LGD-Gaming CEO Reflects on her Internationals Teams
LGD-Gaming's CEO, Pan "Ruru" Jie, sat down
with China Electronic Athletics, one of the country's biggest magazines about
eSports, where she shared her thoughts on the international squads she has been
sponsoring since October 2012.
Pan "Ruru" Jie and her international team at The International 2013
Shortly after The International 2012, LGD-Gaming became the first Chinese club to acquire an all-western team composed of Theeban “1437” Siva, Braxton “Brax” Paulson, Sergey “God” Bragin, Rasmus “MiSeRy” Filipsen and Per “Pajkatt” Anders Olsson Lille. This line-up impressed during the first months finishing second in the first season of G-League, losing to Invictus Gaming 3-1 in the grand final. Despite not achieving much thereafter, Ruru was still very pleased with her players, but admits there were issues within the team which led to poor performances at The International 2013. She also concedes that reforming the team after The International 2013 was “a complete joke”.
It has been over a year since the formation of LGD.int. When the team first formed, you mentioned
that the main goal was The International 2013. Now that The International 2013
is over and after participating in some tournaments, how would you evaluate the
I thought they did pretty well before TI3, but they were in poor shape thus not performing their best. As for returning to China after TI3, it was a complete joke. Overall, I was quite content from when they arrived until TI3, because then their main objective was to play the game.
Was the team’s performance a huge difference from the club's
expectation? What did the club initially expect?
From formation to participation at TI3, I didn’t think there was that big of a difference from what I expected, but the reformation after TI3 differ from my expectations. The club originally wanted a stable international roster, to better interact with DOTA2 players worldwide and to expand LGD’s brand. I feel that it’s impossible for a team to always perform well after formation. The team I want is a team that continuously adjusts and improves even when not doing well in tournaments. Every team has its lows; I am a persistent person, I will never give up easily.
When LGD.int first arrived in China, it is fair to say that
their performance was stunning, but they were extremely unstable after the
honeymoon phase. What do you think is the main cause of that?
This was caused by many reasons, especially cultural differences. During that time, Misery and PJ mentioned they disliked the Chinese way of practicing (fixed wake up and scrim time etc.), they believed that scriming in a good mood and relaxed environment is more effective, and can maintain their sensibility. I thought about this, and felt that you have to work hard no matter what it is that you want to achieve; you must keep a positive mentality, work hard, and the entire team needs to have the same objective. TI2 champion IG and TI3 champion Alliance are like that.
The Chinese squad is known for its stability, and LGD.int
from formation until now however is unstable. Under the same management, what
do you think is the main cause of this?
LGD’s sponsorship has always been stable. I think the main cause of this situation is the team’s mentality. They are from 5 different countries, all differ in cognition. Misery and PJ like to be unrestrained, while GOD and 1437 hope to scrim seriously like the Chinese team; Brax remains neutral. We should have a good coach, who is capable of helping to adjust their mentality, to develop objective training and conclusion. This is why before TI3 I accepted Misery’s suggestion, hired and paid a coach named Ducky. I found out after that he wasn’t there to coach, he was just their friend.
There were rumors of disbandment after TI3, the international
squad has a gap compared to the Chinese one regardless it is strength or
influence, but why did the club decide to continue?
Because our initial goal was to have a stable roster. Although after TI3, the players didn’t want to come together again. But then Brax, along with Misery and PJ, contacted me, saying that they want to continue to play, and I specifically asked if they planned to play seriously. They said yes. At the time, the team was not confirmed for ACE (WPC), I confirmed the spot for them with WPC and they said they would play the entire tournament.
There were also rumors at the time saying that the players
would not return to China, but PJ Misery and Brax did, how did both sides
The answer after TI3 was unconfirmed, because the team’s core members at formation were PJ and Misery. After TI3, PJ couldn’t find teammates that’d fit. After a while Brax suddenly contacted me, with PJ and Misery all said they’d continue to play seriously.
Besides the three mentioned above, Black and Freedom also
joined, what did the club expect from this new roster?
