June 2, 2021
At Cloud9 Training Grounds, we are fortunate to have such incredible coaches and campers, but we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without supportive parents as well!
This week, we sat down with Larry Miljas and his three sons, who are all participants in our Training Grounds programs – the oldest brother is a coach, and the younger brothers are campers who have been with us since the beginning!
Is featured in one of Cloud9’s most viewed social media videos of all time!
Cloud9 Training Grounds winter and spring Junior Counselor
Orange belt in jiu jitsu
C9TG League of Legends coach
Went to the Junior Olympics for water polo
Former Heroes of the Storm (HOTS) pro player
Plays league with his kids, and is a jungle main!
Fiddlesticks one trick. Diesel says he “terrorizes bronze 4”
Larry: I pre-date video games! I remember when the Atari 2600 came out, I got one and fell in love with video games like most kids do. Games were way different back then, we used to go to arcades, and we would crowd around the best players there, and watch them smash high scores. Now I guess you do the same thing on twitch and watch them play games there. It’s cool to see the platforms evolve. Like I said, it was natural to love the games and so that made me want to help the boys play games as they got older. Our entire family plays games, except my wife, but she is just as supportive of the games despite not playing. One of our core values as parents is to find out what our kids love to do, and support them in that. I coached all our kids through different sports and activities, and when they started playing video games and I tried to coach them, they were like “what are you talking about?” so I decided, hey, if they are all gonna play video games I might as well know what is going on!
Animal: he actually knows quite a bit
Diesel: he really likes watching pro players, and definitely is a student of the game. I’ll walk into his room at night and he will have MSI (the League of Legends Mid-season Invitational Tournament) on TV. It is actually crazy how much he knows! He really stays on top of what is going on in pro play.
Animal: he was my support when I started playing! He was a lux one trick back then
Diesel: He also was on top of HOTS back when I played that competitively, so this isn’t new to just League of Legends
Diesel: Well, I have been playing games my whole life, back to the Playstation 2. I played HOTS in high school, and that was the first MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) game that I ever played, and I decided to try and play that professionally. I grinded through the amateur scene, and got picked up by one of the pro teams. Unfortunately the league got cut pretty quickly, but I wanted to do something in esports, and MOBA was on my mind. Though I figured it was a bit harder, I gravitated towards League and, well, I have been grinding ever since.
Animal: my story is pretty similar to Diesel, minus the pro HOTS part. I started playing League last year, and hit gold in 6 months! At first I really just wanted to understand what Diesel was doing, the game looked really cool and I ended up playing Top lane like he does. Now I am platinum 2, and I want to hit diamond asap!
Pigglesworth: I have been playing longer than Animal, I played the same time Diesel started, but I mostly just played troll picks like Heimerdinger in the jungle. I stopped playing for a bit, and started again last year when Animal picked up the game. Animal mentioned he heard that Cloud9 was doing some sort of “training grounds program” and I joined it right away, last summer.
Diesel: actually, I guess Piggles is the reason we are all here!
Larry: TG provided a community during this crazy time and the lockdown and is a way healthier community than so many things you can find online. TG has shown that they are committed to not just making money, which an organization does need to have of course, but by doing things like partnering with the Positive Coaching Alliance, they show they are trying to make the players better people outside of the game as well and I am really happy about that. This is something Training Grounds does really well!
Diesel: I didn’t know a whole lot about TG when I applied, besides what Animal and Piggles had told me, but I saw the listing and with my background as a teacher and as a part of sports I knew I would be interested in this job. I love the community of coaches that TG has built up, it is awesome to talk to other likeminded and intelligent, thoughtful coaches about different game styles or coaching styles and what everyone struggles with. Being able to teach kids, of course, also is always a huge part of it, the coach support we get through TG is really nice though.
Animal and Pigglesworth: The whole community helping each other, and the friendships we have made here, are both really important parts of why we like Training Grounds! The competition is also definitely a great thing to have, getting to play with and against your friends and show what you have learned.
Diesel: having Piggles and Animal on the same team is always fun, we get to hear who’s fault the losses are!
Piggles: hit challenger!
Animal: I thought you were already challenger?
Piggles: I just want to make it fair for everyone else
Animal: this summer I want to hit diamond and get onto an amateur team!
Diesel: I want to keep doing well on my amateur team Striking Vipers, and try to make a run for LCS Proving Grounds. I would like to hit challenger by the end of the year!
Larry: time for me to hit silver 4!
Huge thanks to the Miljas family for sitting down to talk to us at TG!
If you’re interested in joining the Training Grounds community, sign up for a camp!