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Interviews - League of Legends

Interviews I've done with League of Legends pros, coaches and GMs.

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FLY aphromoo: "The #1 focus for supports is making sure everyone follows the game plan."

FlyQuest support Zaqueri “aphromoo” Black is one of the longest-tenured players left in the LCS. In a league that’s seen a lot of its old guard, such as his former lane partner, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, walk away from the game, there’s something to be said about aphromoo’s ability to continue playing at the top level. From his initial success on Counter Logic Gaming, as well as his time as one of the pillars of establishing 100 Thieves’ in the LCS, to his joining of Dignitas and now FlyQuest,

FBI reflects on LCS career, being scouted by Inero: "Without him, I don't think I’d be here."

As the only team to keep their roster intact during the off-season, 100 Thieves had plenty of expectations to live up to, but an early exit from the 2022 LCS Lock In tournament threw that into doubt going into the Spring Split. 100 Thieves wasted no time dashing any concerns with a bounceback 2-0 week against LCS Lock In champion Team Liquid and Counter Logic Gaming. After week 1 of the 2022 LCS Spring Split, 100 Thieves AD Carry Victor “FBI” Huang spoke to Inven Global about bouncing back from

Santorin on 2022: "It will be the best version of me...I'll do everything to make sure we succeed."

Team Liquid’s jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen is one of the standout junglers in the LCS. As a player who’s been part of the league on four different teams and has gone to Worlds with all of them, he was one of the main facilitators and carries in each and this year will be no different. As the jungler of one of the two most looked at teams in the 2021 LCS season, Santorin and the rest of his squad were destined for North American greatness. Champions of the first-ever LCS Lock In tournament, t

Fredy122 talks Rogue's strength in the LEC's best-of-one format

“I understand why people [doubted us] given our performance at the end of the summer, but we try not to think too much of it.” With their second and first-place finishes in the 2021 LEC Spring and Summer Splits, Rogue seemed to be barreling down a path towards surefire success at the 2021 League of Legends World Championship before the tournament began. But regular-season success doesn’t always translate into tougher matches. Rogue took full advantage of the best-of-one format that rules the L

Sheepy talks UOL's communication struggles leading up to Worlds 2021

A team so dominant in its region can sometimes have its struggles overlooked in favor of its successes. For Unicorns of Love’s founder and head coach Sheepy, improving communications and taking precautionary steps to be able to perform at the highest level is of utmost importance. Although the League of Legends team performed well in the past several years, communication issues played a role in preventing them from reaching a higher level when it came to the international stage. From ensuring t

PapaSmithy talks rebuilding 100 Thieves from mediocrity to LCS champions: "We put down a flag and we just kept trying"

100 Thieves’ road to their first-ever LCS championship wasn’t easy. From their first taste of North American glory in a terrific debut season to a lack of stable footing in between then and now, the organization has pursued glory for years. A franchising founding partner of the LCS, 100 Thieves made one of the biggest statements that any new organization could ever make — a split finals visit and a Worlds trip. But it took the org three years of rebuilding, the signing of general manager Christ

TSM Curry Talks Team's Regular Season And Playoff Performances, Coach Bjergsen And More

Following the retirements of long time mid-laner Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and AD Carry Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, Team SoloMid made major roster changes to start the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) 2021 season. Bjergsen moved to head coach while jungler, Mingyi “Spica” Lu was the only sole member from the 2020 roster to remain on the team. Spica was joined by a mix of players varying in their pro-play experience. Top laner Heo “Huni” Seung-hoon, mid-later Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage

Hanabi: ''This Year I Want To Get Into The Finals''

The Pacific Championship Series’ (PCS) PSG Talon finished their second day of the League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational’s (MSI) Rumble Stage at 1-1. This is their second time finishing the matchday with a 1-1 record, putting them at 2-2 in the standings in sole possession of fourth place. PSG Talon first faced the League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) Cloud9, in which they dominated them from start to finish. In the final match of the day, they had their third rematch with the League

Chazz: ''We’re Isolated In OCE - Won Our Finals And Had To Solo Queue For Weeks''

Pentanet.GG’s mid-laner, Jesse “Chazz” Mahoney, and the rest of his team got the chance to represent the Oceania region at the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) after winning the League of Legends Circuit Oceania finals. The team had a rough 0-2 start to the tournament on Day 1 but were able to bounce back on Day 3 with a much-needed win over the League of Legends Continental League’s (LCL) Unicorns Of Love. We had a chance to speak to the mid-laner after their win. Congrats on your win, Chazz! How

