Christian "IWillDominate" Rivera will be joining the Team Curse gaming house in Las Vegas next week to train with the team. While Team Curse has been enjoying success in the LCS, Dominate has helped Curse Academy prove they are one of the best teams in the amateur circuit, and will look to continue improving along with the rest of the members of Curse moving forward.
Avid League of Legends fans will remember IWillDominate as Team Dignitas' former jungle before he was suspended from the LCS for 1 year in December 2012 due to repeated bad behavior in-game. Since then, he has turned over a new leaf and fans of his stream can attest to his now positive behavior both in and out of game. I was able to speak with Dominate about his transition to the Team Curse house, his status with Riot, and his potential role on Team Curse in the future.
How did you feel about the events that transpired that prevented you from playing in LCS?
IWillDominate: There were a series of events that transpired leading up to my restriction [from the] LCS, and for me personally it took Riot's interjection for me to realize that I could be a positive influence - not just in league but just with everything. When my mindset shifted - I started to enjoy the game more, this time not at anyone's expense.
I started building relationships with other players and took welcome to upholding to a standard of behavior that I would expect and want from other people. For those of you who have tuned into my stream in the last few months and have flooded my chat with positive feedback and recognition about my 180 - that feels great.
You mentioned you're a different person today, can you tell me more about that?
IWillDominate: Well there are a bunch of things, but generally speaking I feel more tolerant to almost any situations that occurs in solo queue. I don't let other players behavior dictate my behavior - focus on controlling what I can control and not worrying about things I can't control. I just focus on my game, what I need to do to win.
Sometimes it works out - sometimes it doesn't. In all - I just feel like a more positive person, one of those things where you give out positive energy and it's something you get back - and guess what? It works.
Have you spoken with Riot recently about your suspension situation? Is it a full calendar year or will you be able to compete after the Spring LCS is over?
IWillDominate: Riot has been gracious enough to answer my questions and outline a process for earning my eligibility back into the LCS. For them, they could have come out and told me I was banned for life, but they didn't - I'm lucky to have another shot to show a difference.
There aren't any steadfast rules or dates - for now I'm just going to focus on being the best I can be and try to be a positive role model for other players and hopefully good things will follow.
How do you feel about moving into the Curse house?
IWillDominate: I'm extremely excited about moving into the Curse house. I've spent a lot of time with all the members of Team Curse over the last year and expect to enjoy living with them.
I'm committed to focusing my time and energy on improving my game play - there's no better way to do that then put myself in an environment where I'll be able to soak in strategy, scrim as much as possible. I want to be able to implement what the main Curse team has been able to do and weave it into the gameplay for Curse Academy.
What types of things are you going to be doing in the house?
IWillDominate: Whatever it takes to win - that's always going to be the number one goal. I've got to put any other clutter aside. But there are a lot of things that will help me get my team there. I'll be scrimming, help scouting and doing research for both teams.
As part of the Curse family, I'll also be assisting with the LoL Pro website - mostly writing and updating jungle guides on the site. I'll also be able to stream and work on improving my relationship and awareness in the League of Legends community.
Does this mean that you'll be a second sub on the main team once your ban is lifted?
IWillDominate: I'm going to focus all my energy being the best player I can be - if that means that at some point in the future I earn a spot on the main roster - because it's what everyone feels is best for the success of the team - so be it.
The decision will be up to Steve, but I have to take it one step at a time, right now my goal is to improve as a player and put myself in an environment where I can do that. In the longer term, my goal would be to be back in the LCS Pro Scene and play in LCS - making the move into the house seems like a natural progression towards that.
You now play for Curse Academy, how has the transition been and how are the matches going for the team?
IWillDominate: Team Curse Academy has been going very well. So far we have played in three online tournaments. We made it to the finals of all of them, and won two. We have not yet played as a team at a LAN, however many of us have been at lans before, just not as a team.
With that being said, I think as a team we have the experience and drive to be the best non LCS team in North America. There are still quite a few non-LCS tournaments and I am planning on our team taking home all the wins.
You'll get that chance next week at MLG Dallas. How do you feel going into the tournament? Who do you think is your biggest competition there?
IWillDominate: We've been scrimming, playing almost every day, multiple hours a day - and we've been winning fairly consistently. We were the first team to quality for IPL (even though it was cancelled). I feel really strong going into MLG Dallas. Our strongest competition will probably be Dirt Nap Gaming, but I'm confident in my teams abilities and believe we have the potential to win the tournament.
What do you think about the Amateur Circuit as a whole right now? How have the tournaments been and where do you feel like the overall level of competition is?
IWillDominate: I think that amateur circuit is a good training ground for aspiring LCS teams. The tournaments have been relatively close and I have a pretty good feeling that many of these teams are going to give the Regulation teams in LCS some pretty tough matches.
As you know, at some point in the Season, the bottom teams will have to face some of the Amateur teams to stay in LCS, if they don't win - then the new teams move into the Pro Circut.
How often do Curse Academy and Team Curse scrim? Do you guys regularly bounce ideas off each other?
IWillDominate: Curse Academy and Team Curse scrim a couple of times a week. We wish it could be more often, however the conflicting schedules of the amateur circuit and the LCS make it difficult.
What has been your impression of the NA LCS? The 2v1 lanes, taking a tower as fast as possible, and trying to dive 3 on 1 has become the norm. Is there any way to counter that effectively right now, or should Riot look at tweaking towers or something else?
IWillDominate: There is definitely counter-play to the 2v1 turret pushing meta. In my opinion it just speeds up the pace of the game. Junglers now have to make the decision whether or not to hold the tower with their solo laner, or to try and secure a map objective like dragon, a buff, a kill, or [to push] another tower.
How do you feel about the current state of the game since Season 3 has settled in? Do you think the game is in a better place than at the end of Season 2?
IWillDominate: I think it's too early to tell whether the game is in a better spot now than in Season 2. Riot is still working out the kinks with new items and champions in season 3, so judgement of the games status must be reserved until later down the line.
As items are being balanced (Blade of the Ruined King OP) we should eventually see much more diversity in builds in season 3 than builds in season 2. Overall having more options is a good thing for the game because it allows for more counter-play with itemization.
IWillDominate will move into the Curse house on March 11, and will play in MLG Dallas starting on March 15 with Curse Academy for a spot in the May promotion tournament to the LCS. He will also be playing in a show match for SXSW this weekend in Austin, TX with one of his teammates - Pobelter. Check out his stream channel and follow him on twitter.
Let us know what you thought of the move by Curse, the interview with IWillDominate, and Curse Academy's shot at winning MLG Dallas in the comment section below! Stay tuned to Reign of Gaming for more news, updates, and all your other LoL-related needs.
*First image from ESFI World's Carlton Beener
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