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Q&A: Sakuya (formerly Remi) on returning to competitive League of Legends

History was written Oct. 5 for the Latin American South Region of League of Legends.

The Chilean competitive scene signed its first major region in ex-LCS and Renegades player Maria “Sakuya” Creveling. Sakuya signed with the IWCQ representative from Latin American South region and one of the biggest organizations in Chile, Kaos Latin Gamers.

Slingshot’s Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber had the chance to speak with Sakuya about her decision to play in South America.

Alexandre “DrPuppet” Weber: When did you decide to go back to playing competitive LoL?

Maria “Sakuya” Creveling: After I left LCS, I focused on myself. I tried to stream and was making reasonable income that would hold me over until now. Now that I have finished a lot of things outside of League (fixing the things that made me leave LCS in the first place), I think it’s time to return to competitive. It’s just something I love doing and I knew I wanted to continue after I solved a lot of my personal issues.

AW: So are taking this opportunity for a fresh start? New name, solved personal problems and moving to a new continent?

MC: Yeah. I wanted to get away from what people associated my old name with. I’ve grown a whole lot since I left the LCS and I’m pretty much a different person now. Recently I made an apology for how I behaved back then and I’m looking to move on with my life. As for playing in a new region, I always wanted to play in South America.

AW: So it is really an opportunity for you to go on an adventure you wanted to do? And why did you choose to play for the CLS team Kaos Latin Gamers and live in Chile instead of playing on an NA team or any different Wildcard region?

MC: It is kind of. I could have stayed and made more in NA but it’s just not where my heart was. Originally I wanted to find a team in Brazil, but there weren’t any orgs I trusted, or it was for a position (sub, analyst, etc.) that I didn’t feel comfortable taking. My friend Tierwulf (ex CBLOL jungler for Big Gods) who I met in Brazil was incredibly nice and hard working and we knew we wanted to play on a team together. He was contacted by KLG and then recommended me and we tried out together. The actual org is amazing. The pay is okay (it’s not NA ofc), and the people feel like family. All of my teammates are people I could hang out with outside of League, which is what really draws me to a team. I feel confident I made the right choice.

AW: So you did tryouts while being in NA? How were the tryouts and the first times playing with the team, and the differences between Latin America and NA play styles?

MC: Well we scrimmed a lot on the Brazil server. The actual games don’t feel different from NACS scrims except there are less plays in our theoretical “playbook.” People just don’t have as much knowledge about macro strategies down here, concepts like setting waves and pushing lanes into forcing rotations. Me and Tierwulf have been shot-calling, at first we were microing our teammates but we soon learned we didn’t need to since they all learn really fast. Now we just focus on macro and it feels like we are improving at a really good rate. The only bad part about tryouts and scrims has been the ping, I play on 130 to the Brazilian server and it means I can’t do as much as I’d like in lane with TheFoxz.

AW: So what do you think about the overall level of the LATAM/BR LoL scenes? Do you think it is still a surprise/upset that wildcard teams could take games off major regions this worlds?

MC: As you can see at worlds, the overall level from the top teams seems to be lower, Maybe it’s the meta or just the direction Riot has moved the game toward, but standard laning has put wildcard regions on equal footing with some of the bigger regions. A lot of past defeats for wildcard were at the hands of macro based snowballing, even in old worlds you could see teams like paiN holding their own in standard laning. Now that people are getting better mechanically in these smaller regions, they have can compete with major ones. You see Albus Nox outplaying G2 and CLG, INTZ taking a game from EDG. The mechanics are there and the macro is lagging behind just a little. I hope I can help the LATAM scene solidify the basics of macro play, which will help our chances at IWC.

AW: Alright so to close out the interview, what are you most excited to see or do in Chile and do you have any shout outs left?

MC: Most excited to start training with my teammates on low ping. Don’t really have any shout outs, follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Twitch at idolMariya.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games