Chauster: A Revisit To Old Past Times
As some of you may know, I subbed in for CLG this past week of NA LCS. Dexter had problems getting his passport, so I was once again called in for assistance. CLG had reached out to me the previous two weeks, but I thought that the work needed to play at the competitive level was a little too much. I also had other priorities (getting Challenger before it got filled). This week was different because Doublelift personally reached out to me on Skype and used a few highly guilt tripping words to change my heart. “We are screwed” is the most impactful quote that I can remember. Nonetheless, I agreed to subbing in and began to play with the team for two days before coming to the NA LCS. I never thought that I would play competitively again, but to me this was a one time deal to help out my friends who seemed to be in dire straits.
Practicing with the team was very nostalgic. Communication wasn’t amazing by any means, but the team was willing to work together and make calls without an actual shot caller. Since I was now a stranger on the team, it was very refreshing to not have any burden to make any calls. I just did my job and let the game run its course. I felt like we were actually a strong team among the 8 teams of the NA LCS. Even though the environment was slightly different than when I had left, the feeling of the team was exactly the same. The humor and jokes of old CLG still remained, and I did not feel alienated in the slightest. It almost felt as if I had never left. Everything was natural, and everyone was having fun. The camaraderie of the competitive scene is what I will miss most.
The new LCS studio was a ridiculous upgrade in terms of providing for the players. Originally the old studio had two rooms for the teams that were to play in the next match. Teams rotated out and had to deal with each other’s garbage and arguments before getting on stage. The new studio actually has individual team rooms fully equipped with computers, TV (broadcasting current LCS matches), and bathroom. Privacy is no longer a concern. Down the hall is the player lounge where food is catered (generally pretty good food) and there are couches for players who don’t have much to do on the given day. Outside of the amenities, the biggest change to playing at the studio had to be the crowd. Each week there is a small crowd that watches the players and directly simulates a large LAN event environment. LCS players who have to play at international events will now be very comfortable.
Playing middle lane against competitive LCS players made me realize a few things that weren’t very clear to me previously. For one, ganks in competitive play are incredibly easy to snuff out if communication is on point. Pressure on the map is pretty much known to everyone in the game based on the ability to 2v2 skirmish on the top side of the map. This makes it so that you can pretty easily predict enemy jungler movement. This is very important because ganks in competitive play are incredibly coordinated relative to solo queue. Junglers can gank at any opportunity you throw at them, which is why passive play is emphasized when jungler can be nearby. As for skill of the enemy laner, LCS mid laners are not that much better than solo queue players in lane. LCS players are way better players overall, but the laning matchup is limited to knowledge of specific matchups. Most LCS players’ matchup knowledge is only vast in the current FOTM matchups which aren’t popular in solo queue.
All in all, I had a great time playing competitively again. Having time to hang out with the team and interact with the fans gave me a nice refreshing view of what being a pro player entails. I lived this lifestyle for three years, but I am proud to say that I am done with my time being a professional player and will focus on other future endeavors. I wish CLG the best of luck with Dexter returning in the near future. They will be a strong team, and I hope they will progress well in the LCS.