LGD interviewed as a team
Taking the gold at StarsWar 6, the gold at G-League season 1 as well as the silver at ECL, 2011 has been a successful run for the LGD boys. Sgamer.com managed to catch the team and conduct an interview discussing, among a ton of other things, their views on their achievements as well as their expectations for the coming months.
Hello! Sitting beside me is the entire LGD squad, one of the best teams Chinese DotA has to offer. We invited the five players from LGD for a sit-down to talk about how they feel about their recent achievements and their plans for the future. Let's have the players introduce themselves first.
ZSMJ: Hi everybody! I am Gong Jian, and I come from LGD.
YYF: Hi everybody! I hail from LGD and my name is Jiang Cen.
ChuaN: Hi everybody! I come from LGD and I am Huang Fu Quan.
830: Hi everybody! I come from LGD and I am Ji Xiao Meng.
CH:: Hi everybody! I come from LGD and my name is Li Chen.
LGD was awarded the second place at ECL. I would like to ask CH this question as I noticed him being slightly nervous just now - why do you think LGD has been so successful in recent competitions? What is responsible for your team's amazing performance at the moment?
CH: It is because everyone is familiar with their position and role in the game, and the way we execute our strategies as a team is also very strong.
Do you think it's because of the map version?
CH: There is some relationship, yeah.
What is the version you guys are focusing on now?
CH: Currently, we're mainly practicing with 6.72c.
What are your plans for the later part of this year? What is your main priority with regards to competition?
830: Our main focus is still resting on the big-scale international tournaments. We will also do our best in some national tournaments that offer good cash prizes.
Our country's national finals for WCG is going to begin soon. What are you targets?
830: Top three, because our Malaysian player (Chuan) cannot participate.
E-Sports athletes have always regarded winning the WCG as the highest honor in their career. I would like to ask Chuan, what event do you think can compare to WCG?
ZSMJ: I think it will all come down to the number of teams participating and the quality of teams participating. I think this is what people would regard as the most important tournament.
Out of all the competitions held in the past year and the first half of this year, which has the highest cash prize pool?
ZSMJ: Last year's WDC.
At the recently concluded ECL tournament, LGD lost to CCM. In the deciding third and final game, what do you think cost you the championship?
YYF: I think it had to do with the fact that when we met them, the second game's lineup was rather foreign as it was not something we usually practiced. Secondly, it also had to do with our picks; they were not perfect.
Roster changes have become a frequent occurrence. When some teams decide to change their roster, they practice a voting system where the other members will decide the fate of whether a team member should stay or go. Do you think such a system is reasonable? Do you think it requires more consideration than just leaving it to a vote or do you think there are better outlets for deciding whether a teammate should stay or leave? Let's hear from everyone on this.
ZSMJ: I think that if you perform well, you will stay, but if you don't and yet do not put in effort, then naturally you will get kicked out of the team. I think everyone should have a say (vote) on the process, but ultimately we should try to leave it to their discretion, and give the teammate who is about to be kicked one last chance to prove himself.
So what you are saying is that you still believe it is a matter of 'survival of the fittest'?
YYF: My opinion is pretty much the same as ZSMJ's - basically I feel that it depends on how much effort you put in normally as well as your performance and state of mind at competitions. Plus, it will have to be after everyone has come together to discuss and reach a consensus.
Let me supplement my previous question. During the process of deciding whether a teammate should stay or go, does the opinion of his teammates or his manager(s) carry more weight in deciding his outcome?
YYF: It should rest mainly with his teammates, because they are the ones who can observe his daily moods and attitude, how active or serious he is, as well as how he performs in competitions.
Chuan: My opinion is similar to theirs, just that I feel that if you are good enough, you will stay, and if you get kicked out, it must have something to do with you. There are five players in a team, and if four of them wants the fifth guy out, there must be something about him that warrants his dismissal.
830: It's still survival of the fittest for me.
CH: Survival of the fittest.
Let's assume hypothetically that you were in a situation where one of your teammates had to leave because of study commitments or otherwise. How would you guys choose your new teammate? Is there any system for selection?
YYF: Well, we play with a lot of people as well as CDEC, and this includes meeting some really good players. If we feel like someone has potential or if there is something special about him, we will try to contact him and talk to him. After contacting him, we will try playing it out with him and if there is some synergy between us we will keep him.
There is a famous E-Sports website GosuGamers which ranks DotA teams. Currently, MYM stands at number one, and LGD is at number three. How do you see this ranking? Or do you guys personally have a ranking of the world's top teams? What are your thoughts?
ZSMJ: According to my understanding, at the beginning, Chinese DotA's development was not as quick as that of the international teams. But we improved by relying on competitions both big and small to catch up in points.
Then how would you rank LGD globally, with your team's current performance in mind?
ZSMJ: At least top three.
YYF: I feel the same way as him. When it comes to DotA, China is still the best.
We witnessed the decline in popularity of Warcraft 3, and there was a period where they revealed the salary the top players were earning. Of course I don't expect you to reveal any figures, but what roughly does the current salary of a DotA player like? And how about the average competitive players, how do their salaries look?
ZSMJ: For DotA, there is very little discrepancy among the teams, and our salaries are very close. It is higher than what the average dude in China is earning, as the main difference in how much we take away is competitions and bonuses.
A top professional gamer currently would be earning around 5000RMB (800 USD) I suppose.
ZSMJ: Yeah, it's around there.
