JubbieJub (OCE)
: Hey Phreak, When do you think you will come back to Oceania? Also thankyou for your fantastic commentating at PAX this year. It was amazing seeing such an iconic person travel to our region.
Loved being here! I'd love to come back for the next major event, but LCS is a pretty busy thing. Just hope I have time for something in 2015.
: As an adc main, what's your opinion on every new champ being released having at least 1 gapcloser? Also, what's your opinion on ashe?
I'm actually pretty OK with gap-closers. like 85% of melee champions have them anyway (exceptions being what, Mordekaiser?) or some way of closing on you really easily (Singed doesn't need a blink :P), so I just have to play around it. I think Ashe is generally super under-rated. She has a lot of really good self-peel tools, deals respectable damage, and HAS A GLOBAL STUN! So IMO she's quite strong.
: Thanks for answering, I find him fun too. He's really fun but I never do well with him because I make stupid mistakes, and I cant quite do the W-E-Q either but I'll just chop that up to bad ping. Just one change I would like to see for Azir: As you pointed out, Azir's soldiers go idle if you move too far away from them, this makes some silly situations when you run up to enemies and eat their CC, is there any chance that we could get an indicator that shows how far we can walk from a soldier but still use it to attack an enemy? kinda like the one we have when Yasuo gets his whirlwind.
Well, one of the difficult balances with games is overloading the player with indicators. It's reasonably easy with an Orianna Ball. There's only one, it doesn't time out, it's pretty straightforward, and so we give you a little arrow. With soldiers constantly coming up and down, multiple arrows or multiple circles (or, potentially even worse, one nearly permanent circle around you) is just a bunch of extraneous stuff that actually isn't useful a large percentage of the time. I've never run into a situation where I actually needed to know the full deactivation range of a sand soldier, and haven't even had to deal with the "outside auto attack range" case either. To my knowledge, there is something that let's you know what state the soldier is in while being unintrusive. It informs you while somewhat coaching you on what that range is. It does still require you to memorize the range potentially, but it's a battle of clarity. Too many indicators, and you actually lose important information, too.
: > Well, my girlfriend is a Rioter, so definitely her :) > > I don't know when I'm coming to NZ, although I would LOVE to. Hopefully there's a good reason to go (maybe another Oce Regional?) and I can convince people that I should be there. Definitely love coming out to places that don't typically get a lot of... "conventional?" visitors? Not sure the right word for it. > > And thank you! Glad you like the stream <3 Thanks Phreak! I would certainly love to see you at any of the cool events here in NZ, we might be little but we have heart (this can be said for all of OCE)
HellenicX (OCE)
: ***
Was running Corki+Braum+Syndra/Karma/Lulu a lot at the end of the season. Not sure about "Favorite" though. I found AD/Support+Mage to be an interesting way to play, though, since the season before I was playing with 2 solos and a jungle the whole time.
Daemoon (OCE)
: > G'day, mates! Not all of OCE talks like this. Just saying.
BUT I DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) :) SWEET AS!
Pandaa24 (OCE)
: Favorite Champion in League?
Vayne! Honestly, I just really like ludicrous amounts of offense, as well as the ability to be tricky. So Lee Sin and Corki are also great fits there, for those same reasons. Vayne just happens to be both :)
: How viable is Boots of Mobility with Distortion on Flash Teleport Zac with 5 Trinity Forces?
Well, I think you're missing out on the real OP which is Trinity Force + Lich Bane + Iceborn Gauntlet + Phantom Dancer + Statikk Shiv.
Mt Lady (OCE)
: Thanks Phreak :^){{champion:92}} {{item:3074}}
Alictron (OCE)
: Phreak you should visit quakesville Christchurch, don't worry we got rid of Rammus. Any advice for up and coming Shoutcasters?
I have two big things for Shoutcasting: 1. Love it. If you don't want to put in the effort, it's not worth the time. You should want to listen to other casters to pick up tips. If you're not already living and breathing inside the scene, you should WANT to find out more about the teams you're going to cast so that you can do a better job. 2. UNDERSTAND what you're doing. What are my and my co-caster's roles? What points am I trying to make? Is this the most important thing I could be saying right now? What would a better caster than me be saying right now? What would the audience want to know about right now? Who IS my audience? Am I being understood by those listening? As a random point, the #1 thing I see all amateur casters do is describe what an ability does. It's like, "Bro, we're all League of Legends players, no one wants to listen to you talk about how much you like Nasus's Q stacking mechanic."
