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BaseLAN 30: An Interview with Graeme of Manitoba League of Legends

BaseLAN 30 was a lot of fun. The number of people participating in different tournaments was mind-boggling. One of the many games that was there was the popular MOBA League of Legends. I had  the chance to speak with Graeme of the Manitoba League of Legends Facebook group. Let’s dive in!

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Graeme: I’m Graeme. On League, I’m Globas. I used to play on a lot of teams here at BaseLAN. I kinda moved over to running teams and I actually have three teams here at BaseLAN right now. I also now run the tournament and basically just yell at people to play games. [Laughs]

Nedu: Sounds intense! So League of Legends! How long have you been playing it?

Graeme: I have been playing since back in season one, which was about six years ago. So I have been playing for six years and started playing local LAN competitively maybe about four years ago.

Nedu: How has the game changed, both in game and the community around it since you started?

Graeme: The gameplay has changed very minusculely over time. Like, little bits and pieces every time. Sometimes I remember watching these old videos of these games from years ago and it was a totally different game. It’s like black and white TV versus HD today. But it is, at its core, the same game. You add new characters, you add new gameplay, but it is the same thing. The community itself is really growing. It actually goes through phases I find. We had for a long time… League was actually dying in the city where it seemed like one or two teams were the clear favorites to win every tournament. If it was always going to be them, why play? Once a few other teams came in and started showing up and doing well, we kinda saw this resurgence where it was like if they can win games, anyone can win games. Now you have, I would say, a thriving community of players who want to be the best, and they all have a shot at being the best. Even now, I am sitting here watching the tournament and it’s one of six teams kinda thing.

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Nedu: What kind of tips would you give people if they were wanting to get into League of Legends in Winnipeg?

Graeme: If you are a League player already, the best way is the Manitoba League of Legends Facebook group. I am actually one of the admins on there. We do have very simple pin posts. If you are looking for people to play with, if you are looking for a team to play with competitively, there are pin posts there where you can get ahold of people and see who else wants to play. In fact, a lot of the people here and a lot of the teams here, some of them are friends who knew each other prior to joining. But if they ever need a fourth or fifth person or if they suddenly need a substitute or something, they usually do the same thing. They go and check out the Facebook group and that’s the best way to get involved. The other ways you can check out the BaseLAN event page when it goes up or the Facebook. Same thing. People go there and message and say “hey there, I want to go to BaseLAN. I need a team. Who’s looking?” It’s usually an easy way to get a hold of somebody and get involved.

Nedu: For a lot of outsiders, joining a MOBA team is really scary. There’s classically this whole idea that there is a lot of toxicity when it comes to playing MOBA’s. What would you say about that?

Graeme: I would agree that it is very different playing on a MOBA team versus playing on maybe an FPS team or something like Rocket League. MOBA has the difference that there are very defined roles and the roles are very different types of gameplay. I know very little about Counter Strike and stuff like that. But I am aware that Counter Strike, at its core, it’s the same mechanics. Learning how to shoot, learning how to aim, knowing the map, that kind of stuff. Obviously there are different play styles when it comes to guns, but for the most part, it is the same core mechanics. In League, every role has its own core mechanics, so it’s hard to find a team who fits the other four sets of mechanics, the other four roles. You have to not only fit that but also fit the fact that maybe you are not the right rank. You have to be the right rank for that team. Maybe they don’t want to play somebody at such a low rank. Maybe they want somebody around their level or better. On top of that, a lot of people kinda have… I don’t know what to call it, but this sort of pride to their own rank which kinda leads to this sort of… as you would say, honestly, toxicity towards people who are of lower rank or people who sometimes feel as though their rank does not accurately portray their actual skill. People like to push off their own faults on other people. You know, “it’s not my fault I’m at this rank, it’s my team’s fault that I am at this rank.” That happens a lot in MOBA’s because MOBA’s are very team-based, whereas in Counter Stike and a lot of other games you can kind of carry yourself. League is a lot of teamwork and all it takes is one bad egg in the bunch to mess up the team, whereas in a lot of other games you kind of pick up the slack somebody else lost.

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Nedu: If you had to be stuck in a cellar with one of the League characters, who would be your least favorite to be stuck with and why?

Graeme: Least favorite… Oh man, I’m going to go Urgot. I don’t know if you have ever seen the picture. Urgot is like robotic legs with a corpse body that’s really decrepit like Frankenstein’s monster put together. Yeah… I don’t want to be anywhere near that.

Nedu: Yeah it sounds like that would get pretty ripe pretty quick! Thank you so much, Graeme!

Graeme: Thank you for having me!

Nedu looked up Urgot and was immediately grossed out. He is also a content writer for AYBOnline. His views are his own. 

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