FACE CHECK: Hyve Central

In this interview with Hyve Central, they discuss their aims for the league and how they eagerly anticipate their revenge on Demise Academy. The team has some old faces that avid fans may remember, representing a relatively new organisation in the League of Legends scene.

In this week’s installment of FACE CHECK, I had the opportunity to interview the second team coming into the league through the qualifiers. Hyve Central are full of confidence and have no fears about any opposition that they may face. If you do not know who the Hyve are, they participated in the qualifiers under a different name and came a very close second to Demise Academy. As for the players though if you have a keen eye you will recognise a few of these guys from the roster who won the UKEL 2020 Spring Playoffs. After some complications, and a split-off from playing, they are back and more determined than ever to rectify their mistakes and win the league.

UnknownSwede, Jungler

After my interviews with Demise Academy last week, I was eager to get UnknownSwede’s opinion on a rematch with that team. He expressed his discontent at losing the finals, believing that his team didn’t show up on the day, as they played ‘really poorly’ additionally, he trusts that Hyve Central are definitely better ‘in terms of individual skill’ than Demise Academy, adding to the embers started by Demise Academy last week, making a match-up between these two teams one to surely look forward to. To UnknownSwede, there are no other players aside from Foretell that he is looking forward to facing, as nobody else “stood out”, however, he did say that this was partly his fault for not paying much attention.

According to UnknownSwede, the decision to enter the qualifiers was very much down to just ‘why not?’, though this thought process was backed up by a majority of the roster being from UK and NI. This arose the discussion of the roster itself, as UnknownSwede discussed how the roster had been
together for a while before the qualifiers, some for as long as 2-3 years, which he believed was a huge advantage for the team, a sentiment that I personally agree with. Despite this advantage, UnknownSwede made it very clear that he believed the upcoming season changes that League of Legends is going through are a much more crucial factor in the tournament, though he still expects the synergy with his team to be superior to that of teams formed later down the line.

During a discussion about UnknownSwede’s personal goals for the UKEL 2021 Spring Split, he said that although he understands the value of building his own brand, his main focus is just ‘competing’ as he doesn’t want to get too far ahead of himself. This positive mindset is something that is shared throughout the org, as you will see further on in the article. He humbly admits that it is too early to determine whether or not Hyve Central will make playoffs, but still stands by the fact that they have a ‘pretty good chance’. This is backed up by the fact that three of the players on the team have demonstrated they have what it takes to win this league, but also believes that the experience gained from that allows him and his teammates to be impervious to the nerves of playing in the UKEL.

Coming towards the end of my interview with UnknownSwede, I asked him the final question that everyone is subject to. I challenged him to pick just one word to describe Hyve Central, and why. With slight difficulty, he chose the word VAYNE, saying that although she is an uncommon, out-of-meta pick, the fact that his team has the potential to use her, is unpredictable, and thinks it can be daunting for opponents to draft against his team.

Arbury, Esports Director

Throughout my interview with the Esports Director for Hyve Central, Arbury, he exuded absolute confidence in his organisation and roster, describing how entrance into the UKEL has been something that the organisation have been biding their time for, as they have been following the league since its inception, approximately 18 months ago. Arbury discussed his excitement and expectations for the league, saying that he is looking forward to the high level of competition and many rivalries he hopes to see whilst he is there, (which is already seeming to be the case with the rising tensions between his team and Demise Academy). Arbury’s vision for what he wanted the roster to look like perfectly aligns with the players he has secured since they have already demonstrated the passion, commitment, and mechanics that he was looking for, aptly describing
them as ‘the full package’.

One of the important values core to Hyve Central is giving second chances, and Arbury explained that this roster was absolutely in merit of being forgiven. He doesn’t believe that ‘players of this caliber’ should be cast away for a mistake, and said that ‘it was a crime’ that they had gone unsigned
for so long. Moving away from the past, however, another crucial addition to Hyve Central’s squad is their new team manager Rydona, who Arbury described as being a ‘valuable asset’ as he is a key piece in making the teamwork. Whilst discussing the team’s pre-existing synergy, he stated that he believes it will, in addition to their experience, give the org a ‘flying start’ when the league begins. Briefly expanding on the roster’s experience, Arbury explained how it alleviates pressure from the staff, which allows them to funnel both time and resources elsewhere in the organisation.

“For us, it’s being sharper strategically and mechanically than everybody else in the league, and that’s what’s going to win us the league.”

