Pink Ward: League of Legend's Most Notorious Shaco Player

pink ward

League of Legends has an unwritten rule. When playing in ranked, do not play a champion in the role it isn’t meant for. The quickest way to piss off four strangers in champion select is to pick something completely out of the meta, like AP Shaco top

Hunter Trahan, also known as Pink ward, is a Diamond streamer whose main champion and role is AP Shaco top. Chances are you’ve seen him before, either in one of his crazy montages , or in Boxbox’s “Illuminati Shaco” video. Watching someone this skilled in deceiving opponents is a sight to behold. One of his highlights hit the front page of Reddit not too long ago, and showed a Gangplank flashing into a nest of Shaco boxes and dying. You can feel the salt through your monitor.  

Pink ward started playing League in beta, eventually moving towards Heroes of Newerth . There was a character named Scout, who could go invisible, one-shot people, and set up traps.  When Pink Ward went back to League, he gravitated towards Shaco who can do a lot of the same things.

Shaco’s Two Shiv Poison (his dagger) and Jack In The Box both have very high AP scalings. Pink Ward started building Ability Power on Shaco way back when Shaco’s boxes lasted for a whole 120 seconds. The boxes could be placed while invisible, allowing him to put boxes around an enemy without them knowing where he is. People would focus on trying to kill Shaco while then dying to the boxes, which Pink Ward found funny. He’s stuck with the character since, even after nerfs to box length made AP Shaco less viable.AP Shaco is incredibly hard to pull off, which makes what Pink Ward does even more impressive.

“ Everything I do with Shaco relies on my game knowledge. Knowing where an ADC will walk to regroup with their team. Knowing the range a pink ward has to detect stealth. Having a general knowledge of enemy cooldowns,” Ward told iDigitalTimes. “All these things help me get higher in ELO. The key thing is knowing my limits, when I can or can't outplay someone, but even then I play super greedily and more often outplay myself rather than my enemy.”

Playing Shaco is an art in itself. Knowing where to place your boxes correctly and how to use them can be difficult to learn.  Pink ward has figured out unique ways to capitalize on these traps. If you place two boxes on top of each other, they cancel enemy dashes like Jarvan’s Cataclysm and Malphite’s Unstoppable Force. This won’t work if the damage is dealt before the character’s model touches the box though, like Tryndamere’s Spinning Slash.

The most famous Pink Ward box configuration has to be the “illuminati.” He places three boxes in a triangle that trigger one after the other. When an enemy walks inside they are feared backwards, walking into the next box. Enemies are essentially trapped until the boxes do their damage or they die. He doesn’t do this anymore because of the popularity of early sweepers and that people actually buy pink wards in Diamond.

Being a one-trick pony does have its downsides. Pink Ward has to deal with people flaming him in champion select. Shaco is not a strong champion in this meta; assassins, marksman and high health tanks do too much damage to keep up with. According to Pink Ward, he has to deal with “shaco fans” while streaming.

“ Sometimes I feel like playing another champion.  I'll have it in the title that I'm not playing Shaco, but there will still be that one person who comes into the channel questioning why I'm not playing Shaco. Or the best part is when someone comes into the channel and are like 'no Shaco? Sorry im out'. It gets to be annoying,” he said.

On Last week’s NA LCS analyst desk , James “Dash” Patterson read Pink Ward’s tweet on air asking how they felt about off-meta picks. Pink Ward was caught by surprise.

“ It was a pretty awesome experience, but to be honest, I fell asleep after sending out the tweet. It was a joke that I never thought would get on LCS. But then I woke up to my twitter being completely spammed and messages on League and Skype. I thought someone died or something, no clue what happened. After finding out my tweet made it on LCS, I tried to find the recent VOD then went found a highlight on livecap.tv to check the chat since my friend told me it was being spammed with pink ward,” he said.

 

 

Overall, Pink Ward isn’t worried about Shaco getting reworked because it would force him to expand his playstyle and grow as a competitor.

“It would motivate me to play another champion or find a new niche . With the amount of game knowledge I have, I could just play a meta champion and push to master's if not challenger,” he said. “I'd lose a lot of my niche status with streaming and YouTube, but I would be happy with whatever happened after. I don't see times that I had fun as a waste and wouldn't lose any enjoyment in playing League .”

You can catch Pink Ward’s stream at twitch.tv/pinkwardlol, where he streams twice a day.

 

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