Maximus “Maximize” Yaremenko is no stranger to the pro League scene within Oceania. Reaching top five Challenger in Year 12, Maximize was picked up by Mammoth OCS. It wouldn’t take him long to land in the top flight, and shortly afterwards he made the move to the LCO.
Maximize spent the bulk of 2021 at Order playing in the top lane. Now, only a year later, the 19-year-old has added colour casting and desk analysis for both Wild Rift and the LCO. More recently, Maximize was invited to partake in the analyst couch for the LCO finals at DreamHack Melbourne and was more than happy to do so.
“I met so many cool people at DreamHack, probably the best part of the whole event was just meeting the people,” said Maximize to Snowball Esports. Maximize highlights his time on the analyst couch, especially working with the highly experienced Ovilee May.
“The analyst couch was really fun. I think Ovilee made it really easy, she was absolutely GOATed in terms of keeping the flow going really well. I think just speaking to someone who has that much experience and who has been doing it at the top level for a while was really cool.”
While on the analyst couch for DreamHack, Maximize was able to witness the finals between The Chiefs and Pentanet.GG. He was able to give his thoughts on the four-match series from the teams.
“In terms of the finals I think, look, Chiefs were the better team, you could tell that very clearly in games one and two. I think it should’ve gone to game five and that would’ve been really fun to see, but I think ending on that game four that we had was probably the best way to cap off the finals of the season.”
Maximize was also able to give some thoughts on the state of the League of Legends meta in general–particularly in regards to the top lane in the matches seen on stage.
“Top lane meta is pretty boring right now. I think Aatrox vs Renekton hardly ever is a matchup that has any impact on the game whatsoever: ‘Well maybe I can do well in this one midgame team fight but after that, I’m kind of useless’.”
Outside of top lane Maximize was able to comment a bit more on the wider meta. “Overall I’d say the game isn’t in a bad spot, I don’t think it’s boring and I think there’s enough room for niche picks or teams to play their strengths.”
Maximize made sure to note Pentanet.GG as one of the more exciting teams across the global circuit.
“I think PGG is one of the teams that is more exciting to watch in terms of the meta. I think Winterer was the one who busted out the ignite Rumble and he had a really good game on it. So I think they’re one of the more interesting teams to watch in terms of the meta.”
Alongside his departure from pro play, Maximize has enjoyed his time in the content creation space, whilst also noting the tough conditions that OCE players suffer between splits or following retirement.
“I think going from competing to not playing has been a step in the right direction for work-life balance. I think that was probably something that suffered a bit last year, especially as a player I think there’s a drive to be playing essentially almost every waking hour.”
He talked further about the negative impacts that a pro-player lifestyle can have.
“It can sort of lead to you neglecting other areas of your life. I’d say I miss playing sometimes, like I miss competing, but I feel like all the other stuff in terms of having to practice a lot, having to scrim, having to play a ridiculous amount of solo queue. I don’t really miss that too much.”
Instead, Maximize has turned towards analysis as his passion for League.
“I enjoy being able to do analysis and sort of stuff out of the moment when you’re not personally invested.” he explains. “I think as a player when you’re looking back in terms of scrims or your own VOD review work, it becomes hard to separate yourself objectively from what’s going on in the game.”
Max has come to enjoy League of Legends from a more technical perspective as an analyst, but still prefers live colour commentary to drive home the story of a matchup.
“I think analysis is a really good way to just immerse yourself. I find it generally enjoyable to think about the best way the game can be played and to break it down from that perspective. But also, there’s a really interesting part about you being able to shape the narrative of the game as a caster — you get to point out what’s happening and it’s really rewarding.
“You get to paint the story and see how that unfolds and then you get to break it down. It’s really like a story where you’re setting it up and then you get to see the resolution come through as well.”
While Maximize does enjoy casting and analysis, there’s always a part of him that misses the competitive nature of playing–but it may not be enough to sway him back.
“I miss competing to some extent, it has its highs and lows but at the end of the day I’d rather have a life than be solely focused on League of Legends.”
As it currently stands, there’s no telling what the future holds for Maximize; however, he stands proud looking back at his esports career, and is keen to see what’s to come next.
“I think I’ve been really lucky in terms of meeting good people who have helped me along the way. Going from playing into broadcast work, it’s all taking chances and a bit of risk, so I’m just glad to be able to seize those opportunities and run with them.
“If I looked back on myself from two years ago, I’m in a pretty happy position where I get to do these sorts of things every once in a while that I enjoy doing. It still lets me keep in contact with the scene and remain flexible as well.”