Currently 5th in challenger tier on the Oceania League of Legends solo queue ladder. Winning Rookie of the OPL Split 2 in 2015. These are just two of the enviable achievements of inaugural Sin Gaming team member, Jason “RYmeister” Ryan. On January 14th, I sat down with the oft-declared “level-headed and disciplined” mid-laner during Sin Gaming’s pre-season bootcamp in Sydney and tried to unravel the secret to becoming a legend at League.
Tell me about the early days of your involvement with League of Legends
Well, the first champion I picked was Soraka, who is a supportive champion that heals your carries and whatnot. I tried to play it like a full carry, so of course my team raged at me and left the bot game and we lost…
But there was something about the game that I really loved. I started playing all different roles in solo queue but then when I got to Diamond League I decided to take the game more seriously. That meant I had to main one role so I could be proficient at it. I picked mid lane because at the time it was very assassin based and I could snowball the game.
So when you made it to Diamond League, was that the point when you felt you could sit back and say ‘I’m really good at this, I could go professional’?
When I reached Diamond tier, I was still just having fun with the game. I wasn’t really thinking about the pro league. Once I was in challenger, though, which is one of the highest points, things were a bit different. I decided to main two roles because it was difficult to always secure mid lane on a team. I enjoyed playing jungle as well, so that wasn’t too difficult a step for me. After I hit challenger, I was noticed by some teams. They took a real interest in me. At first I didn’t take much notice but after I played a couple of competitive matches, I realised that I really enjoyed it so I stuck with it.
Pictured: “RYmeister” (right) with Sin Gaming teammate Ryan “Chippys” Short
Now that you’ve decided to “stick with it”, how many hours do you play per day?
Not many people play a whole lot of League during the pre-season. And any play is usually casual, not serious. So I don’t play much then.
However, during the season I’ll dedicate three to four nights per week to scrimming and a couple hours more to solo queue if I can. Most of us [on the Sin gaming team] go to Uni so it becomes a bit difficult sometimes – what with exams- but we do try to dedicate as much time to practice as we can because we want to be the best.
As a team do you guys base your picks and play strategies on any particular player, team or region?
Yes, definitely. We usually look up to the European, Korean and Chinese teams. We follow their meta quite closely. Every region has their strong picks, Oceania included, but we try to take a little bit from each of those other regions.
What do you think about gaming houses? Do you think Australia will ever have those?
I’m not sure that we’ll ever have gaming houses in Australia, though I do know that some people would be willing to play full time if the option was given. We’ll see how this year goes- I think this year we’ll have a very competitive scene. It will be a lot closer than last year and if Oceania is able to make worlds then we may see some teams able to play full time.
In terms of the World Championships, how do you think Oceania ranks compared to other regions? Do you think we’re truly competitive on the world stage?
It’s difficult to improve as a nation or as a region because no-one is playing full time and no-one is in a gaming house so we don’t have the team coach there reviewing each game and providing feedback. Also team conflict is so much harder to resolve over teamspeak than it is in real life. We’re at a disadvantage in teamplay.
Some of the players are definitely at a world class level, in terms of understanding mechanics and being able to read situations- that’s evident in solo queue- definitely on par with players from the more successful nations. We have had some players who have gone to play overseas but in general our game knowledge is lackluster compared to players from other regions.
Pictured: “RYmeister” (right) in action alongside Sin Gaming teammate Ryan “Chippys” Short
Alright, some game specific questions now. What is your opinion on the mastery Thunderlords Decree?
Riot tend to be quite poor at balancing the game, honestly. Sometimes they overbuff. And it’s quite obvious. When everyone saw the patch, they knew that Thunderlords was going to be broken. But, I’ve played a few games since the patch, and right now I think Thunderlords is in a good spot and I like what they did with buffing the other keystones- so it’s not really OP- it’s definitely going to be good on some AP midlaners and some ADCs but there are definitely more keystones to pick from.
What is the next champion you would have riot rework and why?
It’s a tough question. I guess Rengar because he has really overlaid kit and, especially at high level play, he can just one shot people. Also, there’s not much counterplay in solo queue because it’s not really a team game so you can’t really play around it.
What do you think are the most common mistakes you see in solo queue?
A lot of players seem to just play normals rather than ranked. That doesn’t help you improve. If you play ranked consistently you can improve much more significantly- so avoid normals. It’s better to play against those who are the same or slightly better skill level than you.
Last of all, flash on D or F?
F of course! F is clutch.