Guilhoto: ''NA Players Buyouts Cost 200 Times More Than EU''

Immortals have been a fringe team to the middle of the pack in the standings throughout all of the League of Legends Champion Series’ (LCS) 2021 Spring Split. With seemingly no set in stone playstyle, the team has struggled to break into the middle of the pack, but has been able to make sure that the teams below them remain there. As of the time of writing, Immortals are just one game behind the sixth-place Evil Geniuses and have one final week to claim the last spot going into the Mid-Season Sh

Smoothie: ''I Haven’t Been On A Team This Dominant Early Game Before''

Even with a handful of League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) experienced players Counter Logic Gaming have been having a number of issues in the 2021 season. This, of course, is in part due to substitutions in the top lane and the jungle early on in the season and later in the Spring Split. Finn “Finn” Wiestal was finally able to play for the team in Week 1 of the LCS but Mads “Broxah” Brock-Pedersen wasn’t able to play until a number of weeks later due to visa-related issues. Early on, th

Stixxay Talks CLG's Past Decisions, Reasons For Joining GG And Laning With Newbie

In 2015, Counter Logic Gaming let go of legendary North American AD Carry, Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng, bringing in Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes as his replacement. Stixxay quickly filled the hole Doublelift had left behind and helped the team win their second League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) title in a row, qualifying them for the 2016 Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). Once at MSI, Counter Logic Gaming finished in second place behind SK Telecom T1 — one of the highest placings ever on the inter

Evil Geniuses' GM Andrew Barton Is Confident In The Roster's Present And Future

Evil Geniuses have shown up big to start the new League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) season. The sole 3-0 team to start the first week of Lock In — later joining Cloud9, 100 Thieves, and Team Liquid at 3-1 in the second week — saw tremendous unexpected success right off the bat with a clean sweep in the quarterfinals over Golden Guardians to boot. This was a roster that was overlooked in the offseason due to big-name pickups for Cloud9 in Luka “Perkz” Perkovic, Barney “Alphari” Morris wi

C9 Mithy Talks NA, Format Thoughts, And Cloud9's Aspirations

One of the reasons why this last LCS offseason was historic was due to Cloud9. Their pickups of European superstar, Luka “Perkz” Perkovic and letting go of top laner, Eric “Licorice” Ritchie were unprecedented. But they weren’t the only pickups that the organisation made. Cloud9 also made changes to their coaching staff — letting go of longtime Head Coach in Bok “Repeared” Han-gyu and bringing in ex-Fnatic coach Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodriguez as a Strategic Coach to go alongside, Head Coach K

Maplestreet Talks: The Branching Road Of Life In League

Ainslie “Maplestreet” Wyllie, or “TheOddBro” as many people know him — referencing the connection he has with his brother, former Team SoloMid jungler, Brian “TheOddOne” Wyllie - was a former League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) pro whose career finished earlier than expected. A unique career, one that had him play on the LCS stage twice representing two different teams, Velocity eSports in 2013 and Team 8 the following year, abruptly ended after he helped Renegades qualify for the LCS’ 2

Jatt Talks Armao, Being Inconclusive On The New Season Format, And TL's Play

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Lock In tournament began this past week with all ten teams in attendance. We talked with Team Liquid’s Head Coach, Joshua "Jatt” Leesman multiple times throughout the weekend. We went over how he and his coaching staff plan to approach this brand new season and format, the solid performance of Jonathan “Armao” Armao (previously known as Grig) — who subbed in for Lucas “Santorin” Larsen — and the team’s overall play. The first time we interviewed Ja

League of Legends

All of my favorite League of Legends pieces for GGRecon. They include features, long-form features, power rankings, previews and recaps. 

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Bjergsen Joins Team Liquid: The Start Of A New Era

From his fresh beginnings on European teams, eventually landing on the EU LCS’ Copenhagen Wolves and Ninjas in Pyjamas to his later career-defining uproot to Team SoloMid, Bjergsen has had what many would consider the ideal career. Now that he’s joined Team Liquid, it’s only time for him to add on top of that. Although relatively unknown in Europe, in many ways, Bjergsen was the original big-name import to go from Europe to North America. In this day in age in which seemingly North America just

Cloud9 Never Settles: A Paragon In The LCS

Ever since they joined the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), Cloud9 has been nothing short of trailblazing. Whether it was with their astonishing 25-3 record when they burst onto the scene in the 2013 summer, their consistency in making it out of the group stage every time they get to the World Championship stage or their willingness to flip the script and trust new, up and coming players. In a sense, Cloud9 does it all. This past 2021 season was a bit of an outlier in some ways. An

