ZionSpartan talks about relegation and joining Team Dignitas



Sun 4th May 2014 - 7:06pm

One of the founding members of Coast, Darshan "ZionSpartan" Upadhyaha was a thriving denizen of the top lane, known for champions like Jax, Jayce and Riven, and even went toe to toe with the Best Lee Sin NA, Xmithie.

After Coast's relegation by compLexity.Black (now compLexity Gaming), ZionSpartan weighed his options, and decided that Team Dignitas would be the best opportunity for him. I had a chance to sit and talk with ZionSpartan on his relegation, the new team and what he's looking forward to with the team. 

Was it a shock to be relegated? What was going through your head when the final nexus blew?

ZionSpartan: It was definitely a shock to get relegated. Our synergy was the worst it had ever been, but we didn't expect to lose to coL.Black, I still thought we'd win. I think for that reason we deserved to lose because coL.Black was just a lot more prepared than we were, and they had shown that they really wanted it. Props to coL.Black because they really deserved that win.


Why did you want to join Team Dignitas?

ZionSpartan: I wanted to join Team Dignitas because I saw a lot of potential on the roster and what the roster would be like if I joined. I was looking forward to not only being a part of the organization, but being able to work with all of the other members of the team who I personally think are really good, and can be a world class team.


Were there any other teams that approached you guys?

ZionSpartan: Yeah there were other teams that approached us, but it just felt like Team Dignitas was my best option at the time and definitely the team that seemed most interested in me as well, so I was very excited to be a part of the Dignitas lineup.

You guys played against compLexity.Black often in the Coke League leading up to the Spring Split, correct?

ZionSpartan: We played against coL.Black a couple times and we did really well against them for the most part. We didn't see them as a really strong team, we just saw them as an average team and to me it felt like they were in the middle of the Challenger scene, they didn't seem like the best of the best in the Challenger scene.


Did you notice any change in their strengths during the relegation matches?

ZionSpartan: I think the most important thing they had that people don't realize, is they had a really strong supporting cast that really helped them prepare for their series against us. Meanwhile us on Coast, we weren't that well prepared for the match, and I think not only the fact that they had that really strong supporting staff behind them, but they also really had the drive and the zeal and the want to win and it really showed in their play. Even though they made some mistakes, you could tell they really wanted it, and I really think they deserved that win, so congrats to coL.Black.

What kind of relationship do you have with the team from playing against them in past splits?

ZionSpartan: I'd say Team Dignitas was the team I was probably the closest to, besides my own team because I knew everybody on the team really well, and I got along with them so that was another thing that drew me to Team Dignitas. I kind of knew everybody already and they all seemed like likeable guys.

You look at some of the other LCS teams; they're not really friends, they don't really get along and it's really just like this is kind of like a business deal. And while it is kind of a business and while it's really important to win and winning is the most important thing, that's why these roster changes happen. I think it's really important to genuinely like the people you have on your team, and that's another thing that drew me towards Dignitas.


What are you looking forward to with the team?

ZionSpartan: One of the things I'm really looking forward to is having a new perspective of my own play and my play on a different team, because I've been on the same team and played the same style for the whole time I've been in the competitive scene for like the last two years.

I'm really looking forward to seeing a new perspective on my play and seeing what mistakes I need to fix and what issues I have that are easily pinpointable now that I'm on a team with different players, and I think that it's going to be interesting to see how well I mesh with a completely different team, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how that plays out.

You’ve hosted a few lolclasses, do your students call you ZionSpartan?

ZionSpartan: I guess that's a way to add that obligatory joke in, so glad we got that out of the way, but yeah they definitely do call me that. They don't call me my real name, I think that'd be a little unusual. Short answer: yes.

His students call him ZionSpartan

What do you think will happen to the rest of the Coast players, like Wizfujiin, Daydreamin and Nintendude?

ZionSpartan: Before I delve into what I think their plans are I think they're very strong players and I think that if they want to, they can make it back into the LCS, and I think they're all very good players. A lot of players on the team are getting flak, especially Nintendude, and when you get all that pressure and you get all that negative attitude and energy directed towards you it can really harm your play.

I think that that was kind of a big issue on our team, and I think that any of the three of them, Daydreamin, Wiz or Nintendude, will make it back onto an LCS team if they really want to. As for what I've heard them say their plans are, I'm pretty sure that Nintendude's planning on taking a break, but he's going to go back into the Challenger scene.

Daydreamin's still weighing his options on whether or not he's going to join an LCS team, and if not I think he might go back to school. I think Wiz is also weighing his options on the Challenger scene as well, so I think they're still looking and weighing their potential offers and all that and if they find something good enough they might stay in the Challenger scene but if not they might just take a break and go back to school for a little while. Again I think they're players with a lot of room to grow and whatever they want to do they'll be successful at.

A lot of players are always talking about their goals of going to and winning worlds, but what will you do to help achieve that goal?

ZionSpartan: I think that the biggest thing for me is I don't want to have any regrets. I want to go into this new team with Dignitas and look back like five years from now, a year from now, and be like 'I did everything in my power, I tried the hardest that I could to try to make this team work,' and if I can't say that then I failed. So I want to go into this new Team Dignitas roster and just do everything in my power to try to make this a successful team, because I don't want to have any regrets because that's one of the worst things you can have, right?

I want to do my best to not only become the best myself, like the best top laner, but become one of the best teams in the world, and hopefully win the world championship series. That's definitely a long shot right now, it looks that way, we just got two new players, a new lineup that hasn't played together, but if I didn't believe it was a possibility it definitely couldn't become one. I'm going to do whatever is in my power to make this dream become a reality.

What do you think you bring to the team?

ZionSpartan: I think something I do a lot in game is I like to say a lot of things, and I'm really good at communicating. People might not realize that about me, but I definitely do have a big impact in just saying things, and while they might not always be the most useful or might not be the best calls, I definitely try to communicate as efficiently and about the most important things as much as I can, because we definitely had some communication issues on Coast, and communicating is probably one of the most important things of a team.

I think that's a strong suit I have that a lot of people don't realize, and besides that I'd like to be just a very strong, dominant laner and I hope that I can prove that I'm one of the strongest laners in North America.

Favorite Subway sandwich?

ZionSpartan: My favorite Subway sandwich is, I'm actually vegetarian so I don't eat meat so I usually just get the veggie Subway sandwich with a bunch of veggies on it. I wouldn't go through the whole list because that'd probably take a long time, but just a veggie Subway sandwich is my go to Subway sandwich.

Any shoutouts?

ZionSpartan: I'd like to give a shoutout to all of the Dignitas sponsors, and all of my fans for following me all the way from Coast, from TD, to Monomaniac, all the way to Dignitas, and I hope I can prove that I'm one of the best top laners around. I just want to say thanks to my family, friends and the new Team Dignitas lineup and I hope we do really well.

Thanks again for the interview Zion, and best of luck to you with the team! Follow him on Twitter @ZionSpartan and check out his Twitch stream at, and for more League of Legends content follow me @robertwery!