I was always too consumed with other player’s mistakes to realise that I needed to admit that I could improve – it was always someone else’s fault more than my own. Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released. By the end of season 2 I had reached 2300 elo.

Once I learned to look at my own mistakes and admit them before anything else, it was like the elo dam was released.

The funny thing about Immediate Reflection is that you use it all the time in real life without realising it, everyone does. But why is it that when it comes to League of Legends, everyone is just so bad at it? Why is everyone so reluctant to look at their own mistakes before dishing out the blame to others?

I believe it’s to do with what I said earlier in that most LoL players would rather look at how ‘bad’ the players around them are than focus on their own play and use Immediate Reflection to get better.If you really are better than the players that you are matched with then you will ryze through the leagues eventually. Stop using other player’s mistakes as an excuse and learn to own up to your mistakes.

So how do you own your mistakes and how do you effectively use Immediate Reflection? It’s really not that hard. Like most skills, it just takes practice.

When something bad happens in your game, focus on the role that you had in it and what you did wrong. Don’t do what the majority of LoL players would do and blame others – this gets you nowhere. From here, admit that it was you that made the mistake, not anyone else. Ownership is important because it shows yourself that you have control over what happened. Once you admit it, you can think about what you could have done better or what you can do better for next time.

So now you know how to own up to your mistakes and use Immediate Reflection to improve, start using it! This skill is invaluable for your LoL goal, and I guarantee you that if you focus on improving this skill, you will improve fast at LoL. For more skills like this one, check out the ultimate League of Legends guide where you can find all the skills and tips you need to carry yourself out of ‘League hell’.

Thank you for reading, follow me on twitter @UberGiantsBro and all the best in solo queue!

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The State of League of Legends eSports in Australia

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about eSports in Australia and with the imminent release of our very own ‘Oceanic LoL Server’, the excitement has been BUILDING UP. [source: Oceanic Server Confirmed (on Saint’s Stream!?)]

Why’s Australia been so slow to jump on the LoL eSports train? What’s holding Australia back from competing internationally? Is it our practice schedule or is it our skill?

Will Australia ever be able to compete with the best in the world? I’m ‘UberGiantsBro’ and this will be my take on League of Legends eSports in Australia in particular, where we are and where we may be headed.

For those who may not know me firstly, here’s a short intro about myself. I’ve been playing LoL for around 2.5 years, usual story, played the game for a while then started playing in some competitions with my bros and some friends. You may have seen myself or LittleUberGiant around on some of the pro streams, we’ve been in the top percentage on the NA server for a good year or so I would say. You may not have seen UberGiant around as he is plat something (funny story, he used to be 900 elo before they changed the elo system).

We play with approximately 200 ping (now 220-250 due to ISP changes) and LittleUber and I have both learned to play with it and compete with the top players in NA. I made a video discussing my ping and How 200 Ping Made Me A Better Player. Feel free to check it out, I talk about some of the challenges I’ve faced with 200 ping and I mention a simple step by step plan to apply this concept to your own game to improve.

PastryTime and TheOddone

PastryTime with TheOddone on his vacation in Australia.

And also, I remember when a certain TSM member came to Australia…. See what TheOddOne thought of his experience of Playing LoL in Australia. I remember watching him drop more than 100 elo on his stream in the week that he was here, fun times!

To say I am looking forward to a green ping is an understatement, but setting ping and the incoming Australian server aside for a minute, let’s take a look at the Aus scene and where we are at. Currently iM (Team Immunity) reign supreme, they still hold the rest of the competition down in their vice-like grip as they have for the last year and a bit (although the gap is slowly being bridged).

With iM effectively being Australia’s best team, it’s still more than fair to say that they would have no chance competing with pro international teams. I mean, it seems kind of obvious to say this, but Australia is just not at that level of practice in general yet. But we talk more on that soon ™.

Okay so cool, so there is a dominant team in Aus in iM, this would give the other teams something to strive for – to take down the top dog right? Sure, every competitor ever who was not numero uno has strived to be numero uno. But let’s go off on a tangent for a minute.

Sponsors. Having a short look at the history of sponsored LoL teams in Australia over the past few years (we’ve never had a big scene), we started off with basically 3 competitive sponsored teams. Moving on from there, iM became the dominant force winning everything, sponsors  saw this and they started to steer clear of the scene for a while.

For the EB Expo held in Sydney last year (I think the biggest event Aus has ever had for LoL) we basically had two teams who were sponsored to fly in and two more teams had to fly just one or two guys in.

This EB Expo had 300ish ping from memory and the other events that were there were so loud when we were playing that we had to communicate solo q style – PING PING PING. Oh and our hotel was crap :D. Despite all this, I enjoyed the event – it was good meeting people who you’ve played with heaps and putting the face to the IGN as well, although I was pretty disappointed that we had to do this from our own pocket.

The team I was in paid for our own flights in the hopes that we would pick up some sponsors while we were down there.

It’s only been recently that sponsorship interest has started to pick up again. We now have 4-6 teams with sponsors who are willing to fly their teams around for decent events in Australia. There is likely several reasons for this which I will not go in to here.

So let’s talk about practice schedules. I feel like this is something that America has finally picked itself up on this last year to catch up with the Koreans. We’ve started seeing the pro US teams become a lot more organised, mostly due to having managers who take care of all the scheduling, scrimming times and whatever else so players can practice more efficiently.

GGU

You can follow GGU on twitter @GGUniversity

I believe the LCS has been a massive reason for this, encouraging players and teams as a whole to really put in. As a result, competition has picked up and we’ve started seeing relatively unknown teams who were really underdogs (I’M LOOKIN AT YOU GGU) take on and win against the best teams. This is fantastic for the competition of LoL and it’s fantastic to watch.

Australian teams have never had good practice schedules. I don’t know anyone who makes a living on League, most of the players I know have uni and/or part time or full time work during the day and this leaves us with a few hours during weeknights at best. This is unlikely to change until an alternative option, rather an alternative opportunity presents itself.

This reminds me of an argument my mate constantly uses when applying for a part time job while he is studying; “Jobs that I want require me to have experience, but I can’t get experience if they don’t give me a job”. While I don’t necessarily agree with this (apply for a traineeship/non paid work to get experience!), I can still see the humour in it. I guess it could be said that Australia is in the ‘traineeship’ stage right now.

In Australia, we’ve had nothing to strive for. Several times I’ve contemplated quitting LoL and focusing on other things like my Soccer (FOOTBALL!), it’s only been the announcement of this Oceanic Server that has kept me playing the game seriously.

Recently, though, the AEL (Australian Esports League) has started up a new competition which is a fortnightly qualifier where the top teams at the end may compete for a spot to represent Australia and compete in the IESF 2013 championship. Now, this is how to move. 😉
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I feel like this has already spiced up the competition. No matter how you look at it though, the competitiveness of LoL in Australia is slowly starting to pick up. I’ve noticed a lot more high level Aussies (some diamond 1 Aussies that I didn’t even know of before) than ever before.

As we roll on towards the server release, I am of the opinion that the snowball will do it’s snowbally thing and we will see an increase in the overall quality of Australian teams as well as the pure quantity of Aussie teams that can compete (there is already so many teams! Just admittedly not many good ones). We are in an interesting spot for sure!

Whatever happens, I look forward to seeing Australia move forward in eSports and Summoner School will be right there! I look forward to seeing more teams drive up the overall competition here in Australia. Maybe we will see some Aussies LoL players competing with the best some day? Who knows. I would love to see that for sure. Let me know what you think on twitter @UberGiantsBro

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