Interview with Serina: "What's important for us is to make sure we both know we support each other"Wed 18th Dec 2013 - 7:09pm Category: League of Legends
Serina, the girlfriend of Team Dignitas' Alberto 'Crumbz' Rengifo has decided to come out of relative anonymity in the League community and shed some light on their relationship. We got the chance to ask her about how they met, going to live events with him, and her role in the recent gaming house tour.
A few months ago Team Dignitas did a gaming house tour where a girl who was dubbed Crumbz’s “violin partner” went diving off screen to avoid the camera. To clarify, was that you? Do you two have some kind of music band?
Serina: Lol! That was indeed me. As I'm not part of the house, I tried not to be in it as much as I could help it. That and I THOUGHT Travis was going to take it out...
As for a band, we don't have one haha. He just really wanted to learn the saxophone and we were looking up some instruments and I just decided that I wanted to learn the violin. But I must admit, without discipline it's really hard to learn an instrument.
Can you tell us how you two met? Was it on or offline?
Serina: It's not as romantic as someone else's I've heard, but nonetheless...we met online. I only started watching the pro scene during Season 2 and I was watching a game with Team Dignitas vs. TSM; iWillDominate as jungle, and Crumbz (note it is Crumbz now, not "zz") as top lane. The reason a lot of us pick Dignitas as our favorite team is because they always smile, right? Well that's my reason too! From then on, dig became my pro team to follow.
As a support player, I wanted to watch Patoy play but I ended up at Crumbz's stream. I watched the stream for a few months and then I offered to make him a desktop background sometime last September or something. My first product was atrocious to me after I revisted it, but he, apparently, thought it was awesome. After that, we spoke on Skype on and off. But once we met in person we started to speak to each other all the time. We also found out we have the same birthday, a year difference of course. According to skype he turned 130 or something and I turned 319.
Do you see each other in person often? What do you like to do together when you do?
Serina: Well since we started talking to each other, I've seen him...I would say 6 times in 9 months. We like to go out and explore. Since he really somewhat just moved to California, we try to go out and see what's around. We took random walks to the park that's nearby. We went to a mall once, and other times we go out to eat at whatever restaurants are around. But we also like to cook, so that's always fun. Double dates with Lisa and Patoy are the best.
When he came to visit me, we went to Chicago (where I lived for almost all of my life) for my step-sister's wedding. While there we went shopping and also went to the Shedd Aquarium! That was definitely fun for us; for me, the glass was a photographer's nightmare. While back in Iowa, we...well we went out to eat haha. Can't go too far here without a car. He also visited during Thanksgiving so we went Black Friday shopping and he had a couple of good meals. We also watched Game of Thrones. So. Good.
All in all, we like to check out the outdoors. But of course we play League from time to time (;
So you help him get out and do non-gaming related things? A breath of fresh air (no pun intended)?
Serina: Haha, that was a good one. Yeah, basically. They do play games for their jobs, but it's like any other job - you don't want to do it ALL the time. Unless, of course, it's your absolute dream job. His eyes need a rest so we like to go out or watch movies.
What about him appeals to you the most? What does he do that annoys you the most?
Serina: Ah dang, I forgot to add the majestic beard to my first answer didn't I...oh well. We're like each other in a lot of ways. We both read a bit of this and that in philosophy, psychology, or random religions. I recently introduced him to Albert Camus and he liked the book "The Stranger" a lot. But he reads a lot more than I am able to. I've been trying to find time to finish "Hocus Pocus" for a loooong time; a book he recommended to me.
What annoys me the most? Hmm...that's a hard question. The only thing I can think of is when we're having a serious discussion about something and he starts saying something before I finish my whole thought (happens more in typing than speaking). Like, dang, LEMME FINISH.
NO. I know, when he "nah"s me when I offer advice on something. There we go.
Do you offer him advice on League a lot when he "nah's" you?
Serina: Oh, yes. It's more often when there's something that went wrong in the game, and I offer a more general perspective of it. I learn a lot of the game from experience as well as from him. I think it's a good thing that I can offer what a “lowbie” like me saw wrong with the play or pick vs. what someone who is way more experienced with things. Both sides can mix well.
So you learn a lot from talking about/playing league with him?
Serina: I do learn a lot of it from watching him and playing with him. I've recently started to learn other roles. Top is one he gives me feedback on and the jungle I learn from watching him. We duo bot in normals sometimes and let me tell you all now, it's NOT easy. Every time, no lie, we get matched against a PREMADE DIAMOND team. Maybe a random plat or gold here and there in that mix. It's always good practice. But sometimes it's not too great for me because I tend to over-predict in my elo. Nami bubbles end up behind them as they...didn't run like I thought they would.
In her interview Lisha talked about how she sometimes makes “guest” appearances on Qtpie’s stream. What do you think are the benefits to having a more “public” relationship like them? What are the benefits to having a less visible relationship like yours?
Serina: It's an interesting topic, public or not. Everyone recognizes Lisha and a few of the others and sometimes it’s a little disheartening I'm not recognized as much as them. Benefits of public is everyone knows you but with compliments come criticism. With me, I get "violin partner" LOL. It's entertaining actually. Crumbz's stream knows who I am in chat, and I appreciate you all who are out there(: But sooner or later I want to make a name for myself aside from his girlfriend!
Make a name for yourself in league that is?
Serina: As League takes up a lot of my time, I don't think I'll be learning any other games well, so League would be it. I'm trying to get myself up in the ranks to be taken seriously and as a good player.
So your relationship has affected how you feel about League? Do you play for fun or seriously more often?
