By Tyson “InnoX” Kapler of Evil Geniuses.
Hey guys! I don’t really know what I’m writing about. Pete and Stephen have given some pretty good descriptions on what it’s been like for them to move to the United States and why they’re with EG, so I don’t want to copy them. What I can talk about is some of my times before Napkins in Disguise (NiD) and how things all started, so for those who are interested, let me tell you a bit about that.
From playing on one amateur team to another and from season to season, I always had the goal of being able to make something out of esports. When I was a kid I would watch my brothers play Counterstrike in tournaments and have fans, get cool prizes and all the other cool things that esports “fame” entails, though it was a lot smaller back then compared to what it is now.
I’m just going to skip over season 1 and head straight into the season that chained it all together. At some point in season 2 one of my friends, “Trickz” (or good old “WWWWWWWWWWWWWWOO” on his smurf account), ended up asking if I wanted to start a team with him and told me he already had some other people that we could play with. My teammates on the team ended up being Reduron, Deathmonger, Trickz, and Shiphtur. If I recall correctly the lanes were: Reduron – Support, Deathmonger – Jungle, Trickz – Mid, Shiphtur – AD, and I was playing top lane for the first time in a competitive scene. Just to add in for the large majority that don’t know, but for the first two seasons, I was an AD carry main with my second best role being in the mid lane. I actually got into playing ranked season one by playing Caitlyn mid lane and won my first 30 or so ranked games before receiving my first loss. Back to the team though, I ended up being from the same hometown as Danny boy (Shiphtur), and we ended up going to a LAN tournament together which we ended up taking first place in. Anyways, that team didn’t end up making it too far, but we did end up getting a name after a while, when we joined the organization known as Dirt Nap Gaming (DNG); during our time with them we ended up meeting our new manager who would go on to manage teams that I was on for quite some time: Angel Vigil.
The team that was once DNG.Panda (yes we chose panda as our name… special thanks to Reduron and Deathmonger for that one), and then Monomaniacs (mme. Evito, which was a change in sponsors), ended up disbanding due to a few silly issues. That was when I learned that the hardest part of a team is just staying together, something I’ll go into another time maybe. After the team disbanded there were a few more events that I can’t remember 100% but in the end I became a sub for the new roster of the other team Angel managed, One Trick Ponies. The team at the time when I was a sub consisted of PawnGypsy – Top, we’ll just say ScubaChris (since that’s what he goes by now) – Jungle, lilKvn – Mid, RagingKenny – AD, and Loopyness as the support.
Many strange things ended up happening to the roster of 1TP starting off with me becoming a starter for the team and taking over the AD role down in bot one with Loopyness. I played for about two weeks I think it was, before returning to the position of a sub because I didn’t want to play AD, and at the same time the team was going to play in the first LCS qualifiers, but I would be unable to attend due to school either way. They ended up doing really well in the qualifiers and may have actually qualified if I had attended. Shortly after, as it can be assumed, there were more roster changes to the team that resulted from people wanting to pursue school.
Eventually, I started to get more into the scene and qualify for bigger tournaments like the LCS qualifiers. The team I was with at the time was known as One Trick Ponies, but a very different 1TP which consisted of Nubbypoohbear in the mid lane, ScubaChris in the jungle, Unstoppable as our support, Flappy Bearfish as our AD, and I was still playing in the top lane. We ended up failing miserably under pressure once we got to the event.
I guess you could say and all the success we had prior to the relegation tournament seemed like it was never there. We played like a completely different team and did things as silly as picking champions we didn’t enjoy playing and weren’t even practiced on to ruin our comfort even more.
We learned some valuable lessons, and more importantly, got a ton of LAN experience from that event. It was a pretty strange set-up, truth be told. The LCS studio you’re accustomed to now have a live audience, a spacious platform, and a great atmosphere. The studio that we played in for the promotion tournament in Season 3 was completely different – bright lights lined the wall behind us and the desks were pretty squished together. Though there was no live audience, the camera crew right on the other side of the desks was enough to make us nervous. While the new studio is totally different and awesome, I’m glad I got out my LAN jitters at the old venue.
In a future blog, I’ll probably talk about a lot of the differences between the amateur scene and the pro scene, and the rapid transition I had to make, or maybe I’ll talk about my times I spent on NiD. I am not too sure yet. There’s a lot that’s still saved for later at least. For now though, I will give you a taste of the best part of the LCS… free beef jerky. There’s a snack table backstage by the warm-up rooms that spawns one bag of beef jerky per day. It’s probably the best part about going to the studio to play the first match of the day since usually you’ll be one of the first teams there and lucky enough to get some of the jerky. Hopefully this wasn’t too boring of a read seeing as it was me just randomly going on about some of my times in the amateur scene. Catch you guys next time.