k1ng, fresh from Worlds, talks to us about Australia’s League of Origin.
League of Origin kicks off in Australia next month. Players from many League of Legends OPL teams are having a break in the lead up to the event. But not Calvin “k1ng” Truong. K1ng says he’s practicing to ensure he performs at his best. K1ng was recently signed with the Direwolves. After Direwolves won the OPL Grand Finals at Melbourne Esports Open in September, they went onto Worlds. The team had a tough time, as one of their players was suspended ahead of the competition. Unfortunately the Direwolves had a short run and were knocked out of the Group Stage of the play-ins.
Nonetheless, k1ng gained valuable experience and is bringing that back to Australia. Originally from Melbourne, k1ng will be representing Victoria at League of Origin. League of Origin sees four teams — Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, and New Zealand — play off for the top title of ANZ. Many of the players hail from other OPL teams. The tournament is set to be a showcase of top Aussie League talent. K1ng is very excited ahead of the tournament, but he says he feels a lot of pressure:
When I play domestically, in Oceania, in Australia. There’s a lot more pressure on me. I don’t want to lose to these guys… here it’s a lot more personal, and I really really want to win… I’ve been around for so long, and winning for two years now, I want to keep winning.
Being young in esports
Many pro esports players start their careers very young. This was the case for k1ng. Whilst he started playing when he was 13, the age restrictions for League don’t allow players to engage in competitive play until they are 17 years old. K1ng said it was a little hard sitting back, waiting until he was old enough to play:
After being a pro player, I do have the hindsight, so many things could have changed… but now I’ve grown out of that feeling.
Luckily for k1ng, his birthday is in February and OPL started only a few days after. As soon as he turned 17, k1ng went straight into the roster for Direwolves.
k1ng comes from a rather “strict” family. The youngest of his siblings, he was the only one who decided to take to esports.
I was growing up in a pretty strict household. My sister who I was growing up with was pretty good academically; all my brothers went the traditional path. Then there’s just me the youngest one. I just play games. It was hard to convince my parents… but over the years they’ve been following me.
Whilst there’s countless successful people in the world who didn’t attend university, many parents still encourage their children to pursue academics. K1ng said it was a little hard trying to convince his parents to allow him to play esports. Only just this year, his family attended MEO and saw him play on the big stage.
Last Grand Finals they watched me for the first time. And it sort of shows what I’ve been working on all these years. They finally got to see me on the big stage at Rod Laver Arena.
Tips for aspiring pro players
There’s no shortcut to being a pro. Whether you are thinking academics, business, sport, or esports, this fact has always remained the same. k1ng said it cannot be truer for esports. He encourages aspiring pros to put in the hard yards, to do the work, and stand out from the crowd:
This is something I’m actually quite passionate about. There’s no shortcut to becoming a pro… the reality is that those who separate themselves, you have to be that special one… you have to be someone who’s really, really good. You aren’t going to be the exception. You have to work really hard and put yourself above the rest.
Let’s hope lots of young players take this on board and do the best they can do.
After Worlds, Direwolves released both k1ng and Stephen “Triple” Li. K1ng is currently a free agent and on the hunt for a new League of Legends team. In the meantime, he’ll be playing for Victoria in League of Origin. If you’re in Melbourne, check out the website to purchase tickets for the live event.
— LG Dire Wolves (@DireWolves) October 24, 2018