Meet Muramina, Three-Time LCS Game Changers Champion

Meet Muramina, Three-Time LCS Game Changers Champion

Written by: Tiffany Tran (Rioklu)

In celebration of Women's History Month, we spotlight Emily “Muramina” Bae, a beacon for women in esports and a standout figure in the League of Legends community. Through her journey of passion, resilience, and groundbreaking achievements, including an unprecedented three-time championship in the LCS Game Changers, Muramina has carved out spaces for women in areas traditionally dominated by men.

Competitive League of Legends player and multifaceted creative, Muramina is a 23-year-old Korean talent from making waves both in and out of the gaming industry. With aspirations to continually advance in the League scene, she balances her competitive ambitions with her role in developing a YouTube channel, bringing unique content to a wide audience. Beyond her gaming pursuits, Emily "Muramina" Bae is also a freelance artist.


Rioklu: How did you come up with your username?

Muramina:I've gone through quite a few usernames over the years. Started off as ebae – you know, 'e' for Emily and then 'bae'. But after a while, I wasn't really feeling it anymore. People started associating it with the whole 'egirl' vibe, and I just wanted to change it up. So, I switched to ennie, playing off the 'e' from my name again. But the real game-changer? That came when I got super into watching boxbox and enluna. Enluna, especially, got me to play more, and I was really inspired by her favorite champ, Annie. That sort of set things in motion towards 'Muramina'.

Oh, and then there’s this anime I watched, 'Parasyte' – absolutely loved it. There's this character, Murano, who quickly became my favorite. I just thought her name was super cool, and people started calling me Mura for a bit. My Korean name is Mina, so a friend of mine was like, 'Why not just smash them together? Muramina.' And it clicked. It’s kinda funny because it sounds a bit like Muramana from League, and I just went with it.”

R: Could you share with us what initially drew you to League of Legends and at what point you decided to pursue anything competitive?

M: "Back in 2012, what really pulled me into League was just how cool I thought Fiddlesticks bot was, and Teemo? Adorable. I'd play all day during summer, easily clocking in like 10 hours a day. I was addicted. But the thing is, even with all that passion, going pro... just didn't seem like my path. I've seen friends dive into the pro lifestyle – from amateur to LCS, names like Fudge, Yeon, and Max Waldo. It’s not only that I saw a LCS pro lifestyle as intense - I realized that LCS pros simply treated life much differently than I did at the time. I understood that I have to change a lot of my life if I wanted to become pro. I was not willing to go through that change. One thing I noticed was that these aspiring pros are not afraid to fail. I was. I was scared of making mistakes where everyone could see, scared of feeding into that stereotype that girls can't play in pro. That fear of failure? It was a huge roadblock for me.

Life before League was a bit of a mixed bag. I was a freelance artist during high school, then shifted gears completely to study nursing in college. Made it three years in before I realized it just wasn't for me. Moved to LA to be with my boyfriend, Max, when he started coaching C9. That was around the time the first Game Changers rolled around. Seeing Max thrive in esports, I started to dream about what could be possible for me in the gaming world. Dabbled in streaming while juggling school, but my heart wasn't in it – I was all about League.

Decided to take a leap – dropped out, took a gap year, and went all-in on trying to make something of myself in the esports scene as a freelancer and streamer. Huge shoutout to boxbox and enluna for the push I needed to make the move. Participating in every Game Changers since then, I've grown so much, not just in skill but as a team player and individual. Winning the championship three times? Unreal. But what's been even more valuable to me is learning to communicate better, with my team and everyone around me. It's been a journey, but every step has been worth it."

R: Considering the game's extensive roster, who's your favorite champion?

M:My go-to has got to be Senna now, but for the longest time, it was Lulu. I mean, Lulu was this enchanter support champ you could flex mid or top and just deal tons of damage. She was fun and a bit more complex compared to the simpler champs released at the time (2014). Now, Senna's my favorite. I've always leaned towards ranged champions over melee since I never really played the latter growing up. Senna doesn’t have a lot of defensive tools that most other champions have as she has no dashes and has low base defensive stats. Her E is very confusing to use at first. I still don’t fully understand how to utilize it to its max potential, but that’s the fun part of learning new champions.”

R: What has been the most significant milestone in your esports career so far, and why does it stand out to you?

M: “Failing. I failed a lot on my team back in Supernova and Astrocats due to my lacking ability to communicate thoughts and ideas. There were times I noticed problems, ignored them, and then it led to a loss. In esports, I learned that making mistakes and failing is just as important as winning.”

