Quantic Physics: Interview with Prime

Quantic Physics: Interview with Prime

Newton’s Third Law of Motion states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cloud 9’s separation from Quantic Gaming in May triggered what may become one of the biggest reactions within the League of Legends Championship Series since its inception.

With the sudden loss of an LCS-caliber team, Quantic’s owners Simon “Sambuca” Boudreault and Bernie “Fujikura” Catalan knew they had to act quickly. They had just five months to put together a brand new team in hopes of qualifying for the 2014 season. Luckily, Quantic wasn’t without options.

Quantic has a short but sweet pedigree when it comes to e-sports. Founded in 2010 around StarCraft 2, Quantic has grown to encompass multiple titles, and some of the best players on the planet. Early partnerships with Korean SC2 powerhouses like Incredible Miracle and StarTale created lasting relationships between the North American organization and the Korean e-sports scene. These relationships became crucial in the summer of 2013.

After a brief attempt to acquire Velocity, it became clear that Simon and Bernie would need to think outside the box for a team that had a strong chance of getting into LCS and promoting the Quantic brand. Naturally, their eyes turned towards Korea.

Meanwhile, across the globe

Locodoco has always been a fairly well known player in North America. Since 2011, he’s been on six teams, three of which are based in the U.S. He attended art school in Texas and speaks English fluently. In September of 2013, he was asked by Maximum impact Gaming’s Woong to help build a new team for the organization.

Some of Loco’s new teammates, Apple, Gunza, and Prime, were on teams that prompted this organizational redesign. As parts of MiG Blitz and Wicked, they had only made it to the Group Stage of HOT6iX Champions Summer 2013. Whatever the case, MiG needed to rethink their approach if they wanted to get any further.

A short while later, Quantic took the first steps towards getting a Korean team. They evaluated their options and made an offer after careful consideration. “Loco's team was one of I'd say 5 Korean team options we had for teams to bring over,” Fujikura said. “Loco having come to America previously and his being fluent in English gave him the advantage over the other teams.”

On September 11th, Quantic finally announced their response to the setback just three months ago. Locodoco, Woong, Prime, Apple, and Gunza would be moving to California and would compete to join the North American LCS.

Fine tuning

Initial performances by the new Quantic team were less than impressive. A last place finish in ggLA’s Challenger Arena 5 included two winless series against potential opponents in the Promos.

Shortly thereafter, Woong left the team and headed back to Korea. Many began to wonder whether or not Quantic’s gamble would pay off. Particularly damning was a Group Stage loss in the first Promotional Qualifier, giving Quantic only one final chance to make it to the NA LCS.

Fujikura put it bluntly, “Well, when we watched our team scrim in Korea and beat strong teams in scrims like Samsung, we expected [Quantic] to... dominate from the beginning... I think having lost Woong so quickly and having to rotate Apple to Top and bringing SuNo for mid and then losing to a few Challenger teams came as a huge shock and concern.”

However, there was still hope. As SuNo began to meld with the others, results turned around. Quantic’s Amateur League Championship Series record sits at a dominant 13-3. The team seems to have finally found some solid ground. “The last 2-3 weeks,” Fujikura added, “we've been playing like we should… We're scrimming an average of 2-3 teams per day consisting of Challenger Teams and LCS teams.”

Most importantly, the final NA LCS Qualifier just ended with Quantic beating Team LoLPro and earning a spot in the Promotional Tournament. For now, Quantic seems on track to storm into the NA LCS.

Primed and ready

I sat down with Quantic’s jungler Yoon “Prime” Du-Sik, shortly before their Qualifier win. He laid out the team’s thoughts and hopes as they challenged for a spot in the NA LCS.

As apparent at your Leaguepedia page, not much is known about you. How did you get involved in competitive gaming and League of Legends?

Prime: I maintained challenger status in Korea for a while and I was scouted to MiG.

How did the move from Maximum impact Gaming Blitz to Quantic happen, and what were your initial thoughts about joining Quantic and moving to the US to compete in NA LCS?

P: The move from MiG to Quantic happened when Loco joined after OGN summer and we reformed as a new team. NA seemed better than I expected, and I was shocked when we first came and lost to Velocity and Coast and worked hard to improve.

So, you’re here, you’re living in the U.S. What are your impressions of California? Any notable comparisons to South Korea? Have you and/or the rest of the team gone anywhere fun or notable (Disneyland, Hollywood, etc.)? Any funny stories?

P: The weather and the air is nice, I like the warm afternoons. The weather here is much nicer compared to Korea, especially in the winter.

In terms of practice, how has your team coped with being in a new country together? How well has the team gelled over the last few months?

P: There’s not much difference to when we lived together in Korea, and the schedule is pretty similar. The teamwork is getting better day by day.

Patch 3.14 just came out - any comments or thoughts about the new playstyle? How is it affecting you as a jungler? And how has Gunza’s play been affected with the new support changes?

P: The new patch is fresh and fun but a lot of things need to change. As a jungler I get almost as much gold as laners now, so I feel like I’m doing more on the new patch. Gunza plays much more roam oriented now and he has more opportunity to show his skills.

There were initial concerns that Quantic would struggle after some early losses in online tournaments, and an early exit from the first LCS qualifier. However, going 3-0 over this past weekend indicates that Quantic is settling down and playing up to a higher standard. What’s your evaluation of the team’s current state, and what do you think the team’s strengths and weaknesses are?

P: I feel like we’re the best challenger team at the moment, for strengths I think our top and jungle synergy is really good. For weaknesses, our mid-game could be a lot cleaner.

If Quantic does get into NA LCS, what should the fans look forward to throughout next year? Any long-term strategies or plans for 2014? What final standing would you expect? Playoffs? Worlds?

P: If we make it, then fans can look forward to some serious butt kicking. Quantic vs. C9 in playoffs and Quantic vs CJ Blaze in World Finals.

What happens if Quantic doesn’t get into LCS?

P: If Quantic doesn’t make it into LCS, we can think it over on the 14 hour flight back to Korea.

I look forward to showing off my skills in the LCS for the NA fans. As for NA teams, they better watch out, the Korean Hype Train is coming.

Ferguson Mitchell is an e-sports writer who’s seen and done just about everything. He’s more than happy to see teams from outside NA come and challenge the region’s best, and looks forward to Quantic’s games in the Promos. Let him know what you think by tweeting at @AlphaFerg.