How Santorin's reinvention made him a difference-maker on Team Liquid

Santorin is back at Worlds, and he'll keep proving himself as to why he's there. With this year’s League of Legends World Championship, Team Liquid’s jungler Lucas “Santorin” Larsen will have represented North America at the international tournament three times with three different teams. Santorin and Liquid are at the group stage of Worlds this year—and they’re aiming for the crown. As a part of Liquid, Santorin and the rest of his team garnered quite the accolades this year. The team secured

Ranking the top 5 junglers at Worlds 2021

How it works: Each member of Inven Global's seven-man coverage team picked their personal top 10 players per position and assigned them points from 10 (best) to 1 (worst). The players were then sorted by their average scores (shown next to their names). The top 10 players made it into these article series, with the top 5 getting their own write-up. The year’s biggest tournament is fast approaching, and it brings some of the best jungler talent pool to date. Although the LPL leads the charge in

Import Mid-Laners Thoughts On Their LCS And NA Experience

As arguably the most important role in the game, with its ability to influence the map due to its position in the middle of Summoner’s Rift, the mid-laner can be a building block for any professional League of Legends team. For North America, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), this role has been an issue when it comes to talent being cultivated for it throughout the years. This, in turn, has forced LCS teams to look elsewhere for a good building block — Europe has been the main cu

Udyr, Morgana, And Rumble Plus The Meta - LCS Junglers Weigh In

Metas come and go in League of Legends. Metas define what players play in any sense of the game: be it normal or ranked queue and even to an extent the more “for fun” modes such as URF. In the end, all of these games obey the one rule, the one law — the meta. Metas help determine what best champions or what best items to pick in the Summoner’s Rift. This is even more present at the top of the competitive food chain, pro play. As is the norm for every competitive season, a handful of champions d

The LCS Spring Report Card

The League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) spring was undoubtedly one for the North American League of Legends record books. It all started off with a historic offseason that had over nearly half of its players no longer be part of the league, coupled with retirements in region legends of Søren “Bjergsen” Bjerg and Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng. After that, Team Liquid were crowned the first-ever LCS Lock In champions after a victory over Cloud9. This very same Cloud9 enacted revenge on them la

The Ghosts Of NA MSI's Present And Future

Disappointment, restoration, and a failed attempt at revenge were all that the North American region or the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) saw in the first three years of the Mid-Season Invitational (MSI). A pattern that was somewhat repeated in the coming years and has been unique to this region. In 2015 Team SoloMid were looking like one of the teams to beat. Having just recently taken the IEM VIII World Championship and a dominant win over Cloud9 in the spring split finals, this

The Ghosts Of NA MSI's Past

The Mid-Season Invitational (MSI) shares one of only two spots as the defacto international tournaments in the League of Legends calendar year. Alongside the World Championships, the tournament comes as a way for regions and teams to test their mettle internationally. One of these regions is the North American region or the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS), a region that, as opposed to its counterparts, has had its fair share of success and downfalls at the tournament. North America i

Dignitas: The Unexpected Gatekeepers Between The Two Halves Of The LCS

Expectations for Dignitas as a team going into this upcoming League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) 2021 season were low. Their roster didn’t catch eyes like the other old guards of the league did: Cloud9, Team Liquid, and Team SoloMid. They also had a slow start to the LCS Lock In — being one of the two teams to not reach playoffs — and it continued all the way through to the first week of the Spring Split. But this did not veer them away from unexpectedly being a strong middle of the pack

Another Strong Start For 100 Thieves - Is It Different This Time Around?

During the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) Lock In tournament, 100 Thieves took the LCS by storm with their new roster; aggressive dives — particularly in the bottom lane —, conclusive and decisive early games as well as an overall strong laning presence coupled with supportive mid lane picks. But it all came to an end once they faced Cloud9 in the semifinals, getting reverse swept. Even though they felt the crushing defeat of a reverse sweep, they still had a strong showing for them

LCS Lock In - Power Rankings (Week 2)

Week 2 of the League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) Lock In is done and dusted. Some teams were eliminated while others moved on to the quarterfinals. The quarterfinals saw Cloud9, Team Liquid, 100 Thieves, and Evil Geniuses as the four victors who moved on to the semifinals. Team Liquid and 100 Thieves showed supreme coordination, while Evil Geniuses continued to impress, and Cloud9’s players who stayed from last year’s roster proved why they didn’t get replaced. The first day of play sa

A Tireless Opponent - Doublelift vs Everyone

Yiliang “Doublelift” Peng is undoubtedly the best player the North American region has ever produced. Nearly a decade of pro League of Legends play — going from Season 1 in 2011 to Season 10 in 2020 — and the record-holding eight LCS titles prove that. Doublelift had an extensive career longer than anyone in the esport; this means that he got to play and face off against a plethora of opponents. Doublelift got his first start on Epik Gamer, shortly moving on to Counter Logic Gaming where he woul

Patience: North America's Lost Virtue

Over the past few years, the North American region has gotten visibly frustrated with its own poor performances internationally at the League of Legends World Championships time after time — the region has lost patience. Fans, analysts, coaches, players, and even owners have portrayed it, and it gets worse each time. Like clockwork, after a failure of a year, the region always has a moment of clarity, a “self-evaluation” so to speak. Even the years that North America didn’t fail to get past the

LCS 2021 Season Power Rankings

The League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) offseason is done. Players have found new homes and new players have joined the league. The historic offseason saw half of its players — from the 2020 season — not get re-signed while it simultaneously jumbled players in between teams. A new LCS format has also been implemented, bringing in multiple tournaments during the season, more games, and a much-needed importance towards the earlier half of the season.

A Significant Change Of Faces For The LCS - A Noteworthy Turnover

The region known for recycling talent has finally turned over a new leaf — at least for the 2021 season. Over the range of nearly two years, the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) has changed the majority of its rosters, only fielding less than half of the returning players dating back to the 2019 LCS Spring Split. This is unprecedented and surprising as the LCS has acquired notoriety and fame in its troubles with letting tenured and not so tenured players go, to bring in new talent. Th

Suning's Upset Over JD Gaming - How They Got There And What It Means

In an unforeseen result that many analysts, casters, fans and even players didn’t expect, Suning upset JD Gaming 3-1 in the second Quarterfinals match of the week of the League of Legends World Championship. The third-seeded League of Legends Pro League (LPL) team — representing China — got an impressive victory over one of the tournament favourites behind Top Esports and Damwon Gaming. JD Gaming, the team who took Top Esports to five games in the LPL Summer Final after Top Esports swept Suning,

What If Cloud9 Made Worlds? We Lay Out One Of The Possibilities

Cloud9 started off the League of Legends Championship Series’ (LCS) 2020 Season with a terrific Spring Split. Only losing two matches all split — one in the regular season and one in playoffs — they crowned themselves champions of North America after a dominant sweep over FlyQuest in the finals. This team, by all intents and purposes, was destined to be one of the three teams that the LCS was going to send out to the League of Legends World Championship this year. It was just a matter of time of

LoL Worlds Final Preview - What Is To Come And Similarities to Past Finals

After one month of almost daily League of Legends play, the League of Legends World Championship will come to its conclusion in the form of Chinese representatives from the League of Legends Pro League (LPL), Suning, facing off against Korea’s League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), Damwon Gaming. These two teams will face off on Saturday, Oct. 31 to decide who will hoist the Summoner’s Cup. What's to come - setting the stage This final has the Cinderella story of Suning who went from 11th plac

Dignitas And 100 Thieves Eliminated From LCS Playoffs

A near one-sided playoffs week in the League of Legends Championship Series (LCS) as Golden Guardians swept Team SoloMid in an upset, Evil Geniuses nearly reverse swept FlyQuest, and both Dignitas and 100 Thieves got knocked out of playoffs. Golden Guardians surprised everyone as they dominated Team SoloMid, even though Team SoloMid had a good start to game one. FlyQuest turned it up in their series, continuing where they left off in the regular season against Evil Geniuses, getting ahead 2-0.

Non-League of Legends Features and Pieces

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Call of Duty

My favorite pieces written for the Call of Duty League both for GGrecon and the Valencia Voice.

