Interview with Scarra about Korea, NA Regionals and upcoming World ChampionshipMon 10th Sep 2012 - 8:19pm Category: League of Legends
We sat down with Team Dignitas League of Legends team captain, William 'Scarra' Li, just after the North American Regionals and looking forward to the season 2 finals. Scarra is the team's AP mid player, and has been a member since their original iteration as team ROCK SOLID.
He talks about the team's strengths and weaknesses coming out of the recent Korea experience, as well as his thoughts on the expected changes to the professional scene for the upcoming season 3.
You’re renown for your Katarina play, after the attention she has seen from Riot lately, do you think any long-time fans will see you pick up Katarina again? If not, what would it take to make her a strong pick again?
Scarra: I think the current katarina is actually pretty strong, however I have been focusing a lot on not playing her since preparing for regionals. I have about 3 patches worth of content to catch up on.
In your opinion, which AP caster needs the most work to be viable again?
Scarra: Almost every AP is viable in certain situations. I feel that characters like heimerdinger could use either a quality of life change or a complete rework because I feel that some of his skills are not fun or effective.
Which player or champion do you have the hardest time facing in middle lane?
Scarra: I really dislike playing against soraka mid. In terms of na mid players, I feel that regi and jacky probably give me the hardest time. A lot of mid lane revolves around cycling jungle pressure though so a lot of times a team with a strong jungler will put more pressure than another mid player.
You recently went to Korea, how do you think this has impacted your play style as a team and as an individual player?
Scarra: I think korea really helped point out the weaknesses of our team as well as show what's really possible in a competitive setting. We spent the entire time there practicing 12-16 hours a day, and playing against an extremely different style of play. It definitely made everyone on the team think smarter for picks, bans, and play as well as show the required dedication it takes to succeed in this game at the highest level.
Scarra and Crumbzz over lunch in Korea
What do you think the biggest differences between North American/European and Korean play styles are?
Scarra: No comment on the EU style because I really haven't played against too many of them. I think styles throughout continents typically are just prioritizing certain champion picks as well as certain strategies. In NA, a lot of teams love nunu, while in korea, champions like ahri and anivia are picked a lot more. Also you'll see many more different strategies in korea because they spend the time to really flesh out certain unique strategies that NA teams tend not to do including a lot of 1v2s middle and certain champions in roles that aren't usual.
What was your favorite part of the Korea trip that was not League of Legends related?
Scarra: People always ask me how korea was outside of league of legends which I find really humorous. We did nothing but play league of legends. Literally we sat inside for 14 hours a day playing league of legends non-stop. Solo Q if we weren't scrimming. There simply wasn't time for other things outside of lunch and dinner breaks if we wanted to get the most out of our trip.
How do you think the Korean teams will perform at the finals, and which teams do you think are best equipped to beat them?
Scarra: I think the korean teams will be extremely strong at the world championships. However, I haven't played against enough other teams to make a good call on their general strength. I believe the world championship is up for grabs and this final month will be a huge boot camp period to train.
What do you think are Team Dignitas’s biggest strengths and weaknesses going into the Season 2 finals?
Scarra: I feel like our communication as well as our dedication to this game is extremely strong. Everyone on the team expects to put in a large amount of time to be able to stay competitive and we all have the drive to succeed. We still need to work on certain aspects of our play, but we are hopeful to have a strong showing at the world championships.
What teams aside from yours do you feel are the strongest this season, from a technical, strategic, or any viewpoint?
Scarra: Too hard to say. I think strategically m5 has an extremely strong team, but there are a lot of ??? teams which I have not been able to research too much. For instance, the chinese team iG has some extremely interesting picks like viktor that are generally just not seen anywhere else.
In recent tournaments like the NA Regionals you've taken down one of your main rivals, CLG, but unfortunately got stopped by TSM in the Grand Final last time. What is it that makes TSM tougher to face than other top teams like CLG?
Scarra: TSM has always been known as a team that has been able to pressure early. We picked poorly and they came in with curse's strategy first game that set us on tilt. The second game we meant to bait a poke comp and transition to a standard with the last two picks, but our communication and preparation weren't ideal at the time and we picked ourselves into a very bad situation. Additionally, there were a lot of mechnical mistakes in both games that shouldn't have happened (aka lane deaths etc). TSM played a strong game and definitely showed who the better team was.
Are there any team compositions or specific champions that you think will receive a lot of play, and why?
Scarra: The same champions that have been strong forever will see play. Champions like nunu, anivia, morg, ryze, gragas, sona, shen, vlad, etc have exceptionally strong kits that are very hard to deal with when combined in a good team comp. However, expect a lot of surprise picks in the s2 world championships. Teams will definitely be coming with their own unique strategies.
What are your predictions for the Season 2 Championships?
Scarra: Like I said before, it's too hard for me to predict this just because a lot of the other teams are extraordinarily hard to scout. I think every major region will have a strong showing. As for team dignitas, we just want to take it one day at a time.
What do you expect to change for the team going into Season 3?
Scarra: There are a lot of things I can't discuss about Season 3, but I expect every region to have massive growth in the esports scene. There are many entry paths for all skill levels, and with a salary, teams are expected to take the game more seriously. It's definitely not a game where you can half-ass anymore and be a top team in any given region.
Do you think Riot’s decision to offer salaries to top teams from each region will help the professional environment to grow, or limit the ability of new teams to enter the scene?
Scarra: If offered by itself, salaries would limit the new teams entering the scene, but Riot has a lot of plans to make the professional scenes accessible for players of varying skill levels. As it is, we'll just have to see how season 3 pans out.
Well thanks for your time and good luck at the finals! Any shout outs?
Scarra: I'd like to thank Riot games for creating a great game, our fans for sticking with us through thick and thin, and team dignitas for giving us a great opportunity to pursue a passion. Also I'd like to give thanks to all of our sponsors.
Good luck at the Season 2 Championships, and in your transition into Season 3!