The Salad Bar Interview
Go4LoL all-stars, Normal game pubstompers, and a past contender in the North American League of Legends Championship Qualifiers, TSB sat down to provide some insight to how they work as a team.


Hello everyone, how about you all introduce yourselves with your in-game name and usual role in The Salad Bar?
Ren Takchiki: I am Ren Takchiki. I play Support for The Salad Bar.
Hirishin: Hirishin, I play Top Lane for the team.
Ghoztzero: I’m Ghoztzero and I play Jungle for The Salad Bar.
EHomda: EHomda. Mid lane!
NinjaSalad: I am NinjaSalad. I play Support for Salad Bar. I’m also team captain/manager.

Is there any interesting history behind the meaning of all of your names, including the team name "The Salad Bar?"
Ren Takchiki: I like the name "Ren," and "Takchiki" is a name that I put together from several Japanese words.
Hirishin: Hirishin is a character for something I wrote in high school.
EHomda: EHonda has the same first name and my last name is Hom, so I put 2 and 2 together!
NinjaSalad: I have no idea where I came up with NinjaSalad.
Ghoztzero: My brother gave me his account in WoW where he had the name Ghostzero and I’ve always liked the name so I use it for most games. When I got into League it was taken, so I just replaced the “s” with a “z.”
NinjaSalad: I don’t even like salad, but the name The Salad Bar came from me. I'm NinjaSalad so it seemed appropriate that the first team I made would be The Salad Bar.

Haha, interesting. I always assumed that at least one of you would be a health nut. So how did all of you start gaming in general?
Hirishin: It was fun when I was little and it stayed with me ever since.
Ren Takchiki: I loved gaming ever since I was born. It was always my dream to go into competitive gaming with at least one game, and League of Legends has made it possible.
EHomda: Started playing Counter-Strike, which was introduced by my brother. Then my friends introduced me to Warcraft III and started playing DotA since then. Then transitioned into HoN, then League by friends as well.
Ghoztzero: I started gaming when my mom introduced me to the N64 when I was 5. Ever since then I played consoles up to when I was like 12, when my brother introduced me to WoW. Ever since then I’ve been into online gaming, and when WoW got boring I was introduced to League and loved the game.
NinjaSalad: I think the first games I played were the old Command and Conquer series and Warcraft 2. I never planned on playing anything competitively but I've always had an interest in gaming.

Have any of these old experiences helped at all in competitive League?
Hirishin: It's been easier for me to learn rapidly because of how many different types of games I played.
Ren Takchiki: Playing Warcraft 3's mod, Defense of the Ancients, has helped me in my gameplay in League of Legends since the two games are similar in gameplay. Other games, such as StarCraft, has helped me manage my screen and positioning better.
Ninja Salad: The WC3 DotA experience certainly helped.
EHomda: DotA and HoN are both MOBA games so it definitely helped me in terms of mechanics and strategies.
Ghoztzero: I played WoW arenas fairly competitively and hit Gladiator, which helped me learn how to actively communicate and keep good relations with teammates.

So back on to LoL in the present. You guys have been hailed as players who lurk in the highest levels of Normals. How true is this and how frequently do you guys play Normal games as opposed to solo queue?
Ghoztzero: Me and Ehomda only play solo queue right before Elo decay, and sometimes not even that. Otherwise, when we have free time, we like to just spam normals because generally almost everyone in it knows each other and teams have better communication.
Hirishin: I think the problem is that a lot of the times we queue up as three or more and play with friends. It's more fun to be in a game with all of your friends, don't you think? We all are capable of climbing very high on the ladder, I believe, but still we probably play normals 90% more than ranked.
NinjaSalad: Plus the ranked atmosphere is a lot more hostile.
EHomda: As for me, I love to play with the company of more friends. More the merrier, as they say. Also, the solo queue "attitude" is super toxic due to hostility.

You all have been dominating the Go4LoL scene for what seems to be forever. For other events like CPS or, in the past, LCS, how exactly does the team prepare?
EHomda: Go4LoL is our practice, to be honest. Everyone has their own different individual obligations like school and work. I assume the normal games we play, even if messing around, helps us practice for Go4LoL. As for LCS, we barely had any practice with our new AD due to location issues.

What weaknesses currently plague the team; and what strengths does the team possess?
EHomda: The lack of practice is the huge key for us losing. Even when we play normal, we don't play with the starting line of Salad Bar, which consists of the people you see here. We also rush a lot of picks, which is a big problem if we don't do well in lane. I say our strengths are our communication in team fights and warding.

Speaking of picks, why all the Syndra bans against you, Ehomda? Enlighten a 1600 player on why Go4LoL teams don't want you on Syndra.
EHomda: Syndra is an underrated champion that no one plays. I feel like banning Syndra against me is due to no one really knowing how to play against her in mid. Syndra is almost like Annie in some respects due to high burst. Syndra can kill anyone in mid, including brusiers, because of her strong laning phase. Think about it this way: all her spells do damage.

Going back to the team as a whole, what are your future plans for 2013?
EHomda: Our future plans consists of playing more normals and playing online tournaments. Three of us are graduating from college this spring, so we will be mainly looking forward to that. I believe we all will still be playing casually even afterwards.

Do you guys have any advice for players who want to slowly get into the tournament scene and play more seriously with friends as a team?
Ren Takchiki: Communicate, communicate, and more communicate is the greatest gift of any team. Always talk and never let down.
Hirishin: Never give up! Most of the time, newer teams will inherently be behind in coordination and other things that don't come with playing alone. It shouldn't be discouraging to lose a few games here or there as long as you guys are looking to improve in the process.
NinjaSalad: Play with people you like and aim to have fun. It's great trying your best to improve, but if you aren’t playing with people you enjoy spending time with, then it won’t be worth it.
EHomda: In my opinion, just try to have fun playing the game initially. After that, you will learn the game as time comes. Always look for your own mistakes before blaming other people. The main key is to have a good attitude towards everything that happens. Sure, you may lose a couple games, but everyone loses once in a while as long as you learn from it!
Ghoztzero: Be friendly and actively look for players who you regard as being good or someone you wish to play with. Collect all the knowledge you can and apply the knowledge toward the game actively. Watch streams and actively analyze to figure out exactly what they are doing right and apply it. Afterwards it’s up to you to play and practice those things you notice or wish to improve on until it becomes habit.

In closing, are there any shout-outs, Twitter handles, Facebook pages, stream links, that you'd all like to share?
NinjaSalad: Shoutout to our extended family and practice team The Soup Kitchen. We wouldn't have gotten this far without them. Also to my family and friends for being so supportive. Oh and Twitter is @LoLTheSaladBar.
EHomda: SHOUTOUT TO THE SOUP KITCHEN. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE. Dkbnet, Reon, Uhkili, GhandiSAUCE, Zhanos, uulum, as well as everyone that plays against us in normals! Shoutout to my mom and brother and my team as well!

The Salad Bar practices against The Soup Kitchen. That made me laugh pretty loud. You guys seem like a funny bunch. Thank you all for your time.
NinjaSalad: Thanks!
EHomda: Haha! Thanks for the interview!
Orcasm, Tuesday, 29/01/13 15:37
 
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