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"The game starts at ChampionSelect!" - Featuring YoungBuck

Introduction 

Tell us a little about yourself? Who is YoungBuck?
I am Joey ''YoungBuck'' Steltenpool, 20 year old professional gamer from the Netherlands.

With your recent departure from SK-Gaming, what are your plans for the future? Will we see you active in any of the remaining events of this season?
I want to stay a professional gamer however I don't expect to play at a major lan event in the nearby future. For now I am keeping my options open, but I'm hope to play for a great team soon.

How much time, dedication and effort does it take to be a professional League of Legends player? What does your daily life look like when it comes to preparing, training and trying to improve on a professional level?
If you want to compete at the highest level then you have to approach it as a full time job. It's not just about playing a lot, but it's also analyzing opponents, their picks/playstyle that matters a lot at pro level. When I was preparing for Poland I played 14 hours a day, mostly trying to improve on certain champions and duoqueuing with the jungler to get better synergy and understanding between eachother.

How would you describe the mentality needed to be successful? What separates good players from the pros?
Many players have different mentalities but in general being open to tips from others and being able to learn from mistakes is important. I think that what seperates me from others is the drive to be the best player in the world, not settling for second.

 

Counterpicking

Why did you choose to become an Top laner?
Early in season 2 I started to fall in love with Renekton and I ended up playing him every chance I got. Eventually I got an offer to join a team and started to play more toplaners. What I enjoy so much about toplane is the constant battling between 2 champions, it brings more action and excitement than any other lane.

What is your view on the term “counterpicking” and “being countered”, does it matter at high levels of play? How do you effectively use it?
Counterpicking is extremely important for toplane as it is the lane in which snowballing often results in a win for the team. You'll often see the purple team reserving their lastpick to counterpick the toplane. If you're blue side there are a few things you can do knowing you will be counterpicked. One option is to choose a champion that is fairly safe like Irelia and Yorick. There are also a few champions that do what they have to do even when they lose their lane hard, such as Shen,Malphite,Vladimir and Kennen making those good picks for the blue team.

What do you think is most important when it comes to countering your enemies and why? (picks, wards, position, teamplay, knowledge, experience etc)
It all starts in champion select. Every team is different in the sense that you need to ban different heroes against them.
Some teams have certain tendencies on level 1 wards and warding in general that you can counter and some teams are strong in laning, others in teamfighting so that also influences picks and strategy.

 

Your champions


Your top 3 favorite champions with little description why?
Renekton because I love giving enemies a false sense of security when my ultimate is up, love his overall kit making him a strong laner and teamfighter.
Vladimir because he promotes agressive gameplay. He really suits my style of constantly putting pressure on the enemy and he is also a champion that is strong throughout the game.
Shen because he is a very safe and strong laner who threatens other lanes to play safe because of his ultimate. He is also a very good firstpick because he can be put in the jungle in the rare case that you get a matchup that shen can't handle.


Which Junglers do you think goes best with your three favorite champions with little description why? How important is jungler synergy?
Renekton and Vladimir benefit a lot from early advantages so a jungler with strong ganks like Maokai,Udyr and Nocturne synergise well with them. Shen is a toplaner who is more a tank than a damage dealer so you often want a jungler who deals damage to compensate for Shen's lack of damage. Champions like Jax and Shyvana are therefor good junglers to have alongside Shen.

Which champions do you struggle to play against in toplane with little description why? How do you normally deal with difficult matchups?
Irelia and Kayle often give me trouble because they are very hard to counterpick and can both snowball hard from a slight advantage. Both champions have very high damage combined with a defensive mechanism or high sustain.

Do you ever counter with rune pages or masteries? If so, in what way do you change your runes and masteries depending on a certain scenario?
I have a few runepages per role: Bruiser,Tank,Mage. Most runepages are fairly similar and have slightly different stats. My main decision is wether I run flat magic resist or magic resist per level. When I'm facing a bruiser on top that has a mixture of magic and physical damage combined with a jungler that has magic damage in any form I will go for the flats otherwise I benefit more from Flat magic resist. I also like to use Movementspeed quints on champions that are more vulnerable to ganks than other bruisers or benefit from movementspeed in general such as Irelia and Darius.

 

Closing

Do you have any tips for players who wants to become more stable in their play, and become better at the game?
As a toplaner you will often be confronted with Mages and AD carries in teamfights when you are on the frontline. Try to learn and understand what they are going to do and adjust your positioning and timing accordingly,

Do you have any shout out to your facebook, sponsors, stream, fans?
I want to thank all my fans for their support even when things arent going that great. In case you'd like to follow me and see what the future brings for me then give me a like on www.facebook.com/youngbuck.lol. If you have never seen my stream before then feel free to check it out, I try to explain a lot of things and answer loads of questions by fans throughout the day.

 

Tags: interview, youngbuck, toplane
Posted by Ajey on July 23, 2012
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