Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with William “Meteos” Hartman during Week 6 of the North American League Championship Series to talk about joining Phoenix1, where he thinks his game is and expectations for the rest of the spring split.
Andrew Kim: After your transition from Cloud9 to Phoenix1, it seems that P1 is enjoying a kind of new style of play that’s a bit more decisive. How do you think your addition to P1 gave way to that kind of play style?
William “Meteos” Hartman: I think the biggest thing is not really having pressure on anyone, because from them it’s like, “Oh, OK, we’re gonna sub a jungler that doesn’t really play League that much,” and for me I’m coming into a team I never really played with., There’s no expectations, so we’re kind of trying to go for stuff. It’s not perfect or anything.
AK: After having some time away from competitive play and returning again to the LCS stage, did you have any apprehensions or concerns when you pulled the trigger on the decision to play on the LCS stage one more time?
WH: I didn’t really have too many concerns. I thought maybe I wouldn’t play well. I told P1 when they reached out to me, “I don’t think I’m that good right now, but if you want me to play, I’ll play.” It’s gone better than expected.
AK: In that case would you evaluate that your performance is better than anticipated or was it other factors also kicking in?
WH: I think it’s hard to say in a team setting how much weight each person carries or whatever. I think that macro wise I still have a decent understanding of the game, but mechanically I’m probably not as good and I’m practicing a lot. I think it’s just a team effort. Everyone tries really hard.
AK: What’s something that you found to be very interesting about the new jungle-centric meta with a focus in the top-jungle-mid lane?
WH: I like the new jungle for the most part. It makes it so that tracking the jungler is really important because you figure they’ll be in a certain spot if they’re doing an efficient clear, and if they’re not doing an efficient route and not finding kills, they’ll fall behind. I think the jungle is really snowball-y right now as far as levels go, so if you hit six and get your Warrior before the other jungler, he’s not going to have a good time. It’s just a cool balance of trying to farm efficiently and trying to pressure as much as you can.
AK: Do you also spend time watching VODs of other regions like LCK or LPL?
WH: I watch some stuff, but not nearly as much as I used to. I’m not trying to hide the fact that I’m not taking (everything) too seriously right now, just because I’m kinda in a recovery phase, I guess, or just chilling. I wasn’t expecting to play, don’t know how long I’ll be playing, but I’m here.
AK: There’s an interesting trend of teams declining invitations to international tournaments. What are your thoughts on the current status of international tournaments?
WH: I think international tournaments are cool, but I do think they take up a lot of time, which people don’t realize. When you’re a team, you have to play every weekend. What happened to us at worlds was when we played in San Francisco, and then we had to go to Chicago, which is a four hour flight or whatever. We played on Sunday night, then Monday was complete travel day, we didn’t even have computers that whole day. On Tuesday we got a room, but there was still lots of internet problems, computer problems, so we only really had two days of practice between our San Francisco round and Chicago round. We maybe got four scrim sets in, which is really rough for a team that’s trying to practice for a world championship dealing with constant jet lag, maybe suboptimal practice conditions. I think from a player’s perspective, international tournaments are a pretty big investment as far as going out there. A large cash prize pool is cool, obviously I think a lot of the teams decline them because you barely get an offseason when you’re a pro league player. When you want to be competing for the top, you have to be putting in every hour of the day, pretty much, to practicing, so once the season’s over the last thing you want to do is keep practicing and burning yourself out.
AK: Do you think there’s something that could be done for international tournaments for League of Legends or is it going to be a constant trade off?
WH: I’m not really sure. Unless they change the format of LCS where maybe like spring split they put a lot more international tournaments up like random exhibitions or open up for third parties like IEM kind of things. But they’re somewhat in the same time period. I don’t know the logistics behind everything, but I think that there could be more international tournaments, but it would probably take a lot of planning and that’s above my head.
AK: What player do you find yourself having the most trouble playing against?
WH: It’s gotta be Huhi.
Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot