Today’s interview is with professional League of Legends player Eric “Licorice” Ritchie. The player currently plays for Cloud9. Licorice joined Cloud9’s main team in spring 2018, replacing Jung “Impact” Eon-yeong. He spent time at eUnited 2016-2017 before returning to Cloud9, where he has been the main one ever since.
In the past two years, Licorice has gone from being a simple novice to an experienced veteran. In this new formation of Cloud9, Licorice is one of the most experienced players thanks to two participations in world championships and two LCS finals.
With Cloud9 achieving a historic victory for the organization in the LCS Spring Split finals, there is a growing expectation for the team to enter the summer season. We talked to Licorice about what we can expect.
Spring Split and the postseason were dominated by you. What’s the plan for the summer? Will they continue with the same strategy or is something new to come?
Our plan for this summer is the same as for spring. We did a good job, already trying new things, and we hope we continue to evolve. Even as we prepare for summer these past few weeks, we have new things in mind. I am very excited to play with my team.
At the Mid-Season Showdown you defeated TSM in a great performance. Would that be a preview of what is to come?
Yes, showmatch is a fun game mode, but not competitive. When you put ten competitive players to play against each other, no one wants to lose. But yes, I am happy that we won, and that we can continue like this in official matches.
Never Have I Ever, Blind 1v1s and Bob Ross Painting are contents that Cloud9 has been producing. How do you see this action since we are in the middle of a pandemic where there is a lot of stress?
For me, spending time with teammates is very important. Even if you’re happy, it’s always good to do things together as a true team. Bob Ross for example, was a lot of fun in the video and I liked that. I think it’s great to spend time with them.
Cloud9 is taking the initiative called “Presence of Mind”, with the aim of raising awareness about mental health. How do you deal with it?
I think mental health is one of the most important things for us players. I, in particular, have always had very good mental health. It’s like a privilege, because not everyone can make it work. So, I will always support any campaign on this sensitive topic.
Can these latest changes in the team change the way you view your confrontations?
I don’t believe there is a team that is too excited to see what they will be like. This transition from spring to summer should improve competition. For us, we work hard to ensure a good position. We will be dominant in the summer, as if we are in the spring. We want to go to the World Cup and have a great performance there, but first times we win the summer.
In addition to the content of Cloud9, what have you been doing to fill your time? Do you play any new games? Have you tested Valorant?
I played Valorant, but very little, just to test. More than that, I didn’t play. I don’t think it will be the game I would play casually. In multiplayer games I always want to be good, and when you play with other people, it ends up consuming a lot of time.
If that takes away my competitive time in the league, it wouldn’t be good for my career. So I avoid it, stay away from them. But lately I’ve been reading a lot, playing Pokemon Go, which is really fun.
What kind of books are you reading? Any recommendations?
A mixture of fiction and non-fiction. Nonfiction material is like self-help books. But the favorite book I read during that chaos, was a retelling of The Hobbit.
Finally, how have you been during the pandemic? Did you go home and visit the family?…
I think I’m doing really well. I was very lucky, I can still work, even if it’s out of season. But I can still do everything I did before. I am very grateful to have this kind of experience during the pandemic and I know that it has been much more difficult for other people.