NumberC39 (OCE)
: hi phreak what was casting like during season 1 and 2 at worlds?
So long ago! Jeez! Honestly back then it was so hard to get good, useful information on the teams. Season One was honestly just like, "Wellp, YOLO, let's cast some games" and I mostly just talked about how Irelia's W dealt true damage. Those were the dark ages of LoL casting and I'm not very proud of them. Season Two was a bit better and there was more information floating around, but Korean and Chinese LoL had barely started, so again we didn't have a ton to talk about for the teams until partway through the tournament. I remember around Season Two we started trying to set up Esports like a real show: Let's write out our storylines for the teams. Let's prepare the points we want to talk about for each of them. And none of us were used to it, so it was this strange mix of "Okay, we need 'Keys to the Game...' I know!!! 'Watch Watch.' Get it? Because his name is Watch, and he likes to counter-jungle!" I like to think we've gotten a lot better at the whole casting thing since then.
: What do you find most fun about league of legends? And who do you play mostly for your adc main?
What's most fun about League to me is the strategic aspect of it. Figuring out ways to completely outplay the enemy team with your team. I really enjoy pick/ban tactics and general mindgames around objectives. I've been playing a lot of Ashe and Jinx recently just because I think they're rather powerful and was trying to climb the solo queue ladder. But my favorite for a while has been Vayne, because I also like to pretend that I'm outplaying my opponents even though I'm trash.
: Hey Phreak, it's pretty cool that we get to ask you stuff. So, what stuff do you like? (stuff is cool)
Man, speaking of stuff, it's Thanksgiving here in America, and stuffing is amazing! Croutons, chicken stock, water, celery, onions, and water. Bake it up and it's glorious!
: How do you think the OCE region will expand with the new competition series that's coming? Do you expect OCE to get into the World Championships soon or are we still a fair way behind the other lower regions? Also, how busy are you nowadays? And would you be our coach <3
Oce is definitely not far behind the other IWC regions. I think you guys definitely have a good shot at it for 2015. Looking forward to the run; I'll be watching for sure. Right now I'm not very busy. I'm still watching a lot of Esports at all times (Dreamhack goes live again in like 3 hours, NA/EU Expansion Tournament starts up again in a day and a half), but this is a nice relaxing decompression period where I can just play League and soak up the new changes, chat with you guys for a little while, and enjoy the holidays with my family. Then in January/February it's back on! Wooooo! Sorry, no coaching! :(
Child (OCE)
: What would you say be your biggest achievement with League of Legends, work and play-wise?
Awesome question! Work-wise, would be probably just getting Champion Spotlights started. It's this incredibly powerful piece of content that we continually make, champion after champion, seen by millions of people. I wish we made more of them. I wish we were able to keep more champions up-to-date and want to come up with a solution to that problem. But it's cool to look back and say, "Man, I made this!" Even if they're not done by only me anymore. It's not really an original idea, as other games had made them before, but honestly I didn't really take any inspiration from them other than what was just in my own head and they turned out pretty damn good for a college drop-out who never touched video editing in his life. Play-wise, it's hard to say. I didn't play League competitively for very long, since I had to stop competing after joining Riot. But I was part of one of the top two teams in NA during early release, so I made some tournament finals, which felt awesome. Hitting #1 in the Normal ladder (pre-Ranked) was definitely up there, too. I'm also a pretty big fan of Twisted Treeline, and being able to hold a winning record in Challenger is pretty darn rewarding, too. So to me it's something among those three. There's also a semi-annual Riot league that I've gotten as far as the finals of, but haven't won yet. Hoping for next season ;)
Queue (OCE)
: Hi Phreak, I've had the pleasure of meeting you twice! (Both at Worlds and here at PAX) and as I believe I said, I've been a fan of your casting, dance moves and puns ever since first getting into watching the professional league scene. You may remember me as the Worlds 2014 cape guy haha. As someone who would really love to get into the scene of eSports as someone behind the scenes in terms of management or a strategic analysis for expasion and marketing of eSports (as well as increased accessibility for those who want to get immersed into eSports but aren't at the mechanical level to do so) what are some words of wisdom of having worked in the industry? Also, what do you think of the OCE scene as a whole (including finer details on playstyles contrasting with other regions of the globe)? I personally liken the OCE scene with the rough aggression of China but influenced by a bit of NA/EU strategy. I just don't think there's been much to allow our region (in terms of solid infrastructure) to push its way up the ranks as of yet. Thanks for adding such character and charm to the League scene and I'm looking forward to catching up with you again in the future (and hopefully for an extended period of time to sit down, have a drink and talk eSports)! Edit : Would also love to play a round or two on OCE with you at some stage if you ever grace our server with your presence :)