They are excellent players, back then everyone in the Skype chat group was full of confidence, and I was very happy with this roster. So I said yes to their request to reform the team and let them train in the gaming house. I also considered establishing a gaming house in Europe if everyone thinks that it’s unsuitable to stay in China.
When the team reformed, their performance at WPC was not the
best, but in the latter half of the season everyone saw their improvement, but
PJ and Misery decided to leave the team. Did the club communicate with them
The club communicated with them, and I found a decent manager, a graduate student from Shanghai Haishi University. He helped the team communicate and adjust their mentality. He played a positive role in many ways. PJ’s visa indeed expired and was unable to re-apply within China. However we prepared two invitation letters, and consulted a friend who worked at the embassy. The friend said in PJ’s case, he can apply for a new visa since he entered and stayed in the country with valid visa. But after waiting for a while, PJ did not return to China. Misery said he was too lonely and directly left the team, unwilling to finish WPC.
In Misery's interview with GosuGamers, viewers could tell he
was a bit disappointed. He mentioned not wanting to play with Black, and PJ
complained that there weren't enough tournaments. What do you think is the main
reason for them to leave?
The point about not enough tournaments doesn’t stand on its own. WPC has 2 matches per week, as well as online tournaments such as Sina Cup, D2L etc., followed by G-League, ECL and Fengyun Hegemony. Our schedule is packed.
Before PJ had to return to his home country due to visa issues, I individually communicated with each of the players. They said that PJ would not return to China and Misery will leave the team if Black is not replaced. They said it’s because Black refused to interact with them ingame.
In my conversation with Black, I learned that Black was dissatisfied with how others were always late to scrim. After knowing the problem, Black took the initiative to talk to the team and improved his behaviors.
Although the 5 players are all from Europe, they are from different countries, with varied mindsets and cultural differences. That’s hard to change. I believe the real reason why they left is these differences, but I respect their decision.
Besides from the two players who already left, Freedom also
faces military service, so the roster will be even more incomplete. What do you plan in regards of the team’s
future plans? What are the factors that will affect whether if the team can
I feel the most sorry towards Black throughout this roster change. We extended his visa and hope to find new teammates for him. If that doesn’t work, we will help him find his next team. Freedom is also a great player, but he must leave for services.
Int’s roster change this time makes it hard to continue, because there are no players that would fit. I think PJ and Misery are very sensible, but they have styles that vary from other players. They like to live and practice freely; they believe DOTA2 should be art and not work, although other teammates would hope for more disciplined practices.
If the project decides to continue, what is the club’s
expectation for the incoming players? Have you considered recruiting Chinese
If the project continues, I hope to find 5 great players who share the same style and goal. Our advantage is our ability to provide a stable environment for players. I hope these 5 players can aim for the same goal, practice hard and self-reflect to constantly improve. Any good player is possible.
You mentioned a reserve team before, is that a second option
if int disbands?
Yes, we will plan to make a real reserve team after the team disbands, and will correspond with CDEC’s plans.
From the team’s establishment until now, to be honest this
team is hardly considered successful, have you ever regretted forming the team?
Despite TI3’s results, I was happy with the team in general, because a team must go through many hardships to stand strong. Bad results from one tournament doesn’t mean much, a good team struggles through storms to improve. I would never disband a team because of a bad performance in a single tournament. I don’t regret forming the team, what I do regret is reforming after TI3. I shouldn’t reform an unpredictable roster that doesn’t share the same goal. I will try to be more rational with my decisions in the future.
I wish the best for all the players who played for int: PJ, Misery, 1437, GOD, Brax, Black, and Freedom. They are all great. I really thank them for coming to China. Leaving home is a huge decision. I hope they can find their path soon. We have a big gaming house in Hangzhou, a small one in Shanghai, there hold the memories of LGD.int. I will treat them as friends. Black and 1437 are the most serious western players I know, they will be rewarded for their ways. PJ and Misery are very sensible players, I hope they will have a better future. I hope to see them at TI4.
Source: China Electronic Athletics