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Arctik on the Philippines’ Chances at the LICC: “We finished the LCL undefeated, we have every intention of doing the same going into the LICC.”

11:02 AM November 11, 2016

The first League of Legends International Collegiate Championship (LICC) will bring together ten  elite teams from all over Asia, to compete in 1st League of Legends International Collegiate Champions.

Riot and Garena, the publisher and league operator for League of Legends in Asia, are billing the LICC as the “Worlds” of Collegiate LoL. Teams are fighting for the lion’s share of the $10,000 (PHP 488,895 or almost half a million pesos) prize pool.

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Representing the Philippines is the team from the Technical Institute of the Philippines (TIP). The same team went undefeated as they rampaged through the League of Legends Collegiate League (LCL), beating out aspiring future pro players from well-known universities like Ateneo de Manila and the University of the Philippines.

eSports by INQUIRER.net’s contributing writer and interim managing editor Paolo “Sandata” Bago sat down with TIP’s coach, Theo “Arctik” Rodriguez to talk about the state of Philippine League of Legends, the LICC tournament and who they fear coming into the tournament.

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Paolo “Sandata” Bago: Hello Theo! First off, what do you think about the LICC tournament? How do you think you’ll do?

Theo “Arctik: Rodriguez: I think LICC is definitely great and somewhat of a step forward that creates opportunities for players to compete outside the professional scene.

As for our chances: honestly it’s definitely going to be hard as were up against some of the more competitive regions such as Hong Kong and Taiwan. I’m cautiously optimistic about our chances of going far or perhaps even winning LICC as we’ve definitely been preparing to the best of our ability as well as by studying our opponents over the past weeks.

PSB: Is there a team you’re worried about?

Arctik: I wouldn’t say worried, rather respect as far as their reputation and they’re showing in their respective regions, those regions being Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan.

PSB: LICC is the first of it’s kind in that it’s the “Worlds” of Collegiate League of Legends. What does a collegiate league then represent to help the country move forward in League?

Arctik: Though this may seem cliche to say, but I feel that it represents how there’s still opportunity for competitive League even if you’re pursuing your education full-time, that it’s possible to juggle both without having to sacrifice the other.

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PSB: Are any of the players on TIP considering moving to full-time pro play after college?

Arctik: Good question. In the past, some were hesitant knowing that the incentives weren’t as appealing knowing that they could go straight into their respective fields and earn more. However, with the recent player salary introduced for pro players in the PGS, it’s definitely something they’re more open to especially if they manage to qualify via the upcoming PGS Promotionals/Relegation.

PSB: Going back to the team: Who should people look out for in your coming games? Any rising talent you want to give me a heads up for?

Arctik: This could be me being biased, but I feel that the great thing about TIP is that they’re all pro-worthy players that just so happened to have ended up studying in the same institution. Though if I did have to peg players that really stand out, I’d have to say both Jaime “TIP Janine” Reyes (Mid) and John Paulo “kyut” Ilagan (ADC).

Janine has always been known to be a solid Mid laner in the competitive while already having been given offers by pro teams in the past and I have no doubt that he’s probably one of the best Mid laners going into the LICC.

Kyut on the other hand is somewhat of a prodigy, having entered the LCL months back while having not even played League as much due to being extremely busy with studies, and yet he took down his lane counterparts as though he’s been practicing religiously. Now that he’s actually practiced and prepared for LICC, its scary to think what he’s really capable of.

PSB: Ok so big question now is: what’s your take on the state of Philippine League of Legends? Where are we lacking? What do we do well?

Arctik: I think we have so much talent as far as our player pool in the country. Although for me, it goes both ways as all we have right now: raw talent. Sure, to an extent we work with what we have as far as taking that raw talent to the next level, but I feel that the growth isn’t as significant due to lack of a proper support structure for teams. However, I feel that the reason why we can’t establish that is the lack of incentive and stability for great minds to really dedicate themselves to roles such as coaching or analyzing full-time.

I feel that it’s somewhat of a domino effect: We can’t take our LoL pro players to the next level due to lack of dedicated support. We can’t establish dedicated support (coaches, analysts, etc) due to lack of incentive. We can’t establish proper incentive without better investors and sponsors. We can’t land better investors and sponsors either because teams don’t go the extra mile in selling themselves or even the players themselves aren’t up-to-speed with what steps they themselves can take to make them more appealing or marketable.

I feel that what we lack is a result of the insufficient recognition of the fact that you need to look at eSports not just for its competitiveness and player talent, but also from a business and strategic standpoint as well to allow further development.

PSB: But doesn’t that fly in the face of other regions? Albus Nox Luna for example came from a similar region where there aren’t a lot of financial incentives. Is it really just about money?

Arctik: True, but I feel like in our case, we have great minds. Its just that they find it smarter to invest their time and energy towards other things that grant them better incentives financially. Some of my own colleagues in the past had all the makings of contributing to our industry’s growth whether as player talent or as support, though ultimately they chased after careers that granted them more financial stability.
PSB: Last question Theo, fearless forecast time: How do you think you’ll do at LICC?

Arctik: To answer that, I’ll say this: We finished the LCL undefeated, we have every intention of doing the same going into the LICC.

I love it, thanks Theo!


 

The three-day LICC event kicks off tonight, November 11, 2016. TIP’s first games begin at 7:00 PM. You can view the schedules here.

 

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