A Quick Chat with Jackson “Pabu” Pavone at All-Stars 2019

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I got a chance to catch up with Jackson “Pabu” Pavone at All-Stars 2019 in Las Vegas. The OPL top laner was one of the few representatives from the OCE region which also included Chippys and popular personality Midbeast.

We chatted briefly about his experience at All-Stars 2019, his thoughts on the OCE region’s current strength, NA’s new import rules, and Chicken and Waffles.

So, just coming off a little bit of a rough Tandem game, you and Jelly, your lux could have been a little better, but how was it? Do you have a good time at least?

It was a good time. Our lux definitely needs work, beating her. It’s a bit difficult. We decided to pick a champion that was being a bit more skillful. There’s a bit of a lack of synergy there, so it was a bit of a roughie. But yeah, having a good time at All-Stars so far.

Did you guys have any kind of game plan with that, or were you just like, “We’re just going to click and hope it works”

Well, the skillful champs are more fun and they’re more entertaining, it’s more fun to watch a Mordekaiser in tandem, no one really cares, so we thought we might as well try and pick something interesting.

No, that’s awesome. You were here at All-Stars last year too. What are your thoughts about All-Stars 2019 so far?

It’s been pretty good so far. I’ve enjoyed playing basically everything. It’s always good fun to come to Vegas. It’s pretty surreal for me. It’s very different to Australia.

I know last year you had your fantastic run of 1v1s and all that. It didn’t work out quite as well this year, but out of all the events you played in so far what has been your favorite? 

I still enjoy the 1v1s the most. It gets you thinking and it’s just fun. You get to experiment a bit and make theory craft, so I enjoy the 1v1s still.

It was definitely the Summoners you picked fault right? That’s why you didn’t make it all the way this time?

I mean, I left myself the blame. I should be paying more attention and then also who knows if I’d actually win, even with.

So now that All-Stars is going to be starting to wrap up, what is the next couple of weeks going to look like for you, going into the next split?

Well, I still haven’t signed to a team yet, so the next couple of weeks is definitely crunch time, but offseason. So, going to be talking to a bunch of teams, basically.

There are the new import rules coming into NA and I’ve seen on Twitter you’re interested in looking at an international spot. Are you ready to move out of the OCE with some of the salary changes that’s been going on or are you still happy with where you are?

If I got an international offer I would take it, but I don’t think that I have displayed the level of play required to make teams consider importing me. So I think for now I just need to stay in OCE and prove myself in OCE and then look towards, 2021 and 2022 and to making my move overseas.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 5: — during 2019 League of Legends All-Star Event at HyperX Esports Arena on December 5, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Colin Young-Wolff/Riot Games)
So with the new import rules, do you think that’s giving you something else to aspire to? To kind of open things up, before It’s seemed that OCE was in a bubble off on its own.

Yeah, I agree. I do think that there was no real end game for an OCE player. As soon as you won the OPL there wasn’t much more to do. Basically, every OPL team was sort of doomed to not get much better because they could only practice against each other, so they would stomp the OPL, but then they’d go overseas and just get smacked. So now it’s more like there’s a pathway for OCE players to continue progressing and become better players. So I do think that the change to the import roles overall pretty good for oceanic players. The league might suffer in terms of strength, but for players, it’s just a lot better.

Do you think as a player coming up in the OCE region, it’s more of an aspirational thing now, like, “Oh I actually want to try.”

Yeah. Because, especially if the players do well, that have been imported, they’ll be a lot more eyes on the OPL in terms of a source of talent. So I do think that it gives a new drive to players like I can actually make a career out of this and go all the way. So I think that it does provide new players something to look forward to.

Do you think it’s going to have an impact on retirements and stuff like that? That goes along with the OCE sometimes?

Well I think the general small downsizing of the league moving towards the most sustainable model is going to reduce.. In the short term, there’s going to be a bunch of retirements, but in the long term, I think moving towards the OPL positioning itself more, as like a feeder league to develop talent and a place with players to prove themselves before going overseas is the direction it’s going to move towards.

We’ve seen a couple of the top talents from OCE leave recently. Do you feel like because of new import rules, yes it’s an aspiration move away, but has it lowered the quality of talent in the OCE, or do you feel like it’s as still as good as ever?

I mean, losing our best players is obviously going to make the league weaker, but I think that’s just something that we have to accept, for our players to have better careers. So I do think that the overall skill level of the OPL is going to go down, especially with the fact that we’ve lost seven or eight of our best players. So it happens, but it’s a good thing for them and it’s good for the rest of us as well because, especially if they do well, it makes everybody else’s chances in OSE of being able to further their careers better. So it’s just good. It’s good for everybody involved, I feel like.

I know the Tandem event is your last game of the day, so you have a couple of hours left. Are you going to hang out here and watch the rest of the games? Is there anything special you want to be watching the rest of the day?

I want to watch the rest of the 1v1s, but apart from that it’s just me and my girlfriend exploring Vegas and looking for like the new fast food, that we don’t get to experience in Australia.

Have you ever tried anything unique here so far?

Not anything too unique? Chicken and waffles is something that’s not particularly popular in Australia and it’s good fun here.

Do you enjoy it (Chicken and Waffles)?

Yeah, I definitely enjoy it. We’re big fans of Popeyes, Shake Shacks, the one that we’ve been recommended by Travis. So we’re on our way there soon.

I definitely recommend it. That’s all I have for you, thank you so much for this. It’s just a short interview, but I just wanted a chance to chat with you quick. Thank you!

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