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Interview with North American Expansion Team Final Five
The upcoming Expansion Tournaments are a big chance for many of the amateur teams to make it into the LCS. One of these teams, Final Five, was formed by former Team Coast and Curse Academy player Rhux and manager MizzPeach. I caught up with MizzPeach and the team to talk about their Expansion Tournament experience.

Hey! Since you’re a pretty new team, how about a little introduction for those that might not know the squad?

MizzPeach: My name is Nicole “MizzPeach” Manning and my team’s name is Final Five. I started the team on September 26, 2014 with a kickstart investment from my business partner with Motion Gaming. Rhux left Coast to build a new team with me. We had a rocky start but eventually were able to pick up Gate (our midlaner). Later the bot lane came, Rule18 and Prototype White, and finally our jungler, ShorterACE, a week before the roster lock. We went with the name Final Five because the abbreviation is [F5] which means to refresh, which is sort of a call-out word if we get frustrated. Final Five represents the struggle it was to find the final players for our roster.
Final Fivelogo square.png

So tell me about the company, Motion Gaming.

MizzPeach: My company was started in November of 2012. I joined in January as a manager when the team I was playing on politely told me to try managing a team. I spent the next two years building teams. My company’s vision is to help represent and protect players from being taken advantage of by organizations. We often were misinterpreted as an organization when we act as an agency for players. Our goal was to find fresh talent and give them starting grounds with teams and coaches. There are players in the LCS or previously in the LCS who have given verbal endorsement for the help we’ve given them. Building teams based on personality and will to grow is how I build my teams.

What was the biggest challenge in building Final Five?

MizzPeach: I think the hardest part of building F5 was the fact our entire original plan didn’t go as planned. Originally we had everyone but the jungler when I went to start this team, but instead the players all went different ways. Rhux stayed with us with faith we would build a strong roster. It took almost the entire two months to build this roster, only locking in the final five a week before the ladder lock.

What makes this team special?

MizzPeach: The key fundamentals of a team isn’t just individual skill level. Skill can essentially be taught if a player has the right mindset. Every player on this team has had an amazing mindset and are all very fun to work with. They have been patient throughout the process of building this team which is difficult.

What's it like being the manager of a challenger-level team?

MizzPeach: Being the “mom” of the team when all the players are saying ”OMGOMGOMGOMGOMG”. I have to keep them focused and collected. I am not just a scrim finder, I handle sponsors, investors and internal team activity. I am not very knowledgeable about the game so I give credit to our Head Coach, Silverlight6, because she handles anything and everything that has to do with gameplay related conflicts and improvement.

You also have an experienced player from the LCS, Rhux, who has been in the scene for a long time. Has he been able to provide some insight and leadership so far?

MizzPeach: Rhux is the most emotionally collected player on the team. Because of his experience in the pro scene, he has the ability to keep the team calm under stress. From his experiences with Curse and Coast, he has given a standard of professionalism to the rest of the team.

Apart from entering the LCS as a team, what else do you hope to accomplish as a group of players?

MizzPeach: This team has a dream of being able to be employed in a job they love. “Playing video games as a career.” The players as well as the staff, would like to be able to continue being a part of this game and esports in general while making a living doing it.

How do you think you’ll do in the remainder of the Expansion Tournament?

MizzPeach: We are doing well. There is a better turnout for competition this tournament than any tournament in the last 2 years. I am happy to be participating and shout out to Zenith for probably the most intense Round 1.

Your team’s original ranked 5's name was “Eun Jeong Jo pls notice.” Care to elaborate?

MizzPeach: Our team is very proud of our name. After 5 weeks of thinking about it we thought this was our best option. I was told, by Rhux, we would be able to change our name later. He likes "Asian hunnies" and the caster Eun Jeong Jo is his favorite.

You had some really great teamplay in games 2 and 3. How does shot calling work within the team?

MizzPeach: We have different shot-callers for different objectives. It isn’t necessarily a “majority rules” vote but anyone can call something out but we have a “final say” person for different points in the game.

After catching up with MizzPeach, we asked the players some questions as well.

Rhux, not everyone might know this, but Final Five was built around you. What is it like to have a team built around yourself?

Rhux: The team wasn’t actually "built around me." We were just looking for actually good players that were coachable and able to adapt to a team setting from solo queue, and easy to work with. I can help them adapt to a team setting, since I have so much experience in a team setting.

ShorterACE, you killed it on Rengar in game 3 but claimed on Twitter that you wanted Lee Sin. How do you think your playstyle and champion pool will be affected by the S5 jungle changes?

ShorterACE: I don’t think it will affect much. I am diverse in my champion pool but I feel right now there are only 3 core meta junglers to work with. These champions, before the meta changed, were not my best.

Gate, we saw ShorterACE camping your lane early in game 3. What's your mid/jungle synergy like?

Gate: We share ice cream together.

Prototype White, nice Pentakill in game 2! What was the atmosphere in your team like at the end of that fight?

Prototype White: After that fight I didn't even realize I got a pentakill until my teammates were yelling at me to secure it. I was more focused on winning the game. Having such a clean fight allowed us to close out the game with confidence. We went into the next game coordinated and with a positive mindset to finish the series.

Rule18, despite the fact that you tended to get caught out a lot, you were extremely impactful in both of the games that you won. What's your support playstyle like?

Rule18: I'd describe myself as a control freak. I want to know what's up and who's where at all times. Sure, this pushes me into some questionable situations but it's also an amazing tool when driving home a lead. When I'm playing at my best, resources are used with purpose and strategic forethought leads to tactical success. TLDR, I like to play smarter, not harder, but sometimes get ahead of myself XD

SliverLight, what has your experience been like working with Final Five as Head Coach?

SilverLight6: the players are friendly and taught me how to moderate conversation in a way that helps them progress. Being a head coach has also taught me a lot about goal setting and other concepts.

Thanks for your time! We wish you well for the upcoming challenges! For more information about the players, the team, and the tournament, see: Final Five, Rhux, ShorterACE, Gate, Prototype White, Rule18, Elbakro, MizzPeach, and the North American Expansion Tournament.

Published on 18. Nov 2014
Interview by Kenneth Hui and RheingoldRiver.
Edited by Darin Kwilinski and RheingoldRiver.