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Road to PAX: Jonathan "Westrice" Nguyen

By Joe 'YouGoJoe23' Staller
Aug 28, 2012 19:22

ImageWith PAX Prime on the horizon, the American League of Legends scene is definitely the one to keep an eye on. But before the event starts, SK-Gaming will bring you another series of interviews with some of the best players.

US Team Curse is one of the oldest teams in the North American scene, starting off initially as unRestricted gaming and eventually becoming the team you see today. Recently the team has come together in to a massive gaming house, with the intent to improve player synergy and increase team revenue via a 24 hour live stream of the house. Both the players and the management have big goals for E-Sports, and you can expect to see a lot of them in the coming years.

Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

"Hi I'm Jon "Westrice" Nguyen and I play top lane for team Curse. I recently joined them at MLG Anaheim and replacing Pobelter after he was too young to join the gaming house. I started playing about a year and a half ago and became known for my Akali gameplay then joined Epik shortly after to make our biggest appearance at Season 1 Championships. A year later, I found myself on a more organized, professional, and enjoyable team which is team Curse."

We are so close to two very important North American tournaments - MLG Raleigh and the Regional qualifiers for Season 2 Championship. How did your preparation for them look like? Are you satisfied with it or think you should have done more?

"We won MLG Raleigh but got disqualifed after getting first place. Before Season 2 Championships we have to get qualifed for it at PAX prime, which we are really confident and looking forward to. We have done a lot to come to where we are now but there is always room to plan and strategize more against top tier teams. My team and myself have greatly improved since we first formed and that is a sign of a bright future for team Curse."

Considering the fact that MLG Raleigh will end 4 days before PAX and that’s when all the participants in the Regionals and their seeds will be known, does this bother you? Would you prefer for the bracket to be ready earlier so you can prepare for specific teams?

"We actually try to hide most of our strategies at MLG Raleigh so it won't affect our games against other teams too much. PAX is obviously way more important than MLG Raleigh so we planned ahead to better our chances of getting a higher place at regionals. Theres a reason why TSM didn't show up at MLG Raleigh."


Do you think that two tournaments so close to each other is a good or bad thing? Will Raleigh make you prepare in the best way for the Regionals by meeting the strongest teams first there or will the travel between the two destinations tire you out and not let you play to your full potential?

"I think MLG chose a very bad time to schedule a tournament right on the eve of PAX. It reveals too much but luckily for us we didn't completely show everything. We just got home from Raleigh and I must say I'm exhausted because of the fact that we need to leave again tomorrow."

What do you think of the format of the Regionals? Is single elimination good enough for such an important tournament that decides who gets to attend the Championship?

"Not necessarily a bad thing, its just more stressful. Single elimination tells us that this is the most important set of matches that we will ever play in a long time. I have never felt more nervous about messing up in this single elimination tournament at PAX. "

What are your expectations going into both tournaments? Do you think you can get a top finish in Raleigh and more importantly one of the three spots for the Championship at the Regionals?

"Technically we got first place in Raleigh. I am confident that my team can make AT LEAST top 3 considering how well we have been doing in scrims and in tournaments."

Do you have any predictions for the teams that are going to take the top 3 places at both tournaments? Do you think they will be the same or can we see some kind of a big surprise?

"My predictions for top three would be TSM, Dignitas, and Curse. Not necessarily in that order. There will definitely be a wide variety of dynamic and never before seen strategies that teams show in regionals."


Curse.NA has seen some roster changes over the past couple of months. How does the new line-up feel?

"Curse has probably the most roster changes out of any team in the world. At this point, I am very satisfied of my team's performance and I wouldn't ask for anything else."

Some lesser known teams, like Legion and Orbit, have been making a big splash as of late in the NA scene. How do you feel about the increased level of competition? Do you feel Curse can make it to the World Championships?

"Legion and Orbit have performed surprisingly well in the last two tournaments, MLG Raleigh and IPL Face-off. I wouldn't be surprised if any of them make top three. And I feel confident in making at least top 3 because my team have been showing a lot of improvement, but then again, anything can happen."

What are your opinions on the Korean teams compared to the NA/EU ones?

"Korean teams definitely have a different playstyle than NA/EU. Korean seems to have a liking in pushing towers all day and recently NA teams have been picking up that strategy as well. This goes back to when EU ran the meta "AD and support bottom" before Season 1 then NA started picking up that meta. All regions learn from each other."

What are your feelings on the gaming house you have moved in to? Will it help improve your team?

"The gaming house has really improved our game and our synergy, including outside the game. It gives us a chance to get to know and adapt to eachother a lot easier than just being people we know online."


Any parting words or shout-outs you would like to make?

"I'd like to give a shout out to our sponsors Logitech, Gunnars, Teamspeak, as well as and most importantly our fans. Without you guys all this wouldn't have happened. Thank you all!"



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