Mitchell “Destiny” Shaw made his mark in the Oceanic Pro League as a champion, having won titles with both MAMMOTH and Dire Wolves. After an early exit at the 2019 League of Legends World Championship play-ins, Destiny looks to open up a new chapter in his career as Origen’s starting support in the League of Legends European Championship 2020 Spring Split.
For Destiny, his goals are simple: establish his legacy within the LEC and win a split with Origen. Ahead of the new season, Hotspawn’s Nick Ray was able to speak with Destiny about his journey as a player, his experience with Origen so far, and the influx of Oceanic talent in both EU and NA.
Nick Ray: Throughout your career in the OPL you’ve been through a lot with a lot of different teams, found success, and recently completed your worlds run with MAMMOTH. Does it feel like all of your hard work has lead up to this point of you joining Origen?
Destiny: Yeah definitely. Going through a lot of good times in the OPL as well as a lot of bad times. I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly a talented player or anything. I would say that I’m very hardworking in the sense that I’m a competitor. I really thrive in the environment that I’m in. I took a lot of risks in my career. I left the winning team in Oceania to join the second-tier team and try to beat my old team. I guess in the long run that benefitted me playing with a lot of different players. Just as a person, I kind of grew up through these experiences. I guess all of the work that went through lead to Origen seeing me as a good player and a good fit within the team.
N: Did anything about Origen specifically draw you to them?
Destiny: Mainly that they’re incredibly professional. They really like structure and planning and building a family, which is something that I’m very down for. Obviously the organization is very well-respected being a part of the Astralis Group. And yeah just playing in the LEC, the best western region. It was an offer that I couldn’t say no to, you know? This is the stuff that I’ve wanted to play in for a long time.
N: You mentioned their professionalism. Is there anything that you’ve noticed right off the bat about the differences in team culture and everything between EU and OCE?
Destiny: I’d say in terms of like infrastructure Europe is miles ahead of Oceania. In Oceania, there would typically be the owner, the CEO, the coach, and that was pretty much it for staff. Literally two people. But here, there’s a whole office filled with different roles like social media manager, marketing, performance, office manager. There’s so many different roles and everything’s just better you know? The facility, the computers at the house, the apartments are really nice. It just seems like here everything’s sorted; it makes it really easy for the player. In Oceania, you have to kind of figure it out on your own. I’m glad to be here.
N: I saw on social media that you guys actually got to scrim today. How’s it been getting to meet and know your teammates?
Destiny: It’s been good. It’s kind of bizarre watching these players for so many years from far away and them having no idea who I am or where I’m from. So to be able to play with these players is really insane– to be seen as an equal. It’s definitely something that I’m getting used to. I don’t wanna join this team and be a sheep and just follow people. I wanna be a part of the team. I don’t want to just fall in line and do what’s asked, I want to be my own person and have my opinions and I think everyone has been really welcoming of that. We went to a boot camp to a castle and did a lot of exercises in terms of the structure of the team and just getting to know everyone. So I think that really helped me out to joining the team. I feel a lot more comfortable now and scrims have been going well.
N: On not wanting to be a follower: You were seen as a leader on MAMMOTH or at least that was the community perception of you as a more front-facing player. How would you define yourself as a player and what kind of role do you see yourself taking on within Origen?
Destiny: Obviously I’ve played in a superteam in OCE which was MMM. Split One we had an incredibly bad split. I’ve played in a superteam, I’ve experienced what it takes to win. I feel like a lot of players on this team haven’t actually won an LEC title and I guess coming here, having won my domestic region, I feel like my role within the team would be to facilitate what it means to be a champion, which is a lot of qualities. Respect, hardworking, humbleness, just being positive. I feel like I bring a lot of the out-of-game stuff. I’m not a bad player. I’m very self-driven, motivated and very critical of myself. I don’t feel like I’m talented, I’m just very hardworking and that’s what stands me out and why I got this opportunity.
N: You’re replacing [Alfonso “Mithy” Aguirre Rodríguez] whose whole legacy was kind of built around him not being the best mechanical player, but being a leader in and out of the game. How does it feel to replace a player like that?
Destiny: Yeah Mithy’s a very respected player. He’s had a couple of Worlds runs, he’s been to North America. Has he won? I think he has won, right?
N: He was winning with [G2 Esports].
Destiny: Yeah he’s been through it all you know? So to replace him is kind of bizarre in a way. I don’t really think about it too much. I’m not gonna say that I have to fill his shoes or anything, but I’ll just do my best and that’s all I can do.
