New Kids on the Block: An Interview with Team8's Calitrlolz
Wed 29th Oct 2014 - 6:01pm
It's time to welcome a new team into the LCS: Team8. Founded in 2013, this team has climbed the ranks and emerged victorious from the LCS Challenger Series. I had the opportunity to chat with Steven "Calitrlolz" Kim, their top laner. After capturing the attention of Reddit through his difficult choice between going to pharmeseutical school or pursing a career in the LCS, Calitrlolz has decided to postpone school for a year to chase his dream.
What initially got you into League of Legends?
Calitrlolz: I used to play a lot of DotA when I was a freshman. I was mesmerized by the skill, decision-making, and team effort it requires to win a game. After a semester of 'Destruction of thy Academics,' I persuaded myself to quit DotA entirely which, for a few months, I was able to. Then, on the Veterans Day of year 2010, my roommate introduced me to League of Legends; I had nothing to do over the three day weekends. My weekend disappeared as my Fiddlesticks and teleport Ashe dominated the rift. My initial impression of the game was that it was an easier/user-friendly version of DotA and I would not get addicted... aaaaand here I am.
Were you competitive in any other games before League of Legends?
Calitrlolz: I played DotA at pretty high level but not competitive, and was also in the top 10 Starcraft 1 players in the US, arguably.
What is the biggest change you’ve experienced in your personal life since making it into LCS?
Calitrlolz: A lot more people recognize me now. The best thing so far about it is having few fans and not having to call my lane in solo queue :) The latter is so convenient! I'm really looking forward to the start of the split.
How hard was it for you to make the decision to play in LCS instead of going straight to pharmacy school?
Calitrlolz: Realizing the current state of professional League scene saddens me. The scene is very unstable in terms of roster and income. Very few players actually make six figures, so it is comparable to pharmacist's starting median salary of six; however, this is of my passion so I looked for an opportunity to delay a year of my school to invest it in this experience. I cannot help but thank my fans and friends who supported my decision either way. I was able to make this heart-felt decision with their aid.
We’ve heard in broadcasts that you are the shot-caller for Team 8. How did this come to be?
Calitrlolz: Shot-calling isn't something that a team can really assign. It comes from the player's attributes: being decisive, vocal, and knowledgeable. My aggressive play style as top laner garnered a lot of initiation experiences. When you see me play competitive/solo queue, you will always see me flanking or charging into the middle of the enemy team.
Had I done that without being a shot-caller, the result would be a lot messier as my teammates would not be able to follow up.
What is it about playing non-meta top lane champs that appeals to you?
Calitrlolz: My best intention is not just to play something rare or cool. I really believe that there are more advantages and disadvantages in those other non-meta champions. I do not find myself just picking meta champs for the comfort and stable laning phase. I try to see possibility in all the champions on the line when I'm picking and practicing.
How do you believe that your team will perform in LCS?
Calitrlolz: We have not been practicing as a team after promotional series. Starting mid- November after all the gaming houses are set up, we should be able to start scrimming and improve ourselves. I do not know where our team falls currently, but I'd say lower half as of now. But we have the talent to climb up and my personal goal is to place top 3 in the LCS.
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview! Would you like to give any shout-outs to your fans or sponsors?
Calitrlolz: As always, thank you for all the heartwarming support! Can't wait to show you guys some Team8 action in next split. Please cheer for us! Quick shout-out to our sponsors Gamdias, Wearhaus, and Freedom! :)