Even though this interview was meant as a personal introduction towards the Korean community, Diamond provides an in-depth perspective on him becoming a pro gamer, his earlier days in League of Legends, some thoughts about our team and the Korean League of Legends scene.
- Greetings, DiamondProx. Of course, you are already really famous and popular in Korea, but can you introduce yourself to Korean fans?
- Hello. I am Gambit Gaming's jungler, Diamondprox, and I really like your country :) Especially, your eSports scene. I have been a fan of it since GSL has emerged.
- How did you become a pro gamer, and how did you join your team?
- I have been striving to be the best in everything I do for my entire life. As soon as I came across computer games, right before I turned seven years old, they became a major part of my life, and consequently I have been striving to be the best in this aspect as well. Even though I initially didn't aim to become a pro player, because I used to believe that they are extremely talented and overzealous when it comes to practicing. As for myself, I thought that there is a huge gap between me and them. Bloodline Champions was the game that made me doubt that I do not deserve to be one of them. When the game was at its peak of popularity, in my own ranking it was very high in terms of skill level requirements for players. It was not uncommon for me to outplay people in solo ranked, who used to compete and win in the premier tournaments in Bloodline Champions. It made me shatter all the doubts regarding my capabilities and made me realize that I can become a professional player, but it later turned out that my main problem was me being shy, and therefore being unable to try out players while searching for a decent team. Thus I was primarily attracted by solo games like StarCraft or just solo ranked in any other game. Consequently, it was my team that recruited me and not the other way around.
- When did you start playing LoL?
- I started playing in the end of 2010, if I am not mistaken, together with friends, but at that time I primarily gained satisfaction from the social aspect of playing together with friends instead of the game itself, and therefore I used to abandon it for a couple of months in favour of playing other games, but I always returned to play more. Afterwards there was a turning point for me, when after a couple of patches the game was drastically improved to my liking - these patches fixed a couple of irritating bugs and champions. At that point I decided to approach it more seriously and fell in love with Lee Sin and Udyr. By the way, I used to treat solo ranked games very seriously. Prior to playing a new champion or using a new build in ranked, I would practice it extensively in normals until I felt completely confident with it. That's the reason I didn't play ranked games that often, but had a very decent win rate. Having played only around 60 games in solo ranked I managed to reach around 1800 Elo, when Edward, with whom I used to play from time to time, invited me to play with my current teammates. You know how did all turn out :)
- How did you come up with your current nickname "DiamondProx"?
- "Деамонда" - Russian transliteration of "Diamond" changed to feminine :) I used to go under this nickname when I was playing female characters in different MMOs and other games even before LoL came out. Why? Hmm... At one point I had to come up with a nickname for a female character. I couldn't come up with anything, but one of my thoughts was the following: "My first and only internet provider at that point was called "Diamond Network". I had a lot of strings attached to its community and I even used to work for it. Maybe I should borrow something from it? Hmm... Diamond... I like this mineral, the way it looks and its extreme hardiness. The word itself sounds and looks cool. Decided! :)"
As for the suffix "prox", when I was making an account to play LoL, nickname "Diamond" was already occupied, therefore I had to add something. I used to play WoW a lot and it was very common among the Russian community to add suffixes like "pro" and "x" to the nicknames you wanted, but were occupied. I cannot say that I really liked it, but it seemed funny, because every player from Russian WoW community could immediately identify me. In order to really highlight it, I decided to combine both suffixes :)
P.S. If anyone is curious, "Neiko" was the nickname I used for male characters, but I didn't borrow it from Anime! Therefore coming up with a nickname for League of Legends was more or less a coin toss for me.
- What was your first champion and why did you decide to play in the jungle?
- My very first champion alongside Ashe was Master Yi, whom I was playing since the introduction of runes, which made it possible to farm the jungle. I became a full-fledged jungler, when I joined my team, and before that I usually played Irelia and Renekton in the top, as well as Udyr and Lee Sin in the jungle, with a tiny bit of Ashe as an AD Carry added to the mix.
- Many Korean fans love Gambit Gaming, but don't know much about your team. Could you tell us something about your team and teammates?
- As for the team, our relationships are primarily professional instead of being friendly, and I believe it is for the best. We came to our senses after beginning to fall apart, when Edward left our team and Alex wanted to do the same, and thus proved to ourselves at IEM Cologne that we are still capable of something. Right now we are focused on one common goal - winning Season Four World Championship no matter what.
As for the players, it's not possible to maintain friendly relationships with everyone, but we can always find a common ground with Darien and Genja, even though we like to tease each other. Sometimes, we even undertake certain things together :)
I think it is also worth to mention our organization that plays an important role in everything that relates to us. Gambit supports us in everything you could wish for, and its staff... It is virtually impossible to find a better manager than groove, thanks to whom we have only one thing to care about - the game. Even when it comes to the game, he can motivate us and give us a piece of advice. Our production team consisting of Arthur and Michael delivers even to players, who are featured in their content <3
- Gambit Gaming is famous for 'Creating New Meta'. Your team is pioneer of LoL Metas. How do you guys find good meta and champions? Any secrets?
- We come up something new while brainstorming about what interesting stuff we can pull out in the current meta game. We extract these ideas from solo- or team ranked. Some of the ideas relate to the saying "New is well forgotten old".
- Do you watch Korean Leagues like OGN, Club Master and others? If you do, what do you think about these circuits?
- I am following the Korean scene from time to time, whereas if I am to convince Darien to play an OP champion, I have to make examples of these champions being successfully used in Korean leagues. Obviously, I am not watching every single game, but I enjoy watching the ones that happen while I am free. Occasionally, I am reviewing the results of Korean leagues at Leaguepedia, and if I see an interesting composition, draft or a weaker team overcoming a stronger one - I am rewatching that game.
- Who do you think is your number one rival in the entire world? Why do you think so?
- I think it has to be Bengi. For a long time now he has been one of the few players whose performance is a pleasure to witness, and it is beneficial to follow him in terms of playing as a jungler. I would love to face him when both our teams and ourselves are at the peak of our shapes. Not only does he have a solid mechanical skill, but he also has an understanding of what he should pick in certain circumstances, as well as the game overall.
- Is there anything else you would like to say to your Korean fans to wrap this interview up?
- Thank you for cheering for us. It is pleasant to know that we have fans even in the most developed eSports-wise part of the world. Even though I love my homeland, I am dreaming of moving to the other side of Ural Mountains and becoming a part of Asia in order to compete in the strongest LoL league in the world - OGN. My wife would be extremely happy if it happens, since she loves your country. As of now, when this is just a dream, I realize that this season's world championship is going to happen in the capital of this marvelous country, therefore I will do my best to get there. I hope that I will be able to meet you there in the end of this year. See you!