Jeez, hard question I think. I don't really know about how to get people engaged. It's not something I've ever learned much about. If you want people to contribute some form of content (articles, artwork, etc.) you can give them someplace to showcase it, or celebrate them/their creations somehow (things like the old Summoner Showcase, or how we handle tweets in the LCS, as examples). But that's just getting people engaged with something you're already doing. If you want people to go make their own awesome stuff on their own (like, "We need more Esports shows!"), I think it's about making it look accessible, not scary. In my mind, if you have the drive to make something awesome, then you have that drive. You don't typically get to instill a sense of, "You know... I actually want to be a shoutcaster after all!" by asking them to do it. For example, with me, I saw Shoutcasting and was like, "I wanna do that!" All it took to get me started was a platform and an audience. If you want content creators, you get them those things. You remove roadblocks and allow them to do what they love. That's kinda the best way I can answer than question. As far as Oceanic LoL play, I replied to Jish on some of the points. I also don't think it's really proper to say, "This region plays in this way." I think it's limiting. The best way I can honestly describe Oceanic LoL is that there's a lot of really good players, but the teams have a lot of room to grow strategically.
furbi (NA)
: Hello Phreak! Were you always pursuing on becoming a shoutcaster or was Rito just like "u should try it out"?
I'd been doing Shoutcasting as a hobby for about 7 years before I joined Riot. Definitely something I mentioned in my interviews :)
: Imagine a 3 axis graph of meaningfully scaling in power. where the axes are gold scaling, level scaling and player skill scaling. As an example, a champion high on gold scaling would gain power very quickly with gold, whereas one low on level scaling would not be meaningfully more powerful as levels were gained. What champions do you think have unexpected or interesting positions on this graph? Also, whats your most underrated champion for each position?
Hmm... I'll start with under-rated: Top Lane -> Assassins, like Akali, Fiora. I guess up until Gnar became super popular (but he's just a ban away, anyway) Top Lane became increasingly tanky and passive, which is a free license to play hyper-scaling weak laners. There were some NALCS players 6 months ago who had the great idea to run Yasuo Top vs. Dr. Mundo, because it was a free lane. I think we should see more of that. There's a few Kassadin players out there and the like. And we saw Looper play his Akali at Worlds. We need to see more of that. Jungle -> Well, we've got the new season now. It was actually Warwick before the season changes, but now he's obvious. Rammus was also a big sleeper, but he got nerfed in preseason so I'm not sure anymore. I think Amumu is still really up there as a heavily under-rated jungler. Hard engage is, and always has been, really strong. Just making sure you have some is really powerful. Mid Lane -> Karthus. I know people are playing assassins and all that, but Karthus has been good even when the mid lane meta was like Diana, Evelynn, and Ahri, so I don't buy the whole "He doesn't fit" argument. This guy deals ridiculous damage and is another massive backline threat that's honestly really hard to deal with, especially since Zhonya's is so easy to buy on him. AD Carry -> Ashe and Jinx. It seems Jinx is getting more love recently, but Ashe hasn't been seen for a whole Season and I don't know why. Like with the Amumu (and before, Rammus) point, just being able to start fights is really, really powerful. Ashe also does more damage than people think: IE+Shiv guaranteed crit to start a fight is a lot of up front burst, and her base attack speed is actually quite high. Support -> Brand and Sona. Sona's just a harass goddess who doesn't have to respect minion waves basically at all, and Brand just deals ridiculous amounts of damage against non-sustain lanes. Sear costs 50 mana, has like 1,000 range, and deals something like 100 damage +8% of your max health at rank 1. WTF is that? Now, as far as interesting places on the graph: Udyr and Singed are way higher on player skill than you might think. It's not mechanical skill, but decision making, since they have to be VERY deliberate on where and when they go anywhere. Rumble is higher on the gold graph than you expect. Q has a ridiculous AP ratio. Tanks are higher on level scaling than you expect. Just in general, being level 18 is a massive amount of combat stats that keeps you from dying. I think that's part of the reason Top Maokai and Top Alistar were believed to be so strong. Some of it was the champions themselves, but also it was having a real tank getting solo lane XP and people were like, "Wow, they live for so long!" Tanks also tend to have useful level-ups on all their active abilities, so Maokai ends up getting these really high-damage saplings and really low cooldown CC.
