Interview with Lisha: "I think the biggest thing I've done is convince him [imaqtpie] to take League seriously"
Sat 7th Dec 2013 - 8:40pm
Lisha, Michael 'Imaqtpie' Santana's girlfriend, was previously a diamond-tier League of Legends player herself. She is known for her appearances on his stream and helping him manage it. In this interview we got to talk to Lisha about how their relationship has affected his dedication to League, going to live events with him, and what they do about all his hair. Enjoy!
Can you tell us the story of how you and Imaqtpie met? Did the romance start online or offline?
Lisha: We met online actually, through /v/ chat and mutual friends. I didn't agree to date him until after we'd met in person. So I'd say we started talking almost 3 years ago now. And we met for last year’s PAX prime. Yeah, this story sounds stupid but, I made an OKCupid account with a bunch of reddit friends. Michael was trolling with his /v/ chat friends and found it and thought I was cute and then turns out one of them knew who I was from playing league with me. I got invited into their skype call and was confused for so long.
Thats an interesting story.
Lisha: It's a little bit embarrassing, but it's just so interesting that someone knew us both.
What do you find most attractive about Qtpie? What about him bothers you the most?
Lisha: He says stupid things, but it’s always funny. And when you love someone, you find them attractive. He started to get really frustrated playing league now that he’s been taking it really seriously, and sometimes that means after he’s dealt with streaming, scrims, and then team talks, I can't expect him to have time for me.
What do you think about Qtpie’s large fanbase and the memes and videos associated with him (Raise your dongers, Kingston HyperX advertisement)?
Lisha: I'm really happy about all of it. I love that people enjoy him now. It was always super depressing to read comments on how Dig should kick him, he's too ugly to be trolling the way he does, that sort of thing. His fanbase lets him keep playing video games as a job, and he wouldn't be as happy doing something else. I wish he would do a little more with videos and such to get his personality out more, the Kingston and Machinima skits were great.
Did you find out how his hair gets on the ceiling in the shower yet?
Lisha: Lol. On the ceiling... I have no idea… maybe when he flips his hair…
What do you think is the main difference between a gamers' relationship and a normal relationship (if any)?
Lisha: Oh god. If I didn't like him so much I'd be gone a long time ago. The distance is the main thing. We almost break up every time between visits. Now that he's in Cali, we have a three hour time difference. When he's done with scrims at 10pm, and then team talks til maybe 11 or 11:30, its past 1am for me, and I have clinicals at 6am sometimes. It's definitely teaching me patience, and we've made it work so far. We don't really have dates, we have us sitting in Google hangout for hours each day while we each do our own thing, and check up on each other between his scrim breaks. Shit sucks.
Of course I might just be needy.
You don't sound needy.
Lisha: I do get comments on it, which is why I try to avoid talking while he streams. Stream is all him yo.
How often do you go out in real life to do something together?
Lisha: Well, he doesnt have a car, so when I visit, it's whenever Kiwi drives us to a MTG event or to dinner! When he visits, I can drive us out and it's a lot nicer. We see each other for hopefully 3 months out of the year. With his stream, it’s a lot easier for him to make the decision to fly out, where he couldn't do it before.
What's your favorite thing to do together?
Lisha: Grinding in an MMO. He takes all of my money in the game. I think we both just like the mindless grind.
Which MMO? One specifically or just any you guys can play together?
Lisha: I would say League, but its not something he plays to relax anymore. We used to play GW2 and Tera together, we are waiting on Blade and Soul.
When you go out together, do people recognize you? Do you have fans come up to you asking you questions?
Lisha: We went to Korea Korner once for pho supplies, and someone recognized him and got a picture. It doesnt really happen that often though.
Does anyone recognize you when you're out?
Lisha: No, I talk a bit on Michael's stream, but I'm not really visible? Most people don't know me.
It took me a second to figure out who Michael was...
How does him living in a gaming house and practicing each day affect your relationship?
Lisha: Well when he got back from Korea and was looking to get better, we duoq'd for 5-6 hours each day. Now I'm in my nursing program and he's always busy so our schedules don't work out. Maybe that makes us stronger idk.
Do you get along with his teammates? Do you like spending time with all of them in the gaming house?
Lisha: I get along with all of them, I spend the most time with Kiwi and then Scarra just because of Magic and Hearthstone.
Has your attitude towards League of Legends changed since you started dating? Did you play it before? Do you play it more or less now?
Lisha: I play it a loooot less. I wanted to be really good before, I played with 1 Trick Ponies and some amateur teams, but school started and it's too important for me and my family. After I started my nursing program, I didn't play ranked for 9 months and decayed from D5 to P5.
Is that playing less just from work or also from all the overexposure to the game you get from being around him?
Lisha: I suppose most of it is just me and QT are both too busy. And since I stopped playing for so long, its hard for me to get back into the game by myself. I just smurf since my MMR on my main is too high for my skill level right now, I still get matched with D1 players.
Do you go to events with him all around the world or does he often travel alone?
Lisha: I have school so he goes by himself. The two times I've watched him play he's lost... MLG and an LCS week, so maybe it’s better I don’t watch in person. It’s always a loss to vulcun too. Vulcan? Idk. Xdgg.
Do you get anxious or worried watching him play? Do you cheer loudly and get excited when you watch him or do you sit quietly?
Lisha: It's so nerve-wracking. I just hope that he doesn't do something stupid and get caught out and then people point it out as why Dig should kick him again. I just always know that even if it looks like they're super ahead, they tend to get caught out one by one and then lose pressure ;_; I'm not that confident which is kind of bad.
And being a high-elo player yourself probably helps you understand and know when to get nervous while watching?
Lisha: I'm not high elo anymore, but yeah it makes me super nervous when I see certain picks and such. It's more sometimes I hear their planning, and then I see them go way off and I get really scared.
Would you almost rather not know as much about League as you do so you wouldn't know when they're losing?
Lisha: Nah, I like knowing about league, its better than not being able to offer any advice or help when hes frustrated, and it sounds bitchy but sometimes, at least when I criticize his play it isnt me calling him out, it's because I want him to fix it and get better. I still obviously don't know as much as he does, but we can talk it out and go through his decision making, that sort of thing.
It sounds like you're really helpful to his career too then.
Esports can be a tough world; do you think it's important for a pro gamer to have someone there to support him? How do you try and help him during stressful times?
Lisha: Players definitely need support, especially since for most of them, this is their first real job, they are just happy they've made it, when it's so fragile. There's so many players that made it into LCS and then got dropped, I'm glad thats not something Michael has had to go through.
I can be whiny and needy because I'm not perfect, but I try to make things as easy for him as possible. I manage his stream aspects, playlists, find games for him to play, small things.
I think the biggest thing I've done is convince him to take League seriously, he's realized he doesn't really want to be in college right now, and if he wants a house and children it's not enough to just coast along.
Have you gone to a big event with him? If so, what’s it like being at a large event as his girlfriend?
Lisha: I went to the Dallas MLG with him. The first PAX we went to together doesn't count, since we weren't dating yet. It's nice to be able to get a seat basically. I don't really talk with players other than Dig, which is mostly my own fault for being shy.
Do team rivalries play into that at all too? So you wouldn't want to make friends with the members/girlfriends of another team then have to cheer against them at the same event?
Lisha: No that doesn't do anything. I dont even think Dig is rivals with any team. I talked with Jenabella (C9 Sneaky’s girlfriend) while her team crushed mine ;_;
What do you think is the most important trait for the girlfriend of a pro gamer to have? Patience? Enthusiasm for what he’s doing?
Lisha: I guess it depends on what youre trying to get out of it. Of course there are people just looking to get into the scene I guess. It's weird when it comes to even semi-famous people, like League personalities.
It's probably still the same as with any relationship, just trying to make it work for both parties.
People are starting to see esports girlfriends take a similar role as football wives being mini-celebs of their own. Do you think this is true? What is your experience with this?
Lisha: It's interesting because of the scandals that have happened, what with girls4lol and stuff. A lot of girls are just looking for the attention. But everyone is trying to be successful and happy so idk.
Where do you see you guys a year from now?
Lisha: Hopefully he's still in LCS and I'm just finishing up my nursing degree and taking the exam.
You think Team Dignitas will go to worlds in that time?
Lisha: I hope they do. They're just like so close but can't get over their problems.
Any specific problems you want to mention?
Lisha: They'll sort of fix it and then unfix it later.
So not sticking to the plan, like you mentioned earlier?
Lisha: Mhm. That and they have trouble kiting.
Ok, last question. Does the hair get in the way?
Lisha: Yeah all the time. We had him get a trim while he was here because I would sit down next to him and be sitting on his hair.
Hahahaha. Anything else you want to add?
Lisha: Oh well, Im just happy people appreciate him, what people think of me doesn't matter as long as he's happy. Thanks to Dig for sticking with him all this time, and Riot for appreciating his sense of humor.
Follow Lisha on Twitter: @owolisha, or find her in-game on NA servers: leeshark.