After parting ways with Immortals towards the end of 2020, Kieran "Allorim" Logue had aspirations to play in a European regional league. In addition to showcasing solid top lane play in the 2020 League of Legends Championship Series Summer Split, Allorim is a dual citizen of both Ireland and the United States, which would allow him to declare residency if signed to a team in the NLC.
Ultimately, Allorim stayed in North America, choosing to continue his work on the analyst desk of the LCS broadcast while simultaneously competing in the amateur league as the starting top laner of Zoos Gaming. Allorim spoke to Inven Global about why he was initially looking towards playing in Europe in 2021, his role on this season's LCS broadcast, and continuing to compete in the North American amateur League of Legends scene.
In addition to your recent LCS broadcast work, I've seen you showcase talents on the guitar and the banjo. Does the performance aspect of playing music help you be more comfortable on camera in an esports context?
I do like playing instruments for other people — back in school, I was first chair trumpet. I just think I have some musical ability. I'm not a star when it comes to musical instruments — I think I'm pretty good — but it's not something I would pursue or even thoguth about pursuing as a professional. It's just something I enjoy doing.
I wouldn't even call myself outgoing, I'd say that more than anything else it was a result of my family would actively encourage me to do sports and other community activities. I was never a shy kid: I was always pretty outgoing and talking to a lot of different people.
I'm really well-traveled; I've been all over the world, so I know a lot about different communities and cultures. I think that's what's mainly helped me to be able to speak to all different types of people despite not knowing any other languages besides English and a little bit of German. Regardless, I can speak the language of League of Legends to everyone.
Was your worldly experience part of why you were exploring playing in Europe in the off-season?
First, I thought it would be cool. It's been a while since I've been back to Europe, and I would have liked to go back. I know my family would have liked me to go there becasue that would make our family vacation pretty easy, although that might not have been possible due to COVID-19.
I thought it would be cool to play in Europe just to be in a different country and as an Irish citizen, it wouldn't have been too hard to get me into a European league since Ireland is still part of the EU. I thought that in terms of ease, at least in my mind, that it wouldn't be too difficult for a European team to bring me over.
I also would have been native to the NLC since Ireland is part of Northern Europe, so that could have been a pretty big benefit for teams in that region depending on how good they thought I was as a player.
Lastly, I thought it'd be cool playing in the European environment. I've heard a lot of great things about the European Regional Leagues so it would have been nice to see how those teams do their training, player practice, and schedule. It also would have been nice to play on EU solo queue.
I know NA solo queue has a bad rap — I played EU solo queue a little bit when I went to Rift Rivals 2017 with Phoenix1, so it would have been cool to play solo queue on another server for an extended period of time instead of a very short stint.
Overall, I think playing in Europe would have helped my growth as a player a lot. However, I didn't want to go unless I thought the team was EU Masters quality. I did have some initial offers that seemed pretty good, but there were difficulties in signing the players we wanted.
At that point, I had to think about the opportunity cost. I could stay in NA and broadcast while playing amateur on the side and I would still be making a pretty good amount of money, or I could go to Europe. It's not all about the money, but I am 25 years old *laughs* I have to think about money sometimes.
I respect the hustle, especially since it's not like you can't still field opportunities in the amateur scene here. Were there other factors that led to you staying in North America?
I think that if I had played in Europe and performed well, it would have helped my career as a player more in terms of my stock in NA. If I placed well and played well in EU Masters and then came back, that would have shown a lot because there are a lot of really great players in EU Masters. It would have shown that I have more potential than what was maybe shown on Immortals or OpTic Gaming.
On the other hand, I have a stable opportunity with broadcast work, and I think broadcast work does a lot for someone's brand, especially if you have things that to say that people want to hear. On the desk this season, I'll be providing insight one split removed from playing professionally while currently maintaining a spot in Challenger. No one else on the desk is currently Challenger, and with that and my firsthand experience, I think people will value what I have to say.
I have learned a lot about the game, and I'm not saying that I know more than other analysts, but I think I can provide a deeper perspective on different players since I've actually played against some of them both in lane and in team play. I might know a bit more about how these players function than others on the desk because of that experience.
Despite your aspirations still being primarily rooted in professional play, could you see a scenario where you pursue a career in on-camera work?
Yeah, I could see it happening. There is going to be a point where I cannot play professionally anymore; it's an inevitability that at some point, I just won't be good enough. That's an inevitability all pro players have to face, but the question for me is when will that happen to me, and when will it set in for me?
At the moment, I still think I'm good enough to play in the LCS. While I don't think I'm a superstar #1 top laner, I think I'm pretty good and can provide a lot to a team.
We'll see how this year goes, and after that I think I'll have an easier time deciding what I want to do in the future. This is especially true if this season goes well for me in terms of broadcasting.
For example, if I blew up in this analyst role and everyone liked what I had to say and what I bring in terms of knowledge and entertainment etc...If there's so many positives on one side and that side keeps growing, it'd be hard to ignore that and go for something I originally wanted. Like I said, it's not that I dislike being on the analyst desk, or even broadcast work in general. My heart is set on competing, but, you know...things can change.
Do you think broadcast work could benefit you as a pro player?
I think it could since I will be looking at the game a lot, but the thing that's more beneficial is that I will keep competing in the amateur scene. That will help me at least stay in a competitive environment, and as long as I don't lose touch on my mechanics and champion pool, I think it will be alright.
Maybe I can learn a thing or two strategically about the game from the analyst desk, because I'm going to be watching a lot of League of Legends this year. Watching more than usual will certainly help, but not as much as continuing to compete consistently.
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