Interview with Vman7 on his LoL career, his thoughts on the tribunal and current champion balance
Fri 7th Feb 2014 - 9:27pm: League of Legends
Today I got to interview one of the most, if not the most infamous player in LoL history, Vincent 'Vman7' Fevola. He was able to take the time out of his busy streaming schedule to talk to me about his thoughts on Riots balance design choices, how he got his reputation, the tribunal, and the league E-sports scene.
Hello Vman thanks for taking the time to answer a few of my questions today. One thing I really wanted to discuss with you today is the fact that you are arguably one of the most infamous people in the scene. How did you get to have this reputation and why does it still stick nowadays when your attitude in game and on stream seems to be so laid back and almost the opposite of what people might expect it to be?
Vman7: Well in pre-season 1 and season 1 I would yell at people for making mistakes. Small mistakes, large mistakes, it didn't matter - I just wanted to win. It's mostly due to the fact that while leveling up I would attempt to help out people with their builds, or what they could do to improve, just to be met with a "fuck off, I know what I'm doing," etc. So eventually I just started to yell at people. This made me very insufferable to play with during that time. I'm not the only one who did this, many of the pros also had this same outlook - there are countless numbers of youtube videos online where pros would rage at small mistakes just like I did. Either way, I've toned it way down since then but people still hold onto what they remember of me.
How long have you been streaming and how did you get into streaming?
Vman7: I've been streaming for maybe three years, but doing it full time for about one and a half. I got into streaming because people that were on my friends list wanted to watch me play, and then Reginald asked me to stream for solomid. I was streaming when it first started up so I was able to get a decent fan base thanks to the fact that I was in a lot of high elo games and there was already a group of people that wanted to watch me play.
There are times when I have watched your stream and saw some of your team mates were criticizing you for things that happened in the past when you hadn’t even previously said a single negative word during the match. Does this bother you at all, or do you just do your best to ignore it?
Vman7: It's best to ignore it, and it does bother me to some extent. The league community now is worse than what it was back in the day. Whether this is from an online game getting popular or from people realizing the tribunal is extremely ineffective at dealing with the real problem within the community, that's not for me to say.
What changes do you think riot should make to the tribunal, or to its punishing system in general to help clean up the community?
Vman7: Riot needs to add tiers within the punishments - in between options, such as "I wouldn't punish, but I can see how someone else might be upset" or "I disapprove of what he did but wouldn't suspend his account for it."
In the past and even recently you have duo'd with jaximus and dyrus. What is it about these two players that garners your respect, and how did you become friends with them?
Vman7: I met Jaximus through solo queue on various accounts, added him and liked playing with him. With Dyrus, met him in solo queue as well. That was while he was still living in Hawaii. He used to only want to duo queue with me in ranked until we lost. So we'd go about 3 wins 1 loss, and then he'd call it quits for the day. We gained several hundred Elo together doing this since his playstyle and mine meshed very well, with him top and I mid.
Have you ever hoped that people’s thoughts about you would change so that you could have perhaps tried to join a professional team in the scene? You have been diamond 1 for a while so I imagine it would have been possible given the fact that especially when jungling and mid laning you have been able to at least stay on par with your professional counter parts.
Vman7: Perception of a player is everything. I've blown chances to do competitive things because of how I used to act in solo queue. Back during the first WCG, before CDE (Chicks Dig Elo) formed for it, Reginald wanted me to play on his team with him. However, two of the other people who he was planning on playing with didn't want to play with me, so I got dropped. I don't blame them, why would they think that I'd act differently in a premade 5's setting from solo queue without playing with me outside of said setting?
I've been playing this game for a long time and have played against and with every NA pro in solo queue at one point, so of course I've encountered them in solo queue and have been able to see how they play for myself. Without actually putting down on paper who I think is overrated in the pro scene, watching people who I've dominated in scrims be praised as "some of the top players" is hilarious.
On stream you play a lot of Master Yi, Shaco, Xin Zhao and Brand. These champs aren’t used very much in competitive play but they seem to work very well for you. Why do professional players re use the same champs over and over again when other champs have worked so well in the past and seem to only be used when someone is willing enough to bring it to the competitive scene? To give you an example, a lot of teams used Zac last season. This season however, Neintonsoh used him once and it granted him a victory. Yet no other team has chosen him.
