kaSing: Why I joined Vitality League of Legends
The UK’s top League of Legends player tells Red Bull why he chose Team Vitality over TSM and Fnatic.
After leaving H2k following The League of Legends World Championship, Raymond ‘kaSing’ Tsang was a player in demand. The UK’s best player briefly joined Team SoloMid, and could have signed up for top European team Fnatic, but he decided to join Team Vitality, an organisation better known for Call of Duty than League of Legends. Ahead of the League of Legends All-Stars Event, he told us why he joined this new team, how far he thinks they can go and why he'd rather play in Europe than North America.
How does it feel to be joining Team Vitality? Are you excited?Yeah, they seem really friendly. I knew that they were a professional Call of Duty organisation, but I did some research and they seem really good. Hopefully we can make them good in League of Legends!
Your teammates haven’t been announced yet, but should League of Legends fans be excited?They should definitely be excited about the new roster. I have confidence in everyone in this team. If I didn't believe in Vitality, I probably would be on another team such as Team SoloMid or Fnatic. It’s kind of like a shot in the dark, but I feel like this could be something great.
So why didn’t you join Team SoloMid, and why did you leave H2k after competing at Worlds?I felt really homesick even though I only spent two weeks with TSM in Los Angeles. It was a really nice atmosphere and the organisation was really friendly, They cared a lot about the players and [leaving] made me feel really bad because if I didn’t join Vitality after IEM, then I probably would have been with TSM or Fnatic.
As for H2k, some stuff happened with the management and I didn’t feel like it was the right organisation for me to play for, even though I don’t have anything against the teammates I was playing with.
How far can Team Vitality go? Is the first aim to become the best team in Europe? How will you go about doing that?Losing a Regular Split doesn’t mean too much to me. To be honest, as long as we make top six during the Regular Split and then after we do really well in the Play-Offs, that’s what matters to me. My goal is still number one with Spring Split coming up. I know that as a team we still have to develop. We won’t just click overnight.
What will the first few weeks involve? You were living in Berlin along with your H2k teammates. Will you go back there?Berlin is two hours from home. I feel more comfortable with that than being ten hours from home, and the environment is really different in North America and Europe. In NA, they’re more carefree and chilled about everything, whereas in EU they take the game more seriously and they try harder.
Something I noticed in NA is that people like to have fun and they don’t take practice as seriously as me. That’s not so good for a serious competitive player like myself. I wanted to be able to improve myself in Solo Queue when I wanted to learn a Champion, but when people were just playing for fun, it made me feel that I’d get worse as a player.
In NA there’s a lot of money involved, and there’s a lot of publicity in streaming but I just feel that I’m not ready to just go to NA. It would be a new region for me and I don’t know many players. In EU, I’m more comfortable with the surroundings, with the players, with the management, etc.
As for my new teammates, initially we were planning on going to Berlin together, but it’s quite close to Christmas, so we decided to just scrim online and then after Christmas we'll move to Berlin in order to develop trust between the players and communicate much more easily. This will help us improve.
Presumably you’ll have to work on your playstyle as well… My new team’s playstyle? I can reliably say that everyone on the team can play. Of course, there’s no need for three full carries. Everyone doesn’t have to carry at one point. Someone has to play a more support style, someone has to take the full lead as the main carry. I can say that everyone on this team can adapt by being a carry or a supportive carry, etc. I’m quite confident in their ability to perform.
Do you think it will be possible for a European team like yourselves to beat the best Korean teams and win the Worlds? I think it’s definitely possible. You saw what happened at the latest World Championships. Even though Fnatic and Origen lost 3-0, most of those games were decided by one split decision. The only reason I think the Korean teams won was because they seemed to be more coordinated in terms of knowing what their roles were. In Europe I think we’re getting there as to how the meta is supposed to be played. I think, in the future, EU teams can beat Korean teams.
Koreans are usually better than Europeans because they know how to lane swap better, they have better teamplay, etc. Europeans can maybe soon reach the same level provided the region as a whole is improving. Of course, if I had a choice I would play Korean Solo Queue because everyone literally plays to improve, but regarding the whole work ethic and improving mentality, it’s starting to become more apparent in the EU.
You can watch kaSing at the League of Legends All-Stars Event on Twitch. His LCS EU team plays LCS NA on Friday 11 December.
Follow kaSing on Twitter: @kasinglol
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