I had the opportunity to sit down with Francesco “KingofEvils” Alacca, Esport Empire’s Head Coach.
Last time out, we spoke with EE’s starting support Paradox, talking about the team’s journey and his career. This time, we will go over the new roster the organization has put together, and understand what went through the Head Coach’s mind. Not only that, but we’ll also talk about the game and how he views the Italian Esports Scene from another perspective.
Francesco “KingofEvils” Alacca – Esport Empire Interview
Below you can find the interview with Paradox. Our questions will be in bold font and his answers will be in regular font.
Q: Hi KingofEvils and welcome! For those people who might know who you are, tell us a little about yourself!
Ciao a tutti, I’m KingofEvils! I’m the Head Coach of Esport Empire for the second consecutive split, following our promotion to the Italian first division. I consider myself one of the newcomers in the Italian esports scene, as I’ve been in the competitive environment for only one and a half years.
Q: You are HC in Esport Empire, how did you end up in the role and what is it like being a coach in League of Legends?
The story behind how I got into the team is quite a funny one. One day, at the end of the break before the 2021 summer, I was contacted by a new organization that wanted to enter the 2021 Proving Grounds, following the first edition of the Circuito Tormenta.
At first, I couldn’t believe what I was reading because money and 3rd Division were something ridiculous that I could never expect. With that being said, after talking with the manager Riccardo “Yrick” Pasina, I quickly realized that they were the real deal and that not only they were reliable, but we also shared similar ideas and visions about the project. These reasons brought us to begin a new journey with Riccardo and the organization.
Regarding the questions on what is it like being a coach, I think that it’s extremely important to be patient and constantly learn new stuff. I am the kind of person who likes discussing with coaches that are more qualified and have more experience in order to get the best out of those discussions. Then, I try to make that knowledge mine and re-apply it to my environment, often adapting it based on the situation.
Q: Last time, we spoke with Paradox who is EE’s starting support. What do you think about him and the Italian talents in PG Nats?
Both Federico “Paradox” Princiotta Cariddi and Filippo “Sandalo” Laghi (EE’s starting ADC) have been growing alongside me, even before Esport Empire. We had the chance to work together in Coffe-E-Sports while playing in amateur tournaments or the AUE (Amazon University Esports), so we know each other for quite some time.
For those reasons, I’m their “first believer” and I see a lot of potential in both of them: I think that this split will also help change people’s minds regarding them. As for the other Italian talents in PG Nats, I realize that it will be hard for any of them to really shine but at the same time there are going to be interesting prospects for the future. Players like Diego “Vyct0r” Piccardi, Alessandro “SkaR” Torresi this split and many others that are playing in the 2nd Division like Enrico “Enryy” Zunren Jiang, Andrea “Thraex” Sica and Pietro “Cubo” Giusti, are all great talents that can make it to PG.
Q: Did you make any changes to the roster between splits? What was the idea behind the roster for summer? What are your goals and expectations?
Following the unlucky result of the spring split when we missed playoffs, we decided to sit together and discuss with the manager on what we wanted to do for the upcoming summer. Knowing that we had the confidence and the experience built from the first part of the year, we decided to go for a trio of imports. In the top lane we have Antonio “Rubi0o” Cruz Clavel who was previously the top laner for UCAM Esports Club in the LVP. Dimitar “LeBron” Kostadinov will be our jungler, who reached EU Masters Play-in last split with Barça eSports. Last but not the least, Iliya “Lmzs” Razhgev is going to be our starting mid laner, after playing one split with Valiance in the EBL.
My bold prediction is that we have the potential of making it to the top 2 in the PG Nats Playoffs and this kind of result in our first year in the highest Italian Division would be a fantastic outcome.
Q: Is there something that you would like to change in the Italian esports scene? What should the scene prioritize in order to elevate itself?
I’ve always been a critic regarding the Italian esports scene, as I also make public posts and small “rants” about the environment. There are two extremely important things that I see missing from our league: a strong united community and the way investments are managed during the year.
The lack of a great community comes from two main reasons. On one hand, fans and enthusiasts do not build loyalty towards any of the teams. On the other, teams are incapable of building a connection with their audience and fan base. I think it’s one of the most vital elements for any esports scene and I would like to see that change.
Speaking of investments, since I study management myself, I believe that some of the investment decisions are very questionable. Esports teams in Italy should invest more resources in their branding since it’s very lacking compared to other leagues like the LFL (French League) or the LVP. (Spanish League)
Q: Esport Empire has been setting up a bootcamp in Milan ahead of the summer split. What was the idea behind it and what are you looking to get out of this experience?
Ever since I started my competitive career as a coach, I’ve always wanted to set up bootcamp with a gaming house. The idea was to have more direct contact with their players and the coaching staff, while also using this experience to create entertaining content that was not game-related and reach out to our community.
I’m very grateful to Esport Empire for giving us the chance to organize it and in my point of view, a live experience completely changed the way players approach and interact with one another. Not only that, but the same goes for the coaching staff and I’m also very happy to have brought them to Milan as well. I hope that the bootcamp will help the team during the summer split and allow the players to be a more cohesive unit.
Q: Let’s speak a little about the game itself. What do you think about the huge changes in the durability patch?
Since PG Nats will start with the 12.10 patch, I’ve slowly built my own vision regarding this shift of the meta.
On one hand, I was slightly scared about the return of a tank meta from seasons 5 and 6, where games were very long. Teams will most likely play around the dragons as the win condition and draft primarily around scaling. I also think that assassins will almost disappear, both in mid and other roles. Champions like Leblanc will surely struggle due to the increased durability across the board. Lethality ADCs will also fade away in favor of the traditional crit ADCs or on-hit champions. Fingers crossed about enchanters… but it doesn’t look like they will disappear.
Q: We are almost to the end of our interview! Is there anything you want to say to the fans or the community?
I want to thank all the people who have been following our journey in PG Nats, Davide “Dovi” Xu for the interview, and I’m hoping that we can entertain you this Summer Split and keep you guys glued to the screen!