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Moon: “After a win or a loss, you want to have a positive mindset.”

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim caught up with FlyQuest’s Galen “Moon” Holgate during Week 6 of the North American League of Legends Championship Series.

Andrew Kim: FlyQuest certainly has the atmosphere even on camera that you guys are getting along, you guys are all laughing trying to have the most fun as you can. Does that affect decision making at all?

Galen “Moon” Holgate: Decision making in game isn’t affected by it. If anything, it helps. For example, after Game 2, we got completely shit on, right? And we were on complete defense for 20 minutes straight, and our mood was — we were all fine. I was laughing at the end of the game. We were fine, I looked over after the win, (EnVyUs) all had sad faces. That’s not good. After a win or a loss you want to have a positive mindset. I did see someone comparing us to Immortals last year, where we pick whatever we think is strong, and I think we definitely need to start playing more meta stuff, but having the uniqueness factor and having the surprise factor in champ select for literally every single role is a huge bonus to our play and pick ban. For example, if the enemy team is forced to ban Mordekaiser or something it gives us so many more options for pick ban.

AK: Do you watch other regions’ VODs for practice?

GH: All the time. I watch pretty much every LCK game. LPL, I like to watch not because I think they’re very good, but because I think they’re very innovative. Junglers are really creative in LPL. Mainly I try to watch creative junglers in Korea and LPL. I don’t watch that much EU, I don’t really watch much NA just because I feel like I already know those metas a lot. I try to talk to as many different junglers from around the world as possible just to get their views on stuff.

AK: Is there a particular jungler that you pay more attention to?

GH: For Korea I like to watch (Go “Score” Dong-bin) and (Kang “Haru” Min-seung). I think Haru is the most creative jungler in the world for sure. I think he gets first blood every game and he does so many creative things. Score is just an overall solid jungler. For China I like to watch (Lê “Sofm” Quang Duy). He’s really interesting. For junglers I talk to, I talk to ROX’s jungle sub, his name is (Kim “MightyBear) Min-su). He was on Vitality before; he’s on ROX now. I talk to some other amateur LCK junglers and (Lee “Spirit” Da-yoon).

AK: How do you get into contact with the junglers in the LCK?

GH: I went to Korea like a year and a half ago, when I was on NRG. I went to self-bootcamp and then I joined NRG. While I was there, I met Spirit in person, and I got in contact with MightyBear. I just kept their contact on Skype and I message them there.

AK: Do you guys exchange information with one another?

GH: Yeah back and forth. Hey what is Korea playing? What is NA playing? NA is doing this, Korea’s not doing that. Why is it strong? Stuff like that.

AK: Something that’s interesting in international tournaments for League is that teams are declining. Some teams are saying that you can’t justify going to another tournament in the middle of the season because of timing. What are your thoughts on the current status for international tournaments for League?

GH: We got invited (to IEM Katowice) and I would have liked to have gone because I want to be put in uncomfortable situations, like in front of a huge crowd. I think it would have been nice for me to get that experience. But the majority of my team has already done it before, and for them it’s not worth it. They would rather get their rest and not get jet lagged or something because you’re flying out and you’re getting jet lagged. It’s like a 15-hour flight or something. That’s not good for you overall practice wise and rest wise. I guess the prize pool doesn’t make it worth it. As a player I don’t know what the prize pool was, to be honest, but I’m assuming it was like $50K or $100K, but after taxes that’s not much. Even if we get first place, that’s not that much. It sounds kinda rude to say, but the regular season is too important. I’d much rather get a better regular season performance than go to IEM. If it was closer, if it was in NA or Canada, or somewhere close by to fly, obviously every team would be down to do it.

AK: You are still one of the spotlight junglers in the region that are doing well. With a lot of expectations running with you due to that spotlight, do you think that affects you in a negative or positive way?

GH: I don’t like being in the spotlight. I didn’t play that well in the past week, two weeks ago and the week before that I had a couple of bad games. I’d rather be known as a solid jungle. That way I feel like I won’t disappoint people if I play poorly, and if I play well, people will be like “Oh nice, good game for Moon.” I think a lot of people have some ridiculous expectations for me like, I’ve literally heard from people, not fans but people in the scene, “Moon is the best jungler in NA right now,” and I’m just like, wait what? It doesn’t really affect me, I think it’s good for me that I have this confidence now, but I don’t want it to turn into an ego, which it was (a few weeks ago). I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ll just shit on this guy. These guys aren’t thinking about the game. They don’t have a plan for the game.” Stuff like that. Kinda got my ego tweaked. It was good for the team, too, because after that we sat down and realized that we had to take practice more seriously and stuff like that. I think we’ll improve a lot more.

AK: If there is the most underrated player in the NA LCS, who is that player?

GH: I’ll probably go with a jungler. I think it might be (Nam “LirA” Tae-yoo). I think it’s LirA. I don’t know if people respect him that highly because I don’t read Reddit threads or anything but I think he’s last place or something, but he’s definitely not the last place jungler. He’s really fucking good and he showed it today. He played very well.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games/illustration by Slingshot