in2LOL Interviews Westrice from Curse!
posted by Mary-Jane, 175 days agoJonathan 'Westrice' Nguyen is a twenty-year old Vietnamese hailing from California, which is part of the United States. Since almost everyone knows about California, it seems boring to further elaborate on the pecularities of that area.
Unlike, say, Missouri, which is a place the United States bought in 1803 from the French who in turn had gotten it from the Spanish after the Spanish had received it from the French after it had temporarily been owned by both of them. It's also where Westrice moved to live with his mother 'Momrice' and his sister when he was ten years old.
The place had been known as a slave state before the civil war happened and today it brings the world astonishing scientific facts like this one: progamers can survive almost solely on a diet of rice. Rice as in "West-Rice".
My mom supports me the most out of anybody in my family (Momrice).
Just as puzzling as the history of the land itself are its inhabitants, who till this day have not been able to compromise about the proper pronounciation of "Missouri". A state with such a flabbergasting gallimaufry of topsy-turvy doohickeys is bound to produce a special breed of people who are apt to cope with other people trying to sell them a boxcar for a canoe, and to deal with a few professional League of Legends Teams One versus Five at the same time.
But for all that, it didn't require a miracle for Westrice to exchange Missouris' humid summers and cold winters for the smog and the bland climate of Los Angeles when he was eighteen years old, in order to further his education and to live with his dad's part of the family.
Although Los Angeles, the place where Westrice resides now, must be considered as substantially less interesting than, say, Missouri, it was there where Westrice was able to deepen his knowledge by studying computers, and found his true calling in playing League of Legends and to finally become a League of Legends Star. It becomes apparent that after all the things California, boring as it may appear to the reader, did for Westrice, an inclusion of its West Coast geography into his name was in order. Thus 'West-Rice' was born.
Westrice was initiated into the ranks of the faithful League players by his cousin Marvin, who introduced him to the game after they both had quit playing a game called HoN, also known in slightly longer spelling as Heroes of Newerth.
Visibly unimpeded by that former experience he went on to rise to the top of 'Elo-Hell' and soon appeared on the streams of professional gamers such as George 'HotshotGG' Georgallidis of CLG.
Although he was gaining popularity there, and his Akali games versus the newly released Irelia - played by Hotshot - became the stuff of Legends, Westrice also wanted to pass his knowledge on to the less talented by writing guides on the game for SoloMid, a well-known ressource for League of Legends knowledge. This, along with his performance in ranked games, led to TSM taking an interest in the young player and finally recruiting for the ranks of Professional Gamers. From his position as a substitute player he rose to the position of a starter when he joined Epik Gamer and was able to shine with his Akali during DreamHack and its Qualifiers.
However, changes to the lane setup and the roster led to things not going too well at IPL 4 and the addition of new team members later on meant he was destined to being the team's substitute. Since 2012 Westrice has been playing for Curse, always lurking in some safe spot and waiting for the time to throw the Kama.
What is your current position at Curse?
My current position within Curse is to stay a sub for the time being. I won't be a sub forever according to Liquid as I do have a chance to claim my starter position back. But at this time I am a substitute player and that means that I'll play for whoever can't make it and just stream, write guides, and relax. I get to stay in the house and support Curse in every aspect. Season Three requires six members, so here I am being that 6th player.
When your team was in Asia, why did they take Salce with them instead of taking you?
I was a starter at that point, but they already booked the flight for Salce before it was decided. Also it was good for him to get some experience with the team.
Voyboy recently joined Curse and you were moved to a substitute position within the team. How did this affect you? Are you still getting enough playtime with the main team?
I only get to play with the team when someone is unavailable, and that almost never happens.
What steps are you going to take to improve your game and can we expect a new tactical approach from you, or maybe some changes to your champion roster?
The addition of Voyboy and me still staying on the team definitely encouraged me to work harder. The downside is that I won't have much playing time with the team, but it also allows me to chill out and work on myself without being under pressure. I already started learning new champions and Zed became my new personal favorite. In addition, the buff to assassins only made it easier for me as I hated the bruiser meta.
Westrice & SaintSnuggle
Westrice & SaintSnuggle
Are there any players or teams to which you look up to and think you can learn a lot from?
Definitely anyone from the Asian scene. They dedicate themselves to the game and do everything in their power to be the best. I would always watch the games in Asia and look at how top lane players build different items and play unorthodox champions. MAKNING! Or MAKING! Shit…that still doesn't sound right. MAKNOON IS KING!
Why do you like Maknoon so much?
Because we are buddies. We used to play together all the time on the NA servers before any of us got known. We always used to joke with each other: like MiG = Maknoon is gay. He just laughed and never took any offense. He always played Pantheon and Leblanc and I always played Akali. We just admired each other's playstyle and learned a lot from each other constantly until he moved to the Korean server.
Are we going to see any exciting Akali plays like we used to in Season 1?
She is definitely a fun champion but she didn't really fit in the meta during Season Two. I'm looking forward to Season Three and I hope I can play her more both in solo queue and competitively.
Have you ever considered re-learning another "main" role in order to diversify your competitive play?
I haven't thought of re-learning other roles, just brushing up on the roles I already know, which are top lane and AD carry. Sometimes I play jungle or support but I'm not as good at those.
What do you like about your current role? How does playing top lane and AD carry differ from playing other roles?
Top lane is usually the lane that suffers the most weight because it can snowball either way. I enjoy playing mobile champions like Jax, Akali, Zed …but the downside is just the way top lane works in general. As for AD carry, I play it from time to time if I want to take a break from top lane, and it is definitely a lot more relaxing (farming for the most part). It differs from other roles because it requires a different mindset and playstyle.
Lately there has been a lot of talk about the North American teams being weaker when compared to European or Asian teams. What is your opinion on this?
I agree with this. It mostly has to do with the rivalry in the North American scene. North American teams like TSM, CLG, Dignitas, Curse etc. never scrim against each other unless they're on their opposite side of a tournament bracket. But that just isn't enough practice against the best teams in the same region. Meanwhile in EU and Asia, they consistently scrim against best teams in their regions and just dedicate themselves to the game way more than we do.
Could you maybe explain where the rivalry comes from?
After realizing that this was becoming an issue, North American teams started scrimming against each other: like CLG and Dignitas. They're even moving into a house together. I haven't seen my team scrim any top tier teams lately, only in a tournament against TSM, but I don't think that is enough. About 1-2 years ago, CLG was the best team in the world and they figured it was best to not scrim against any of the other teams so that no one can get on the same level as them. They kept believing that and in time they have gotten worse and worse without even realizing it. In the end TSM beat them in the Go4Lol tournament, which at the time, was not expected at all.
What is your prediction concerning the strength of the different regions during Season 3?
I think Asia will still be the strongest region. The whole scene will probably be a lot more competitive. Though, I don't think that North American teams will be smashed every time when they are playing agains Asian teams.
Forums and Reddit threads are full of jokes about Curse being CLG's "benched" team. How do you handle all these negative comments?
None of us takes it seriously. One day at MLG Dallas, some car drove past us and yelled "CLG BENCHED!" It was me, Cop, and Jacky and it doesn't apply to us so we just lifted an eyebrow and proceeded walking to the ice cream store. I'm sure Saint, Elementz, and Voyboy laugh about it because it doesn't really mean anything.
Do negative comments have any effect on you? How important is the support from your fans?
I always enjoy the support from our fans and I like meeting them. Negative feedback I always ignore or laugh at if it doesn't make any sense. Whenever I have a bad game, I'd almost always get a comment like "Get benched" or something like that. I hear it so many times to the point where I don't care anymore.
The eSports scene is getting bigger every day. Which differences do you see when comparing the start of your career and today?
From a few thousand players to a few million players. Biggest growth for any video game in history. Surprising!
Do you like signing autographs, doing interviews and interacting with the community?
Whenever I'm at events I love signing autographs, even if it takes 30+ minutes of my time. When I'm at home I tend to be a little bit lazier but I try my best to do some community work.
Do you sometimes find it annoying or unnecessary?
Nah. Only when they ask to hang out with me afterwards... which is kind of weird.
Riot is implementing a lot of new things in the pre-season period: changes to items, masteries and the jungle. Are you excited about these changes and what are your expectations for Season 3?
I actually didn't read any of it yet. Too many new items. I think the number of new items goes beyond forty. All I know is that they took out Force of Nature and Heart of Gold from the game. I am sad to see Force of Nature being removed as it was one of my favorite items, but on the other hand, I'm glad they took out Heart of Gold. Fuck GP10's! The item changes are the biggest thing that I'm excited about. I always knew GP10's were going to be removed eventually because of the same old boring Philosopher's Stone and Heart of Gold rush. When it comes to champions, my guess is that the assassins like Akali are probably going to shine with the start of Season Three.
| Player? |
Clg.eu or CLG.prime?
Bo3 or Bo5?
Facebook or Twitter?
Mars or Snickers?
Solo or Duo Queue?
Bunny Riven vs Nurse Akali?
Galio or Amumu?
Mulan - Make a man out of you
My mind is full of hatred towards that champ
Dragon fruit, not weird but SO COOL OMG
Shoutout to Gunnar, Logitech, Teamspeak, and Origin PC! And thanks for all my fans that support me all the way! <3
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