Meracle: "Most of Them [RisingStars Players] Already had no Motivation to win"
With the recent departures of Daryl "iceiceice" Koh Pei Xiang
and Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung, who both decided to pursue their career in China,
the Southeast Asian scene is no longer in tip-top condition. However, a new
team has emerged and features one of the youngest and most promising talents in
the region in Galvin “Meracle” Kang Jian Wen.
The 17-year-old starlet came to prominence last year with First Departure where he showed his immense talent as both a support and carry. His prowess was not left unnoticed as he got signed by the now defunct RisingStars. He then had a short stint with Titan e-Sports before recently announcing a new all-Singaporean team.
In this interview, the biggest prospect of the East talks about his progress as a player since last year, his short stint with both RisingStars and Titan, but also clarifies the situation about his new team. He also shares his thoughts about the new patch as well as the future of the game in Southeast Asia.
Hello Meracle! On behalf of 2P.com and the Dota 2 community, thank you
for accepting this interview with us. You have been in the spotlight for a few
months now. However, you still remain a player that people do not know a whole
lot about. Can you please start this interview by introducing yourself and tell
us more about your history in video games?
Hello! I'm Galvin or Meracle, currently playing under Scythe. I was introduced to DotA by my brother when I was 12 years old but I was only just playing casually then, eventually decided to try competitive when i started DotA 2.
It is fair to say that last year was a fantastic one for you as you went
from local prodigy to worldwide sensation. In a few sentences, how would you
summarize this year of 2013? At what moment of the year did you realize that
you had what it takes to become one of Southeast Asia’s greatest?
2013 was indeed a great year as I manage to accomplish many things I wanted to, except maybe going for TI3...
In October of last year, you decided to sign for RisingStars after
spending one year with First Departure. What were the reasons for leaving a
stable and promising Southeast Asian team to an unstable team with poor success
in the World E-sports Professional Classic?
I've always wanted to try playing against the Chinese to know what i'm really capable of, which is why I decided to leave First Departure to try in RisingStars.
Many people were annoyed by your decision to leave First Departure as it
hindered them as well as the Southeast Asian scene. What do you have to say to
these people who contested your decision? Looking back, do you believe that
this decision was the best?
It was an extremely difficult decision for me to leave for RisingStars as we have just qualified for many big Southeast Asia tournaments. However, i've no regrets for the decisions I made so far.
You only stayed with RisingStars for a month, but it was still enough to
impress in the few games you played. How would you summarize your stay in the
team? What was your relation like with the other members?
My relations with my teammates was fine, we were like friends. However, most of them already had no motivation to win when I was there.
After the disbandment of the team, you then joined Titan eSports. How
did you end up playing for the Malaysian powerhouse and why was not your stay
They needed a stand-in for G-League at that time, and they heard that RisingStars was gonna disband, so they decided to ask me. My stay was not prolonged because I felt I wasn't as hardworking as the rest of the team, so I decided to leave.
Even though you did not achieve very good results with this team, you
were often in the limelight. However, what do you think went wrong with Titan,
a team that placed third at last year’s International?
They needed someone to command them, I definitely wasn't the right person for that.
It was announced recently that you joined a new team alongside the likes
of Hyhy and xFreedom. However, the former expressed himself on his Facebook
page and said that he is not part of the team despite the manager saying
otherwise. Could you please clarify this situation?
I was told this was going to be a 6-man team. I guess he just changed his mind.
Ultimately, who is Hyhy’s replacement? Also, what is the purpose of this team
considering that xFreedom and you are said to join the army in a couple of
months? Is The International 2014 one of your objectives?
Originally the team has 6 players, now we have 5, so I guess we are fine. TI4 is definitely our objective.
While this line-up looks promising, there are unfortunately too few
tournaments in Southeast Asia. It is fair to say that Team Zenith’s downfall
last year was certainly due to a paucity of high-level tournaments in the
region. Are you concerned by this? Do you have any plans to compete in China if
the opportunity arises?
It has always been an issue in Southeast Asia that we have too little competitions, I hope it will change this year. Right now, we will just join any tournaments that we can participate in, or is invited to.
You are one of the few high-profile players with a support and carry
hero as your signature heroes. Which role do you think you excel the most with
and why? What are the main differences between these two roles? Lastly, why did
you eventually opt for the carry role?
I do not really play the support role a lot, it was because during TI3 qualifiers, we had no Wisp user and trying to learn it from the start was not going to work out, so we decided to have a role-swap only when we get Wisp. I've always been playing the carry role.
Your plays with Naga Siren impressed not only the community, but also
professional players such as iceiceice, LaNm and rOtk. However, you play a
dangerous playstyle that focuses on defending in the early and mid game and
dominate at the later stage. Considering that 6.79 was all about taking
advantages in the early and mid game, what do you have to say about your way of
approaching this game?
During G-League when we played our scrims against the Chinese teams we felt that this was the best playstyle for us right now so we decided to stick to it. It wasn't really my way of approaching the game, but since I just joined them, we just had to stick with whats best.
Some people have blamed you for the poor performances of the team at
G-League as you were playing a playstyle that didn’t suit the current metagame.
What do you have to say to these people? What was the team’s overall opinion
about taking this approach?
I think we did quite better than we expected during G-League. During ECL we had no training at all, all the tournament games was just figuring out how we should approach the game as we tried playing many different things, changing drafter etc. Also, all the decision was made as a team, not by me alone. I'm not really concerned about people blaming me as I have already tried my best.
Considering that you have had little success with this approach, do you
consider making some adjustments with your team? Also, will you be the drafter?
No I will not be the drafter of the new team.
Valve has recently released a new patch that saw the introduction of two
new heroes, a new game mode and innumerable changes. What is your opinion about
this patch? What do you think are the major differences between this patch and
the previous one?
I have not tried the new mode, however I really like some of the changes that have been made.
I have the feeling that this patch will have a bigger impact on public
games than competitive ones. I mean, what are the chances we see a Lion with an
Aghanim in a competitive game or even the buff on Faceless Void? In your
opinion, what are the biggest changes this patch will bring to the competitive
I believe Morphling is gonna make a comeback.
The most discussed change in this patch concerns Blink Dagger. What do
you have to say about this change? Which heroes do you think will benefit the
most from it?
Heroes that do not have a lot of mana pool will definitely benefit from it.
Phoenix and Terrorblade have finally been added to the game. What are
your thoughts on both heroes?
Terrorblade is really strong, he hits so hard, has an insane slow at level 1. I personally have no seen a Phoenix not feeding yet...
If you could change anything in this game, what would it be and why?
Naga Siren cannot be banned in CM mode
Alright! So you are still a relatively young player with obviously a
bright future ahead of you, at least in Dota 2. What are your plans for the
five to ten years to come?
Continue to play DotA 2 competitively and going back to study after my army.
Hyhy has often mentioned that it is difficult to play video games
professionally when you are Singaporean. What are your thoughts on the subject?
Is it one of the reasons the Singaporean competitive scene is still relatively
Yes it is, because no one actually supports e-sports in Singapore.
In your opinion, which teams are the best right now?
DK (east) and NaVi (west)
It was a pleasure to have you for this interview. Would you like to say
anything before we conclude it?
Thanks to everyone that have supported me, especially my friends, I'll try my best not to let you guys down. Lastly, shoutout to mianmian!!