You mentioned that apart from our monthly salary, you earn income externally when product manufacturers invite you for testing or advertising and also from competitions. With your perspective on the current state of things, how much do you think your achievements and other LGD related activities have earned LGD as a gaming club?
ZSMJ: The main thing that we bring to the table for LGD is advertising. Our boss has incredible faith in us and furthermore, he is also a DotA fanatic.
I saw from a post on MicroBlog by RuRu that a series of products stemming from your team will soon be on sale online.
ZSMJ: It will take about a month or two.
Will the products have your images on them?
ZSMJ: Yes, they will.
Will they represent the team as a whole, or will there be special player editions? For example, there will be a specialized design for ZSMJ, and one for Chuan.
ZSMJ: We are still in the midst of discussions, but it looks like it will have the five of us on the back.
You guys know each other for a long time now, so you must be familiar with one another. Let's have everyone use a phrase or a couple of words to describe your teammates, starting with ZSMJ.
ZSMJ: I think YYF is a very calm and reliable person, definitely someone I can depend on. ChuaN is a funny dude with a good sense of humor. 830 is a nice person to get along with and CH can be quite shy and reserved.
YYF: Other than 830, the rest of us are are cool and composed on the outside but friendly and warm on the inside.
How about 830, is he the other way around?
Chuan: I'm more 'cold' and hostile towards outsiders, but I'm really cuddly and nice towards people I am familiar with.
830: The four of them are rather shy and reserved, while I am more outspoken.
CH: Still cold out front and warm in the inside, apart from 830.
Sometime in August, there will be a game conference (Gamescom) in Germany where there will be a DotA 2 exhibition. Currently, a couple of Chinese teams have received an invitation to participate in a showmatch. Has your team received anything yet?
ZSMJ: Yes we have, but we are settling our visa issues at the moment, and it's becoming quite troublesome.
I guess that means that LGD might not be attending Gamescom.
ZSMJ: It will depend on our visas and how our interview with the German immigration authorities go, so we will see.
Have you played or tried DotA 2 yet?
ZSMJ: No, DotA 2 is an entirely new game.
There are a lot of DotA imitations out there in the market. Which one do you prefer?
ZSMJ: League of Legends.
What do you guys do in your free time?
ZSMJ: We watch movies and stuff; it's all cool.
Have you guys thought about what you would like to do after retiring from professional gaming?
ZSMJ: I may choose to start a business.
YYF: I haven't given it much thought, as to whether I will continue staying in E-Sports or venture into another career.
ChuaN: I will return to my own country and continue my studies. After I graduate, I will help my family with their business.
830: I will return to university and study law, but I have not thought about what will happen after that.
CH: I will also return to university.
What is your family business all about?
ChuaN: Japanese Cuisine and the Hotel industry
In some of your interviews, you guys have also spoken about your thoughts about the 6.7x map version. What is so special about YYF's doom that other teams find hard countering or surpassing?
ZSMJ: Actually YYF and I are very similar in play.
CH: Some strategies employ Doom as the core in their strategy, and he's still a good pick in this version.
2010 could have been said to be EHOME's year, but after a couple of roster changes, they have plummeted. Now it's almost as if their chances of winning against the top teams are rather low. After all, you are all professional gamers, so what do you identify as the reason behind their subpar performance of late?
ZSMJ: I feel that they need to get some fresh faces on the team, maybe have the seasoned players leading one new player or a couple of new players.
YYF: I think that their team synergy is not there yet, and they have not cemented their roles. I went to their training base and observed their practice sessions as well as how they perform in competitions. My opinion is that they have rather pressing communication issues. In matches, they basically have 820 doing all the commanding, and that is a big problem.
ChuaN: I feel that they are not communicating well. It's only 820 doing the talking and the rest are not saying a word. They are also stuck in previous versions and and they are not motivated to practice with the new version.
CH: They can be quite impulsive with their play.
You talked about commanding and leading play in games. Who is usually the one issuing orders in LGD?
ZSMJ: In early game it would be 830 and CH, while YYF will take over after 10 minutes. Everyone will have their say in the game, and such communication is vital.
How about you, 830?
830: EHOME needs to have more understanding about the lineups.
Chuan, you are from Malaysia. Which country do you feel has a fiercer competitive atmosphere?
ChuaN: China, of course.
Seeing as how much of a show YYF puts on with his doom bringer, have you guys thought about putting YYF on main carry and ZSMJ on gank?
YYF: Not very possible. The first position and second position (hard carry and solo mid) have been practiced and perfected intensively. Every team has their own positions laid out, and if you change them at the last minute, it will cause confusion.
Chuan, you managed to sleep only three hours in two days. What have you been busy with?
ChuaN: Because after the competition, I went to play with other teams, and it was noon when we ended. I then went to look for YYF and had lunch with him, after which we went to watch a match. After we got back, I didn't manage to get a room to crash in because Beijing's guesthouses did not allow foreigners, so after that I couldn't fall asleep anymore.
Let's end with some shoutouts.
ZSMJ: Thanks to all the fans who supported me, thanks to my parents, thanks to my girlfriend for always being beside me, and thanks to everyone.
YYF: I would also like to thank the fans who have supported me, especially those who supported us when we were down, and thanks to LGD for their sponsorship.
ChuaN: I would also like to thank LGD for their sponsorship.
830: I hope that more people will be tolerant and supportive of E-Sports.
CH: Thanks to the fans who support us, with special thanks to the people from my hometown who support me.
*Some parts of the interview were not translated.
SGamer - Original Article