Benjamin “LOD” deMunck has been in the professional League of Legends scene for a deceptively long time. Counting both Challenge Series and LCS teams, LOD’s been with 14 organisations in the past four years, with the most memorable being Cloud 9 Tempest, Ember, and Team EnVyUs. Now on Team Dignitas, LOD’s ability to slot in to whatever roster he’s put on will prove invaluable to DIG as they get ready to start the Spring Split.
(This interview was originally posted on January 18th, 2017 on PVPLive)
You’ve been on a ton of teams over the course of your career, most recently EnVyUs and now Team Dignitas. Has that made transitioning into new orgs easier for you?
Yes. I think it’s really easy for me to mesh in with a new team these days. Because I’ve been on a ton of different Challenger teams, I’ve gotten used to working with different people and scrimming. I think that’s what has made easier for me to mesh into a new environment.
What are the differences between having Hakuho as a support and having Xpecial as a support?
I thought Hakuho was a much better support than the community gave him credit for. Playing for Xpecial is nice. He has a ton of experience playing at the top level. He’s gotten first before. Any player who has gotten first knows what it takes to win. They typically perform better under pressure. That being said, I think Hakuho and Xpecial are both really good players.
Is there a bot lane duo in scrims that is giving you and Xpecial particular difficulty?
Not really. I haven’t played against every bot lane yet, but I’m pretty disappointed with the bot lanes I’ve played against so far. A lot of them just seem really weak. Maybe it’ll be different once LCS starts but I don’t know.
Is there an opposing ADC or Support that you would consider your Demon?
Nah. I don’t think so.
What’s it like playing with Chaser and Ssumday?
It’s really nice playing with them. They always just know what to do. On a lot of past teams I’ve been on, individually players are just missing on conceptually what they need to do for their role. Chaser and Ssumday are just always doing what they’re supposed to. They feel super reliable and they’re really good.
They’re obviously super competitive but they are really chill to play with compared to some teammates I’ve had in the past. They don’t really flame or rage or anything. They just want to get better as a team. They’re really team focused.
Team Dignitas was acquired by the Philadelphia 76ers. Is there any differences to being a part of an organization that’s part of a traditional sports organization compared to the esport organizations you’ve been a part of?
It’s hard to say. I don’t, like, think about it all the time but in the grand scheme of things it makes a huge difference having the 76ers backing us. They’re able to provide resources for Dignitas that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to have.
And… it’s just cool. It’s really cool being under an NBA brand. I was a big Iverson fan. So, it’s super cool for me.
So, it seems to be the meme for Season 7 is “LUL ADC in 2017.” What is something you think Riot could do to fix the ADC role?
I don’t think they need to actually fix the role. I can actually carry so many games. I think they just need to nerf or fix some key things in other roles. A champion like LeBlanc is permanently banned and if she is on the enemy team my ability to carry is completely gone; she’s really oppressive. Syndra is pretty similar too.
I think Poppy is much better to play against since the nerfs. Then there are champions like Maokai. My problem is when a champion feels like there is no counterplay. And even though AD Carries are the meme, there isn’t a lot of counterplay for a lot of classes. A Maokai can solo carry a game. He does more damage than the carries and will outscale them by the end of the game.
A lot of people complain that the itemization is really bad and maybe that can be buffed slightly, because you do have a lot less AD than you used to. But I think it’s more about nerfing the more oppressive champions than it is about “fixing” the ADCs.
Is there a role you would consider swapping to if you had the chance?
100% mid lane. I used to play mid lane for six months in competitive and that was probably the most fun I ever had. I felt extremely comfortable in the role. Part of me feels I would have been really successful in the role if I hadn’t switch but I’m happy playing AD.
Who do you think are the best ADCs on 7.1 are?
Ziggs actually feel pretty strong in solo queue. It’s pretty funny, I don’t think it’s broken or anything. You don’t get punished for a lot of things in solo queue. A lot of things that can punish him are early in the lane. He’s pretty annoying from level six on. I’ve played him a little bit — he can carry super hard in solo queue.
Draven is a blast in solo queue if you’re really good at playing him. He is probably one of my favorite carries right now.
In competitive, I think it’s the same as it has been for the past year. Playing AD revolves around having some form of utility, so if a champion has that they’re pretty top tier, like Ashe and Varus. Kalista just got buffed, so she could be good. I’m not really too sure yet.
Is there anything you feel you miss out on because you’re a pro player?
Not really, actually. If anything, it frees me up to be doing what I actually want to be doing. I’ve experienced what it’s like living on my own: having to go grocery shopping, cook, like all the normal things. It’s fine. I’m not going to complain about something like that. In a gaming house everything is pretty much fully provided for you. I can just focus on the game. That’s genuinely what I love.
Before we started this interview, I was joking with you about how my Fantasy Draft was going. If you in a Fantasy Draft and you couldn’t pick yourself, who would be your first pick?
I did a Fantasy Draft the other day and all I did was first pick myself and then turn on the auto draft for the rest of it. I guess… Hmm.
I guess I would pick Ssumday first.