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An Interview with Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson

A short interview with Iconic, a professional League of Legends player, about how LoL can help improve people’s lives and give them a way to break away from the stress of the world. “Some things have changed for the better and other things for the worse. I had the opportunity to get a full ride to Maryville University because of League and I also currently play professionally.” Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson is a current League of Legends (LoL) professional player playing for the Golden Guardians academy team.

Ethan has been chasing his dream of playing League professionally for quite some time and has worked his way up to the top, being as high as the 9th best player in all of North America.

For the past four years, Ethan has been ranked as one of the top five hundred players in all of North America, earning him a scholarship and a place on a professional team. With over one hundred million monthly players on League of Legends, it really shows just how much of an accomplishment top five hundred really is.

When I asked Ethan what the best way for people who are generally serious about the game and have a dream of getting to the point where he is at he told me, “I think the best way to get into competitive is to focus on your solo q rank first and get really high elo.”

Climbing through the ranked ladder by yourself, establishing your name, and becoming a high-ranked player is just the beginning though. Working your solo q rank, which in simpler terms is raising your rank where you play solo, not getting into games with your friends, and having little communication with your teammates really is grueling sometimes.

“It is very stressful and takes a lot of time and effort,” Ethan said on that same topic.

So how would you even get started on improving if you’re just a new player to the game who wants to start raising your rank? I asked Ethan what one simple tip is that he would say to someone who just starting, “My main tip would be to turn off the chat and focus on yourself. nobody says anything useful in chat, so no point in reading it. also, there is always things you can be doing better so always focus on your own mistakes.”

League of Legends has a chat system where people can not only type in chat to their team but also to the other team which can become distracting. I personally already took this step and have noticed an improvement in my focus and my overall play. Blaming others is also another big issue in the game that could really affect people’s ranks and how focused they can stay mentally.

So how can we close up all of this and tie it back to you, the reader, someone who maybe isn’t a top 500 player but someone who just wants a fun distraction to make some new friends with. I asked Ethan a question on exactly that topic, if it’s a good idea to play the game. “Yeah for sure, League is especially fun if you play with friends or ignore the mean people in the game. the game itself is really fun.”

With everything going on in the world right now, covid issues, geopolitics, it is good to have a distraction and have something to break away from, be with friends, and connect with the people around you when you otherwise couldn’t.

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