Obsess talks about how the L9 Squad was formed: “It started out as a joke between me and RatIRL, and other players copied the name. It was a snowball-effect.”

Obsess Misfits
Photograph taken by: Riot Games

In this interview, Misfits’ substitute Jungler Obsess talks about the L9 Squad he formed with RatIRL, his transition towards playing with Misfits, and why is parents originally thought he joined the mafia when he first started competing in esports. Enjoy!

Darius: Congratulations on going 8-0 with Misfits! How big has your personal contribution been towards this massive winning streak so far?

Obsess: In terms of stage performance not much, but I get roughly 20% of the scrim time, which is very nice. The transition into the team has been very smooth I would say. It was very… “Plug and play”. I didn’t have to do much to integrate. There’s a lot to learn of course to get to Maxlore’s level, but the beginning has been very easy for me so far.

I would guess your teammates have been very welcoming, and the team’s infrastructure helps as well?

Yes, it’s a very friendly organization, so it was very easy.

That’s nice to hear. So, let’s talk about your past with the L9 Squad, which has recently infiltrated Misfits!

Would you like to elaborate on that, and what exactly L9 stands for?

Back when I chose my Summoner Name in Season 4, the name was already taken. So I was thinking about what I could do – Obsess1? Nah. At the time, Hai was a very popular streamer on Twitch, he had 50k viewers and was streaming every day. His Twitch name was “HaiL9”, which I think stood for his last name and Cloud9, which he was playing for at the time. So I just copied that.

So at first it didn’t really mean anything. In Season 5, RatIRL asked me what the L9 stood for because I was really good friends with him. I told him that it didn’t really have a meaning, that I just copied it from Hai. So he had the idea of making a club with L9 as the tag, which was eventually used to troll people. I was on twitter at the time, and it was pretty hard to make yourself known when you were just a SoloQ-player, so this was a way to generate interest.

From then on it kinda blew up, not because of me or Rat, but because of certain people that… That set a bad example for the club. That’s why I think it blew up so much.

From all the stuff I was able to find, I was only able to find an “L9 Boosting Service”, but I’m assuming you were never a part of that?

No, I or the club was never a part of that. They copied the name because L9 used to be so big, because Rat is so popular, but it’s not anything associated to us. In NA it’s also popular due to certain streamers, but again, it’s nothing related towards us or our L9 club.

So it was kind of a snowball effect?

Yeah, it used to be a little thing between friends and then it got out of hand.

But it helped you getting some popularity as well! (laughs)

(laughs) Yeah, for better or for worse. I’m not sure yet! (laughs)

And now even Nubar is going on stage doing the L9-hand sign, so it’s become top-level memery at this point.

It’s kind of turned into an inside joke within the team: They play Warcraft 3 after scrims, they call it World Cup. And the level system also uses L plus the number of levels, so L1, L2, L3 and so forth. When they reach L9, they all scream. They also have formed their own L9 club on their main League accounts, so they’re having fun with it.

(laughs) I think that’s very beautiful! So what’s the situation with you and Misfits – you mentioned that you get 20% of the scrim time for example. Can we expect you to show up on the EU LCS stage anytime soon?

Can we expect me to play EU LCS any time soon? Hmm… Yeah? I think it’s not a given, but if I keep improving at this rate, it should become a possibility. It would probably be against a weaker team, so I don’t get too much pressure, but there are plans to let the subs play.

Special and Obsess, Misfits’ current substitute players for Mid and Jungle

Special as well?

Yup, Special as well. We both get the same amount of scrims. Maybe we could even play during Playoffs, if we do perform on stage. For me personally, I never played on stage, so it’s a huge question mark on whether I’d be able to perform. I think I’m doing okay in scrims. And I’m talking with our mental coach, who helps me to calm down in difficult situations. He’s teaching me how I can talk to myself in these moments to make me calm down.

Interesting. It’s great to hear that Misfits has such great infrastructure available to you as a player!

Yeah, they’re pretty open to suggestions as well. Jesse, Tim, and Hussain are very open to discussing things. Since I’m relatively new to competitive, they’re very open towards me asking questions during VOD reviews. They’re very helpful in that regard.

For you personally, you got to join an amazing organization, especially given their score right now. But it’s obviously very difficult to replace a player like Maxlore. What does your personal future look like – potentially getting on a different LCS team as a starting jungler after proving yourself at Misfits?

For now, I’m very happy about where I am. Obviously, competing with Maxlore for a starting spot is very hard, given that he’s… It’s pretty safe to say that he’s the best Jungler in EU right now. So getting the starting spot is very hard, probably impossible. But I feel like… Misfits would be such a high note, that leaving this organization for any other non-top-tier-team would be a downgrade. And those other top-tier teams have very good Junglers already.

Hussain said that I shouldn’t just have my eyes on one or two stage games, but rather the starting spot. But for now, I’m fine about getting towards a level where I can confidentially play on stage and I won’t be a burden for my team. That’s my primary goal for now.

What was your family’s reaction when you first told them that you got a contract with Misfits?

They’re very negative about esports.

(laughs) Welcome to Germany!

(laughs) Yeah, they are… They thought I joined the mafia. I used to play in Spain for one month and it was… Not shady, but difficult. Even when I got my salary, they said that I wouldn’t be playing in Spain again. When the offer from Misfits came, they were at least happy that it was still in Germany. Then I showed them my paycheck and my mother finally admitted that I wasn’t in the mafia. (laughs)

That was a pretty good start I would say. But yeah, they weren’t the biggest supporters. I also tried to show them a documentary about the German League of Legends League, but that didn’t help much either.

Yeah, I can sadly relate to that. And we’re not the only Germans that have experienced this! Many years of negative press have not helped the standing of video games whatsoever. In Denmark, things would be a lot easier! (laughs)

Yeah. I heard from Jesse and Sencux that their parents were very open-minded about their careers. Whereas I’m just here trying to tell my parents that I’m not shooting people for a living.

But at the end of the day, the pay-check can convince any parent!

Yeah, at the end of the day, I’m still here you know?

Well, let’s hope that you will have a very successful and happy career! Is there anything you’d like to say to the Misfits fans out there?

I’d like to thank all the fans! I read all the reddit posts, and they constantly ask “When is Obsess playing?” I hope very soon! And if I get the stage game, I hope you support me, as you do with the rest of the team. It’s been very nice to see all the messages.

Thank you for your time!

Darius Matuschak
Darius is an esports journalist trying to nurture esports culture whenever possible. He got into esports while finishing his Bachelor in Journalism, and has been a regular EU LCS attendee since January 2017.