Interview with EHOME.MY: Ohaiyo and Mushi had communication issues in China

Dota 2 Mervyn “ISB” Tan

The recent creation of EHOME's Malaysian squad disturbed the waters in South East Asia, with the appearance of a Malaysian dream team leaving the SEA scene yet in another state of flux. Starring four long-time veterans of the Dota 2 scene and one of the brightest talents in Malaysia, EHOME look set to make their mark in the South East Asian scene under the command of Yee Fung 'Mushi' Chai. GosuGamers reached out to EHOME during a break in their scrims to conduct a short interview with them. 

The interview was conducted by a GosuGamers associate on the ground with them in Malaysia on 3 March 2015. The questions were specifically directed at players for most of the interview, and we have thus organised the questions corresponding to the players. 

Hi guys, thank you for giving GosuGamers this interview. To begin, I'd like to ask some questions that could be answered by any of you. What do you think of the Korean scene: are they strong enough to compete internationally?

Ohaiyo: I think the Korean scene has impressed all of us. Within a short span of time, they have caught up with the rest of the world and they have shown tremendous improvements over the last few months. I think they will continue improving from here on out. Right now, they have the capability to place top 8 in every major tournament.

Who do you think are your strongest rivals in SEA at the moment (many people would think it is Rave) ?

Kecik Imba: I think 5eva is the strongest team in SEA right now. Their capability to play a much wider hero pool is a big threat to many teams and they are most likely to pull off an upset when they face teams outside of SEA.


Yee Fung 'Mushi' Chai

Hi Mushi, you spent a year in DK, so the next few questions will be related to then.Your playstyle in DK changed a lot over the year - from a carry-centric role you changed to a playmaking role - did you enjoy that change?

I think that all professional players should be able to play all roles. The DK team is a team made of veterans in the game and all of them can play all the roles in the game and therefore, we switched our roles around often to confuse our opponents. I really enjoy playing multiple roles and I really enjoyed learning from these frequent swaps. I think it improved me as a player.

What kind of role do you foresee yourself playing in this new Malaysian team?

Many are trying to speculate what our roles will be. unfortunately, I will not be disclosing our roles for now. Watch out for our first official game.

You stepped away from the captain role in DK, will you be the captain of this new squad?

I was merely the drafter for team DK but I was never the captain. I will be the captain for EHOME Malaysia.

How has your experience living and playing in China changed your attitude towards winning and playing Dota?

In DK, I won a lot of championship that I could not previously win. I believe I found a higher respect for our profession as a pro gamer. I'm not saying that my hunger for winning has gone down but I will not be very angry if we don't win. It is a learning process after all.

If you had the chance again, would you drop everything and go back to play with that DK team?

DK is a great team. Since everyone in DK has their own team now I think there is no need to drop everything to reform the team. As long as they are comfortable with their own team.

Could you explain more to us about the impact of 71 - why is he so respected and revered by the players he has coached?

71 is a very calm and collected man and he would spend a lot of time explaining strategies and analysis with the players. He watched every single one of our games as a person from outside the game and sometimes could see stuff that we could not. Mikasa is also a very good coach in that respect.

Is this why you chose to join the EHOME brand so as to work with him again?

I respect and trust him a lot. Prior to DAC, 71 and the management approached me to reform EHOME and I think it is a good move for my future.

Why did you choose to return to SEA after moving to China again?

Ohaiyo: We had some communication issues in China. Although Mushi and I can speak Chinese fluently, the accent is different and at the end of the day, it is still more comfortable to talk among Malaysians. Besides that, we also have a different way of perceiving the game and with our Chinese teammates. Our styles are different too. Therefore, we decided to return to Malaysia.

Did the higher chances of receiving an invite to TI5 play a role in your decision to return to SEA?

I cannot deny that it is an advantage but even if Valve decide to put us in the qualifier, we are okay with it. If we can't beat all the teams in the qualifier to secure our spot in the TI5, we will just end up disappointing our fans and the viewers in the main event.

The team’s formation has left many people voicing out their unhappiness with you - they see you as someone who destroys teams to fulfil his goals. Do you have any response to this?

EHOME's decision to invest in the South East Asian scene is a blessing, especially when the scene is going through tough times. As for my fans, my true fans will always support me no matter where I go. Kecik will also receive even more exposure in EHOME and also a stable salary. I think it is a good move for his future. Considering that we are playing under EHOME and it is a Chinese brand, I will try my best to build up the team so that the Chinese fans will be proud of us.

I believe that I am a very strict and bad tempered player. If I am selfish, Ohaiyo and Kyxy will not want to team with me again. I think that roster changes are normal to form the best team and every competitive teams will have to go through it one way or another. If the departure of a single player can destroy a team, I wouldn't say the bond of the remaining four players are that strong. Take a look at our Chinese friends for example, you rarely see them disband because one of their players leave. They stay together to find a replacement for the departed player.

In addition to this, many people believe that you were the one who caused Titan to break apart. However, I believe Xtinct had left the squad first - could you please explain what happened?

Actually even when I was in DK, BurNing and LaNm have already decided to retire. At the same time, I was also some personal issues and when my former Orange teammates asked me to return, I jumped on the opportunity straight away. As to why the team decided not to continue with Titan and go on without a sponsor wasn't handled by me. After all, I was not in the team and I do not know the interaction between the team and Titan's management.

