Orange.Mushi: "Alliance and Team Liquid are strong teams"
NOTE: The following is an interview conducted by Dimitri "Mali" Vallette for www.178.com. This is the English version.
April was an eventful month for the Malaysian powerhouse of Orange eSports as they brilliantly qualified for the main tournament of the G-1 Champions League, inked a sponsorship deal with Neolution E-Sports and, last but not least, they were invited to compete in Valve’s annual event, The International.
For this occasion, we have decided to sit down with the captain and star player of the team, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, who talks about the events of April as well as the upcoming months leading to the third edition of The International.
Hello Mushi. We are very happy to have you for this interview. First of all, congratulations for beingone of the 16 teams that will be competing in this year’s International! Most of the teams had no idea they were invited until the last minute. How did you and the rest of the team find out about the invitation, and how did you celebrate?
Hi everybody. First, I want to say thank you to 178 for this interview.
We are happy to have been invited to TI3. At the time that the invite was announced, we were in Thailand having our supper. We found out about the news from Satean, our Neolution boss. I think someone messaged him in Facebook. We got excited and checked the Dota 2 official website and confirmed it. But actually, we didn't really celebrate after we found out because we didn't have much free time. We were too busy in Thailand. Our Orange boss made us dance in the supper place though :)) (4 of us without kyxy plus Satean from Neolution) and he took a video of it.. I hope that our boss doesn't post out the video!! :))
Before discussing The International, let’s talk about some past events. In January, your team underwent some drastic changes as you welcomed the arrival of Kang “Kyxy” Yang Lee, Wai “Net” Pern Lim and Chong “Ohaiyo” XinKhoo following the departure of Chua “Ice” CheeCai, Chan “WinteR” Litt-Binn and Ng “YamateH” Wei Poong. Could you please remind our viewers what led to these changes?
Well, after last December's The Asia tournament, Yamateh and Ice both decided to leave the team. When we got back to Malaysia, I talked with then MUFC players Net and ohaiyo. At that time, their team was inactive so the two of them joined Orange.
Apart from the GEST, your team did not have many interesting tournaments to compete in until the end of March, of which came the fifth edition of the G-1 Champions League. You successfully managed to top your group — despite losing to RattleSnake — and qualified for the main tournament. Considering that you were playing with a relatively new line-up, could you please summarize the team’s performance in the Asian qualifier? How would you explain your solid performance against the LGD-Gaming squads and your underperformance against the underdogs of the group, RattleSnake?
We were pretty lucky to have topped our group during the qualifiers after a bad start. In our match against Rattlesnake, we really under-performed. It was clear that they knew our team well and they were prepared to beat us. That loss was our wake-up call. We discussed a lot after, and I guess something changed. We became more determined to win. We knew that if we want to be number one in our group, we need to beat both LGD cn and int.
But I still say that with some luck, we were able played our cards right and that's how we ended up on top of our group :D
This season of the G-1 Champions League will welcome two western teams in Alliance and TeamLiquid who brilliantly dominated their qualifier. How do you feel about facing western teams a few months prior to The International?
I'm so happy that I can see Loda and Bulba in Shanghai. :)) They are my friends and it would be fun to meet them again after so long. :))
Both Alliance and Team Liquid are strong teams and I'm so excited that I can't wait to play with them. Besides that, I feel a lot of pressure also because we are the only SEA team participant and I really think that we are the weakest team in the G1-League~Haha.
These two teams enjoy playing heroes that are not necessarily popular in Asia such as Gyrocopter, Nature’s Prophet, Bane, Ogre Magi or even Phantom Assassin, a hero that is occasionally played. What do you think will be the team’s biggest challenge against these teams playing a wide range of heroes?
Each team has their own style, of course Western teams tend to see more fresh ideas. If we want to succeed, we must have steady play and an element of luck, and of course we will also need to understand how to react to certain tactics.
The format of the tournament is quite unorthodox to say the least, as the winner of the group will automatically qualify for the grand-finals of the event. What are your thoughts on this format, and if you were to predict the ranking of the group, what would it be and why?
Quite hard to say, every team is very strong.
Considering that two of the best western teams will be present at this main tournament, do you think that the final ranking can reflect what we may see at The International?
I can't be sure about the outcome of the two tournaments. Both are played under totally different environments. Plus, there's the time factor which means that teams have more time to train for The International and the game client will surely be different too with new updates and possibly new heroes or even items.
Your team will be participating in the Dota 2 Star League hosted by Perfect World and Gamefy. This is a two-month-long tournament. Do you have any arrangement with a team or organization in China which will make this move possible? Can you give us details on this move became possible?
We will stay in China for this period of time, if there aren’t any special situations then we will not be going back to Malaysia for the time-being, except perhaps in the case of needing to sort out visas to go to America…
You will have the opportunity to play in the same environment than the Chinese. How do you think you will benefit from it besides the Dota 2 Star League?
It’s a challenge. As the one SEA team with 9 other teams from China, I believe we will learn much in this competition.
