LGC ChuChuZ - Tell Me
This is part 2 of an interview series with players competing in Split 2 of the 2016 Oceanic Pro League scene. Please check my author page for other interviews as they are posted.
Legacy Esports is an organisation that needs no introduction within Oceania, but for those outside the local area who weren’t fortunate enough to catch them as they went to the finals of the Worlds 2014 Wildcard Qualifier eventually won by Dark Passage, Legacy is a team born from the Avant Garde Ascension roster that famously won the tournament to put them into that Wildcard Qualifier. They’ve been built around a roster core of jungler Tim “Carbon” Wendel, player -become-coach An “Minkywhale” Trinh, and my guest for today’s interview, mid laner Aaron “ChuChuZ” Bland.
I mentioned earlier that the tournament that led to AV Ascension becoming Legacy was famous, and the reason for that is that it was the first time the then-nigh-unstoppable Team Immunity squad would fall in a major event. That squad would leave the ultimately doomed Immunity org and form The Chiefs eSports Club. These two squads’ stories would ever after be entwined. As compelling a history as these two clubs have built between them, ChuChuZ outlined how the history of these two teams drives him even harder to succeed: “It can be pretty frustrating at times, purely off the repetition of Chiefs perspective. I’ve recognized the narrative is something that drives Oceanic League of Legends and this pushes me to overtake them.”
After falling just short in the Split 2 finals, Legacy retooled with long-serving top laner Minkywhale moving to coach, picking up prodigious ADCarry Calvin “K1ng” Truong and through a great effort between the organisation and its sponsors, moved into one of the first two gaming houses in the OPL. With this new lineup, Legacy quickly happened upon great amounts of success, with the mechanical prowess of their side lane carries in K1ng and particularly eventual split MVP James “Tally” Shute giving strong performances early. ChuChuZ reflected that this wasn’t necessarily all a specific game plan. “We realised that with the introduction of Tally in the Top lane we had the ability to change our playstyle. We never directly focused on this Top focused playstyle until semi-finals against DW where we learned over a boot camp that this was our strongest way of playing the game," he said.
While ChuChuZ himself identified that this meant a slight diminishing of the flashiness of his own role, noting, “Although premier assassin player ChuChuZ was no more. I became a wave clear bot to make up for the missing control that Top lane champions usually offer”, by no means did this mean his overall impact was diminished. He put in some stellar performances over the split, having the best KDA among mid laners, and finishing second in both fewest deaths and gold per minute. Most notable was his showing on Lissandra during the split, including commanding performances against both Sin Gaming and the Dire Wolves, the latter of which received international accolades. ChuChuz used this to drive him to perform better, commenting, “I did see this on Twitter and it's awesome knowing that other regions watch us and even acknowledged me. These kinds of events no doubt motivate not just me but any player, being recognized by anyone is one of the reasons why I strive to become a better player.”
Another thing that was remarkable about the set was that Game 1 was a 50+ minute slugfest in Legacy’s favour that became a game 2, 27-minute stomp. This started a trend that continued for the majority of the last half of the split for Legacy. Excepting Infernum, who they beat handily in week 6, and Chiefs, who they lost 2-1 to in week 9, every set was a game one struggle (39, 39 and 43 minutes for Superweek, week 8 and week 10 respectively) into an overwhelming win in game 2 (26, 22 and 31 minutes). Analysts and the wider community began to question if Legacy could sustain their dominance, or if they were slowing down. ChuChuZ and his team felt that this was more individual mistakes being made in-game rather than the team being brought back to the pack by the rest catching up. “I don't think we ever looked at teams and thought they were catching us. Every time we played a set and realised that one game was better than the other we knew it was on our account. We tried to focus on fixing the errors within that messy set rather than worry about 'x' team getting better. We knew that we had the strongest roster in the OPL and it was more a matter of perfecting our team play and drawing together our individual talents," said ChuChuZ.
Ultimately, Legacy fell agonizingly short of what would have been a fantastic reverse-sweep of their old rivals The Chiefs in the finals of the first OPL split. Looking forward to Split 2, the Legacy squad are ready to add some stability to the established edge they have in their gaming house environment. Moving into Split 2 2015, Legacy were forced into replacing Egym, finding current support Regret9 (then FlyingJoo) and then making two changes for Split 1 2016. Team captain Carbon said in an interview with Red Bull that they had always looked to Split 2 to be the one they expected to take down and ChuChuZ feels that their goals are lining neatly up with having some roster continuity: “I think it will give us an edge, Carbon is correct in that fact that we were trying to work everything out in the Gaming House during split 1. We are one of the first teams to really put this whole idea together and it's a lot more work that sitting down next to each other and playing the game. Building a schedule and organizing chores has been a part of the journey and going into split 2 having worked out a lot of household issues has definitely given us room to show a better Legacy. I expect us to take split 2 fairly convincingly.”
Legacy will take to the rift in Split 2 knowing that they’ve got one of the highest-performing players for his role in the league who has shown he can go off on a moment’s notice. And more than that, he’s got a good sales pitch, as he shows in the rapid-fire round of questions.
How many ties do you own?
One, not too big on ties.
Favourite Champion that your team won’t let you play?
My god there is too many! Cass, Syndra, Zed.
Least favourite to play champion in the meta?
Azir, its even frustrating for me on how broken this champion is right now.
And finally: I have a friend who is looking to update his gaming PC, and maybe get a new travel laptop that can do a bit of side gaming on flights. Can you recommend him a good brand?
Hmmm, I recall hearing from a friend about this GL552V gaming PC ASUS had which went rather smoothly. Also ASUS is just great.