William “Stunt” Chen, the support formerly known as Stuntopolis, has spent several years in the North American Challenger scene working to prove his worth. There was a long succession of almost making it into the NACS and just nearly falling short until 2016. He qualified with Astral Authority but despite the excitement of qualifying did not remain with the team and instead signed with Ember.
In Ember, Stunt was able to grow and begin to show the making of a truly up and coming young talent. Ember placed second in the regular season of the NACS but failed to qualify for the promotion tournament in a rather devastating loss. The pieces didn’t stop falling then. Shortly after, Ember lost its investors and the team was dismantled.
Recently, it has been announced that Stunt will be playing for Team Liquid Academy. With the influence Team Liquid’s strong and well established infrastructure, there’s plenty of promise for Stunt and his teammates on TLA.
What originally got you into League of Legends?
So, pretty much before League of Legends, I played Smash Brawl and Pokemon, and I was really good at them. I got 2nd place at an international Brawl tournament and I got rank 1 on the Pokemon ladder; it didn’t really amount to anything since there wasn't really a big scene.
So I decided that I wanted to get good at a game that actually mattered -- I just searched up which game was the most popular and started playing it.
Your motivation was more out of wanting to play professionally from the start then?
I guess I didn't really play with the thought that I would try to play the game professionally. I just played the game so much that I eventually got good at it. At the same time, I kept watching the competitive scene grow and I thought it would be cool to try playing professionally myself.
Since making that decision and transitioning into the competitive scene, what has been your biggest challenge? Have you overcome it or are you still struggling with it?
One of my biggest challenges is continuing to improve and this is something that I am still struggling with. At some point I feel like I hit a plateau. I really need proper guidance to keep getting better.
I wanted to say that the biggest struggle for me is playing from behind. Playing from behind in League is like a complex, almost unsolvable problem. It's not like math where you can just plug in a formula and get an answer. You constantly have to take all the information into account and decide on moves that would give your team the highest chance of winning.
Do you feel like you’re getting into an environment that will help you with that?
I hope so. One of the main reasons I joined TLA (Team Liquid Academy) is because I respect Locodoco as a coach and hope I can learn a lot from him.
There’s certainly been a lot of upheaval this year with Ember and such that brought you to joining TLA. Was that situation discouraging for you? How did you deal with it and keep motivated to move forward?
The upheaval with Ember was mostly just a misunderstanding between the investor and management. But in general, the competitive scene is very cutthroat and you can expect to be dropped if you underperform. I really dislike ending on a losing note, so I'm motivated to keep going until I win.
When it comes to both your play and who you are as a person, what do you feel is the best or most beneficial thing that you bring to your team?
I think the most beneficial thing is being able to forgive. Mistakes happen and it's better to use them to facilitate learning rather than use it as a tool for blame.
In your competitive career thus far, do you have a moment that sticks out to you as the highlight?
Qualifying for NACS last split was definitely a highlight for me. Our series vs Top Dog Gaming went to game 5 and I made the game winning play. I remember my entire arm was feeling numb throughout the series because I was so nervous. When we won, I remember jumping up and down by myself in my dorm room and then just sitting down for 20 minutes feeling satisfied that I had finally made it to the next step.
What are your favorite and least favorite champions? Why?
I don't really have a specific answer for you, but I can tell you that I enjoy playing champions that are not meta just for the unpredictability factor.
What do you think of Season 6 so far? How do you think the mid season changes will affect the competitive scene?
The mid season changes will have a noticeable impact on the competitive scene. Specifically, the QSS changes make certain champions like Trundle and Zed a lot stronger. On top of that, we will be seeing a return of mages with the champion and item reworks. A lot of early-mid game teamfights will be fought around neutral objectives like the elemental dragons and Rift Herald. The tower changes seem to be negligible.
Are there any changes in the game or community that you would most like to see?
Voice comms would probably reduce in-game toxicity and make it easier to play against dynamic queues.
Who has influenced you and helped you grow the most as a player?
The supports that influenced me the most, though it might sound pretty stereotypical, are Mata and Aphromoo.
Support is naturally going to have the lowest impact in the game since they aren't given any resources. I feel like a good support is an enabler for other teammates to do well. This includes communication/shotcalling, controlling vision, and picking the right engages, all of which I think Mata and Aphro excel at.
How do you feel people see you as a player and how does that contrast or coincide with how you see yourself?
I'm actually not sure how I'm perceived of as a player, but I definitely know that I have lots of room for improvement and could be a top support.
Do you have any funny or embarrassing stories you can tell about yourself or your teammates?
Well, not really League related, but I just went to a party 1-day early yesterday and it was pretty embarrassing.
What are your hopes for the future?
I want to work hard together with TLA and hopefully qualify for LCS this split, and I hope to gain recognition for my talent.
Finally, any messages for your fans, new and old?
To my fans: I just want to say you guys are awesome, and feel free to drop by my stream at anytime to interact with me or just to say “hi”.
Images courtesy of TL / Stunt.