The quote from Arbury perfectly encapsulating in one sentence the complete confidence he has heading into the UKEL 2021 Spring Split, which he further supported with his expectation for the team being that they are aiming to qualify for the UKLC promotion; ‘split one, we’re gonna win the
whole thing’. He made it clear that this was a universal belief within Hyve Central, making the point that for the roster specifically, this split is an opportunity for redemption, and to prove that the UKLC is where they belong after they narrowly missed out earlier this year. Arbury added that there is a ‘massive hunger in their belly… they want it’, and that he and the staff at Hyve Central will do whatever they can to support them so that they can achieve this. Whilst on the topic of staff, Arbury expressed that he believes that Hyve Central are focusing on something unique, that he considers often overlooked by organisations, and is certain that it will provide his team with an edge against other teams within the league.

Once again, the infamous question arose, when asked for the one word he would use to describe Hyve Central, Arbury firmly responded with FAMILY, and I believe it is very apparent as to why. This roster has been together for so long, reminding Arbury of siblings and allowing the team to communicate effectively in a relaxed environment, almost like a Hyve Mind. Arbury commented on the ‘tightness’ and ‘closeness’ of the roster, something that was apparent, desirable, and really promising for Hyve Central. Thankfully, the organisation’s staff have been able to match this level of closeness which has allowed the roster to settle in smoothly.

Rydona, Team Manager

Now for the other returning face coming back to the UKEL, Rydona now represents Hyve Central as team manager, and after his one split hiatus working behind the scenes, he was eager to say that during his time off, his return is ‘all he has been waiting for’. He stated that he is ‘very confident’ to
be coming back with a roster as strong as the one he is in charge of, and that transitioning back to team manager has been no issue for him, due to the many years of experience under his belt. Similarly to Arbury, he is full to the brim of confidence, adamantly saying that he ‘believes the roster
is going to win’ and even going as far as to say he would actually be ‘disappointed with anything less than first place’. Despite this, he humbles himself, speaking on a ‘more down to Earth level’, saying that the primary focus for the team is making playoffs, and playing the tournament game by game. To Rydona, having the drive to win is the most important thing, as he insists that getting wins should be the highest priority if you want to progress, ruling results as the most important thing for a team.

“With this team, I’d be disappointed with anything less than first place.”

Rydona was clearly not quite finished demonstrating his faith in his team, as when asked what teams he is looking forward to facing, he had no answer but Bulldog, as he enjoys the idea of his ‘new guard taking out the old guard’, obviously referencing the veteran status that Bulldog has in the UK scene. His description of the team was that of a ‘friend team’, referencing the fact that they have been together for a long time, but more importantly that they genuinely are friends, even outside of the game. Rydona believes this team dynamic works to his advantage, as critiquing each other and pushing each other to strive for more is something that can exist without the difficulty of somebody being offended. In addition to this, Rydona made the statement that if a team is not prepared to push each other, their goals are misaligned, and they are not aiming for success.

One of the key reasons for Rydona’s decision to return to the UKEL as a manager was his personal shock and disappointment at some of the ‘incompetent’ managers in the UK scene. He stated that he was not referring to anyone in particular, and amended the statement, clarifying that he by no means meant every manager, despite this, he was not finished in his tirade against the managers from last split. Rydona expressed that he is ‘tired of the managers in the UKEL not being good enough’, yet he explained that often the people in his position are not as fortunate to have the same
amount of experience as himself. The issues he highlighted are that this inexperience makes them prone to making errors when it comes to forming a roster, as well as them not being respected by players due to their lack of experience in the position.

“I’m tired of managers in the UKEL not being good enough.”

Rydona was quick to affirm that Hyve Central will not be complacent in the UKEL and that despite the UKEL being a ‘great league’ they have no intention to stick around for long, as they aim to swiftly advance to the first division. It is possible this confidence comes from his belief that ‘not all teams have that drive to win and get out of the league’, which he believes sets apart the Hyve from the other organisations. Furthermore, he made a strong comparison between Hyve Central and last split’s winners Resolve, who prepared for the league early; ‘signed a killer team… came in mega
prepared… won the league easily’.

At last, it was Rydona’s turn to describe Hyve Central with just one word, and after some thought, he settled with EXCITING, as he believes that they are a roster to be incredibly excited about and that they will be convincingly winning all of their games, as they will ‘easily be a top 1 or top 2 team’.

Overall, the interviews display nothing more than an absolutely confident roster, manager, and organisation who have put their statements out there for the league to see. If you are a player, staff member, or organisation staff for an opposing team, heed the words of Hyve Central, they are coming to make a name for themselves, will you be the ones to stop them? In the words of Arbury, he imagines their introduction will “bring a shock to the rift”, and I for one hope it does. The level of talent coming into the UKEL 2021 Spring Split is massive, but that is all for today, catch the next
installment of FACE CHECK on Friday 16th October!