Counter Logic Gaming signed mid laner Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage during the Fall 2018 offseason, replacing longtime stalwart Choi "huhi" Jae-hyun. The change was painted as bringing together two sides with a need: CLG hasn’t won a title since spring 2016, and PoE was often the single star on a lackluster OpTic Gaming squad.
Their first split together, however, didn’t yield immediate results. CLG finished with a 7-11 record, missing the playoffs entirely. We caught up with PoE at the end of the Spring Split to discuss how he first began playing League of Legends and the differences he sees between CLG and his past squads in North America and Europe.
Interview performed by Darian Ngo; article written by Brian Chang
PowerOfEvil: I played Warcraft 3 with my big brother a lot, so it was custom maps, [Defense of the Ancients] at the time on Battlenet. I was actually pretty bad. I was playing support, and since there was no matchmaking you could get against pros, and I was just getting smashed. I was kind of getting frustrated, like “Wow, I’m so bad at this,” but I still really enjoyed the game itself. Then at one point my big brother was like, “Hey, there’s this new game, League of Legends, it’s kind of like Dota. So you want to try it out?” I was like, “Yeah, let’s go for it.”
It was a lot of fun, since I had a head start since I played Dota before. I played at the start of Season 2 or when Season 1 ended, so there were like a lot of new players, actual new players, not smurfs. It was like I had a little head start, and I had a lot of fun playing the game and just improving daily. Back then there were not like 120 champions plus, there was only like 60. It’s way faster or way easier to learn the champions because you don’t face them all, and that’s pretty much how I started playing League.
My first main was... I would say at the start it was Swain, the old one, where you could perma-change between the raven and the normal form, that was really cool. But quickly afterwards, I became an Orianna main, and since then I’ve been playing Orianna throughout my career.
I played the warlock game, where everyone is a warlock and has different spells to push someone off the ground into a fire, I don’t know what it was called. I played World of Warcraft arena in Warcraft 3, that’s really fun too. Everyone has a character and their job is to get each other out. I liked Hungry Hungry Felhounds, it’s like Kamehameha. It’s like everyone has a ball, and you chase the ball around, you throw it to another player, and the dog is just chasing you around. There’s like so many million custom games and I played a lot of them.
Right now I mainly play League. I just started playing some Age of Empires actually, like the second one on Steam, just with some friends, but besides that pretty much only League and maybe like a queue game, like something in my queue times, so like Dead Souls is my queue game.
In CLG we are practicing a lot, way more that I’m used to, way more than I had in my past. Wake up around nine, at 10 we have a meeting every morning so 10 to 11 we have the meeting. At 11 the scrim starts, 11 to one I think should be the schedule but normally scrims are always delayed or the games take longer than they should, so normally you stop at like two. Then one hour break, you have like lunch break. After lunch break its around [three], [3:30], so you start scrims again for another three hours.
Match notifications, latest esports news, and more. Get the Upcomer app now.
Since they’re delayed again you stop at like [six, seven]. Another one hour break and then we have third block, so that’s another two hours or one and a half hours, so normally I would say like I’m awake at nine, in the facility at 10, and then pretty much just playing League until 10, just practice with the team, and then afterwards I play solo queue too, so until 11 or 12 I’m in the office and then I Uber home.
Yeah I duo with a lot of people. I think [Vincent “Biofrost” Wang] is the easiest in solo queue. We both never get tilted and we’re just trolling around, having fun. If someone runs it down no one’s upset about it, so it’s just fun.
I think I’m happy with most of my teammates. I just feel like he’s the easiest for solo queue to duo queue, and as well I think support and mid lane is really strong, because he can get me vision and I’ll ask him, “Hey, can you roam mid? We can kill him.” And he’s playing Thresh or something, so he just Flash-Flays and it’s a kill. You normally can’t do that if I duo with top lane or AD Carry. It’s kind of like an island, so you don’t really do much.
We did some team bonding activities but I would say we are not as a team spending that much time together since everyone has their own apartments. I would say the most I’m spending [time] with is [Raymond "Wiggily" Griffin] and Heo “Irean” Yeong-cheol, our strategic coach, since we are living in the same apartment, so we are spending the most [time together] in our free time.
In OpTic, there was always two players in one apartment, so that was a little bit different. I wasn’t with a coach in an apartment, so that’s one difference. We didn’t have any morning meetings normally, so we would start scrims on time but not have an hour meeting before. We didn’t have as many triple blocks too, so a little less practice, but I think that’s pretty much it. There’s not much change between OpTic and CLG in a sense, but obviously in EU when I was playing with the other teams there was a gaming house environment so it’s really different.
When I left, scrims started at [three] until [six] and [seven] until [eight] too. That means people woke up at [two], [2:30], sometimes even five minutes before scrims start. They’re in pajamas, get some cereal, bring it in front of the PC, and just eat while waiting for the game to start. Because it’s a gaming house too, that’s different from the office routine where it’s like, you take a shower, eat breakfast at home, and then you go to your work. That’s way earlier, like it’s 10 instead of [two] or [2:55] or something. So that’s a big difference.
I like that you have normally more free time at night. I prefer that over free time in the morning since in the morning you can’t really do all that much except maybe get a really nice breakfast with someone or something. I feel like at night you can do small stuff with friends as well because, normally, at night people have more free time than in the morning.
The burgers are nice, the burgers are really good. I really enjoy Asian food here. I didn’t eat much ramen or Korean barbeque, but here it’s really good. I feel like it’s really nice, I enjoy it a lot. I actually really enjoy the pizza more in EU than here, and I miss obviously some German food. I feel like you guys don’t have much German food but I actually enjoy the food a lot here. I don’t really miss any food. You guys have everything I feel like.