: Hello Mr. Phreak! It's great that we get an opportunity to ask you some questions! I'd have to ask you where/how you came up with your signature "tons of damge" phrase and deciding to include it in pretty much every champions spotlight video? (which is great don't get me wrong. I always hang out for the part in the spotlight videos when you say it!) Thanks again for dropping by on OCE.
Hi!! I don't really know where "Tons of damage" came from. I just ended up saying it because it was just how I described a large amount of damage at the time. It ended up being a pattern that people picked up on, so I embraced it. What intrigued me even more was the random memes that came about that I didn't even have a hand in. "Dancemaster Phreak" was just invented out of nowhere, but it was hilarious so now I dance for almost no reason just because it's fun :) There's like a half-dozen more that just kind of exist now, which I think it all kinds of fun.
: Whats your opinion on the new jungle and what is your favorite path?
Honestly, it's gonna take me some getting used to. I've found that just generally starting Gromp or Krugs and clearing 80% of the jungle is pretty painless. Smiting one of those two ends up being crucial since the benefit is so massive for jungling more safely. Outside of low Gold/XP gains, which are going to be a mix of players getting better at it, and maybe some Riot changes, I quite like it. I think it accomplishes the goals of "Look, some junglers are safe, some can be killed, some gank fast, some do something else good. Pick one, maybe two."
: Hai Phreak, Did you get to see much of Australia/Melbourne while you were here?
I didn't see a whole lot, honestly. I was a mix of jet-lagged and sick. And in general, I almost always go Venue-Hotel-Sleep-Venue if I'm casting the next day. But I did get to eat kangaroo, which I was looking forward to! :)
: After seeing the teams perform at PAX Australia, what were your initial impressions of the region in terms of ability/how we would stack up against international talent (be it NA/EU/KR/CN) and do you think with the introduction of the OPL (our online equivalent to an LCS structure) will cultivate the teams and players for this first half of the year before we send another team to Wildcards? Will we make it out this year? Thanks for showing interest in our scene, I'm super disappointed you didn't cast my match vs. Avant but really enjoyed your presence for the other semi and the finals!
SUPER excited for OPL. Heard about it while I was over there. Definitely going to be helpful to the scene :). Individual play-wise, Oce is pretty close. Quite a few standouts to me: Tally, ChuChuZ, Veritas/Nada specifically, but a lot more of you are all right up there as well. Strategically, a lot of room to grow for pretty much everyone. That's the short version of it. But I think the extra structure from the OPL will definitely help. It's almost always just a matter of practice. I do think Oce has a good shot at making it to Worlds this year. The most important thing to make that happen IMO is getting a team that has a stronger strategic grasp of the game. So few teams from so few regions actually successfully employ different playstyles outside of "Well, we group for objectives, try to ward stuff, and out-rotate them." And while a lot of teams (globally and in Oce) still have a lot of room to grow in that one department, I think it's possible for a team to say, "Yeah, YOLO, we're just going to develop our own style" and then NO ONE knows how to deal with it. IMO this is the hidden power of all "developing" regions. No one's going to bother paying attention to their style or how to beat it until it's often too late.
: So is Champion Spotlight it's own team or is a small group made up in multiple teams that get together 2 weeks before a champion releases? Do you miss the rapid fire champion releases?
We have a "Video Team," which is a whole bunch of dudes who do a whole bunch of different stuff.. A subset of them work on Champion Spotlights when it's time for that, but otherwise have other duties, too. I almost always work with the same exact people for each Spotlight, for example, but they do more than just Spotlights..
: Wooo! Always remembering you as essentially the public face of Riot when I first started playing. Also love the puns and seeing your satisfaction when the groans come =P I'm curious as to your educational background/interests, and whether you played DotA at all before. The reason I ask this is that listening to your shoutcasting/analysis, it seems like you would be the kind of player to put a heavy emphasis on mathcrafting and maybe might have gone into some mathematical modelling yourself. I know that you could get quite a hefty advantage out of game knowledge like that in WC3 and DotA, and I was wondering if this is true at all.
