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In interview with Matthew Taylor: playing Esports at the University of York.

Matthew’s a second year and competitive Esports player for Fragsoc’s League of Legends team. Here he talks to us about how he got started and what it’s like competing for the university.

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Image Credit: University of York Fragsoc

Having played League for a good nine to ten years, signing up in first year was a pretty straightforward task. But that’s the same for many new entrants. Matthew explains how Fragsoc is a very welcoming society that really encourages people to come and try new things. Whether it is in competitive Esports or at their LAN events. There are plenty of places to try out with multiple teams and in house tournaments.

However, competitive Esports seems to cause stress when it comes to Fragsoc. Players from first teams are always trying to improve so practice is non-stop. But having said that, the society is enthusiastic to encourage players who want to improve, no matter their skill level.

“I wouldn’t say that the society is innately competitive but there is always a place for competitiveness and people to push you to do better. For every game that we have teams for there is always a place to be competitive.”

A good example of this is the Valorant team. Matthew points out how the players who are already fantastic seem to constantly push each other to do better. The League team also pushes others to improve within the society. Matthew brought up their coaching sessions, in which new players can talk to those on the first team and discuss ways in which they can improve their plays.

Although some of the top teams seem pretty fixed, with Catch the jungler for the League team playing every tournament for the last three years. When it comes to most players Matthew points out how they will usually have open spaces on a team to fill with a new player. When it comes to playing with new people, rank doesn’t necessarily have everything to do with selection. Communication and synergy have a lot to do with good team composition.
“It’s nothing against the players but you just have to click, it's something you can feel in the first few weeks. So, whenever we get new players they’ll play with us and if they click they’ll end up staying with us for a while.”

The ease with which the League team can play together really stuck out when talking to Matthew. He highlighted the amount of time they practice together and how this directly impacts their ability to play off each other in a competitive format. The team has learned so much together that little needs to be said to get the job done.

“Our bot lane has no communication between them, not because they’re not talking but because they don’t need to.”

With all said and done Fragsoc seemed to provide Matthew with a great space to try out and improve his skills. His mindset being a big focus for him, despite not gaining ranks as fast as he once did, Matthew still saw his skills improve at York in different ways.

“I realised that it doesn’t matter what your rank is as long as you have a certain mentality. I feel like it is from this mentality that I have improved. It has given me a better perspective on how to see my improvement. I have got so much better at communicating and working with people.”

All in all, everything is looking good for next year. Despite being excited for what is to come there was a slightly strange atmosphere in the League team finishing this year. Many of the members who have been a part of the society for so long are graduating this year and so are leaving the team.

“I haven’t played with a different jungler than catch for years, I don’t know what I’m going to do!”

This meant that for Matthew Roses was a slightly sad tournament, as it was most likely the last time the team would play together. This is the case for players Ram and Catch, but it was still a great tournament to end on.

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