The last two Scouting Grounds have been graced by the top lane monster, Ian "MistyStumpey" Alexander. Some may recognize him from playing in collegiate for Columbia College, or from his performance throughout the inaugural Scouting Grounds Circuit that took place throughout the Summer.
Those who have seen him play will know he has strong mechanics and a pretty good understanding of how to manipulate the game state. But otherwise, there isn't much information out there about the 20 year old, and even his name is wrong on leaguepedia, giving him an extra middle name!
At just 16 years old, MistyStumpey started attending college (he's in his senior year already). He was on track to becoming an Eagle Scout before he went off to college, and it was there that he traded his varsity soccer career for a competitive League career. But now he has a scholarship, some prize money, and two strong Scouting Grounds under his belt.
The next step is to add an Academy - and then LCS - spot to continue forward.
In his first year at Scouting Grounds, MistyStumpey was voted third best prospect out of the 20 players attending the LCS studio that week, finishing second place in the team standings. He was the only one not to get signed from that top five list, though. Others who weren't on it landed an Academy spot, even another top laner that was rated worse than him!
Looking back on it this year, Ian recounts his thoughts from his first attendance and what came of it all.
Though he did get one offer, it didn't compare to his current scholarship, nor the security of continuing towards a college degree. After the let down, he didn't even focus on returning in 2019, noting he really just happened to qualify through practicing to stay in top shape for his collegiate team. He played in the Scouting Grounds Circuit, but mostly for the prize money.
When offered a spot to attend again, however, he didn't decline. His NASG 2019 performance landed him the fourth round overall draft pick as well, continuing his streak of being recognized as a top talent among top talents. (Pun only slightly intended.) Here's what he has to say about his own performance compared to this group at NASG 2019 and among current LCS and Academy pros.
Despite his valuation and potential for a solid career, Ian doesnt plan to stick around waiting forever. Just as he declined his (very poor) offer last year, if he doesn't get something that's right for him, he won't sign with someone just for the sake of signing.
MistyStumpey went to college at 16 for an MIS degree, if he doesn't get a strong opportunity in esports, he has set himself up well to succeed in other ways. That being said, he has expressed the desire to go pro. It's what he wants, and he is hungry, but his League career isn't what defines him as a person.
Neither is he definied by his disability. Though it is an essential part of his story, it isn't the only way he wants people to relate to him. Rather than just being seen as someone who fought against a disability to reach greatness, he wants to inspire anyone and everyone who has doubts or fears, no matter what holds them back.
Furthermore, if he does continue forward with League professionally, he still doesn't want his story focusing too much on his disability. He is a strong prospect for fresh NA talent because he is strong at the game, not because he has overcome adversity.
He acknowledges the importance of his image and what it can mean for his career (his ign is MistyStumpey after all), but he is too holistic of a player and person to be pigeonholed as just a one-armed top laner. Most importantly, he's just good at the game.
MistyStumpey is a true NA talent, has competitive experience, and has been highly praised and recognized for two years at the single scouting event NA has. Yet he has been waived from his draft pick and is currently a free agent. He will soon graduate college, and afterward, he'll find a job. Chasing a professional career is a choice many make, but Ian has set himself up well enough that he can follow a more secure path.
If NA wants another resident, and there's still a chance that a team picks him up for their 2020 Academy roster. Otherwise, it's another potential case of untested talent, filled in and overshadowed by veteran imports that NA loves so much.
Regardless, you can watch the full interview below to hear more about MistyStumpey. Please help us grow our YouTube channel by liking and subscribing (it's actually a huge help) and click the notification bell if you want to keep up to date! And lastly, go @ all your favorite teams and tell them to sign MistyStumpey for their Academy squad this off-season!