Westrice, gives insight on the LoL Challenger scene, PAX and his favored champions
Wed 21st Aug 2013 - 5:23pm
From Team Solo Mid to Epik Gamer, and Team Curse to FXOpen, Jon ‘Westrice’ Nguyen has currently settled into Team To Be Determined. Practitioner of the Marksman and now primarily top role, Westrice and TBD made a strong showing at MLG Anaheim and in their Mobafire Championship Series matches.
Currently holding second place in the MCS, the veteran skill of Westrice has helped launch his team into the North American Qualifiers at PAX and a chance to join the top dogs in the LCS next Season in the Spring Split. I got a chance to talk to Westrice after TBD earned their spot at PAX about his play style, his thoughts on recent and possible game changes as well as his activity in the MCS.
What inspired the team name To Be Determined?
Westrice: Overall the name was something that just had to be rushed. We were a little hesitant because a name is the face of a team, but we've received pretty of great fan responses.
Can you tell us anything about the move from FXOpen to TBD?
Westrice: Internal issues with a sponsor, so we decided to split ways.
Your team comes from places all over the North America, how does having a chiefly online team change how you practice and play? How does it affect your play when you attend events with crowds?
Westrice: The team has great synergy online and having a team house will only make things better. As long as we have Anne, our manager, practicing online is not that much different in terms of attendance. Surprisingly for some of my teammates first time at an event, they handled it very well.
Most people are familiar with the LCS, could you tell us about the Mobafire Championship Series (MCS) and the similarities and differences?
Westrice: Its basically the same concept, just a smaller division for challenger teams and is also online.
In your week 5 MCS Bo3 games against Denial eSports all three games were very close and could have gone either way especially being down the first game. What were your attitudes and thoughts going through your mind?
Westrice: Denial is a team that has a good record versus us, but we are very familiar with their playstyle and comfort champions. Our attitudes were a little shaky after the first game but we put that aside and focused on banning their comfort champions as well as stealing them away.
Coming off a 8-1 record at the MCS what are your thoughts on where your team is or needs to improve on at the moment?
Westrice: The team needs to improve on warmups and not playing cold.
Coming up soon are the North American qualifiers at PAX in Seattle. Are there any teams that you’re anxious about or looking forward to play against and why?
Westrice: We're looking forward to playing New World Eclipse. They're the second best challenger team at the moment.
You guys already secured a spot in the promotion for Season 4, what are your reasons on going to PAX?
Westrice: I've been to PAX and it was filled with passionate gamers and crazy tournament events. Always nice to meet fans and get out of the house. The money isn't bad either.
In an interview at MLG Anaheim this year you talked about regaining your confidence to chase your dream of getting into the LCS. After beating a former LCS team (CoL) at MLG Anaheim as well as in the GGLA Challenger Arena and having a strong MCS record what’s your mindset right now on your journey to the LCS?
Westrice: To keep practicing and continue researching our opponents without speedbumps. If we keep going at this rate we'll be in the LCS.
Of course you and your team want to break into the LCS, so let’s not draw any punches. If all goes well, what team do you think TBD will replace for the Season 4 Spring Split?
Westrice: Probably Velocity, Coast, or Curse. But most likely Velocity.
You’re well known for your assassin champion pool like Zed, Akali and Rengar. What is it about those high mobility champions that make them good, or are you just bananas about assassins?
Westrice: It's my playstyle and it works with the team, so we go with it. If I have to play a tank, then I will.
I'm comfortable with many champions as well that are not all necessarily assassins.
Shen is another champ you play a lot but is a departure from the assassin trend, why is that?
Westrice: He's such an easy champion for how good he is.
What’s your input on the possible Rengar changes? Rengar still OP or not so much?
Westrice: I don't really have much say until I experiment the new changes myself. But by the looks of it, it'll make his laning phase better but his assassinations weaker.
With the durability buffs to turrets in the 3.10 patch do you think that turrets will become a longer standing obstacle on the way to the nexus or that competitive players will continue to hammer them down in 2v1 lane strategies?
Westrice: I personally like the changes because I favor the 1v1 matchups.
After being on multiple different teams, how do you feel about being on TBD? How far do you see you and your teammates going?
Westrice: TBD is a team where I can actually play who I want and the team is easy to communicate with.
With your extensive experience in competitive League of Legends, where do you think that League is going as an eSport with recent occurrences like players being given athletic visas?
Westrice: I think League of Legends will go a long way, but probably not forever. Esports, however, will probably get much more attention.
What North American team(s) LCS or amateur do you think stands the best chance at worlds this year?
Westrice: Just C9. I don't think amateur teams are qualified for worlds.
How do you pronounce your name, West-Rice or West-Riss?
Westrice: WestRice. Only Reginald calls me WestRiss even though its wrong.
Westrice: Shoutout to my team for investing so much effort into making it into the LCS. Also my girlfriend Chaneru and my mom who supports me the most!