A young actor on the French and international League of Legends scene, Nathou talks us in this article about his career, his ambitions and his vision of the game itself …
K: Hello Nathou, to start, could you introduce and walk us through your experience in esports?
N: I am Nathou , currently 21 years old and I live in Grenoble. I started as a League of Legends player for almost 6 years, followed by a few national and international LANs. The first step was to coach Zombie Unicorns, which was one of the best women’s teams at that time. As a result of this experience, I fell in love with coaching. Then, I was able to note a significant difference between France and other countries such as Sweden, Poland in regard to the League of Legends players’ approach and female esports in general.
K: What was your initial contact with esport in general ? A chance or maybe a vocation?
N: As for many of us within the gaming I suppose, it was really a pure chance to encounter the world of gaming. So I quickly got a proposal to be able to coach a women’s team as mentioned above. As a result, my interest in coaching has been confirmed through this experience.
K: You’re talking about differences between France and other countries. Do you have any details on the subject, any examples that have stayed in mind ?
N: The first notable difference is the linguistic level of our different actors involved in gaming in general. Being bilingual, immediately broadened opportunities, it is a significant asset to be able to speak fluently one or even two other foreign languages. We quickly realize that it’s an asset and will remain so in the future. Limiting ourselves to French projects is less rewarding than developing around the world. France is still late in the esport sphere. It is the only difference between French and international coaches, it prevents them from creating contacts, networks, from being able to carry out their duties elsewhere. . . and that is a pity.
K: What do you think the best French LAN is, to recommend and / or advise to visit ?
N: Following my many coaching sessions, I took a break before going to Lyon Esport as a spectator to see friends of an esport team at the last edition, after that I wanted to go back there since that day no longer just as a simple visitor but more as a real actor as for my next LAN.
K: You have been a player before you became a coach. Which position do you prefer between being a FA player or even for a structure or being a Coach ? For what reason(s)?
N: You’re not born as a coach, you become one. You have to discover yourself to achieve this. So I played League of Legends for a long time before I started, I discovered in myself certain qualities such as patience, surpassing myself, going out of my comfort zone, learning to listen, advising. . . these are prerequisites for everything to go well between the players. And that was our case, it worked very well for us. I am just starting out in coaching, but the commitment and investment you provide will ultimately bring you a lot in the long run. As in any other project in life actually. You just need to know what you are or are not capable of on a personal level.
K: What would be the first advice you could give to aplayer wishing to discover League of Legends?
N: Answering this question is quite complicated, especially in 2019. League of Legends is nowadays one of the most complex games ever. It has evolved since Beta, since season 1, except we are already in season 9. . . It’s such a complete game, there are so many champions, spells. . . etc. It seems almost improbable to know nothing about the game and to just start it like that. Nowadays, League of Legends players have almost all started in middle school; high school, the champions were not as numerous, so much developed, there were far fewer players, the game was much more readable. It remains the most played game on PC, the most followed and popular esport game on Twitch. . . .
If I really had to give one advice, it would just be to dig yourself into the universe. As basic as it is. Watch streamers’ tutorials. What does League of Legends represent? It’s not a harmless game. A game followed by millions that generates a lot of revenue. Not only for the market but also for the brands, by the goodies. . . .etc . All of this creates the League of Legends universe. We all already have attended a convention where LOL’s cosplays paraded. Even without knowing we’ve all been confronted to this game at least once in our life !
K: We recently saw the birth of the TFT mode on LOL, and do you think that the game attracts new players or on the contrary encourages them to play less?
N: TeamFight Tactics, this new game mode from the League of Legends universe has shared the community, in the sense that it is not at all the same game as LoL. It uses the skills of League of Legends, its champions, but it has nothing to do with it.
A certain RNG is also present in this new mode, while it is not on League of Legends. So yes it’s a game that has attracted new players to create LoL accounts, many outside players such as Hearthstone or World of Warcraft players have created an account because you have a bit the same game mechanics as with card games, or games that have a different thinking, but TFT has not brought players to first play TFT and then switch to League of Legends. Players are well aware of the specificity of both games, some like it, others like it less, and so the most tenacious and the real competitors have made TFT their game of choice.
K: In your experience and perspective, is League of Legends characterized more as a Free to Play or Pay to Win game?
N: League of Legends is basically a free game. The answer to this question has, I think, evolved over time. You can have an account and do nothing about it. You have to start with the creation at the level 1, increase it to level 30. . . And all this takes time and motivation. Each game has its own marketing strategy. For example, on League of Legends ( and on other games from now on) you have the possibility to offer skins or gifts on the account of your family, friends etc. . . . So obviously the game is a Free To Play. Everyone just decides what investment they want to have in order to fund their account.
K: What are your personal ambitions in relation to the current esport if you have any ?
N: I am currently looking for a coaching activity, I am not closing any doors. I am looking for both French and international. In order to continue to provide the best advice on the game, keep a certain level of play stable and sustainable and, above all , be up to date with what is happening on the scene.
K: To conclude, I like to ask this question: what are you playing at the moment when you have some free time for you ?
N: My main game is, as you will have understood League of Legends. But the game that could make me put LoL aside is Overwatch. I easily play a few games when I feel bored 🙂