N: What do you think about a lot of OCE players moving to western regions? Even your old teammates [Calvin “k1ng” Truong] and [Tommy “ry0ma” Le] have found teams. What are your thoughts on those pickups?
Destiny: To be honest, I feel like it’s finally happened. After playing in Oceania for quite some time, I feel like players could have been imported quite some time ago. I’m very happy for them to see them get out of Oceania. I feel like they’ll have very good careers in North America if they stay true to themselves and they don’t fall [out of] line and let the pressure get to them. K1ng, in particular, has won like five OPL titles. He’s the golden player of the OPL. Playing with both of them I wish them the best. Ry0ma playing in LCS, that’s even something that I didn’t expect. These players, they have a lot of room to grow and with the infrastructure, I really do hope to see them succeed.
N: So do you think more teams are going to start looking to OCE for talent in the coming splits?
Destiny: To be honest, I feel like a lot of the good players in Oceania– the best talent– did get picked. I feel like the players that did stand out have been picked up. I do think there has to be talent to replace us, and I feel like it will take a couple of splits, but they should be motivated you know? I feel like this can go a good way in the sense that the next generation will be like “hey we can go overseas now. We can do it; they’ve done it,” so it’s very motivating for them. Or the region will go backwards in the sense that the talent is just low, they will do bad overseas, and then they’ll get kind of disheartened from pursuing it.
N: That kind of answers my next question. I was going to ask if there are any players in OCE currently that you think would succeed in EU or NA. Is there a player that you think has that potential?
Destiny: I think it would be [Leo “Babip” Romer and Quin “Raes” Korebrits]. I feel like there’s a lot of new supports in the OPL coming in, so I can definitely see them getting imported in the future. I feel like there are a lot of [incoming] supports that I can see becoming good players worthy of being imported.
N: Do you think at this point with all of the talent coming in and the import rule changes that the OPL will serve as more of a developmental league? Will the goal for new talent in OCE always be to go to these major regions?
Destiny: It’s actually incredibly hard for an Oceanic team to go to Worlds or MSI and actually get out of their group just because playing like the third seed of Korea is near-impossible to beat. So I feel like the main goal of an Oceanic player should be to impress and show that they’re capable of laning well and going even in CS against good players. In a way, it’s not sustainable to stay in OCE and play full-time. You can’t do that for 10 years or five years. It’s just not good. So I think the changes benefit the players that want to leave and go overseas. So in a way it is a progressive league now. I wouldn’t say that it’s a sustainable league, but it is a growing league. It’s like a lower NA Academy. It pretty much is the amateur league of NA now.
N: Well now it basically is all of Academy now, right?
Destiny: [Laughs] Yeah it actually is. People will probably look at the college teams in NA, but I think they’d rather just look at OPL now.
N: So is there any player in EU that you’re particularly looking forward to playing against once the split starts?
Destiny: Two of them. The first one would be [Mihael “Mikyx” Mehle]. He is the best support right now, they went to Worlds finals. I’m really looking forward to playing against him. And [Zdravets “Hylissang” Iliev Galabov] because everyone calls him a scrim god so I’m keen to see how it goes. It’s very exciting to see what I can learn from them and show them what I have.
N: So does the team itself have any specific goals for this split seeing as they had a rough end to 2019?
Destiny: The goal of this team would be to win LEC. Obviously a lot of the players on this team are veterans. They’ve been on many teams. Like [Andrei “Xerxe” Dragomir] for instance, he literally just went to Worlds with Splyce. [Barney “Alphari” Morris] went to Worlds with Misfits. [Erlend “Nukeduck” Våtevik Holm] has been around for so many years. [Elias “Upset” Lipp], he really wants to show that he’s the best AD carry in Europe. I feel like this team has a lot of energy, a lot of drive and a lot of passion. These players love the game and they just wanna show that they’re the best and I wanna do my best to help them, become the best that I can be, and create a legacy in the LEC.
N: So before we go, I can tell by your icon and I’ve heard myself that you’re a big anime fan, right?
Destiny: [Laughs] Yeah, I watch a bit of anime.
N: What are your favorite shows, and is there anything that you’re watching right now from the current season?
Destiny: I’m watching Dr. Stone at the moment. I really like it. Boku no Hero fourth season, Psycho Pass third season, Shokugeki. Just whatever’s the latest and whatever’s hyped.