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IraqiZorro Pre-Worlds Interview

The Vainglory World Championship is just around the corner. Team Cerberus captain, IraqiZorro, was able to briefly chat with me about VG Worlds and the differences and similarities between EU and NA. He also shared details about his personal life before VG, the team itself, and his thoughts on competitive gaming. Don't miss our Lightning Round at the end of the interview.   

How do you feel to have made it to VG Worlds? 

It feels great. To be honest, I was really worried about not making it to Worlds because I have been playing competitively in VG for over a year now, being in every big competition that I could be in up until this point. So I was really worried that I would miss the most important event yet.

How do you prepare for a game? Do you or the team have a specific routine?

Personally, I don’t have a specific ritual I guess if you want to call it. The one thing that I have always done before every match is that I make sure everything is right with my equipment. Making sure that nothing that's within my control, goes wrong while I'm playing. As a team, right before a game, we always have a team talk - a motivational team talk. I think that’s the one thing we do. For practice or warm up, there are a couple of things that I do with eye exercises, such as massaging my eyes, looking at different distances. I also sometimes practice farming for about 15 min to get warmed up. Preparation ahead of practice is more consistent for us. Mostly it isn't convenient to have specific routines to do before actual matches, when it comes to time and space. 

Since you’ve played in both NA and EU, in your opinion how do the drafts, team mechanics, and meta differ in both regions? Are there any similarities?

I think in terms of mechanics it’s probably very similar. Both regions do have very talented players. One thing that I’ve noticed very specifically since the beginning of when I moved to Europe is that in EU, Roamers focus far more heavily on their activeable items. They are very good with them. In NA, Roamers play more of a carry role, they're more aggressive and are often looking to make plays that can win the game. They do this by landing roots and gauntlets. In the meta, you find a few picks that EU favors that NA doesn’t favor. You can’t pinpoint them because it keeps changing from patch to patch. For this patch, Adagio is favored as roam in EU and in NA you see a lot of Celeste carries.

You finished first in EU this season, what qualities do you think make up an exceptional team?

Mainly being committed enough to work through problems. I think most teams, especially in VG, after they face their first set of problems, they just quit too early. They separate. They go and find other teams and then they start all over. Being committed enough, being able to recognize your mistakes both individually and as a team, and most importantly being there for your teammates to help them actually improve through all of it, I think are definitely the traits that make an exceptional team. In Vainglory, more specifically in NA, you see all of these players that keep moving from a team to another every season. There isn't much consistency and that's why they are not finding success is my opinion.

Describe the team in 3 words? Trolly, fun, and serious

Do you have a favorite team memory?

There isn’t a specific team memory. There is something that we do that I like and I think it makes practice a lot more fun.  Sometimes when we’re playing, something really silly happens and it’s not even funny, but we start laughing hysterically about it.  All 3 of us, we just keep laughing for the entire game. It doesn’t happen often so it’s really fun to see when it does.

Do you think we’ll see that perhaps on the stage at Worlds?

Maybe, I doubt it because when we’re in tournaments we’re very different because we are very serious and trying to focus but who knows.

What was life like before Vainglory? What attracted you to VG?

3 months before I started playing VG I had moved to Canada. At the time I was trying to settle in. I was alone trying to settle in and studying and working at the same time. Trying to, you know, build my life up here. It was also during the winter so I was kinda on more the depressed side if I’m being honest. And then I found VG. I wanted a game to play, just something to spend my time on. Recently jumping off of LoL I was looking for another MOBA to play and I started to play VG more and more. I really liked it. There wasn’t something specific that drew me to it, until I found out that I was good at it, and that's when I just couldn't stop. After a while, not only playing the game but the community, the people that I met while I was playing it was really helpful for me.

Do you think VG has a really strong community?

It definitely has a stronger community compared to the rest of the games that I’ve been a part of. Definitely the most positive one.

How do you handle a tough or bad day?

I’m not sure actually. I don’t have a specific thing I do when I have a bad day. I just go through it and sleep it off. One thing I do is swim from time to time. I used to swim a lot more which would help me relax a lot. Get the stress off. I’ve been doing it less and less as I got into VG and competitive VG. But I still do it from time to time and it helps me relax and helps me get through the rough days.

If you were not a competitive VG player, how different would your life be from what it is today?

I would definitely be studying and working a regular job I think. I would think it would be a lot less happy and have a less happy of a life. I’m not sure exactly what I would be doing or what interests or hobbies or other things I would have gotten into. I do think though that it would be a much less happy life, less satisfying, less enjoyable.

Do you have any plans for after competitive gaming?

Not really. I generally do look that far, but since I’ve started doing competitive VG and esports. I haven’t looked far into my future. I’ve been trying to just enjoy what I’m doing and living in the moment. This really is kind of a dream for me. I’ve always wanted to be a professional gamer and now I’m getting to do it. So it’s like living the life and I'm just enjoying it for now.

Is there anything that you don’t like about competitive gaming?

I think yeah, there is. When you start playing competitively, and when you stop trying to only focus on one game to be the best you can at it and you have to spend all your time on it, it starts becoming much less about playing the game and much more working. As time goes on, you start enjoying the game less and less. And as time goes on you start having less and less time to play video games. So I think that is the main dislike about competitive gaming and professional gaming. Other than that everything is an upside for me. 

If you could be a VG character for a week – who would you be and why?

I think I would want to be Lance. He is from Archeleon, the floating city. From the lore, it sounded very mesmerizing. I would want to be him for a week just to visit that place.

Lighting Round - a series of this or that questions and you answer which you'd prefer and ask quickly as possible.

  • Mountains or Ocean - Ocean
  • iPhone or Android - iPhone
  • coffee or tea – neither, I don’t drink either
  • Boxers or Briefs - Boxers
  • Books or kindles – I don’t do either too much but books
  • Cruise or Plane – Depends, for a vacation cruise and for travel plane
  • City life or Country - City life
  • Art or music festivals - Music Festivals
  • Sunshine or Storms - definitely sunshine

Follow Iraqi on his Twitter and subscribe to his Mobcrush Channel. We'll be bringing more GankStars interviews in the next couple of weeks and if you'd like to know more about our pro players send me your questions to media@gankstars.gg. 

-SaffireSky

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