Nova eSports Interview
“This team still has a lot of potential we can tap into.” – BLG3RNT
Coming into the Spring Split 2 challenge battles as the first seed, the team formerly known as RagePingers chose to face off against Rogue to take their spot in the Vainglory8 (VG8). Before the matches even began, they were picked up by pro gaming organization Nova eSports. With the hype of their recent acquisition propelling them forward, Nova came out with a 3-2 victory and secured a spot in the league. Fast forwarding into summer, Nova are now ranked #3 in NA and will be at the Summer Unified Live Finals in Los Angeles.
Seeing as this was the team’s first Live appearance, EZL caught up with them to learn more about their story of how they got here, learn about the team and talk to them about Vainglory. What follows is an interview with the starting roster: starboi (captain), Truth (Laner), LoneDelphi (Jungler) and BLG3RNT (coach/analyst).
*The interview was conducted on the Discord application and transcribed to text.
Is there anything you can tell us about the scrim you just finished?
starboi: It was against SK from the EU region, they feel more solid than the last season.
What do you do outside of Vainglory?
starboi: I graduated last year, I’m not in school or anything, I do Vainglory full time.
Truth: I graduated!
I know you didn’t.
Truth: Haha, I go to school, I’m going to 9th grade.
Delphi: I’m going into senior year of high school, this is my only major thing to deal with.
Are you all going into Vainglory as a permanent career?
Delphi: Not sure.
starboi: I do not hope to continue (playing vainglory) as a full-time career (laughter). I’m serious. I actually am serious. I don’t talk about it but I’d rather be involved in the music industry. A producer would be a cool occupation.
BLG3RNT: I am getting ready to start a new job but if Vainglory took off to the level where it can be a full-time job I wouldn’t mind doing it.
Truth: I want to work at McDonalds!
How did you guys feel finishing third this season, behind TSM and C9 going into Live Finals?
Truth: Not good.
starboi: It’s not first.
BLG3RNT: I feel like as a team we haven’t lived up to our fullest potential yet. I think this team still has a lot of potential we can tap into.
How do you feel you’ll perform at live?
starboi: Good, very good.
BLG3RNT: I don’t go into anything with the intention other than winning, but worst-case scenario I think we’ll make semifinals.
I don’t go into anything with the intention other than winning, but worst-case scenario I think we’ll make semifinals.
Comparing your mindset from VG8 to Live Finals have you changed anything?
starboi: I think overall, we’ve been taking it more seriously, which doesn’t say much, but we’ve been putting in a lot more time to be honest.
starboi: I’m not even kidding bro, we’ve been having 2-3 scrim blocks a day, we used to have one a week
BLG3RNT: We’re putting in at least 1-2 hours more at least than what we did in the season.
Do you think there’s any underrated or overrated heroes?
starboi: Well if I thought there were any underrated heroes I probably wouldn’t want to say (laughs).
Truth: Langley (starboi) thinks Grace and Lyra are underrated.
starboi: I think Hide’s CP Kestrel is underrated.
Truth: I think Delphi Samuel is underrated.
starboi: If you’re talking overall not a player, but a hero, I think Lance is underrated.
BLG3RNT: I think there are some underrated heroes, it’s probably best not to reveal those.
You added two extra hours, how has that worked with your schedules?
BLG3RNT: Luckily our players haven’t started school so we have an advantage there.
starboi: It’s crippling my social life.
Truth: It’s crippling your depression.
People have been talking about the jungle meta becoming very dry, and people just go to lane. What should Vainglory do to change it?
All: Buff the front minion payout, bring back the minion miners, nerf the crystal sentries and we should be able to capture the gold mine.
starboi: The minion miners and buffs brought another level of depth and made it harder.
Truth: That’s what she said.
Delphi: The crystal sentry prohibits you from doing anything in jungle, they can change it back to the way it used to be.
starboi: Imagine what would happen to Arkaik if they took it away.
Truth: Put that in (x3). Lang has a man crush on Arkaik.
BLG3RNT: If they nerfed the sentry it would allow for more early game fights but it would open back up the snowballing so it depends on what you’re going for.
What are your thoughts on 5v5?
starboi: I feel good (laughter). It’s like such a large question. I think it can really bring more levels of gameplay.
BLG3RNT: If it becomes a clone of other 5v5 games it won’t be good, but if they take the time to make it different it can create some excitement.
What is your opinion on the EU meta?
starboi: EU meta is more boosted.
BLG3RNT: I find that with EU they tend to play a lot more passive. FNATIC has actually captured some of the NA aggression at times but they’re inconsistent with it. When they do it they do very good, but when they play passive, long games, they don’t do well.
Any EU teams you want to face in the finals?
Delphi: Isn’t QLASH the 5th seed?
BLG3RNT: Our path is set if we make it out of groups and face FNATIC.
starboi: G2 is the bottom and that’s a really underrated team right there.
Truth: I agree.
starboi: With what part?
How did everybody here join Nova?
Truth: I was forced into it by BigDog.
starboi: He’s not entirely lying.
Truth: I was like if Eddy(al) joins, I’ll join, and I didn’t think he’d join, but he did so I was kind of forced.
Delphi: At the end of spring season (I) was talking to Lang and (I) was like “I need a team for summer,” and he was like “you should join Nova” and I joined Nova.