In regards to the removal of Xtinct from Team Malaysia, it was done after a discussion with everybody. We came to an agreement that something has happened that affected the chemistry between Net and Xtinct support duo and they are not playing as well together. This is strictly the chemistry between them and I still think they are very strong individual players. They are doing very well in their current teams.

The SEA scene was slowly beginning to find some stability without a powerhouse team, but the emergence of EHOME has changed this situation. Do you think you have enough competition in the current SEA?

South East Asia has a lot of potential teams. I cannot say that we will dominate the scene for sure but we are not aiming just to be the best in SEA, but a force to be reckon with in the international scene.

Do you think you would have gotten an invite to the largest tournament in SEA - Major All Stars - if you had made your announcement sooner?

It is our loss that we have missed the event but there is nothing to be disappointed about because there are a lot more tournaments coming up. We intend to join as many as possible.

What do you think of your former teammates in EHOME?

ddc - Ohaiyo: He is kinda hearted and has a nice singing voice. He is mostly quiet.

Inflame - Mushi: He is the most noisy guy in the team. I laugh every time he says “Lao zi zhe pan fei le” (I'm useless in this game)

Zyf - Ohaiyo: He has the highest potential I believe but he loses his cool often. If he can overcome that, he will be scarily good.

Any ideas who will be joining the squad now that you and Ohaiyo have left?

I honestly do not know. The Chinese shuffle is the biggest one in the world and also the messiest.


Chong Xin 'Ohaiyo' Khoo

How does it feel to relocate with Mushi like this - from Malaysia to China and now back to Malaysia?

I don't have any particular feelings about it. I feel very good about our current team and I learned a tremendous amount in China.

Did you experience living and playing in China change your thoughts towards the game?

Definitely, I realized that the trust between teammates are very crucial for the team and it is hard to beat others if we do not trust each other 100%. My opinion about the role 1,2,3 also changed and role swaps are very important. As an offlane player, I could sometimes go solo mid to create confusion. This would make it tougher for our opponents to adapt.

At TI3 and TI4 you had a very stable roster with both Orange and Titan - does the recent roster instability affect you and your gameplay?

Roster stability is also very important. For example, in EHOME, we practiced a lot but since we are new and unstable, I started playing worse and worse. One's action will affect everybody else in the team in terms of creating space and initiating fights. If the chemistry is good between teammates, you can perform regardless of what you play.

Kang Yang 'KyXy' Lee

Many people are surprised that you would choose to team up with Mushi again after multiple disbandments. Why did you choose to join this project?

I think he is a very experienced player and we have been teammates for a very long time. I know his style very well and we also have no problems communication wise. I feel very comfortable and confident to team up with him.

Why did you not join Mushi and Ohaiyo in moving to China?

Initially, they wanted me as the fifth player before they brought in Zyf. After much discussion, 71 thinks that Zyf is a much better suit for the new team and therefore, I stayed in Malaysia.

Some observers believe you will be moving to support, is this true?

It's a secret!


Fadil 'Kecik Imba' Bin Mohd Raziff

Invasion was doing well before you left them to join EHOME - does your decision to leave affect them immensely?

I think they are doing quite well at the moment. They recruited dabeliuteef (former G-Guard player) to replace me and they have a real carry player now. They did not have a strong carry player when I was in the team.

You played mid for Invasion, and now you will be competing with Mushi for the mid position - do you think you are a better mid player than him?

Of course not. Mushi is a veteran solo mid player. He was my mentor and has taught me a lot on the role.

Being regarded as one of the best up and coming player in the SEA region, can you talk about your dream and aspirations for your Dota career and for the team?

It is probably similar to all other competitive Dota 2 players. I want to win The International and I will do my best in every single game.

How well do you think you will fit into the team? Do you feel that there could be some language barriers between you and the rest?

I was actually uncomfortable the first time but I expressed my problems to Mushi and the team adjusted and now, they give commands in English. Things are going good now.


Johnny 'JohNny' Lee

Could you explain why you left Mineski despite doing well with them in the two months there?

Coming from a Chinese speaking upbringing, my English was not very good to begin with. When I went to the Philippines, I was forced to speak English and while we could communicate decently, it wasn't great. It is still best if I speak Chinese. I could get my idea across much faster.

You are one of the Malaysian players who have a lot of international experience: which place did you enjoy living in the most - Malaysia, Philippines, or China?

Malaysia for sure. As I said before, my English isn't very good and in Malaysia, I can speak Chinese. Of course I could also play in China but I prefer the Malaysian lifestyle over the Chinese. They have a big focus to only recruit great veteran players and the chances are very slim for me to be included in the shuffle. There are a lot of good unnamed Chinese players out there.

With your experiences playing in multiple countries, which do you think is the best for professional players?

Every country has its advantages but going overseas definitely gives you more focus because you are forced into training hard as long as you can overcome the communication issues. You have no peers overseas to distract you.


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Mervyn “ISB” Tan
Mervyn 'ISB' Tan is an undergraduate who writes about eSports mostly because he has the time to. He enjoys the ARTS/MOBA genre in general, and cannot play FPS games to save his life. He wishes that he will one day reach 5k MMR, too.