In StarCraft II, it is not unusual to see foreign teams partnering up with Korean powerhouses inorder to have their players compete at the biggest events for the cheapest price. Considering the lack of events in Southeast Asia, and if your stay in China turns out to be successful, would you consider extending your adventure be it now or in the future?
This is something that will depend on whether or not we continue getting chances to participate in competitions like G-1 or Dota 2 Super League in the future.
Earlier this year, NatusVincere’s CEO, Alexander Kokhanovskiy, announced his plans to send his Dota 2 squad to China. The community has mixed feelings about this move. As a professional player yourself, do you think that moving to China for a while, and playing in the same conditions that the Chinese teams do is the answer to reach their level or even better, surpass them?
If NaVi stayed in Europe, then they would continue to be limited to only playing against other teams in Europe, with no way of playing against teams from Asia. Because after all, Chinese Dota is said to be the best in the world, so this undoubtedly affects NaVi.
A few days ago, your organization partnered up with Neolution E-Sports from Thailand. Could you please reveal to us what this partnership entails, and how Orange eSports will benefit from it?
In this partnership, we get better training environment, and the two bosses we have both have the players’point of view in mind.
As I mentioned earlier, your team has been invited to compete in the third edition of The International — a tournament you are familiar with as you competed in last year's edition. In a few sentences, how would you summarize your experience in this event? Money aside, what makes Valve’s tournament different than the other ones?
I have deep impressions of the last International, the staff were friendly, and everything was prepared for us. The players didn’t need to worry about anything. As a professional player, to be able to take part in a competition like this is an honor.
This is the only major event of this stature during the year, and needless to say that you and your teammates will take it very seriously. How is the team going to prepare? How will your practice schedule look like in the upcoming months?
We can only take each match as it comes, because as professional players, there should be no division between important and less important matches; every match should be treated the same, we will do our best on all. We shouldn’t really think about what we’ll be doing a couple months from now, but more focus on each match as it comes, and summarizing what we learn after each match.
We finally know the 13 invited teams that will compete in Seattle. What do you think about the list? What are your thoughts about the western invited teams?
In terms of ability, these 13 invites are all obviously worthy. The Western teams have seen a big change from last year, yet all the same the teams are all widely recognized.
A big part of the community thinks that some heroes like Magnus and Phantom Lancer are overpowered. As a professional player, what do you think about these two heroes?
Every hero has its weaknesses. If these heroes were indeed that overpowered, then every team would be first picking them! Haha
In the last months, we have seen a few heroes emerging in competitive games such as Gyrocopter, Bane or even an Alchemist that we see now and then. In your opinion, which heroes do you think have a chance to make it to competitive matches? In other words, do you feel that there are heroes who are relatively good, but who are not played competitively?
Elder Titan, Skywrath Mage, etc… The current version is no longer about 4 protect 1.
There are also heroes who are very rarely picked in competitive games such as Huskar, Spirit Breaker, Rikimaru, Bloodseeker, Zeus, Witch Doctor and many more. What do you think Valve should do to make these heroes viable in competitive games?
Some heroes are only for fun in pubs, but others have potential for competitive matches, they just need a few changes~
Tauren Chieftain — now known as Elder Titan — has been introduced to Dota 2. This hero was extremely popular back in DotA, and even made some teams successful. What do you think about this hero, and what kind of impact will he have on the current “metagame”? Will the addition of this hero see the departure or the apparition of others?
This hero is a bit too strong in the weak lane, once he makes it into Captains Mode, many teams will be first picking him, haha~
The 6.78 version is said to be released before The International 3. What do you expect from this version, and which changes would you like to see brought to the game?
I don’t know what this next version will bring, but no matter what the changes are, I will continue playing~
Let’s go with some more personal questions if you do not mind. You are still relatively young as you are only 22-years-old. You have been into the DotA scene for a very long time. What was your life like before entering the DotA scene?
I personally feel that I am not really young anymore. Before I played Dota, I guess I was a nobody~ I didn’t like studying, I just worked out and exercised all day, then played games with others. I tend to prefer RPG games.
One of your countrymen, Wong “ChuaN” Hock Chuan, now enjoys success in China after leaving the country a few years ago. Seeing how successful he is with Invictus Gaming, and how great of a player you are, would you consider a move to China like Chuan did?
I’ve also spent time in China before, but maybe it was because I’m not as talented, or not as lucky… we come from the same background but have ended up on different paths. It’s still something that I will be carefully considering in the future.
Although you are a remarkable player, are there any players that you admire?
I don’t think I’m really talented, I feel that there are lots of other more talented players. I currently don’t have any players I admire.
What do you plan to do once you retire from the game? Have you ever considered retiring?
I don’t know when I might retire. After I retire, I will invest in some business opportunities. But everything is hard to say for now, in the past I would often think about retiring, yet every time I thought of giving up, there would always be many reasons for me to stay strong~ Haha
What do you usually do when you do not play the game? Do you have any other hobbies or play any sports?
I put a lot of my time into Dota. If we were to go on break, I take the time to spend with family, go out shopping, watch movies, or go play badminton or basketball.
Thank you very much for your time. Is there anything you would like to say before we conclude this interview?
Big thanks to AutumnWindz from DOTALAND for the translation.