All: Wow, great story!
starboi: I was looking for a team for a long time, but I didn’t want to just join a Challenger team because I didn’t want to be boosted in Challengers. So I was doing nothing as a sub for TSM, and I saw BigDog and Truth on a team with Maurice and was like, “Bro I should roam (I wasn’t even a roam at the time) so I can get on this team” So that’s what I did and we qualified for VG8 and we slapped everyone.
Delphi: He replaced Eddyal, his dreams were crushed.
What was the difficulty change like going from Challengers to VG8 teams?
starboi: Most Challengers teams were boosted, most VG8 teams are not. You can beat half the teams with just good mechanics. Truth would like 1v3 teams half the games in Challengers.
BLG3RNT: I think in the Challengers, mechanics is what wins, but when you get to VG8 the strategy of the game, like the macroplay but also the draft. So many teams I see lose because of draft.
Who handles the draft?
starboi: It’s a group effort but Darryl handles a lot of it.
BLG3RNT: Planning a good draft strategy is one thing but if you don’t have the players to use those heroes it’s nothing.
Planning a good draft strategy is one thing but if you don’t have the players to use those heroes it’s nothing.
A little less serious question here, who’s got the biggest hero pool?
starboi: Not Delphi, he plays only Samuel.
I think I’ve seen him play at least one other hero (laugh).
Delphi: They’re mean to me.
Are you guys always able to play all the heroes?
BLG3RNT: I have yet to coach a team that can’t play certain heroes.
starboi: Who has the smallest hero pool?
BLG3RNT: I would say Langley.
starboi: Wh-you’re supposed to flame Delphi!.
Delphi: Dude, Lang begs us to play Lyra every game.
BLG3RNT: When Lang can play off-meta heroes like roam Baptiste it really helps us with flex picks. Preparing for the championship I’ve just been putting them on random heroes and seeing what works.
How has your communication and synergy improved? A big thing everyone talks about is the pings in game.
starboi: We never play on voice, we tilt each other too much.
Delphi: We do leave voice sometimes because of tilt. In terms of synergy though, mine has improved but nothing has changed in terms of the whole team.
Truth: It’s either me or Delphi saying something really dumb like “WHAT?” and that’s how it all goes.
starboi: No. No. No. This is what happens. Truth will go to 1v3 and I’ll go try to save him. Then Delphi is like “Wow you threw and died Lang,” and that’s how it goes.
BLG3RNT: I think one of our weakest area is our communication and we need to work on that.
How are you working on that?
starboi: I do exercises to lower my heart rate… Hey that’s actually a good idea.
BLG3RNT: It has a long way to go.
What individual area do you each want to improve? Such as like, I don’t know, getting the same success rate with Crucible as Gabe?
starboi: My success rate is better.
Delphi: I want to get better at reflex block.
Truth: Honestly, I just don’t understand. People aren’t good at body blocking auto-attacks. Like starboi, he isn’t good at that. Like I’m good at body blocking attacks.
starboi: Truth, that’s not a good thing.
Truth: Delphi is cursed, I don’t know what to tell you (how). First off, crystal sentry. It always targets Delphi.
starboi: Go watch some videos, it happens.
Delphi: I was like trying to run away from the sentry and boop, scout trap, bye.
starboi: We revealed our biggest weakness.
How is Reza?
starboi: Truth, have you played him?
Truth: I have….
starboi: That means no. Watch out for the roam Reza we’ve been playing 😉
Looking at your matchup towards FNATIC, are you confident? And past that, who are you worried about?
starboi: Well after that is C9 right? C9 might lose to QLASH. Yeah if we play FNATIC I’m confident, but I’m nervous against QLASH.
Have any of you been to Live?
starboi: No, just Delphi with EchoFox. With MICSHE and CullTheMeek.
Do you think we’re going to see EU in the finals?
starboi: No. Well yes, QLASH.
If you guys don’t win Live Finals who will?
Have you guys met in real life before?
So, will that (meeting in real life) change your communication?
starboi: Maybe. It might be a good thing. Maybe we won’t flame each other as much. Truth, how do you think our communication is gonna change?
Truth: Well I don’t know, from what I heard, Delphi is really scary.
starboi: It’s either gonna go really good or really bad because we won’t be able to disconnect.
Delphi: I foresee Truth taking off his headphones.
After that, the interview basically ended with everybody chatting for about a minute and then leaving. The Nova interview was extremely fun and entertaining to partake in. Synergy and communication were topics we touched on and I really liked seeing the team joking around and teasing each other. We even took to having some fun with them as well. I felt that while sometimes teams have to be professional, they definitely got along with each other as friends and teammates. Truth was pretty much the silliest one out of the group, always cracking jokes and chiming in. Starboi and BLG3RNT answered most of the questions and really acted as the voices of the team. Delphi was definitely the quietest, but didn’t quite strike me as shy – he just didn’t say much.
The team was great to interact with and now that I’ve gotten to know them a bit personally, I’m rooting for them and you should too. Watch the Nova team compete and take on the top teams from NA and EU to try and reach the number 1 spot at the Vainglory Live Unified Championship on Twitch this weekend.
Want to know more about the Nova eSports? Check out their website to keep up with their teams in other games, learn about their members and even look at the store: novaesports.com.