With the League of Legends Oceanic Pro League in full swing, eSports are starting to gain a lot of extra traction here in Australia. I recently got the chance to chat to Bradley ‘Tgun’ Seymour, a member of Team Immunity, about his experiences in eSports, as well as the ways players can get the most out of their League of Legends matches.
Jayden: When did you first get into the eSports scene? What got you into it?
Tgun: I started eSports around five years ago. I was playing Starcraft at the time, and played that for three to three and a half years, then I jumped into League of Legends. It was because I messed up my knee playing tennis, I tore my ACL quite badly and couldn’t afford the surgery, and the public waiting list for surgery was going to take a while. That sort of translated the competitive aspect over to eSports, which brought me to where I am today playing League.
Jayden: How did you become a member of Team Immunity?
Tgun: When I was growing up I played games like Counter Strike, and would always see Team Immunity and think ‘oh, they’re the best, I want to be in that team cause they’re the best.’ I played Starcraft and eventually I got into Team Immunity, then when I finished that and hopped over to League, our team got good enough that they looked at us and thought, you know what, let’s take you guys on. That was sort of because I already had a rapport with them from previous times and was able to talk to them, and they felt like bringing us aboard cause we’re maybe not the best team right now, but they felt that we would represent them well – something that the previous team wasn’t exactly doing.
Jayden: What is the lifestyle balance like and how have you managed it? What is the hardest or most stressful part?
Tgun: It’s a tough thing to balance, most scrims are at night, like at seven to ten, so I can’t go out to dinner with my girlfriend very often, I can’t go out to dinner with my friends or family very often, so I have to balance around that. It just means things have to be really scheduled, really structured – we begin here and we end here, then I can work around that. It’s very stressful at times.
The hardest thing is probably finding enough time for my girlfriend, honestly, but as long as you have very solid, very structured practice you can get away with it.
Jayden: How has the experience of playing in the first Oceanic League of Legends Pro League been?
Tgun: It’s a good experience, it’s very structured. You know when the games are, which is quite unique, in that we can practice each week for the team we’re playing. We know in advance who we’re playing and when, and we can use that to our advantage. For instance, we can do research on specific teams and find out what they’re good at and bad at.
The main difference here is that the OPL is weekly and scheduled. Most other tournaments will just be bashed out in one or two days, twelve hours a day, in a big bracket. The OPL is a round robin format like you would have in footy or soccer which allows for a much more structured practice schedule.
Jayden: The Australian eSports scene is beginning to get bigger, how would you like to see it develop into the future?
Tgun: I think what Riot have started with is great because they have the basis of the North American League, the LCS, and thats what they’ve built off. Going from here, the biggest thing I’d like to see is live events. Right now the only live events we’ve had are at the big events, things like EB Expo, PAX Aus and Armageddon in New Zealand.
That’s great for exposure but a live expo isn’t really the place for a tournament. In the future I’d say the biggest thing for Riot to bring in would be live events for the League itself. If that’s weekly live events for the tournament that would be great, but that would be very difficult since in Australia, geographically, people live all over, very difficult to justify and work with. Maybe semi finals and finals live would be good for Riot to move forward to.
Jayden: How do you train for matches? What does a normal training session consist of?
Tgun: We train anywhere from five to seven days a week depending on people’s schedules, and it’s usually just two to four hours of scheduled practice. We’ll lock in a time and verse another team in scrims, then take a five minute analysis after each game. We’ll take that time to talk about what we did right, what we did wrong, and after the end of the two or three games we’ll take another break and look back to see what we did right and what we have to work on.
Jayden: As the eSports scene grows, how do you think we can get more people interested in and playing MOBAs?
Tgun: I didn’t play any MOBAs before League of Legends, and the way I got into it was through my friends. It took me nearly a year to get to level thirty because I would only ever play with my friends. Thats how I would tell people to get into it, find a group of friends, find a decent community. There’s plenty of groups and communities where people play together, and play with them. Definitely don’t go into it thinking you have to play on your own, because it’s not as rich an experience when you’re not playing with friends.
Jayden: What would you recommend for new players in order for them to get the most out of their time with the game?
Tgun: I’d say to get the most out of the game it sort of loops back to how you got into the game. Just find a good group of friends, because even if you enjoy the game, playing on your own really can get taxing on you. When you have those friends, even when you’re losing you can sort of just joke with them and ride it out. When you’re on your own and losing it’s not that fun an experience, so to not burn out or anything keep going with friends, keep taking it lightly and try not to worry too much about it.
You can catch Team Immunity’s next game on Thursday 19th March from 6pm on the Riot OPL Twitch channel, when they take on Avant Garde and 4Not. For more on the OPL, make sure to check out the official site here.