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Former Call of Duty League employee exposes "low-to-no priority" Challengers stance

With the Call of Duty League’s third season on the horizon, a former Call of Duty League employee has exposed the league’s “low-to-no priority” stance on its path-to-pro Challengers scene. From OpTic Texas’ creative director David ‘Hitch’ Edwards and CoD pros claiming Call of Duty: Vanguard “spits in the face” of the CoD esport scene, to Matthew ‘Nadeshot’ Haag and Dr Disrespect slamming the CDL after the HCS’ record-breaking return… the CDL has not been in the most ideal spot in the pro scene’

100 Thieves And A H3CZ Owned OpTic Will Take The CDL To New Heights

A 100 Thieves return to the Call of Duty esports scene and a reacquisition of the OpTic Gaming brand by NRG Esports Co-owner, Hector “H3CZ” Rodriguez, is a recipe for success. Combined with a new Treyarch made and ran Call of Duty game, all of these factors will take the Call of Duty League to new heights come next season. This year was Call of Duty esports’ first year as an official franchised league — bringing in a city-based model like traditional sports, and the Overwatch League (OWL) have d

Florida Mutineers win Call of Duty Grand Final

The Florida Mutineers after their reverse sweep against the Chicago Huntsmen on Feb. 23. Photo from Call of Duty League YouTube stream. The Florida Mutineers won their first Call of Duty (CDL) Grand Final – defeating the Minnesota RØKKR 3-1. The Mutineers had a slow start to the event – with a narrow loss to the Toronto Ultra in their first match of the weekend, but they came back through the losers bracket. The event was hosted by the Dallas Empire. This event was the CDL’s first time moving


My favorite pieces I've written for the Overwatch League. Mainly consists of recaps and features for my school paper. 

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COVID-19’s effect on the Overwatch League and other esports

In the third season of the Overwatch League (OWL), the league has been forced to move to online play due to COVID-19. On March 17th, Blizzard Entertainment, the owners of the league and creators of Overwatch, released a revised schedule for both March and April of online matches. This past weekend, OWL had its first set of online matches. According to many industry experts, this is the make or break season for the OWL. Teams would have played in their respective cities in front of home crowds t

Overwatch League’s third season begins this weekend

OWL's third season is looking to go to their cities. Photo provided by Blizzard Entertainment. The third season of the Overwatch League (OWL), is set to start on Saturday with its teams finally playing in their respective stadiums. The New York Excelsior and Dallas Fuel will host the first homestands. The OWL is a professional esports league for the video game Overwatch – a six versus six, objective-based first-person shooter where the heroes have special abilities. The league has 20 franchise

Florida Mayhem extend their winning streak to five games

The Florida Mayhem after their series win versus the Houston Outlaws before matches were moved online due to COVID-19. Photo from VOD of the matches. Coming off of a 3-0 victory against the Vancouver Titans last week, the Florida Mayhem pushed their win streak to five games – defeating the Washington Justice 3-1. Going into this series, Florida had the longest map and series win streak in franchise history. They also had the longest active map win streak in the Overwatch League (OWL) this seas

Valencia Voice

My favorite pieces I've written for my community college's school paper, The Valencia Voice.

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Collaborations I've done across different esports and non-esports. 

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Seven Bold and Spicy™ predictions for Worlds 2021

We've all heard the standard predictions. Everyone's on the LPL and DWG KIA trains (except those who are in Chovy Church). You've heard all the usual takes about how the East will shine and LCS will not make it out of groups (again). So today, in this article, the Inven Global team got together for the sole purpose of coming up — and defending — their own Bold and Spicy™ predictions. Are they likely to happen? Not much. Will they make Worlds way more exciting to watch? You know it! Here'

Predicts: Who Will Be The MVP Of LoL Worlds Finals 2020?

The League of Legends World Championship is coming to a climactic close with the Finals on Saturday, October 31. DAMWON Gaming and Suning will fight it out to raise the Summoner's Cup, but which of the players will be the MVP? There are plenty of players to choose from the bunch, from cut-throat mid-laners, to superb bot-laners; or even a top lane genius or a talented jungler - it really is anyone's game. GGRecon's team of League of Legends expert analysts chose their picks for MVP of the LoL Wo

AOC’s “Among Us” Twitch Stream: Brilliant Political Move

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York), hosted a Twitch stream of her playing the popular video game “Among Us” along with other popular Twitch streamers on Tuesday, Oct. 20. It shattered viewing records and was one of the smartest things a politician could do. On Oct. 19, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her 9.2 million followers to invite them to watch her play the popular video game “Among Us” while also broadcasting it on the popular streaming platform — Twitch. “Among Us” is a video game that

The Best Overwatch Esports Finals Of All Time

There are days in life that will define you, and by which your legacy will be measured and remembered. You could’ve done everything right in the run-up to this fateful day and yet when you lose here, the best you can hope for is history remembering you as a great antagonist in someone else’s story that will be relayed to the world. Competition and especially playoff series are designed to emulate these moments in life and in Overwatch, we’ve been blessed with some incredible finals that inspire