Over the weekend at MLG Spring Championships we had a chance to catch up with two members of Aware Gaming, Jungler Ghoztzero and Support ArcZSlash, in order to give some insight into competing on a League of Legends Challenger team while attending college.
What school do you attend and what is your major? How many credit hours are you taking this upcoming semester?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: I’m attending San Jose State University (SJSU) and I’m majoring in micro biology and I’m going into my sophomore year this coming fall. I’m taking 13 credits this semester.
How hard do you find it to make time to practice with your team? Does practicing cut into your studies and social life?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: Last semester it was pretty hard practicing for LCS qualifiers due to everyone’s school schedules. But my grades were good both semesters, as for social life, usually my girlfriend gets the short end of the stick and is just left with whatever times I’m available.
What does your team’s average practice schedule look like? Your team was previously known for practicing a lot in high elo normal games, is that something that you still look to incorporate, or are you more focused now on ranked 5s and scrims?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: We just play normals for fun, all of our practice revolves around private scrims so people other than our scrim partners wouldn’t know that we’re practicing. As for practice, usually it’s around 4-10 PM PST whenever there’s time.
You guys had the opportunity to compete at MLG Anaheim this weekend. What did you think about MLG weekend and what did you take away from your match against Complexity?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: We ended up taking that loss pretty hard and lost our AD DklBnet but we were competing against a team with a gaming house so that’s a lot to handle and in the end their better practice won.
Do you think the LCS teams have a large advantage over teams like yours because of the resources they are given (gaming houses, steady scrim partners, etc.)? If so, how do you think a team like Velocity was able to beat MRN?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: Resources play a huge role in a team’s success, especially regarding salary and housing. Gaming houses help the team practice more as a whole and allows for bonding and talking about the game despite doing other things and salaries would help incentivize players and encourage more practice.
Overall, what are your feelings on the challenger circuit as it’s currently configured? What do you like and dislike about it?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: Currently I think it’s in a really good spot with MCS and EPS to keep a consistent tournament schedule for the challenger teams. It’s a huge change from a couple months ago where there was very little money in the scene so there were only a couple decent teams.
Can you describe the process of getting a sponsor(s)? Was your team approached by them or did you make an effort to talk to potential sponsors and get your name out there?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: So far it’s just been getting contacted by sponsors or contacting a sponsor looking for a team.
Finally, are there any shout-outs you want to give or links to pages where we can find you and your team and what you’re doing?
David ‘ArcZSlash’ Pham: Shout outs to our sponsor Aware gaming and you can check out our Leaguepedia page which should be updated soon.
Special thanks to IvyLoL and Mike ‘J Fischer’ Plant. Be sure to follow MLG at @MLG on Twitter and #MLG on Facebook.