Only Jaximus: "We definitely can go toe-to-toe with most LCS teams currently"
We've sat down with Phillip "Only Jaximus" Carter of Curse Academy to discuss his past, future plans, and current predicament of playing in 3 amateur leagues simultaneously.
NAME: Phillip "Only Jaximus" Carter
COUNTRY: United States
TEAM: Curse Academy
This interview was conducted over Skype on October 29th by Michale "Drexxin" Lalor.
Before League of Legends, what was your favorite game to play? Is League of Legends even your favorite game to play now?
I used to play World of Warcraft and before that I also played Dark Age of Camelot. I'm more into MMO's but there has been a real lack of a competitive edge to them lately. League of Legends is my favorite game to play competitively, playing it casually is not as enjoyable any more.
When did you start taking competitive gaming seriously?
I've always been a competitive player and since Riot is doing an amazing job of developing an eSports scene around the world specifically in NA, I decided to start taking the game much more seriously ever since I joined Curse Academy.
In Season 1, you were the top player on the 3v3 ladder. How do you feel about the changes to the Twisted Treeline and how do the experiences playing on it now differ from before?
The new Twisted Treeline is very lackluster in my opinion. It is more heavily based on team composition and individual skill doesn't shine as much. I think the old TT was better in terms of strategy and player skill. There were more objectives which were honestly more rewarding and more important to secure as well. I prefer the old map over the new one, but I feel like Riot should just keep them both as playable maps.
"The new Twisted Treeline is very lackluster in my opinion. It is more heavily based on team composition and individual skill doesn't shine as much."
This isn't your first time playing in something major under the Curse tag. Your first "competitive" experience was at IEM Kiev, what was that experience like for you? Did you feel out of your league at the time?
Yes, I did substitute for Pobelter at IEM Kiev for top lane. It was a great experience overall and I thank Curse (specifically LiQuiD112) for the opportunity, but at the time I was in high school and not taking the game as serious and I did feel slightly out of my league. I actually quit the game shortly after IEM Kiev for about 5-6 months, then returned and began streaming for fun.
You've been all over the place on amateur teams, but primarily have played mid and jungle lately. What role are you actually most comfortable with and why?
I am comfortable in Top and Jungle, but most comfortable in Mid. The only reason for that is because I've practiced it the most, but I can hold my own in other positions in the amateur scene.
You streamed for awhile and then slowed down a lot once you got into university. Do you still attend now? If so, how do you balance practicing for competitive play and studying for schooling?
I am currently taking a semester off at VCU to see what happens. More than likely I will take one more off to evaluate my situation.
For awhile, there was a lot of controversy around your "toxicity", especially during elo boosting days. Would you say you're different now or perhaps people were wrong about before even?
I won't deny that I was toxic rager at some points. I do however, think that I have improved very much and try my best to represent the Curse brand and redeem myself from any past actions.
As someone who's watched the LCS and is currently playing in the amateur scene, what are some key differences, barring the obvious? )salaries, etc.
LCS teams have much more resources to be successful. Some amateur teams have started to move into gaming houses together, but my current roster is unable to do that. Two of my teammates are taking classes in college. I may be moving into the Curse house with Rhux to practice if we can secure the LCS challenger spot this upcoming weekend.
Are there any "hidden gem" champions in the current meta that you believe are undervalued? For instance, do you think Sion is much stronger than top tier players give him credit for, or is that more of a comfort pick for you?
Sion is an amazing champion. His ability to push waves and apply pressure on the map is so underrated. His only downfall is that he has some very significant counter picks that can shut him down early. He fits best with a diving composition, and a fun fact is that his stun only has a 3 second downtime with 40% CDR. Other great champions include Brand and Karma in the right situations.
"The no ADC composition is in my opinion better than running an ADC in most situations."
How do you feel your own team (and maybe other amateur teams as well) are benefiting from the recent establishment of amateur leagues? Do you think you could go toe to toe with many of the NA and EU LCS teams at this point?
The new amateur leagues are really great for practice and really boost the whole amateur scene as a whole. I can't speak much for EU teams but we definetly can go toe to toe with most LCS teams currently. We still have lots of room for improvement, but I am confident in my teammates and myself that we can make it into LCS.
Out of all participants in the amateur leagues, Curse Academy was one of the first to nearly upset Coast's recent undefeated streak. What could you have done differently in the NESL set to have won? Did you regret your "No AD carry" composition?
The no ADC composition is in my opinion better than running an ADC in most situations. In the first game vs Coast, we won by dominating early and never giving up our lead. The game itself was very sloppy, but our strategy prevailed. We had a similar lead in the second game, but miscommunication lead to us losing, and in the third game we straight up got outplayed. I have no regrets and I think Coast is a great team -- I'm just happy we took a game off of them.
Tell us a bit about having Fabbbyyy on Jax or Tryndamere rather than an AD carry. What were the benefits and how did you make it work? Were there any difficulties in sieging towers?
Fabbbyyy is a great bruiser player and he can play just about anything we ask him to. We were watching LPL when we saw the original strategy and then put our own adaptations on it. There is difficulty sieging but even without any ADC it is easy to 1-3-1 split push until the hypercarries on your team can't be dealt with.
How well does Curse Academy get along outside of gaming?
We are all good friends and joke around with each other a lot. There haven't been any problems and I'm glad we all get along.
You guys are currently playing in 3 amateur leagues simultaneously. How exhausting is this and much does this take out of your personal life?
Playing in 3 tournaments has actually made it really difficult to stream and keep up with my own fans. It's hard to sit down and stream because of 2-3 hours of scrims, followed by 1-3 tournaments games almost every day.
Thank you for the interview, any shoutouts before we close this out?
I'd like to thank Curse, Teamspeak, Cooler Master, and all fans who support myself and the team.
-Favorite Food: Lasagna
-Biggest Fear: The Ocean
-Childhood dream job: Be a millionaire
-Most annoying Hero: Fizz
-Favorite Hero: Nidalee
-Best mid-laner NA: Mancloud
-Highest value of Pi you can count to without google: 3 l0l