After a spectacular match between Na’vi and the Fnatic squad back in January during the Paladins World Championship, things have been pretty quiet in the Paladins esports scene. The main reason being the prolonged renovations of the brand new Hi-Rez Studios esports arena. With the construction complete, the Paladins Premier League is finally ready to be kicked off into season two.
To celebrate the start of the second season of the Paladins Premier League, I asked none other than Kevin ‘UBELIVABLE’ Rahu, captain of Na’Vi to sit down with me and have a little chat.
Thanks for taking the time to sit down with me Kevin! Let me start off by asking you to describe how it felt to finally be a world champion after chasing that dream for so long.
After getting second place during the first Hi-Rez expo, getting all the way to the final map in a best of seven set and losing it in the end… it was really devastating. Even though this time we won 4-0 in the finals, it was still haunting me in the back of the head. When we won the final map and were crowned the winners, I just couldn’t believe it and everything was very surreal for awhile. After that I had a huge smile on my face and all that pressure was gone.
How does a top team like Na’vi prepare for a PPL Game?
We prepare for games by meeting up and talking about our plan going into the games, the next step is to warm up before the tournament with games against another team. After that initial warm up we discuss the upcoming game again and mentally prepare ourselves for the tournament. We have practiced for months now leading up to the first week of Paladins Premier League so we are excited to get started.
What keeps you motivated to play at a top level like this?
We all started this game early on, most of us before patch 15. We just enjoyed the game and are fortunate enough to be in this position now. The fans are the best motivation to keep me going now and even though the game has been through some rough patches in the past, the future looks better than ever with the upcoming changes and direction they are heading. I believe we all have more passion than ever before for this game, and being the best players possible is in all our nature because we are really competitive people.
What does your family think of your pro gaming career?
Initially they had their doubts, who doesn’t? They thought playing games was a waste of time but as soon as I proved myself and travelled to USA for HRX 2017, they started believing that maybe I wasn’t wasting my time after all. Now they continuously ask me how I am doing in the game and when the next tournament will be o they can watch etc… They have been very supportive about it!
Who do you think is the best PPL player at the moment both mechanically and strategically?
I cannot answer this question honestly, it’s too hard for me to decide. I have great respect for many players and recognize their skill but I cannot decide on one player. Each player has their weaknesses and strengths. in the past I used to think it was Laizy (Ninjas in Pyjamas) but now i’m not so sure anymore since there are so many other talented players out there. No offense to Laizy of course, I still think high of him! Nice ultis though *wink*.
Do you look up to certain players, from other teams perhaps?
I look up to all my teammates as they are honest with me and each other as well because we all want the best for the team and help each other out. We’re aiming to improve as players and stay at the top so it’s important for any of our players to accept criticism and always aim to improve. A really important part of that is listening to your teammates and looking at things with open mind. I’m really good friends with some players of other teams but when it comes down to competitive esports stuff, I keep to my team. We can be friendly and buy each other drinks outside games but I’m showing no mercy when it’s time to play against each other.
How about archenemies, anyone that needs a good beating?
I would like to beat Fnatic again like we did during the last Paladins World Championships, that would be nice!
If you could change one thing in Paladins what would it be?
I would change the values of some items! Nerfing Cauterize from level 3 being 90% to 75% for example so I could get more heals being the tanky player, haha.
Do you have any shout outs you want to make?
I’d like to thank our fans for always supporting us and I hope I can count on their support in the future too! I’d also like to thank our sponsors HyperX, Monster, GGbet, Dxracer, Twitch, Dreamteam and also our manager Yaroslav. He has been a great mentor and I’m really grateful to him for everything he has done for us.
To close this out, what’s your favorite dish?
endless chatter commences about not being able to pick a dish
All right, I’ll settle on a Medium Flo’s filet from Longhorn Steakhouse.
Are you just as excited as we are for the start of the second season of the Paladins Premier League? Remember to watch the first match between Na’vi and NiP live on Facebook, starting 3:00pm ET on March the 24th!