Thanks! :) Education-wise, I was a pretty well-performing student. Went to a pretty good university over in America (UC San Diego). However, from around grade 10 and through university I started spending less and less effort on school. I actually almost got kicked out of university for bad grades. All of that was because I was spending much more time gaming than studying. Some of this time was spent what I would consider "productively" - Training for my WC3 matches. Shoutcasting. Audio commentaries. But a lot of it was doing really wasteful stuff like Pindle runs in Diablo 2 or whatever. I kept telling myself that I needed to ration my time better. Never did. Now, I cannot recommend my path. I firmly believe I got lucky with the opportunity to work for Riot. Very much right person in the right place in the right time. And thankfully I spent a lot of my time leading up to that point learning useful skills: Talking about things I understood very well to other people. Learning how to abuse systems and get the most out of a game. Writing. Speaking. Excitement. Those got me in. But, if I were able to manage my time better, I could have learned those skills while maintaining good grades, so again, everything in moderation :) I was always a big math nerd. I was OK at English and such, and I liked the more math-based sciences (AKA not Biology), but math was always my thing. I used to know all the breakpoints for how many upgrades it would take to require one more or one less attack for a unit to kill another, both in SC1 and WC3. I've always had a really heavy emphasis on perfecting really small details that were easily repeatable. I remember my Night Elf Tavern build order was literally just BETTER than everyone else's. No one took the time to perfect it, get that extra 5 Wood out of one of your initial Wisps. Always confused me that no one ever tried. But whatever, I just always got 5 more Wood than anyone else, not exactly massive. Just an example. I did play a lot of both Defense of the Ancients (the old RoC version by Eul) and Allstars by Guinsoo and/or Icefrog. I played HoN for a few months before I got super bored since it was identical to DotA, and then moved onto LoL which was familiar enough for me to be good at it, but different enough to be new and exciting. Still is :)
: Hello Phreak, If you could be stuck on a desert island with anyone from Riot who would it be? Also, when are you coming to NZ (we all love you here in CHCH!)? I love watching your stream, you are super informative!
Well, my girlfriend is a Rioter, so definitely her :) I don't know when I'm coming to NZ, although I would LOVE to. Hopefully there's a good reason to go (maybe another Oce Regional?) and I can convince people that I should be there. Definitely love coming out to places that don't typically get a lot of... "conventional?" visitors? Not sure the right word for it. And thank you! Glad you like the stream <3
: What are your thoughts on the current state of Azir and what do you think could be done to make him more playable? eg. More visual clarity and all that stuff.
He's become one of my favorite champions since coming out. I don't think he's actually very weak, just incredibly hard to play. Every single one of his ranges is different, which makes understanding where every ability is going to end up very difficult (exception being Q->Autoattack which feels perfect) I've also found W-E-Q incredibly hard to do correctly (haven't gotten it right outside the fountain yet). But I think all his moves are super fun, I think his power is very close to appropriate. I'm not sure on the right way to solve, or help, usability. I just know that as I get more experienced with him, I'll get a better feel for all his abilities. SUPER fun, though :)
: Is it true that you actually took up the Champion Spotlight videos on your own and have been creating them solo ever since? If not how did they come about?
When Champion Spotlights first started out, I did all the legwork, but the idea for them was kind of a mix. I interviewed at Riot and said I wanted to make videos and Shoutcast. It was the other smart folks at Riot that were like, "Well, we're gonna make new champions every 2 weeks, so let's make them about the champions!" I had never done any real video editing in my life (exception being "Insert this background music into this video" which isn't exactly hard or very educational). But as of Ezreal back in 2010, I managed to turn around a new video about a new champion every two weeks. Learned a ton, was really fun, was a lot of hard work, but was overall awesome. I did everything from fact-finding, to gameplay, to video editing, script-writing, and publishing. Eventually Riot grew, we got real video editors, people who specialized in publishing web content, and I started to do a smaller percentage of each of them. Nowadays I keep myself up to date with the champion, spend a few hours working with the script and scriptwriters, and then voice the thing. Everyone does an awesome job and I'm super proud of how far they've come.
  Rioter Comments
: Gotta nerf those siege minions...
Definitely intentional. Baron buff is the "We are really good at sieging" objective. Without the extra regen from the buff, since that got taken off in the patch, the goal for the defending team is to find that one really good engage and force them to recall. The follow-up is then, because the minions are only strong when around champions, you immediately shove as many minion waves as possible and try to create a decent split push. Certainly, Baron is powerful and can help a team win, but the champions themselves are not powered up all that much, so you can fight back.

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