R: Reflecting on your career, what has been one of the most challenging obstacles you've faced, and how did you overcome it?

M: “The fear, definitely. Being afraid of making mistakes in public was the most challenging obstacle to overcome, both in real life and in League.”

R: Can you share a moment in your gaming career that you are particularly proud of? 

M: “When I pulled off the Ornn combo during the exhibition matches at GC 2023, that was a highlight! But actually, the real turning point was during my 1v1s with Max before the finals against Arcana. I spent four hours the night before, and then again before the finals, doing draft prep and running through numerous simulations to decide on the best champions to focus on and anticipate the matchups—Malphite versus Jax or Camille, Ornn in less favorable matchups against Gwen or Camille. We drilled these matchups for hours. Then, on stage, I managed to execute ideas that we practiced. It felt awesome.”

R: You’ve won GC 3 years in a row, what are you looking forward to this year in terms of the program and competition?

M: "I actually talked to Max yesterday about whether I should join GC again if it happens. He said, 'yeah.' When I asked him what the hardest role for me to rejoin would be, he suggested 'staff.' Honestly, for this year, I'm really excited to possibly apply as either staff or a coach. I'd love to be in a role where I can help manage players in some way, be a mentor to everyone, and have more responsibility for people relying on you to manage a team."

R: League of Legends is known for its dynamic meta and evolving strategies. How do you stay ahead of the curve, and what’s your process for mastering new champions or tactics?

M:"I stay ahead of the curve by simplifying goals that I have in the game. I ask myself very easy questions that include “How do you win in League of Legends?” which lead to “How do I make the most Gold possible to buy the most damage?” which lead to even more specific questions.

Another important part is being aware of information I don’t know. For example, one time I thought about diving the enemy top laner during a big wave crash, but I couldn’t remember if they had Flash up. I didn’t end up diving them because of this thought. In review I have to gather these kinds of thoughts and ask myself “Why didn’t I know if he had flash?” and use this information to work towards a goal: “I want to have more gold than my opponents.”

I have to think of ways to get more information too. For example, people would tell me to play soloq, but I understand that just playing soloq doesn’t align with my goals to “Understand more top lane matchups.” Rapid 1v1s are a much better environment for this goal.”

M: "I like this question because, how was I able to win GC three times  in a row when I played solo queue the least? I played like 50 games last year, when on average, people tend to play 500, while most of my games were also support/mid. How was I the better top laner? It’s because I understood how to learn what is important to win a League of Legends game. So, when people were telling me and pressuring me to play more solo queue  games to improve, I was like, 'What? We only have 2 months.' I'd much rather do 1v1s to improve because if I queue in solo queue, I don’t know the matchup I'm against, and I spend time not knowing what I did wrong. I reached out to coaches like Westrice, Darshan, Max, and FakeGod, who helped me learn Rengar matchups. I practiced Aatrox vs Rengar and was able to beat that matchup. I think solo queue is one of the worst ways to practice in such a short amount of time because other things I could do are look at scrims that we’ve played, do vod review, and take notes on how to change, and send those scrims to other coaches to see what they could provide me with."

R: What do you think that people are not aware of when it comes to being a woman in the gaming space?

M: “From the moment we're born, boys and girls are raised differently. We're given names that are categorized as masculine or feminine. Even today, people may not intentionally act sexist or treat you differently based on your gender, but subconsciously, they're still categorizing you, whether they mean to or not. This small detail can lead to a butterfly effect, influencing how you grow up. In esports, you're constantly interacting with people who, despite their best efforts not to let gender influence their behavior, might still treat you differently based on your gender.”

R: What advice do you have for women looking to enter esports?

M: “My advice for women looking to enter esports is to clear out the negative thoughts. It's easy to get caught up in worrying about how others perceive you or focusing too much on yourself in a negative way. For anyone starting in esports, my advice is to constantly question yourself. Keep reassessing your goals to make sure what you're doing aligns with them. Always ask if there's something more you could be doing better.”

R: If you could go back in time and give a piece of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

M: “If I could go back, I'd tell my younger self not to fear failure. Making mistakes is part of the journey. Back then, I was a people-pleaser, aiming for perfection to make friends. But, I've learned it's better to be honest and vulnerable. People appreciate authenticity over perceived perfection.”

R: Where can we find you?

M: “My Twitter or Instagram!”

R: Any shoutouts?

M: “Definitely want to give a huge shoutout to my good friend Rioklu for doing this interview with me! Also, can't forget about my YouTube team—I'm super grateful for them. They keep me motivated every single day.”

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Written By

Tiffany "Rioklu" Tran

Creative from Houston, Texas