Serina: I still regard League as something to have fun with, and I do, I really do have fun with friends, but I definitely take it more seriously than I did before. More ranked, and I will really only play normals if it's with friends. My high school friends make normals lovely to play. However, even if I take it more seriously, I don't rage anymore. That's one thing everyone should learn. The game will be way more fun if you don't rage.
Is it hard to see or talk to him because he lives in a gaming house? Does him being around his job 24/7 make it harder to interact with him?
Serina: We've had this talk before. I knew what I was getting into, and he did remind me before we started dating. Jobs usually come first, and I understand that. I have classes and whatnot so it's not a big deal. Honestly, we talk all the time and he tries his best to get back to me when he has a free second. It's not bad at all.
Do you visit the gaming house frequently? Do you get along with his teammates when you do?
Serina: Out of the times we've seen each other, I've spent the most time at the house, so I suppose that's frequently. Of the time I was there, I spent the most time with Patoy and Lisa. Qt, Scarra and Kiwi are usually doing their own thing or playing Magic - I have no knowledge of Magic...sadface. But when I bake something I always like offering it to the whole house. I liked the one dinner we all had together with Odee and Stress; best time as a team.
You said that was your "best time as a team." Do you and Lisha and other girlfriends consider yourselves part of the team? How does the team feel?
Serina: I can't speak for the other girlfriends, but I feel anyone who supports the team is part of the team, you don't have to be a girlfriend. Friends, family, fans, you're all part of the team you support. As for how the team feels about me, I dunno. Maybe they'll tell me in the future(:
Have you gone to any big events with him? If so, what’s it like being at a large event as his girlfriend?
Serina: I've gone to a few events; MLG Anaheim, Season 3 World Championships and some LCS matches if you count that. The second part ties into my status as a lesser known girlfriend. I don't get asked for any autographs or pictures, not that I mind because I don't like being in pictures...but man do I have to wait a long time when people ask for autographs. When we were leaving Worlds I had him stop outside and sign things and take pictures. That took a good chunk of time but it was amazing to watch. All these fans were excited and being in that atmosphere is awesome. Since people don't really know who I am, I even had someone hit on me while I was waiting LOL. Whoops.
Can I add a fan story?
Serina: There were these guys walking directly in front of us at MLG Anaheim and I heard them say "So I heard Crumbz was by that fountain outside, you don't see him do you?" and all the others said nope. I found this the prime opportunity to give them a surprise so I yelled "Maybe it's because Crumbz is BEHIND you!" and they all turned around and just fangirled so hard hahaha. It was a great moment to experience.
Does watching him play make you anxious or nervous? Do you get loud and really excited while watching him?
Serina: Heck yes it makes me nervous. When I'm alone I get loud and probably start yelling as if they could hear me. I am absolutely always nervous when their game is coming up next. A secret no one knew until now is that I always whisper to myself "please let them win. PLEASE." It's nervewracking.
Lisha mentioned she likes playing the game a lot because it gives her a better understanding of what is going on when she watches their games or listens to their strategy. Do you feel the same way?
Serina: I would say I do the same, but I don't think I'll understand a lot of the team decisions unless I start wrapping my head around real team comps and not just whatever champions you want to play. I mean, I always think about bot lane, for sure, but you have to be on some sort of team or premade to think about an actual composition for the most part. Teams are definitely different than solo queue. But as time goes on, actually, I can say playing the game a lot helps me understand their strategies too.
i.e. ban Draven pick AP Kog = win.
What do you think is the hardest part of being the girlfriend of a pro-gamer? What qualities are most important for each of you to have to keep the relationship together?
Serina: Being the girlfriend of a pro-gamer isn't anything. It's the long distance you have to watch out for. More often than not, if you meet online, the likelihood of you both being far away from each other is rather high. What's important for us is to make sure we both know we support each other, him with his games and me with my studies. Gotta be strong willed and not get beat up emotionally over not being able to hug each other all the time like a "normal" couple would. Especially, we both can't be jealous. Jealousy without cause will kill any relationship in some way. We make sure we both express our appreciation for one another. Sharing a common game does help, but we can't rely on just that for conversation.
In the Team Dignitas gaming house tour Crumbz showed us that his room is a closet off of Scarra’s bathroom. Does this create problems when you visit?
Serina: It really doesn't create any problems other than no windows...it's more of the general upstairs bathroom, and sometimes we can be stuck in his room if someone is taking a shower heh. But since they all get up at different times for the most part, it proves not to be a problem. And only Scarra is upstairs other than Crumbz, unless Odee is over.
Do you feel the same way about his private food drawer?
Serina: LOL. His food drawer is a safe haven. That fridge is a black hole inside of a monster. So much food! With the food drawer I can always find the stuff we just bought.
You call the fridge that because of Qt’s food, right?
Serina: Well it's a mixture of Qt and Kiwi. They go to CostCo a loooot.
Where do you see the two of you a year from now?
Serina: Hmm. As a couple, I'm sure we both hope we'll be a stronger and closer couple (somehow closer than we already are). Hopefully we'll be going to Korea together to watch Dignitas play in the Season 4 World Finals(: And many more Thanksgivings and Christmases.
Any final remarks or shout outs?
Serina: Thank you, Robert, for the great interview. Thanks to everyone who reads this, and hopefully I've given a little something good to read. Shout outs to Jay, Alex, Michael, Adam, and David, you guys helped me stick to League more. Jay for believing in me(: Odee for being awesome, Stress and Camille for being adorable. Mylixia for being an insightful and caring streamer to learn from.
And of course to my boyfriend, M eye A...I mean my saxophone partner Alberto.
Thank you all!