From Spain to Turkey, Australia to Russia and now Germany, talent from the UK League of Legends scene has made its mark in many territories around the world, gaining experience along the way.
Two of the latest rising stars from the UK scene are currently with Berlin International Gaming (BIG), helping them to perform well in the German ESL Meisterschaft (ESLM), which gets underway this week on June 6th.
Esports News UK interviews League of Legends manager Nick “Crane” Turberville, a former player, and analyst Luciana “AngelArcher” Nadrag, who was part of the exceL staff when the side won the UK Masters, about their time with BIG.
How do you feel about your move to BIG Clan?
Crane: When I first joined BIG back in March I was beyond excited. It was a lot of work transferring our squad to BIG and making things go smoothly as possible before we played in the ESLM finals. Ever since then we’ve done a lot more with the team than I initially intended to do (with roster swaps etc) due to Riot inviting us to enter the new Premier Tour back in April.
Overall BIG is the best organisation I’ve ever worked with, they truly care about everyone under their brand and will always go the extra mile. I expect to remain with them for a long time.
“If you want to produce results, you have to put the work in. A lot of people in esports expect to just coast through and take free money – those people all fail in the end. Being a League pro is about a lot more than just playing the game.”
AngelArcher: I’m very happy with my move to BIG, and excited to see what the future holds. This is my first team outside of the UK league, and outside of exceL, so obviously I am very nervous about the move and not knowing anyone in the team well (apart from Kruimel), but I think this will be a good opportunity to grow as an analyst and put myself in different situations.
BIG have big plans (no pun intended (but appreciated nonetheless! – Dom)) for the future and being involved in something like that is an honour, and not an opportunity everyone gets.
Tell us about your history in League/esports before you joined BIG. What are the lessons you’ve learnt with teams in the past?
AngelArcher: Before BIG, I was the analyst for exceL Esports for two splits, working with coaches Doruk and Furndog. We had a very successful run, especially in EU Masters where we made top 8, and have always been a top growing org in the UK.
I am grateful for the opportunity I had with them, a top UK team, as it’s not an opportunity that most starting analysts get, and it really helped me find my footing. They helped me get a better understanding of my role, and what I should be doing in the team to help them achieve, something that I will be applying to BIG and in the future.
“I will do my absolute best at BIG to make the UK scene proud and make a name for myself in the German scene as I did in the UK.”
Crane: I started as a competitive player myself back in 2016. I played on a couple of UK teams in various UK leagues between then and the start of 2017. However, playing as a pro didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t enjoy the lifestyle of it and I preferred to solely play for fun. With this being the case, I ceased playing as a player and began to explore options in other areas of esports. In the end I decided to get into management in September 2017. I spent time on 2 UK teams (Phelan and Barrage) before moving into the team Black Lion in the German ESLM.
The big lessons I’ve learnt is that if you want to produce results, you have to put the work in. A lot of people in esports expect to just coast through and take free money/success – those people all fail in the end. I always give 110% of my effort and time to my team and organisation because that’s what’s required to earn the success we can, and will, get.
I’ve also learnt that in lower-tier teams, anything can go wrong – whenever. You could put work in for weeks and then suddenly have it all disappear because the org pulled out or didn’t have the funds anymore. On teams at the top, like BIG, this rarely happens however. But my advice to anyone starting out is to always be careful and never truly believe anything is certain unless it’s written in a signed contract.
AngelArcher with the first-place UK Masters cheque for exceL (left) and Crane overseeing his team (right)
What are your aims and ambitions with the team?
AngelArcher: Our aim is to ultimately be the best team in the German league. I would be disappointed if we achieved anything less than that. The players are all driven people who want to succeed, and they have the support staff of me, Vamir (head coach Floris Tuijn) and Crane for them to do so. My personal aims are to continue to develop as an analyst.
I would have finished my first year of university by the time the league starts, so I can commit more time an energy into it. I want to work and learn from Vamir, as each coach has their own outlook on the game, and how it should be played, but I also want to work closer with the players than I have done so before.
Crane: With the team this split we’re looking to get as strong of a showing as we can in ESLM/Premier Tour and a couple other unannounced events. I believe the team has what it takes to win it all, but by no means do we expect it to be easy.
There is plenty of strong competition in Germany this split and it will take a lot of work for us to reach our goals, but everyone involved is highly motivated and puts in just as much effort as myself. With this in mind, I believe we can achieve whatever we set out to do so.
For plans beyond this split, we aim to take the first place home in EU Masters and be one of the best ERL (European Regional League) teams.
“I believe we can achieve whatever we set out to do so. For plans beyond this split, we aim to take the first place home in EU Masters and be one of the best European Regional League teams.”
What are your thoughts on the BIG roster?
Crane: I am really pleased with the roster we put together this split. It involved a lot of tough decisions, some of which were rather spontaneous, but in the end we ended up with the best roster we could get. Every single player is hungry for victory and will do whatever it takes to reach that.
The most important thing to me is commitment and motivation. You can be a skilled player, but if you don’t put in the work to reach the top you will never make it. Being a League pro is about a lot more than just playing the game.
AngelArcher: I think our roster is really good, and definitely has the potential to go all the way. We have some known names such as Kruimel and Don Arts, but also some new names like Acidy to spice things up a bit and keep it interesting. All the players are willing to learn from myself and Vamir, and have the motivation to do well this split, which just makes my job a lot easier and enjoyable.
“Our aim is to ultimately be the best team in the German league. I would be disappointed if we achieved anything less than that. The players are all driven people who want to succeed and definitely have the potential to go all the way.”
Any closing comments you’d like to make?
Crane: Overall I’m really happy with how everything has been going recently, both for myself and BIG. It took a lot of work to reach where I am and we are right now, but it has all worked out amazingly. I’m really excited for the future.
AngelArcher: I will do my absolute best at BIG to make the UK scene proud and make a name for myself in the German scene as I did in the UK.
Good luck in the ESLM guys and thanks for the interview. Follow Crane and AngelArcher and BIG on Twitter here
Dom is an award-winning writer who graduated from Bournemouth University with a 2:1 degree in Multi-Media Journalism in 2007.
As a long-time gamer having first picked up the NES controller in the late ’80s, he has written for a range of publications including GamesTM, Nintendo Official Magazine, industry publication MCV as well as Riot Games and others. He worked as head of content for the British Esports Association up until February 2021, when he stepped back to work full-time on Esports News UK and as an esports consultant helping brands and businesses better understand the industry.