“PowerOfEvil, he is fearless, he wants that kill! He just continues to chase! One more! He gets it! PowerOfEvil! He is relentless!” - Daniel “Drakos” Drakos; Misfits vs. Fnatic 2017 EU LCS Spring Split Week 3 Day 1
Hailing from Bad Soden, Germany, Tristan “PowerOfEvil” Schrage has been making plays after plays for his team, much to the joy of his fans watching both online and live since his professional debut in 2015 EU LCS Spring Split. Representing one of the paragons of professional esports players, Schrage is a proven force on the Summoner’s Rift, continuously executing game-changing plays with confidence and establishing innovative approaches to the game with his love for the game.
With the conclusion of the 2018 NA LCS Spring Split, I had the opportunity to talk to Schrage about his path to the professional League of Legends scene and get to know his journey on a more relatable level.
How has the transition from the EU to NA scene been like for you?
“I would say the biggest difference is that NA LCS organizations seem to take more care of the players, so I enjoy that a lot. I think it is really really helpful for the players themselves. Besides that, I like the weather, my teammates are really nice, the atmosphere is great and you have a really good staff, so I think the transition was smooth.”
Reminisce about your first game as a professional esports player. Do you remember the feeling you had when you first stepped on stage to see a live crowd in front of you?
“Yes, my first tournament was when I was 16. I was really nervous, and just as excited to play in my first offline event. I competed alongside Alex ich, k0u, Freeze, and Voidle, and they just told me to fly there in like one day, and I played the tournament practically without any practice. I can’t describe the feeling. It was just an incredible feeling. I was just exceptionally happy that I could get first place in my first offline tournament.”
With the birth of esports and competitive gaming, how supportive were your parents when you announced that you wanted to go pro?
“My dad actually played a lot of video games and hosted LAN parties, and my grandparents looked upon it negatively. But my dad was really open to it and introduced me to the video gaming world. I really loved playing video games with him and my big brother, so my family was not too surprised when I made the announcement. When I played minor tournaments with my big brother, we already won little winnings like keyboards and mice, but this showed that you could at least get something from playing the game.
They followed my entire career from the Challenger Series by watching the games and supporting me through the promotion tournament. My mom told me that school can wait and that I should pursue my dream. And that is exactly what I did.”
If RIOT invited you for a developmental feedback session, what would you ask for? In other words, what new champion would you like to see or what crucial feature do you think is missing from the game?
“I am quite unsure. This is actually a really tough question. Riot has teams of staff who try to balance the game continuously, so I don’t really have any feedback other than maybe not giving the new champions so many abilities. For example, compare Garen, one of the older champions in the game, who does not have a dash, to one of the more recently released champions who has a dash, invisibility, and unique ultimate. Sometimes new champions have eight spells instead of the traditional four so I want there to be a new simple champion as well.”
In your experience, what do you think is the major difference between the amateur [casual] scene and the professional scene?
“I think the major difference is that experts [players in the professional scene] must have the ambition and the motivation to get better with each and every game played. If you have that drive I believe amateur players can make it to the professional leagues. Personally, I don’t think I did anything else other than to play the game for fun. I played for fun, for fun, for fun with my brothers and friends and I truly believe that I became good because I would say my attitude is really positive. I just wanted to get better myself and carry the team.”
When did you know you had a chance to make League of Legends into a career?
“As mentioned earlier, it was when I won my first offline tournament with Alex Ich. I was incredibly happy and proud. I would say Alex Ich gave me that shot to go pro. I didn’t just “join” a LCS team, but rather I qualified myself to which I take great pride on.”
Where did your IGN come from?
“My IGN comes from Dota or Battle.net. I needed a name for my Battle.net account. I was around 12 years old and my English was not the best. I was thinking about something scary, something cool and something strong. And I eventually came up with “ThePowerOfEvil”. Funnily enough, the name was too long when I wanted to put the organization tag in front of my name, so I had to replace the “The” instead. Right now my name reads ‘OPT PowerOfEvil’.”
What moment has been the zenith thus far in your career?
“I actually have so many great and wonderful memories with all of my teammates that I just can’t list all of them. There are so many unique moments. I could literally talk about this for an hour straight, reminiscing about my best memories and how much I enjoy playing this game. If I had to choose the best of the best of the best moment, I would say it was when I faced Bjergsen during my tenure with Unicorns of Love. I managed to beat him really hard with multiple solo kills which made me really proud because back then, some people regarded Bjergsen as the best mid laner in the world, rating him higher than Faker. However, that was pretty long ago.
If I had to choose a more recent memory, it will probably be the qualification to 2017 World Championship with Misfits and the tie-breaker against TSM to get out of the Group Stage. That honestly is one of the best moments in my life because there was so much pressure on us and I personally wanted, at the very least, to get out of Group Stage and we managed to make it out as a team.”
Do you have a role model in the esports scene? If so who and why?
“I would say my role model, even though lot of people make jokes about it or does not see him as a good role model, is ForellenLord. He was a Jarvan IV mid laner as well and one of the reasons why I started playing Orianna. He is prominent for that ‘3k elo Shockwave’ and his big plays in the LCS. I don’t think he played for a long time, but he was definitely an insane solo queue player and before my debut, I was obviously mainly playing solo queue and I met him multiple times in which he would always be positive. He would carry his team all the time and he was so high elo that he was a motivational boost just by having him on your team. You just felt like you would win your game with him and I found this so cool and it made me want to be as positive and as good as him.
Of course, as a mid laner, another role model is and always will be Faker. He is just literally the best player who I ever faced, especially at Worlds over the best of five series. He is without a doubt the best mid laner that I have played with and against in my career until this point.”
Lastly, if you could go back in time to before your debut, what advice would you give to your younger self?
“One thing I would say to my younger self is to be more confident as a person. Just always be confident in your games, no matter what people tell you, no matter what your teammates tell you and just be confident in your plays. Second thing is, don’t care about what other people are saying. Do not care about Reddit, do not care about social media, and overall do not care about what people think about you. I had a rough time with this during the infancy of my career, but with more experience I’ve learned to deal with it. However, I definitely wish I learned this earlier.”
With the qualification for 2018 World Championship on the line, be sure check out PowerOfEvil and the rest of OpTic Gaming in action, as NA LCS returns to stage on June 16th, 2018.
Written by: John “Mireu” Ryu