Interview with Scarra before LCS NA Playoffs: the rivals, the mindset, the game.
Tue 27th Aug 2013 - 8:07pm: League of Legends
Few people can say that they have been in the professional scene as long as Scarra, and even fewer can say they are as popular. William 'Scarra' Li's stream has always been a fan favorite, boasting his personality, great mid lane play, and humorous inability to properly place sight wards.
He's always hard on himself, maybe sometimes too hard, but he does it to improve, and to stay at the top. He and the Team Dignitas squad head to PAX this weekend for the NA LCS Summer Playoffs, where they face Crs in the first round.
Going into PAX, how is team morale and practice going? What can you improve on from the regular season?
Scarra: Going into PAX, team practice is going decently well. We're trying to fix some problems going into PAX that have been pretty consistent throughout our regular season. I feel like we have a really good grasp on conceptualizing plays at the moment, but executing them sometimes is hard for us, so we've been focused on going through a lot of replays to see how other teams execute and learning from them.
Can you describe the pressures you and your team face going into playoffs?
Scarra: Everyone's dream is to go to worlds and there's a lot of pressure not only from each other but from fans and supporters to perform well. Right now, we're just focused on trying to play the best that we can and taking it one step at a time.
Do you think playing on Patch 3.10 is going to make as big of a difference as people are saying it will?
Scarra: Patch 3.10 will definitely see the rise and fall of certain champions, but it's not going to break a top tier team. It's just another change teams will have to adapt to.
Since KiWiKiD joined last December, the Team Dignitas roster hasn't changed. How is team synergy considering you've been together for so long? Is there room to improve?
Scarra: The team synergy is pretty good, but there's always more room to improve. Sometimes it's only after a long time do you really get to understand someone.
Does the team get along outside of the game?
Scarra: Outside of the game people get along pretty well. People mostly do their own thing outside of me, Kiwi and QT end up playing quite a bit of MTG together.
Do you think that with teams having drama like TSM will severely hurt their performance? Is that type of behavior common behind the scenes at LCS?
Scarra: I think as the popularity of players and teams increases, the scrutiny of their personal lives also increase as well. I think the teams, organizations, and players are the ones who should be policing their own behavior. Whether or not the behavior impacts the team's performance is entirely up to them. This type of behavior isn't all too uncommon among teams. Tempers get flared and sometimes egos clash. It's not all peaches and roses as teams struggle to claw their ways to the top.
If Allstar voting were to take place right now, do you think you'd still be voted in? What about the rest of the roster?
Scarra: I think none of the Allstars from the previous split should be voted in. Every single player has been outperformed by their respective role counterparts this season, which isn't to say they are all magically bad players, just that this season the competition really increased and there's players who are obviously performing a lot better (ex. Meteos/Mancloud etc).
With these players stepping up, do you think NA can compete at an international level, and go far at World Finals?
Scarra: I definitely think NA has a chance but of course that's pretty biased. I think we're definitely the underdogs going into worlds, but who doesn't like a good dark horse story.
If NA is the underdog, then what region do you think is most likely going to win Worlds?
Scarra: I think Korea currently has some extremely strong teams. If I had to pick the strongest region right now it would probably be them.
Do you have any thoughts about Gamescom and the EU teams?
Scarra: I didn't watch too much of Gamescom outside of the Gambit vs EG third place match. I find it just interesting to see the differing picks and how the game plays out is very weird. It seems a lot slower than what I'm used to, but I haven't seen enough games to make a good enough judgement on it.
How do you feel about the first season of LCS? Is there anything Riot could've done better?
Scarra: I feel like the LCS system doesn't really give adequate rewards at the end of the season. There's really no difference between 1st and second or 3rd 4th 5th 6th. especially going into playoffs. Aside from that I'm pretty satisfied with the system
Since you've been playing League of Legends professionally for so long, how do you feel about the course the game and Riot has taken so far? Are you looking forward to the future?
Scarra: I think the overall course of the game is pretty good so far. Of course there have been bumps on the road but overall Riot has done a great job of legitimizing league of legends as an eSport and promoting their game and brand.
Do you have any shoutouts?
Scarra: Thanks to the sponsors and fans who stick with us after brutal losses. I know we've been struggling a lot this season. Nobody likes it, especially any of us. We're practicing hard for PAX and beyond.