Vman7: Professional players play the same small pool of heroes because they're efficient at what they do and they have a large margin of error if you mess up. The other thing is when a hero gets a nerf, whether it be large or small, people tend to stop playing them. An example of this is Ahri - Saw a ton of play, got "nerfed" (lowered bases slightly and increased ratios), nobody played her because the "tanky" build of rylai's rush was less effective; but playing her as an assassin with full ap was more potent than before. Players just don't want to experiment these days, instead they just copy others, there is no innovation. I personally wouldn't bring Master Yi (with the current patch - he's very one dimensional, probably after certain tops get nerfed he'll come back into a competitive environment), but Shaco/Xin and a lot of others (Viktor/Quinn) are extremely strong and not being played by anyone either.
In the past you played on a team with Imaqtpie called “OHGODBEARS”, what happened to that team and why didn’t you guys stay together even though you managed to beat TSM back in 2011?
Vman7:After we beat TSM and I got ddos'd in the matches against CLG sadly, which we would have won back then. Although we were pretty strong, the team disbanded due to the fact that becrutched22 went to China, and Imaqtpie got poached to Rock Solid (now Dignitas). Without those two the rest of the team wasn't good enough to continue since it was us three carrying. Just go to youtube and type in ohgodbears vs Tsm if anyone is interested in watching it.
You have been very outspoken when it comes to Riot's balance design choices. If you were working for Riot one day and could make things exactly how you wanted it, what would you do and what changes might you revert? Why would you make these changes?
Vman7: There's a lot of changes that Riot's done that have been extremely questionable. Putting a hero so far down with nerfs that it's considered a troll pick and leaving them there for years *cough* Evelynn *cough* is inexcusable as a company, and pathetically lazy.
There were some QoL buffs that they could have done back in the day that would have put her in a decent enough spot where she wouldn't have been a problem, and you wouldn't get instant reports/people intentionally throwing just for picking her. Riot still overnerfs today, as well as overbuffs. Hitting 3-4 parts of a hero's strengths as well as nerfing/buffing items that they use as well is pretty poor hindsight.
Within the last 2 years the NA scene has only managed to win 3 games at worlds against teams that weren’t wild cards or a SK gaming team that managed 0 victories at season 2 world championships. Why do you think the NA scene isn’t at the same level as the other regions and do you think they ever have a chance of catching up?
Vman7: The NA scene is getting better, but only slightly. One of their weaknesses (that was actually also covered in Locodoco's vlog he recently released where he goes over NA's past), is the fact that they refuse to look for talent outside of people who have already became a pro in the past. Even though this is extremely rampant still (TSM getting MegaZero as a sub is an example), it's not as bad as it used to be (DTG picking up Brokenshard from EU as a jungler, TSM getting Bjergsen from EU as their new mid). So realistically it's going to come down to the players themselves to put the extra effort in to be able to compete at worlds. Or maybe our Korean Overlords will never give up control =P
Lately in the past few international events people have criticized riot for promoting region bias and trash talk. Do you think the trash talking makes the scene more interesting when done genuinely or does "riot created trash" talking such as the trash talk between Rekkles and Dl also have a place in the scene
Vman7: Nothing wrong with some friendly jests between regions and players. You'll find this in any sport.
I have this theory that goes something like this. The amount of time it would take for NA to catch up the rest of the world is the same amount of time it would take for the playerbase of LoL to start declining. So is it possible that the NA scene is similar to the a half journey finished Titanic and they need a really good performance at worlds to change course, or that even if they don’t win it will be fine because there doesn’t seem to be any competitive and casual MOBA’s poised to take LoL’s spot as the top game around the world?
Vman7: I don't think the playerbase of league will be declining anytime soon, it's only been growing. Like you said, there's nothing that can compare to league's casual side - with maybe Heroes of the Storm filling that void, but it's just barely entered beta.
Vman I would really like to thank you for letting me do this interview it’s a real pleasure to be given the opportunity to interview one of the old school LoL players in the scene. Is there anything or anyone you wanna shout?
Vman7: Shout out to all my fans, without them I probably would have quit a long time ago, as well as to the people who believe in me to get back into the competitive scene. As well as a personal note to the haters and people who seem to love to rag on me for my past behavior - you people are worse than I was back then. Irrational and groundless hate just because you heard some things through the grapevine does no one any good. Also, thanks for taking the time to interview me.
I'd like to thank Vman for taking the time to answer the questions that I had for him. He streams constantly at twitch.tv so giving me time out of his work schedule isvery much appreciated. You can follow vman @vmanseven and you can follow me @Nerv_Ceo