Not much was expected from Golden Guardians heading into 2021, but just one week into the LCS Lock In Tournament, the newly-formed roster is already looking to defy expectations. Stropse caught up with bot laner Trevor “Stixxay” Hayes to discuss what he’s learned so far from his new teammates.
After five long years as a member of Counter Logic Gaming, Stixxay has moved to a different organization for the first time in his LCS career. As a self-proclaimed “developmental roster,” Golden Guardians brought Stixxay in for his veteran presence. With young teammates Nicholas Antonio “Ablazeolive” Abbott, Aiden “Niles” Tidwell and Ethan “Iconic” Wilkinson, Stixxay’s experience and leadership is meant to help facilitate their transition into the LCS. However, in their little time together, Stixxay has found that he’s the one actually doing the learning,
Being Surprised by his Teammates
“Surprisingly enough, the players on my team are actually pretty experienced, and they understand a lot about intense situations in League, and what the right calls are,” Stixxay told Stropse.
In the first week of the LCS Lock In Tournament, the young Golden Guardians roster had a couple of impressive showings despite fans expecting the worst. Niles and Iconic, two longtime friends who met on the solo queue ladder, have especially impressed Stixxay.
“Those two are definitely the ones that surprised me the most,” Stixxay said of Niles and Iconic. “I wasn’t expecting too much from them to be honest, because they’re coming from collegiate, and I think collegiate just doesn’t have the best reputation… but these guys came into our team and they’re honestly just insane. I was really impressed with their level of knowledge and mechanics.”
Stixxay also explained how well the team is synergizing together, despite being so new. “We sort of have this hive mindset, where if we call a play, we’re all going for it. We’re not having one person that’s scared to do the play, or anything like that. We don’t care. We just go and we fight when we think is right.”
Learning From Their Innocence
Stixxay’s tenure with CLG wasn’t the easiest. After a wild rookie year in 2016 when Stixxay won an LCS title and finished second at MSI and competed on the Worlds stage, the rest of his career has been pretty downhill.
“They have this, sort of, innocence, because they’re just so new to the league,” Stixxay said. “In my last couple years on CLG, it was really depressing, to put it honestly. Coming to this team, there’s a lot of innocence, and they just enjoy playing League. They want a good team environment where everyone loves playing with each other, and I think that’s how it’s going. It’s really enjoyable.”
Moving to a new team and a new atmosphere, has really given a breath of fresh air to the veteran bot laner. The Golden Guardians players are feeding off each other, creating an energy that’s really given Stixxay and his teammates a wave of confidence.
“We have a lot of confident players in every role,” Stixxay explained. “We come into every day not being scared and being confident in our own plays.
Don’t Call it a Comeback
With his move, fans have built up a redemption narrative around Stixxay. After five long years with CLG, Stixxay finally has the opportunity to bring himself back to the top with this young core of talented players. But Stixxay isn’t worried about that; he just wants to play his game.
“I’m just focusing on my own thing. I think in the past, maybe I was worried too much about what other people thought. I just don’t care. I just try to play what’s right and do what I think is right, and I think I’ll be the most successful.”
“I just try to keep a positive example out of the game, and just work hard to make sure that everyone can look at that and follow as an example.”
Stixxay also admitted that even though this team was designed to be developmental, he’s confident that they’ll be competitive in the LCS.
“Coming into this year, I really wasn’t expecting a lot, since we’re a developmental roster. But, it was very clear after the first week of scrims, yeah we’re a development roster, but, we can actually contest some of the really good teams. I try not to be too disappointed when we lose, and try to recognize that we’re still improving and have improved massively in the first few weeks. So, I’m really proud of everyone.”
Golden Guardians came into the LCS just three years ago in the beginning of 2018. Since then, the team has never finished higher than fifth place. But with their new core, Golden Guardians are sure to be one of the most exciting teams to root for in 2021.