After a strong opening of the Split, Juan "Contractz" Arturo Garcia spoke with us about his career path and how he is focusing and reshaping himself in Academy. Contractz has found himself in a leadership role on 100 Thieves Academy, and is utilizing his various experiences across his past teams to leverage himself as a leader and continue to grow in hopes of returning to LCS.
Hey Contractz, nice game boss. How do you like playing Sett?
Honestly, it's pretty fun, but I don't know why people call him The Boss. Do you know why? Is it his tag or something?
I actually don't know, he's a boss of a prison fighting ring or something? It's in his lore.
Ahh I see, I see. I just think Sett is a really cool champion. There's never been anything like where you have a sort of auto reset in your own auto. You have two auto attacks as the one-two kind of thing, and I think that's pretty interesting. And Sett is kind of overpowered right now to be honest, so he feels pretty good to play into melee champions and stuff.
He's pretty unkillable, and especially once you get Stoneplate, really no one can ever kill you. I like being unkillable, it's pretty fun. And Stoneplate doesn't reduce true damage, it's so OP.
Hahaha, yeah that's ridiculous. So how's it going generally? How's it in Academy?
Yeah the change from LCS to Academy is pretty big I'd say. The overall atmosphere is a lot more laid back and kind of chill. It's not like I'm not trying any less than I was in LCS, it's just the atmosphere and the pressure is just really big in LCS. You get like 20 times the viewers in LCS than in Academy.
So having so many fewer eyes on you, and the fact that you're not really talked about much is kind of relaxing in a sense. So overall I think I'm enjoying it. I really like 100 Thieves, they've been really welcoming so far.
Yeah speaking of 100 Thieves, how's it been acclimating to their culture? You've been on a few teams before, and they had their new reveal of the Cash App Compound, a lot of big things. So how are they?
Honestly, it's pretty insane. I didn't know before this but it's the largest facility/compound in all of esports across the US. It's really crazy, I didn't know how big 100 Thieves was I guess. But now since joining them, you can tell how hardworking all the staff are and how motivated they all are to keep improving and growing the company. It shows. So I mean it's just an honor to be a part of such a hardworking org that really takes pride in what they do any how they care for their players.
That's great to hear! What's your mindset and focus for yourself for this year?
I'm just kind of working on the faults I've had for the past year, so basically, maneuvering through the small things I've made as habits this past year and I'm trying to improve on those. So if they're bad habits, I'll take them away, and if they're good, I'll keep them and improve on them if I'm not doing that enough.
So really just focuing on the little details that kind of define who I am as a player. And honestly, I don't know all of them yet. I'm still trying to learn what I need to improve on and fix. So just kind of focusing on myself as a player, but trying to get back into LCS of course.
Of course! So something Riv asked Aaron "FakeGod" Lee on stage after the game, I want to ask you. You have been in LCS for a while, so do you feel like you have a different role in this team on Academy than you have in years prior in the LCS.
Oh yeah, for sure. I feel like when I was a rookie, I was the one listening. A lot of listening and just learning from - not really afar - but definitely learning from a distance rather than teaching or saying much. And it's been three years since I've been in LCS, so coming onto a team that has a lot of younger players, even though I'm pretty sure most of them are about the same age as me, they're younger in a sense of experience. So I definitely play a bigger role in how our team works overall.
All of our players are quiet as well, so it's easier for me to speak up and say what's on my mind and tell them how I think the game should be played, and they'll tell me how they think it should be played as well. There's a lot of conversation, and obviously I feel like I have quite a bit of knowledge over the past three years, so it's nice being on a team where I'm now the veteran.
Yeah, so you have switched around a few teams through the years. What do you think is more beneficial: Switching teams like you have, allowing you to play with so many players and coaches, or something like what Robert "Blaber" Huang has, sticking with one single org from Academy to LCS multiple years to be more ingrained in one system.
I think both are pretty good. I think being in the same org gives you a lot more comfortability, so you feel more at home with the team, and it's just easier to talk about things with your teammates when you're really close and you've been there for a long time. And you get to understand each other better as time goes on, so I think in a way he has an advantage in that regard.
But switching around a lot of teams does give you a lot of different perspectives and a lot of different mindsets for better or worse. So I think it's definitely helpful for both scenarios, but I think since I've been on so many teams the past few years, I definitely have a pretty good idea of what I think is best after combining everything and thinking about each opinion differently.
It's like an esports hot pot.
Yeah just throwing all the ideas in there.
So I know I've asked this before, but I'm following up because I just now started watching anime for the first time, and I've seen three and want your opinions and what to go to next. First I started with Attack on Titan. Which I loved.
Oh that's not a bad one to start, but it definitely could be too much for someone who's just starting anime and they don't really like the genre, but it's definitely really good.
After that I went to Sword Art Online, just because of the player and the premise seemed cool.
Yeah I mean the first one is not bad, but the second season could be better... The gun one is really weird, but the new ones that just came out this year are pretty good. You should keep going.
Ah okay, yeah the second season was bad, so I stopped, but I'll watch the next one then. But I switched over to Death Note and just finished that. And I was thinking about Code Geass next.
Oh Death Note is sooo good. But yeah, these are all the ones I started out with. But I think for sure you should do Code Geass, and maybe after that you can try Demon Slayer. And also, are you into sports kind of stuff? You could watch Haikyu, it's a volleyball one. When I was first starting out, I didn't think I would enjoy a volleyball anime, but it's really good. It's nice.
Anything else you want to say about your career and a path back to LCS?
I think that I'm on the right path in Academy to growing into a better version of myself. I'm really appreciative of all my fans who have stuck with me even though I dropped out of LCS, and I hope to be back soon.
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