Dire Wolves’ Triple on playing at MSI in the EU LCS studio: “I didn’t really mind the small EU LCS studio and I feel like I would have played the same in front of a greater crowd”

After playing in the MSI Play-In Group Stage in Berlin, we had the chance to speak to Dire Wolves’ mid-laner Stephen ‘Triple’ Li on topics ranging from his experience at MSI to his experience in solo-queue across different regions.ย 

Dire Wolves reached MSI for the second consecutive year, where they entered at the Play-In Group Stage. They were placed in a difficult group, alongside BAUSupermassive eSports, KaBuM! e-Sports and PENTAGRAM.

They picked up 2 victories during their run, beating KaBuM and PENTAGRAM, before being eliminated from the group. From June, they will compete in Split 2 of Oceania’s OPL, where they have won the last 3 splits.

2018 Mid-Season Invitational Play-in Stage

NTS: Dire Wolves unfortunately exited MSI at the Play-In Group Stage. What were the team’s expectations coming into the tournament and are you generally happy with the performance, especially given some tough opposition while representing a fairly young region?
Triple:ย Having the exact same result as last year definitely hurt for a lot of the boys and although we didn’t expect much, we at least wanted to make it out of our play-in group. Despite the tough opposition, it’s hard to be happy about a 2-4 finish and a 0-3 final day.

NTS: What was the experience like participating in an international tournament, despite the relativerly small capacity of the EU LCS studio?
Triple:ย Many professional players don’t get to experience international play and I’m grateful for the opportunity. I didn’t really mind the small EU LCS studio and I feel like I would have played the same in front of a greater crowd. Without going into too much detail, the overall experience was both luxurious and educational. 

NTS: Were there any opponents that you were particular looking forward to playing against?
Triple: I was super excited to potentially play against Kingzone because I look up to BDD but unfortunately we didn’t make it that far.

NTS: Your team also spent time in London before heading to Berlin for MSI, were there any similarities/differences you noticed in the Esports culture in Europe compared to Australia?
Triple: From all the places I’ve been (Korea, Europe, Oceania), I notice a distinct cultural shift even in solo queue which could be narrowed down to just how serious people take the game. I’d rate European solo queue as the second best after Korea. Also, obviously the eSports infrastructure is much more developed in other regions which contribute to their growth.

NTS: Did the team get a chance to try Marmite while you were in London? How does it compare to Vegemite from back home?
Triple:ย Marmite? I have no idea what that is but I was told that you don’t go to London to eat their food because they have nothing! Also Vegemite is trash.

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NTS: Your attentions will now turn to Split 2. What are Dire Wolves’ aims for this split and the remainder of the season?
Triple:ย The goal of Dire Wolves ever since I joined has always been to dominate Oceania and achieve international success and I believe this split is no different. We do believe that the MSI 2018 experience will help us make the changes necessary for that.

NTS: After some controversies in the past, what do you make of the current state of OPL and it’s infrastructure?
Triple: I do believe OPL in its current state has extremely weak infrastructure with players getting paid peanuts (please pay me more) but with all these footy teams investing into the league, I do have hope for the future of Oceanic eSports.

NTS: What are your thoughts on the current state of the game, particularly patch 8.10? Are the scuttle crab changes really as dramatic as people have made out?
Triple:ย To be honest, I haven’t really played the game recently because I’m on break but on a surface level, I think the broader community overreacts to change way too often.

NTS: What are your personal goals for your League of Legends career? Is there any region you would like to try and prove yourself in?
I’m not actually sure what I want after this year but for the short term, I want to have a good showing at Worlds 2018 and gain some recognition for both the team and myself. As for regions, China, North America and Europe would interest me a lot!

NTS: Lastly, in your opinion, does tomato ketchup belong in the cupboard or in the fridge?
I hope this isn’t too much of a cop-out but tomato sauce stays in the cupboard until it’s opened and then it goes in the fridge after. I’ve actually always done this with mine.

You can follow Triple on Twitter @TripleOCE.

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