An Interview with Zhadox
January 21, 2020 – In this article we sit down with Zhadox, former Jungler for First Blood eSports and now the starting Jungler for Recon 5’s new super team. He’s an ABL World Champion and one of the most highly sought after players in the competitive scene right now, there’s no stopping his growth and momentum – he’s got big shoes to fill in 2020 after he replaced Recon 5’s long-time and beloved starter Moody… let’s get in to it!
Take us back to Dec 2019, it’s the ABL World Championship, you go to Game 5 in the Semi Finals and Game 5 again in Champ Finals and eventually win it all – what was your and your team’s mental state during both of those series?
Zhadox: Semifinals was a bit of an odd circumstance, so going into it none of us were worried, but the thing that stood out the most was an emotion of relief. “Finally,” is all I could think after we had won game 5. However the finals were much different. We had started the series 2-0 and Recon was in the process of reverse sweeping. I knew the biggest issue was getting swept into their game plan and trying to adjust to that. I knew we had to just play our game. I believe Diomarr finally waking up for game 5 kinda destroyed any momentum Recon 5 had because we spent a lot of the time making fun of him for sleeping in which kinda lightened the mood a bit.
We did have a few stresses from having so many subs (I think we had a total of 8 players play in finals.) We had a lot of people show up to support us as well and their presence was definitely felt. I think most of the pressure was felt by the players who weren’t as hyped up throughout the season, so game 5 they felt like they still had something to prove. Also, as a side note our support Solazur/Firelight is a heavy team morale carry and helped me a lot personally keeping my head in the game. I think he was heavily undervalued as a player throughout the iteration of our roster.
You have made a big name for yourself in a short period of time, have you played a lot in the competitive scene prior to joining the ABL?
Zhadox: I really appreciate the positive feedback I received throughout ABL, it made me happy. However, I only started playing competitive in season 9 and the only thing I’m sorta known for is I won UCL with the team Semantics in March. Other than that, I didn’t really play outside of subbing for a couple teams due to schedule and motivation.
After winning ABL Worlds 2019, you took Diomarr and joined forces with Tilted, Lokidosi and Phoenix to create a new super team on Recon 5, can you tell us how that team came together?
Zhadox: After winning ABL/UCL with FB the team decided to split apart. Nothing serious, we just had different motivations. I always sort of float around once I’m not on a team, because I don’t like risking clashing personalities or motivations, so even though I had some offers I felt the one that met my interests the most was R5G. Tilted reached out to me offering a spot/tryout on R5G and he said some very kind things along with the fact that he had just added Diomarr to his roster. My goals for myself as a player seemed to be shared with the rest of the roster so I decided to join. The timeline for the team started with Tilted/Loki/Phoenix because they played together in the past on Fruition, then they added Diomarr, and then with some convincing from Diomarr I decided to give the team a shot and here we are.
What do you think of the ABL’s new competitive format for 2020? The event-based model and ladder ranking system puts a lot more emphasis on each series, every win/loss has a compounded impact, which will make things a lot more intense and draw in a much bigger viewership.
Zhadox: I think it’s interesting, I think the emphasis on events will make the individual series feel more hype/important. It’s nice just because it’s simply different and sometimes that’s needed, some of the leagues feel exactly the same, which can become monotonous.
Of the leagues you are playing in for 2020, which teams and specifically which players look to be your toughest competition, who are you looking forward to facing?
Zhadox: The teams I’m mostly looking forward to playing are Purdue University and Lane Zero Blizzard. Every series with Purdue seems to always go to game 5 and always pushes me to play better. And I like blizzard because the roster has dts and Moody. They stand out to me because both of them are insane players for this skill bracket and are just great friends of mine. I’m sure those two will find success together.