Meet The New Team Dignitas LoL: Interview with our AD Carry, Apollo
Sat 21st Nov 2015 - 2:09pm
With the recent announcement of Team Dignitas' new NA roster for League of Legends, fresh faces have filled out the team. One of those spots was taken by the talented AD carry player Apollo "Apollo" Price. Apollo was the AD carry player for Team Impulse and played a crucial role during their dominance during the Summer Split of 2015. We sat down with Apollo and asked him a few questions. One of our interviewers, Robert "Roscoe" Wery spoke to Apollo about his experiences and future with his new team.
You just got back from Korea, are you still a little jetlagged? Who else was there with you in Korea?
Apollo: I think I'm okay now, yesterday I was pretty tired. As for people that were there, it was me, Shiphtur, Adrian, Altec, Moon, and Selfie. Those last two are probably not as well known. I also got to hang out with Keane, CoreJJ, Avalon, and Rush. It was a ton of fun.
What was it like training on the Korean servers?
Apollo: It was good. The biggest difference between in Korean solo queue was the ping difference. Playing on 9 ping and then coming back to 60 ping is just sad. It was fun though, definitely a good experience.
What was the biggest thing you learned over in Korea?
Apollo: The biggest thing I learned... well I played with Faker. I guess that's the highlight of my trip there. I guess to be a little more serious, people are so much better over there, there's not really much to it. I played with a lot of the LCK pros and they're really good but they're not too far above everyone else. It's just that they're a lot smarter and execute plays more cleanly. Everyone over there is a lot smarter (laughs).
Do you think players going over from North America or Europe over to Korea and having that experience is actually useful, or do you come to the realization that they're just so much better?
Apollo: I definitely learned a lot while I was there. It's just hard to say what exactly I learned what I was there. It was more of a tangible learning experience. It's something that you need to do though, learning to play on 9 ping and learn how to play with it. At least in NA, you only get to play on 9 ping when you're at the LCS studio, so you never really have the chance to adjust to it fully. I think it was really good for me to play on it for a while and know my limits when playing with such a low ping.
So what you're saying is that it doesn't affect you that much, but the difference is noticable?
Apollo: Right, right. It's definitely noticable and it's also just that you don't really notice it unless you play on it for a while. At least for North America, there's no actual way to practice on 9 ping all the time and get used to it. You can only do that in the LCS. Now that I've played on 9 ping, I know the limits of what I can do on stage so I think it helps a lot.
How did you come to be Dignitas' Starting AD Carry?
Apollo: I got several offers during the offseason, some of them from challenger teams and others from LCS teams. For me it's really all about looking at the rosters and feeling which one has the highest chance of going to worlds. Towards the end of my decision it kind of came down to two things: Do I want more money? Or do I want a better roster?
I guess I just chose the better roster. Both decisions that I had were kind of a gamble because I'm not 100% sure how they're going to do, but I think Team Dignitas was the better offer and gave me the better chance to go to worlds.
You have yourself, Alan "KiWiKiD" Nguyen as your support, Danny "Shiphtur" Le as the midlaner, Thomas "Kirei" Yuen as the jungler, and Lennart "smittyj" Warkus filling in the top lane role. The last two being highly touted players by the likes of BrokenShard and InnerFlame. Do you know much about Kirei and smittyj?
Apollo: I obviously don't really know them very well, but I've heard good things about them. I think I'll talk more about Kiwikid and Shiphtur however, since I made my decision of how well they're going to do and how well I'm going to work with them. Those are the two players I actually know.
I know Shiphtur is really good and talented. Me and Kiwikid get along really well, even though we haven't been on the same team in the past. We've duo'd a couple of times and we actually knew each other from DotA a really long time ago. We played when we were both really young so it's kind of cool just knowing him like that.
I think as long as everyone's willing to work hard then we'll be a strong team this season.
I spoke to InnerFlame who resonated those exact comments that if someone is going to be on this team, then it's going to be because they have that hunger and drive to succeed. The application itself even included a piece about a players' own motivations and goals so ultimately what drives you? What keeps you playing League of Legends and push for the chance to go to Worlds?
Apollo: Man that's a good question but it's really hard to answer (laughs). I've always had a competitive drive in me. I've played sports and obviously playing League of Legends, it's a lot more fun when you're winning. I think always having the possibility to improve is what really motivates me. I always know that I can get better, and that I'm good enough to get better. Besides just going to Worlds I like having the possibility to improve my own gameplay.
Moving on to the changes made to AD Carries in League of Legends. What are you thoughts on them?
Apollo: Well I'm not sure. I think it's going to be good but it's very difficult what's going to go on right now. It's still preseason so everyone is still trying to test things and figure them out. I can tell you that I think that Warlords Bloodlust the mastery is completely stupid and broken. I do kind of like the diversity with the AD Carries having their own identities which is what Riot wanted, but it's going to take a while for everyone to figure things out so there's a lot of uncertainty. Right now I feel completely lost and hope that others figure it out for me (laughs).
The struggle really is there. I just bootcamped in Korea and I thought that I had it figured out what items to buy when you go back to the shop immediately, but now when I go back I sit there for 30 seconds asking myself what do I do? What do I buy, there's so many items! (laughs)
There's just a lot of new, small things such as B.F. Sword being a different price you have to map out what path you're going to take what build you're going to do on a specific champion. Nobody know the correct builds anymore because of all the item changes. Those are the kind of things I've been struggling with.
Are there any AD Carry champions that you like the most given the changes? Will Graves ever be in the bottom lane again?
Apollo: I don't know, I've played Graves and he doesn't seem OP at all. I've seen him played in the jungle, played top, and there I am in the bottom lane just struggling with him so I stopped playing him. I like Miss Fortune because her crit with her Q and the Warlord's Bloodlust mastery is really big.
I like Tristana even though she's kind of stayed the same because she works really well with the new changes. Finally, I like Jinx as well because she's just a solid champion. Those are my favourite three right now. There are other good ones like Kalista, Caitlyn, and Lucian. My personal top three are Miss Fortune, Jinx and Tristana because they fit my playstyle the best.
Looking forward to seeing you guys play, do you have any shoutouts you'd like to give?
Apollo: Thanks to all of my fans who've been following me ever since back when I played on Coast. Also shoutout to the sponsors of Team Dignitas and the staff support, they've all been really helpful to me.