I’ve wanted to go pro ever since I first reached challenger back in Season 4, but it wasn’t until I competed in the League of Legends College Championship that I truly discovered the motivation to achieve that dream.
I’ve always known that I possessed the mechanical skill to turn pro after consistently going toe to toe with LCS pros in my solo queue games and performing well against them. I’ve always gained great satisfaction from competing and trying to be the best.
I took a year out of school to try and go pro after graduating high school, but after a number of failed attempts, I agreed with my parents that I would go back to school. In my mind, I thought that was it for any hope of a professional career, but in my heart, I still held onto that ambition.
I had the grades to study at the University of Toronto and soon started competing within the University’s League of Legends setup. I had JayJ added to my friends list and knowing he was on the UofT team already, I asked him if I could join. He opened the door for me and that was basically it.
At first, I was just doing uLol on the side for fun and a means to satisfy my itch for competition and, in honesty, I wasn’t fully committed to the team’s ambitions. That said, after playing consistently with the guys, I quickly realised our potential, and from that point onwards, it got a lot harder balancing school and my reignited passion for esports.
I willfully sacrificed the free time I had used to go out and do things previously, meaning I was basically just doing scrims and homework; nothing in between. Consequently, heading into the College Championship, I knew without a doubt that we were the best team in the East Conference, we’d practised too hard not to be. We pretty much stomped through that part.
It was once we reached the point where we faced all the other top teams from each conference that we started to feel tested and started taking scrims more seriously in an attempt to step-up our game. I tried to view fellow college competitors as serious rivals, knowing that I have a tendency to lose focus when I’m friends with the people I’m playing against.
The whole event was really well done, I was taken aback by the amount of publicity it received and for the first time since ‘giving up’ on my pro player ambitions, I started to think that there was an outside chance I would get noticed.
After losing to them in our last meeting, beating Simon Fraser University filled our team with excitement. For me personally, however, that excitement might have been premature, since, after losing in the finals, I realized I was performing the worst on our team.
I felt really low, made worse by the nagging sense that I was the reason we had lost. But in that moment, I realized that I had to get better if I ever wanted to compete at a higher level.
Travelling to China and Taiwan for the International College Cup was an amazing experience and refocussed my ambition. We got to explore the culture of the cities – I learned how to use the toilets in China, which perhaps was not the greatest of experiences – but, most importantly, we took the opportunity to stamp our mark, fighting against the best schools from all the other regions.
I was both happy and relieved to win the tournament in Taiwan after previously losing in China, since it felt like my hard work grinding solo queue and improving individually was starting to pay off.
Even so, I didn’t really expect that I would receive offers from professional teams despite performing well at those events since I didn’t think anyone really cared about college tournaments. At the time, I was just aiming to grind my way into Scouting Grounds and get picked up from there.
Signing to FlyQuest’s academy roster was a dream come true, knowing that I was being given a chance to play professionally alongside Erry and JayJ – who I had played with for the past year – having all but given up on my pro career ambitions before attending Toronto.
I can’t wait to start my pro career with FlyQuest. Whilst my hopes for 2018 are to prove that I am the best academy top laner and to ultimately win the league, for 2019, my sights are set on Worlds.
Image Credit: Riot Games