Ahead of the Winter Regional Round of 4, I spoke with Avant Ascension’s top laner An ‘Minkywhale’ Trinh. Minkywhale has proven on and off the rift to be a popular player in the community. So before heading to Perth, we sit down and find a bit more about the man behind the whale.
So Minky, what got you started in gaming?
I was introduced to gaming at an early age, at just 5 i was playing red alert on LAN with my grandmother, uncles, aunties, cousins and my dad. I can safely say this is where my passion for gaming began.
What games were your favourite when you were starting out? What’s your favourite game ever?
Starting out I’d have to say I was a blizzard gamer at heart, still am, but not so much, my favs being starcraft I, Diablo II and Warcraft III. Favourite of all time however has to be Baldur’s Gate ~ an absolute classic, don’t think I’ve ever played a better game.
Have you ever played anything else competitively?
Aside from LoL, I’ve played DoTa competitively and outside of eSports i’ve played in Tennis/dodgeball/oztag comps, one more which I’m not so proud to admit is being a state-level chess player O.O.
What made you stick with LoL at a professional level?
The major factor which made me move from Dota to LoL and stick to it, wasn’t so much the game itself, but rather the eSports scene in Australia, the League scene in OCE compared to all the other games is huge, and most local LANs and online tournaments slowly started shifting from Dota focused prize pools to LoL focused prize pools, which was the main reason for my switch over. The thing that made me stick, is the massive growth in the scene and the huge kick I get from going competing in tournaments and chilling with friends, fans and everything in between!
Also the fact that I own Av Nex in Top lane is a reason I’ve stuck around.
What do you think of the current meta in the Top Lane?
I really enjoy the teleport meta at top, it removes the old “island” meta where the two top laners just stay and bash each other all game, and gives room for sneaky ward tp ganks and participation in more team fights over objectives and towers. Also nobody really picks Renekton anymore which is good, because the champ is actually terrible xD!
Riot is proposing some changes to Top in the next few patches, how do you think that will shift your role?
I believe the changes will introduce some of the more underpowered top laners back into the meta such as Malphite and Rumble, i think it’ll be both fun and interesting to play and match up against new champs and i’m looking forward to the next patch. My role in top is to wait for Av Carbon (my jungler) to camp my lane and own everyone, i don’t think that will change with the upcoming patch.
Who’s your all time favourite champion and why?
Viktor is my fav champion, I have no idea why, probably because he’s deceptively strong and nobody plays him, being the best at something is always a good feeling.
What’s your best eSport memory?
Autumn Regionals at Goldcoast Supanova was definitely my best eSports memory, it was an amazing experience and I’d gladly do it again.
Best in-game memory?
Semi-Finals of EBexpo Sydney 2012 when I played Trundle ran into the enemy base and screamed “FOR NARNIA!”, we proceeded to get aced and lost the game unfortunately ~.~
What’s your goal in eSports? Would you ever consider switching scenes to further your career?
My current goals in eSports would be to compete in wildcards and hopefully worlds, another would be becoming a partnered streamer on twitch, I’m slowly building my fan base and hope to continue doing so through hard work and dedication. I wouldn’t consider switching scene however if my eSports career was ever cut short for any reason, I would still love to stay in the scene, either as a manager/coach/shoutcaster or even working with Riot if possible.
How’s living in the gaming house? Do you think it’s helped you improve your play?
Living in the house is great, I’m really enjoying my time here in the house, and especially in Melbourne. It adds a social aspect to the daily grind that gamers face, except instead of sitting in my room all day alone i have others around me to chill with and interact with in between games and queues, its pretty cool. In terms of play, I’m not quite sure
Since moving into the house you’ve streamed nearly every day, do you enjoy that level of interaction with your fans and the public? You’ve become a bit of an Avant poster boy these days!
Fan interaction and being in the eye of the public is one of the things i enjoy most about being a pro player, I’ve always been a social butterfly and being able to have access to so many people is absolutely wonderful. I am very grateful that my fans who have chosen me over so many other streamers who have better gameplay and more lively personalities.
Just touching on your streaming, you have brought in a stream currency called ‘whale coins’. Could you explain what these are and why it entices viewers to come back?
Whale Coins are earned simply by watching the stream, it rewards loyal viewers, who enjoy the stream and continue to watch for long periods of time. These whalecoins are then used for giveaways such as RP/skins/PCgear, basically “The more coins you have, the more chance you have of winning”, thus rewarding viewers for the time they spent on the stream.
When can fans expect to find you streaming?
I stream from 7pm till 12pm+, this schedule changes a bit due to practice/scrim commitments, but after dinner is normally when i fire up the stream
Av: Ascension are through to the Ro4 once again, do you think you can make it to finals and what can you improve on this time around?
I feel like in our game against YSSC we were out of form, after only scrimming about 5 times the week before. Our practice schedule was nowhere near as intense due to outside commitments, hopefully we can pick up the pace closing in on Perth Supanova and regain the formidable form we had in the ACL qualifiers for Ro8. The first time around my team was all new to playing on stage in front of a live audience, and a lot of them let nerves get in the way, I feel that our improvement this time around is experience.
Shoutouts: Avant Garde, Wez, Corsair, Platronics, Asus, Gatorboyschu, robotcarbon mopheadcardrid, shreddedegymnast, macroman420, chief swiffer, swip3rr, spookykookie and Garnierfructusroseman.
Keep an eye out for the Winter Regional Round of 4 at Supanova in Perth, next week on the 21st of June. The EGN crew will be there at the event so stay tuned to the website and our social media and we will have plenty of interviews, vids and photos coming out from the event.
– Interview by Blackjackx & Hammer