In the inaugural season of EZL in North America, Team Lunaris captain MujyKun led his team throughout the season to victory, taking out the Championship with a solid record and an increasingly impressive reputation. With the second season of EZL fast approaching, our journalist Ryann17 approached MujyKun on Discord to delve deeper into his role as a captain, his team’s dynamics and his personal experiences in the first season of EZL.
Why did you decide to become a captain in EZL?
“I had a team called Lunaris before EZL started, and I applied to EZL to become a moderator and a captain. As a team, we wanted to participate, so I decided to try drafting my original team into EZL. I became captain because my Lunaris teammates didn’t feel like doing it and I am also able to organize things more efficiently.”
How did you end up with your team? Was it all through the draft or did you pick up some people later?
“I was one of the last people in the drafting list. I was number 37 out of 40. I first picked one of my main carries from Lunaris, and as my second pick I picked another member from the Lunaris team. The next three people were random POA Silver and Gold players who we helped to get to Vainglorious. We met three new people through the EZL team, and they are now part of my normal Lunaris team. We never switched out any of our members because we were extremely lucky, all the members were active. These were people determined to play Vainglory and that is what kept our team together. There was no need to pick up anybody later.”
How did you feel your team performed last season? Did you have a set of players that played most of the games, or did all six of you have the same amount of playing time?
“Well, our team won the finals and we won EZL’s North American Playoffs for Season our team did their best during these games. We had our moments of being flawed, where we were not able to get practice before our matches – resulting in us losing some of our games. One of our members was only able to play one game the entire season. He was one of our original team members and we felt it was fine. Given he was from a different timezone, he was not able to play because the majority of our games were on weekdays and at night. We had five people that basically played the entire season, with a distributed amount of playtime between us. Whichever member wanted to play a certain game, we would allow them to play it. We also had team scrims just to check how well our team synergy clicked with certain combinations of players. We gathered the most aggressive three people from our team and put them together. This was considered our team core and we decided to take that to the finals. This team core played the most – however, the time was divided up throughout all the weeks to make sure everyone got a decent share of game time and gained the same experiences.”
Your team did exceptionally well during the season with twenty-two wins and three losses. Did you develop rivalries with other strong teams that were able to give you a run for your money?
“We did develop connections with other teams and started to scrim with them. There were some teams that showed great synergy, and they motivated us to get stronger with our comps. Our finals was definitely a hard match-up against Team Retro. We were extremely close to losing both games, but luckily won 2-0 in the end.”
What was the hardest thing about last season?
“In my opinion, it was having to put our heart into every game in order to win. Our team focused on not getting any mistakes and following up with each other to have a solid win. There weren’t really any difficulties throughout the weeks, after the first week we were pretty much used to the other six weeks – it was just normal gameplay for us by the end. What helped us the most, was practicing for the games and really putting in effort the whole time.”
With your team playing twenty-five sets of matches, did anyone suffer from burnout? Did anyone ever feel like it was too much, for too long a period that they almost gave up?
“We had our members switching around. If someone felt they were playing too much, we would give them a break. There were not really any problems with that during the season. Our members were active and you could tell they loved being part of the Vainglory community. There would be small complaints, but ultimately my team members would get right back up on their feet.”
On the topic of the draft, what were you looking for back then in your players? What are you looking for now?
“I looked for people who were active and people who were not toxic. When I was doing my tryouts, I based it completely off of who was toxic. As of right now, I probably won’t hold any tryouts, but I will pick up some new people. I have gotten very familiar with the community and I know a lot of members that are on the list. I know the people who actually try in their games and do not rage quit. I also look for people who are able to voice chat. If they are inexperienced vainglory players, we will bring them to POA Gold to VG Bronze at least, and help them understand the game better. Team practices help out our newest members a lot with understanding how we play! The synergy gained from this is very beneficial.”
Why aren’t you holding tryouts? Were you able to keep your team?
“No, we requested personally to have our team stay in EZL as a team without having to draft as our reward for winning the season. It was put into consideration and we have not heard back yet. We assume we are not able to keep our team. As I said earlier, I have just gotten familiar with the community and I know the members a lot better now. If the members from the first season go onto the next season, then I will know their gameplay very well. With nine weeks of gameplay, you get to know all of the players around you – how well they play and their personality. I will draft based off my current judgement. It’s still a possibility that I might hold tryouts, however it is not as likely, especially since I have been very busy recently. I’m looking to pick up some new members this season instead of picking up my original team. It is more efficient to play with new people and have my old EZL team stay as my current ingame team as of right now. Having several teams is not a bad thing, and the more people you get to know, the more experiences you are able to share with each other.”
*When this interview was conducted, the decision on Team Lunaris had not yet been made. However, by the time of publishing it was ruled that Lunaris could keep its entire team for Season 2. MujyKun has since decided to keep half of the players from Season 1, and is now looking for fresh new faces to fill his roster.
How stressful has EZL been with you needing to schedule matches, compete and still obviously take care of your own personal responsibilities. Are you ready to do it all over again in Season 2?
“Yes, well with my current setup, I have been hosting my own tournaments for several regions every single weekend. It is hard to manage it, however I manage to squeeze in time to free up my schedule for EZL. There is school work that will also get in the way, however for Season 2 it should go smoother since part of it will be during the summer break. Sometimes it was a hassle not having the brackets updated as soon as a match finished. I like to contact captains early and get our matches done as fast as possible to leave us time to complete our finals. That actually gives us more time to lay around while waiting for our enemies. It is a bit hard to contact some captains, but it works out in the end.”
What do you plan for your future with Vainglory and the community?
“I plan to remain a permanent tournament hoster. I registered our original team in several tournaments. We moved some members from our original team to a new team including me. We have joined up with a team that is already in VIS League to help them progress in VIS, and so we gain experience with very challenging games. I still manage my old teams, I am just not as frequently involved with them. In the case I ever decide to leave the team I just joined, I would always be able to come back and be the captain of my old teams. Currently, we have both teams full and we plan to expand our community. I have a Discord server with more than 1,000 VG players (https://discord.gg/T5w98jF) It is based off our original team and we host all of our tournaments there. It is also a center for our guilds as well. Our guild is not the priority for how we stay in the community, however it is good to have as a basis and have people join it. We plan to have our teams scrim against each other and hopefully we can all progress in our skill tier a bit further and reach Vainglorious Gold. When we accomplish this, we will hopefully gain recognition for the hard work we have done. We will continue to join all of the amateur and professional tournaments being hosted, so that our team won’t die off because it always has something to compete in. We try to play to our maximum capacity at all times – that’s what makes our team very synchronized.”
Any last thoughts you want to share with the teams you’ll be facing this season?
“Even if you can’t synchronize with your team, there’s always a way to win. Have a team that is willing to try their hardest. Give your team a reason to try hard. Even if you do not win, the amount of experience you earn with strategizing will help you in the future. Especially with the lower tier members: the more higher tier players you face, the more you figure out how to counter them.”
MujyKun is a strong and dedicated captain and player who wants to push his team to be the best. His involvement and commitment with not only EZL but also his own team’s tournaments show that he really enjoys being an integral part of the Vainglory community – and in time, he is sure to become a household name for all of the members of EZL.
Article written by Ryann17 and edited by hoIIand