Fans of the EU LCS were in for a treat last April 18th when Kristoffer “P1noy” Pedersen, AD Carry of Gambit Gaming and first half-Filipino pro gamer in the EU LCS, announced that he was visiting the Philippines.
P1noy will have a meet and greet with fans on Thursday, April 30th at The Lounge, Tomas Morato.
On Tuesday, April 28th, P1noy paid a visit to the Garena office and we were able to have a little chat with him about his career, his plans, and his thoughts on League of Legends.
Garena eSports: So, Kris, let’s get down to it. How did you get into League of Legends?
P1noy: Well, I played DotA when I was young, in fifth grade. I just played it, and then I transitioned into Heroes of Newerth for one year. Then my brother introduced me to League of Legends, and I’ve been playing for three and a half years now.
Garena eSports: If I remember correctly, you studied fifth grade here, right? So you started playing DotA here?
Garena eSports: Here’s a question a lot of people have wanted to ask since they saw your performance in IEM Cologne. How did it feel taking down Doublelift when you went up against CLG?
P1noy: [Laughs] It felt pretty good. [It was] A bit unexpected, ‘cause I have a lot of respect for him as a player, but I just tried to play my best and it just felt good. Like, in the situation itself, it didn’t mean so much; but afterwards, since he’s a big name, and I wasn’t so big at that time, it was really good. It was just like playing against another player, but I had a little bit more respect for him.
Garena eSports: How much time do you spend training?
P1noy: Regularly, like, the day before the LCS, I usually wake up around 12 pm, then I play two or three hours of solo queue and then we have scrims from 3 to 6 pm, then a one hour break. Then we scrim from 7 to 10 or 11 pm. And then I usually play a bit more or just lie down and watch a series. So it’s around a minimum of 10-11 hours.
Garena eSports: That’s pretty intense. You said in an earlier interview that you chose the name “P1noy” to represent the country that you love. How does it feel being the first Filipino pro gamer in the EU LCS?
P1noy: It feels pretty good, and a bit special, I would say. Also, I can represent my name in a proper way. It’s also cool that I’m the only guy, so it’s like I’m a bit special compared to others, where the others are from Russia or France or wherever.
Garena eSports: Do you think you deserved to replace Genja as the AD Carry for Gambit Gaming?
P1noy: Yes, I think so. ‘Cause I don’t think that Genja is a huge star anymore. I think he fell off like, one season ago. It was a big shoe to fill in some sort of way, ‘cause I was like, a no-name, but right now, I don’t feel it at all. I just don’t think he’s as good anymore as he used to be. So I feel like I deserve it.
Garena eSports: How supportive is your family of your career as a pro gamer?
P1noy: Well, my mom wasn’t so supportive at the start, because I was still in school, and when I told her I have to leave school for the LCS, she was a bit worried. But she’s happy with me now as a professional, and she’s happy that I can provide myself with food because I earn my own money now, and I don’t have to rely on her.
Garena eSports: How was it for you, reaching the playoffs of the EU LCS in your first split as a pro gamer?
P1noy: It was my goal, obviously, because I like to set high goals for myself, so I can perform at the highest level. But it was a bit disappointing afterwards because of my performance at the playoffs as well as how we played as a team, but it was nice reaching there. I just wanted to go further.
Garena eSports: On a related note, what’s your personal opinion on Leviathan being fired from Gambit and how did it affect your team?
P1noy: I think people have the wrong view on how he actually worked within our team. At the start, he was really solid working and really motivated, but as time went on, like his experience as the coach of Alliance before, he became content to be a bit lazy. It was a real issue for us because we, the players, had to work harder in terms of preparation with the pick and bans. I had a good relationship with him, but it just didn’t work professionally.
Garena eSports: With Leviathan leaving and Gambit looking for a new head coach, how do you think your team will do in the coming split?
P1noy: I think we’ll do fine, but the competition will be harder now, because people are more prepared for the summer split. It’s more intense and it has more value compared to, like, the spring split. Everyone wants to go to Worlds, of course, and that’s where the qualification is. Depending on which coach we’re picking up; I think if we have a really, really good coach that’s really motivated and really puts one hundred percent effort into our team, and we have the players to reach far, so I have a really good feeling going into the summer split.
Garena eSports: Who do you think is the best AD Carry in the west right now?
P1noy: Hmm… Sneaky.
Garena eSports: And who do you think is the best support?
P1noy: In the west, hmm… [Pause] Aphromoo or Lustboy I think… Yeah, Aphromoo.
Garena eSports: Who’s the best duo bot lane?
P1noy: I think Wildturtle and Lustboy are looking pretty strong, but I also think that H2K’s bot lane with Hjärnan and KaSing is super underrated because they’re super good.
Garena eSports: If you could play one champion for the rest of your career, which champion would it be?
P1noy: Definitely Kalista.
Garena eSports: What’s your favorite bot lane combo?
P1noy: Kalista and Thresh is super good.
Garena eSports: What do you plan on doing after retiring from the LCS?
P1noy: I hopefully want to look at opportunities in eSports because I really like being in this industry. I really think that eSports is growing so big so I would really like to stay here a bit longer before I have to return to school.
Garena eSports: So you’re planning on finishing school?
P1noy: Yeah, after I’m done with everything. It depends on how high the quality of job I can get in eSports is. If not, I’m just gonna go back to school.
Garena eSports: How’s it like for you, being a celebrity because of a videogame?
P1noy: I try not to let it get to me. I try to treat every other person as normal. I try to just be as normal as possible, and don’t think about it. But there’s also a limit for me, so I have to be a bit more cocky because I know there’s a lot of people following me, so I can’t just give myself to everyone. But I think I’m just trying to be as normal now. I think for some people, you need to have some attitude, and that’s a bit hard for me to learn because I really like to be friendly and stuff and I’m a really open guy. As time goes on, I think I will change, but right now it doesn’t get to me so much that I’m a celebrity.
Garena eSports: If you could 1v1 any pro player in any region, who would it be?
Garena eSports: Of course, you want to be the best. What are your favorite champions in other roles?
P1noy: I like to play Lee Sin in the jungle. Support is probably Thresh. In the top lane I like to play AD Carries like Vayne and Urgot.
Garena eSports: What’s your favorite skin?
P1noy: Hmm… [Thinks] I don’t know the name, but it’s the Varus skin... (Heartseeker Varus). It’s pretty cool.
The heat is on for Gambit Gaming and P1noy in the coming summer split, with the reward being a spot at Worlds 2015. You can root for the first proud Filipino pro gamer in the EU LCS by watching Riot's game streams for the summer split starting May 28th.