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Interview with DIG LoL Player Lourlo

RealZesty

RealZesty

Thu 28th May 2020 - 6:19pm

Samson "Lourlo" Jackson has been a player in the competitive North American League of Legends scene for more than 5 years now, and he continues to stun his viewers no matter where he plays. Following an impressive performance in NA's Academy scene during the 2020 Spring Split, I sat down with Lourlo and discussed his ambitions about playing at the top of the League of Legends ladder, moving onto the main stage, and making his way to Worlds in the future. Read on for an insight into one of the most exciting players in the game right now! 

Alright Lourlo let’s start off with a fun one; if you could duo queue with any past Dignitas player, who would it be and why? 

Lourlo: Hmm… I think it would be Scarra. I played with him when I was a challenger player in 2015 with CLG Black; I was 17, new to the scene and naive, so it’d be fun to play again after 5 years

Let’s learn a little about Lourlo; for your newer fans, what would you say is your greatest achievement so far in your career? 

Lourlo: I guess the biggest thing for me is that not many players got to join the LCS when they were 17, and the age requirement nowadays is 18, so I’ll be one of the only players to have been able to participate in the LCS while they were that young. I definitely take that with a lot of pride. 

What has been the best part about playing under the Dignitas banner this past season?

Lourlo: There are a lot of things! I go into every new team pretty open-minded, and especially this year I was surrounded by an experienced roster, so I was very open to taking criticism and learning about myself. In just 4 months, I feel like I’ve taken so much onboard and it’s nice to feel like I can still improve at such a fast rate even though I’ve already been playing for 4 or 5 years competitively; I’m super grateful to be given the opportunity to play here. 

How do you feel about the split you just had? Did you expect to display the level of dominance we saw from the team? 

Lourlo: To be honest I’m a pretty confident player, sometimes without reason; whatever roster I’m thrown into, I’ll go into it thinking that we can perform at the highest level regardless of the public’s opinion of them. This time around, I think it was pretty obvious that we had a very talented roster thanks to our LCS experience, we put in a lot of work and went through a lot as a team. It was just a joy to play with everyone. 

Something that fans often wonder is how the Academy scene compares to the main stage in the NA LCS; what’s your take on this? How do you think Dignitas’ Academy team would fare in the LCS? 

Lourlo: Overall, I think we would do pretty well, especially since we got to scrim a few LCS blocks at the start of the Spring Split and I think we did quite well in those games. The gap is definitely still there though, in terms of the pressure; you kind of feel it more, as there are more people on the outside looking in with the LCS. You have to internalise some of the pressure a little more, you know? Regardless, I think if you want to be the best you have to be able to deal with the pressure, and there are a lot of good takeaways from both Academy and LCS that people don’t see. Maybe the competition isn’t as strong in Academy, but the pressure and hard work that you put in are definitely still there. 

What are some things that play on your mind more in Academy than when playing in the LCS? 

Lourlo: A big thing that I’ve discovered with myself going from LCS to Academy is that I learned to improve my leadership skills. I’ve learned to become more open with my team and understood how to cater to them while teaching them how to cater to me, and I feel like while playing in LCS you tend to get wrapped up in things which can lead you to focus less on the human aspect of a team. I’ve learned to bring that back and acknowledge that people come first, which definitely helps when you’re aiming to improve as both a unit and an individual. 

What is one thing that you think you personally did well this Split? What’s one area of your game that you’re hoping to improve for next season?

Lourlo: Overall, I think I improved my vision of the game; I feel like I may have been a bit close-minded about different elements of the game in the past, but our team made it a very clear focus to improve in this regard. I learned more ways to excel in the game by making it more about my team and less about myself. 

As far as what I want to improve, I think League is turning into a really team-oriented game; the best players will understand each role and how to adapt to each situation based on what you’re presented with. Knowing what your team will need and what you can do in your role, especially in top lane, is going to be more beneficial when your focus is on the bigger picture. A good example is how Cloud 9 played the game this split; they rarely made top their focus and put most of their resources into mid and bot, while their top laner’s role was very clearly to relieve pressure by working more on the weak side of the map (which a lot of top laners don’t know how to do, even in Academy and the LCS). I think this concept will definitely be something to work on, especially considering the state of the meta. 

I’m sure many followers of Lourlo, both old and new, have been tuning in to your streams thanks to the isolation, but aside from streaming what have been your plans for this offseason?

Lourlo: Honestly, not too much! I’ve mainly been focusing on streaming and playing a few games, like TFT, and hanging out with family (online, of course). I’m a gamer at heart so when I’m not grinding League I’m playing something else, and usually streaming it!

Let’s look towards the future. What are your expectations and personal goals for the Summer Split? 

Lourlo: My main competitive goal is to play in Worlds. Having that vision of playing on the global stage drives me more than anything else. The last time I played internationally was in 2016 against Samsung (Galaxy, at the time) while they were on their really hot run of form at IEM Gyeonggi, and having a taste of that has made me want to get back there. That all starts with getting back into the LCS; winning Academy next season won’t give me that same satisfaction as moving on to the next level. 

Where do you think North America’s toughest competition lies in the season ahead? 

Lourlo: Well, I feel like NA has a lot of work to do. I think the LEC, LCK and LPL are all one-upping the NA LCS; while C9 looked pretty good this last season, many of the other teams have a lot of work to do before they get up to C9’s level and then move on to consider the challenges of other regions.   

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer our questions! Is there anyone you’d like to give a shoutout to? 

Lourlo: To anyone that’s been supporting me, even since the TL days, and anyone who watches my streams, I genuinely appreciate it so big shoutout to you guys! 

We'd like to thank Lourlo for his time, and wish him all the best in preparation for the Summer Split! Make sure you check him out @Lourlo on Twitter to stay up to date with all of his latest updates!