Evil Geniuses took some time to get off of the ground and establish themselves as a top team in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Spring Split, but Support Tristan "Zeyzal" Stidam maintained a consistent performance throughout the ups and downs of Evil Geniuses.
Zeyzal maintained a strong playmaking presence around the map by roaming, calling for, and setting up plays with Jungler Dennis "Svenskeren" Johnsen, primarily around Mid Laner Daniele "Jiizuke" di Mauro and Bot Laner Bae "Bang" Jun-sik.
Zeyzal showed all spring that he hasn't missed a beat since parting ways with Cloud9 and joining EG, and during the team's turnaround period halfway through the Spring Split, the Support spoke with Inven Global's Nick Geracie about his daily routine, various forms of self-care, and how he maintains the best beard in the LCS.
This is Nick Geracie with Inven Global, and I'm joined by Zeyzal to talk about beards. There aren't a lot of beards in the LCS, and long before Søren "Bjergsen" Bjerg earned his 'Bjeardsen' moniker, you've been rocking one way before it was cool. Do you have a routine for your facial hair in terms of grooming?
The main thing I do is brush my hair a lot. I have a lot of hair and it's kind of a habit of mine. I brush my hair probably too much...eight times a day. I have a brush on my desk, and when I'm doing nothing, I'll just start doing it. I'm not sure; I guess it's just to kind something I do with my hands, but I have that habit and I think that helps a lot.
In terms of washing my facial hair, I shampoo a certain amount of times per week depending on how it feels, and I use conditioner. I use beard oil on LCS weekends, but I mostly don't use it on the weekdays unless we have team content or something like that to film.
A lot of competitors in sports will grow a beard for superstitious reasons. Is there any story behind your beard in terms of it being part of your personality?
I think it was something unique about me when I was younger. I started growing a beard really early, and that was when everyone in my school noticed about me, so I thought I might as well keep growing it. I wasn't really attached to it, but that slowly changed as I got older and it started looking nicer and nicer.
When I was 15, I had facial hair, but it wasn't a real decent beard. I couldn't grow it high up on my face and things like that, but now it's a lot higher up on my face and round. Since then, I've become a bit more prideful of it, and I think it's become a part of my image, so I've kept it.
So 15 is when people started to take notice of your facial hair?
I started growing facial hair at 11.
There is a picture on my Facebook of me with a beard at 13. At first, I didn't recall how far back it went, but I remember being in sixth grade when people started mentioning it, which would make me 11.
Your beard is a big part of how people identify you, especially initially, and it seems you put work into taking care of yourself. I know that when you were on Cloud9 the team would do morning workouts together, but how does your own routine work within Evil Geniuses?
There's no group workout routine in Evil Geniuses. We have a very set schedule, and I think almost all LCS players have a very routine life. It becomes so routine that you just fall into the habit of following it and you can almost forget what day it is. For the most part, my days start at 11am because that's when I'm required to be at the office. Obviously, I'll wake up before then, usually around 10, and I shower and get ready before walking to the office.
It's not a very far walk, but all of the players walk to the office and we'll eat when we get there and have a team meeting. From 12pm to 5pm, we're in scrims. Our new schedule for scrims is a lot better: it's five straight games now instead of two three-hour blocks. A lot of the time, we even end before 5pm, and overall, the flow is a lot nicer.
Afterwards, we'll eat as a team from around 5pm to 6pm, and then we'll walk back from the office together. Specifically in terms of workout routine, outside of us walking to and from the office, there isn't much in that way. I don't think many of us are working out right now, so after the walk back from the office, I'll relax until around 8pm, which is when I start playing solo queue.
You mentioned you relax for a bit after walking home from the office. What do you do to mentally relax?
Honestly, I'm pretty mentally drained at that point in the day, so I'll sit there for about 45 minutes and do nothing. I don't even know why! I guess it's my own form of meditation. I'll just sit in my chair and absent-mindedly scroll Reddit or something, then I'll usually watch an episode of a show before I play solo queue.
What are you watching right now?
White Collar. It's a standard FBI-focused crime show where there is a criminal who becomes a Criminal Investigator to help the FBI catch other criminals.
So we've covered beard care, daily routine, mental relaxation, and even a Zeyzal Netflix recommendation. One more question for you: Which of your teammates is most likely to grow a beard with you during the 2020 LCS Spring Playoffs?
I've tried to convince Svenskeren to grow a beard, maybe I think I could convince Jiizuke. Svenskeren always says it doesn't grow in for him, but I think Jiizuke might be the one I could convince.