What does a championship mean to the LA Shockwaves? To be brutally honest, not much.
I have been involved with Super League and the LA Shockwaves since before Season 1 was even released, and I have watched my city go from potential number one to number none.
So, why am I still here?
I didn’t sign up for League of Legends City Champs for the fame and glory. I didn’t sign up to win prizes, or to get a jersey. I’ve been involved with Super League since they were still designing City Champs, and I remember many evenings I spent in the office helping test their system. I can recall countless late nights helping haul their gear from the theater back to the office after a night of beta testing. Watching its development, I was so excited when it was finally time for City Champs’ release. I signed up with the intention of enjoying the finished product I had helped to create, as well as to meet new people and make some friends.
City Champs Season One was my very first competitive gaming experience. The thought of being on a team was exhilarating! I told everyone I knew about how I was going to play in a League of Legends tournament. I was a little apprehensive going in—as a girl, I knew that I was going to be a minority. But I was all the more determined to prove myself and went in with my head held high.
I ended up on Team C, where I quickly became great friends with my teammates. We had arguably the best synergy out of all the teams in our city! We were doing so well, and so were LA’s other teams. I remember winning against Dallas, and then Chicago. Everybody was filled to the brim with confidence that we would take the City Champs title, since those two cities had won against Miami, who we had to face in the finals. We figured we would steamroll them. What could possibly go wrong?
Then, on the day of the final matchup, we lost. With our egos bruised, we went into the matchup that would determine third place. And then we lost again. We went from being in the running for the championship to last place.
Season Two rolled around and I signed up the second it was released. With the addition of Qualifiers, City Champs was going to be more competitive than ever. Having already had my first taste of competitive gaming, I was hungry for more. Between Season One and Two, I had devoted a lot of time to improving my skills in League of Legends. The fruits of my labor paid off, and I landed myself a spot on Team A. I saw so many new faces, and I felt like this season would offer a clean slate: another chance to prove ourselves worthy of the championship. However, once again, our city failed to prevail, and we came in third in our division.
Finally, Season Three arrived. As eager as ever, I signed up for the team. Qualifiers were intense, but I pulled through and once again ended up Team A. My team looked very promising: new faces, new talent. I was so sure that we would at the very least see better results than in previous seasons. I had even hoped that we might have made it out of Groups. However, we still couldn’t beat the champions of our division, the Seattle Siege. Losing to them, we finished second in our division.
You can see now why the idea of winning City Champs might be lost on those who are veterans of the LA Shockwaves. But like I mentioned previously—I didn’t sign up for the championship. I signed up for the experience and to meet new, extraordinary people.
Over the last three seasons, I can happily say that I achieved that goal. I’ve met an astonishing amount of amazing people, many of which I now call friends. Someone I met back in Season One is now my S.O., and 2 years later we are still together, competing together, and will continue doing so for many seasons more! I may not have won any championships, but because of City Champs, I am now the happiest I have ever been in my life.
I am the champion of the goal that I set out with when I joined Super League. My determination has not faded—in fact, it is stronger than ever. City Champs Season Four is coming around, and even though I’ve seen my city hit rock bottom, I’ve also seen it fight back, and each season has been an improvement. The updates to Qualifiers have made the process of making it on the team much more competitive, but that just means only the most dedicated players advance to Divisionals.
I remain hopeful for the LA Shockwaves. Our time has come. I’m ready for us to make a name for ourselves.
Over and out!
Chaska “Fruitling” Taylor
Join the competition. Sign up for League of Legends City Champs today! Click here.