With the upcoming launch of Honor, our positive feedback initiative, we took the time to catch up with some of today’s most level-headed and competitively successful pro players in the League of Legends scene.
Follow us this week as we get inside the heads of the world’s best from Team Solo Mid, Azubu Frost and CLG.eu. It takes more than raw skill to dominate in today’s competitive scene, and these players have the composure, leadership and drive it takes to give everyone around them a winning edge.
Today, we’ll be hearing from Alex “Xpecial” Chu, Team Solo Mid’s star support player. Known for his amazing ability to turn the tides of a game with his selfless play and his knack for being a positive, encouraging force on the Fields of Justice, Xpecial embodies what it means to be an honorable competitor.
Alex “Xpecial” Chu
Team: Team Solo Mid
Region: North America
Riot Games: You’re personally very well regarded in the League of Legends community. How has being a team player contributed to your success?
Xpecial: Every team has their own problems, but it's important to keep these struggles to a minimum. Out of all the teams since the Season One Championships, TSM has had the least amount of roster changes and has been the most successful team. A huge portion of this is attributed to the respect we have for each other and the notion that all criticism we make are levelheaded and constructive. Our goal is to have every debate short and concise, while making sure that all parties are happy in the end.
Riot Games: How did you meet your team? What advice do you have for players interested in forming connections with other summoners in game?
Xpecial: I met my teammates in solo queue. We had all seen each other play outside of a competitive environment and decided to compete for the Season One Championships by forming a team. From my experience, trolls and jerks have a harder time looking for a team, as there aren't many players who would want to be on a team with them. The players that are most often picked up are the ones who not only play well, but easily mesh with other players.
Riot Games: Can you give us an example of when another player’s attitude really made a positive impact on your enjoyment of a match?
Xpecial: There was a period of time where at the gaming house that we had a very unstable connection. Unfortunately, this connection decided to be uncooperative during a ranked game. I was playing AD Ezreal and just farming away at the bottom lane when my connection stopped working. After several minutes of disconnecting, I returned to a relatively even game. Even though I was significantly behind, my teammates encouraged me by saying that we still had a chance and that I needed to farm. The support player warded all the entrances into the bottom lane, ensuring that I could farm safely. Even though we still lost that game, I was extremely grateful to my teammates for not simply blaming me in what ended up in a very close game and making the best out of a poor situation. Sometimes, one needs to take a step back and remember it's not always about the victory screen.
Riot Games: What are some strategies you use to motivate your teammates when a match isn’t going your way?
Xpecial: When we're behind in a match, we constantly look for ways to pull ourselves back into the game. The most common phrase that we use at these times is “go for late game,” which basically means to stop dying and farm. Even though this doesn't always work, it at the very least ensures that we are on the same page, know what needs to happen, and even acts as a voice of reason when the game may be spiraling out of control. More importantly, instead of focusing on what happened a few moments earlier, we figure out what we need to do to keep moving forward - it's not about the team fight we just lost, but rather what we need to do to win the next team fight.
Riot Games: Thank you, Xpecial, is there anything else that you’d like to share about the importance of being a positive force in League of Legends?
Xpecial: Being a positive force is actually rather simple. Instead of commenting on what went wrong in a game, look for ways to put the team back on track, which can only benefit your team. Simply by being positive, you increase the chances of your team winning; now why in the world would someone not want that?
You can follow Xpecial by watching his stream on the League of Legends streamer portal.