Interview with Lakelz: We still cannot adapt to playing with high pressure

Dota 2 Ben “PineappleCake” Tan

After their recent ten win streak, Gosugamers has conducted an interview with Pipat 'Lakelz' Prariyachat, a long time Signature.Trust player. In the interview, the main things that were dicscussed was how this revered carry in the SEA scene came to be, the team's chemistry, the Thai Dota scene and the meta.

The interview was conducted via Skype on 9/4/15 by Pineapplecake

Hey Lakelz, how is it going?
Hi. Very fine here.

Let’s start from the beginning. When did you start playing games and what sort of games did you play prior to DotA. What made you choose to focus on DotA?

It was about 8 years old when I started to play games. I have played many games before like “RO, Cabal, Seal etc…”. The main factor that made me decide to focus on Dota is seeing many of my friends playing Dota in cyber cafes and thinking that it looked to be fun.

What sort of other profession are you interested in prior to becoming a pro gamer? What is your interest outside of gaming?

I have been interested to be an Investor before. I love to have an easy life.

Do you have any siblings who play games as well? Knowing that in a lot of Asian countries, professional gaming is frowned upon by the previous generation, how does your family view you pro gaming for a living?

I have a big brother who plays Dota as well, he was the one who taught me! My family is fine about my pro gaming career.

Tell us, from the beginning, how you began your career as a pro gamer. Who did you meet first and what propelled your reputation as one of South East Asia’s best.

At the beginning, I played with friends just for fun, until BkEaEeR (Founder of trust) invited me to join his team. About what propelled my reputation, maybe it’s because I’m like a farming machine!?

I believe that the previous Trust teammates also played a lot of other games apart from just DotA. What sorts of games have you played competitively and why not just focus on one? Won’t it affect your performance?

Well… they have played games like “Warcraft III, Ragnarok”. It really affected our performance because we needed to spend our time on every game which makes us not good at any games.

How have you guys managed to keep everyone focused on one game?

I just try to show everyone my intentions, my goals.

Most people believe that your mind and reflexes would not be as quick when you reach 30 and most pro players would not be able to keep up their performance after that. Do you think that is true? And if so, what do you have planned after retirement?

It’s true. Also has mine hahaha. If that time arrives…I think I will try to be a caster and analyze the game cause I think I can do that well.

Do you have a plan on how you want to start caster after your retirement? Are you close friends with any Thai casters?

The Thai casters that I am close to are Mermaid, Rezett, Pingac, Sunwaltz and Xyclopz.

Moving onto your team, why did your team leave MiTH and tell us more about your new sponsor Signature?

We really did not want to leave MiTH, it’s because of our two sponsors being unable to cooperate with each other. That’s why we needed to choose one, we chose Signature because they have always provided us with many important things such as budget, salary and gaming gear.

 

Do you guys have a training house? Can you tell us Signature.Trust’s training regime in preparation for The International 5? Who are your usual scrim partners?

Yes we do. It’s too far from our country but never mind. Haha. Our preparation for The International 5 is a 10 hour training day consisting of 3 sets of BO3s and watching replays/ tournaments. Our usual scrim partners are Malaysia, 5Eva, Aces, MVP, G-Guard.

Now that you live together, tell us some of the weird or good habits your teammates have. Do your teammates do anything together when you are not training or playing in official games?

Mypro is the one who has a short temper. But he’s the most diligent one, always training hard even though it’s not training time. aabBAA is the one we can rely on. His weird thing is that he is always on the phone with his girlfriend even during training time.

Well, if we have don’t have to train or play in official games. What we do is watch movies and playing cards but if our Signature boss comes, he will always bring us around to find delicious food to eat.

Your team’s performance has been quite impressive lately and from our records, you always manage to get to the semi-finals of tournaments but unable to finish first. What are the obstacles that you guys are facing, internally and externally?

I thinks it’s an internal problem. It’s because we still can’t adapt to playing with high pressure. When we play without any pressure, we always have good results but when it comes to an important match, we cannot play properly.

Have the team identified how the pressure affects your performance? Does it cause the team to play safer than usual?

Yes we know, it makes us not play like we should be. Our decisions as well as our play are slower.

The Trust team is known for its stability and you guys have more or less held on to the same roster for years now. Can you tell us on how the team has stayed together for such a long period? Are there no team breaking arguments that resulted in the removal of a player?

We usually have arguments but we’re living as a family and our arguments are just to make everything better, not to blame someone.

Considering you are one of SEA’s most deadly carry, have you been offered to play with other teams or perhaps an organization overseas? What made you stay in Trust for such a long time?

Yes, I had some teams inviting me to join, but my problem is that I’m really bad at English and want to play with a Thai team because I want to climb to the top with my friends.

According to Valve, they will be sending out the invites for The International 5 in early May. Do you think that your team will receive a direct invite or perhaps an invite to the qualifier? Assuming if it is the qualifier, how do you think you will fare in it?

I think it’s still hard for us to get a direct invite for now. If we’re in the qualifier, we will try our best to make it this time.

Tell us which teams you think will be directly invited to The International this year.

Secret, EG, Cloud9, Empire, Alliance, VG, Newbee, IG, LGD, MY, Rave, Tinker, VP.Polar, NIP

Generally, the prize pools of SEA tournaments are low. What kind of side gig do you guys do to gain some extra income for your daily expenses? Do you do any streaming?

My side work is teaching Dota. About streaming, I plan to do it soon but still have no chance to do so.

What is the most played Esports title in Thailand?

Heroes of Newerth is the most played in Thailand for now, but it will be Dota2 in the future.

While there have been several Thai teams (besides Trust) throughout Dota2 history, they were mostly short-lived and not very accomplished. Do you think the reason is the lack of players, or the fact that they choose other games such as LoL?

I think it’s because they have no intention to fight till the end. Once they lose, they think they cannot surpass the lost and then they surrender instead of improving themselves.

Do you think the lack of infrastructure in your country is inhibiting the emergence of young players in Thailand and SEA?

It’s a chance.

What sort of support do you hope to see the Thai government provide for a professional gamer like yourself or to grow the local Esports scene?

First of all, I hope that they will look at E-Sports to be like sports. Once we look at it that way, maybe not so far in the future, E-Sports player will have a transfer cost like in football.

You have quite a lot of overseas fans, have you considered the option to connect more with your foreign fans through streaming and perhaps supplement your income with streaming?

As said before, I plan to stream but I am still looking for the chance to.

The 6.82-6.83 comeback mechanisms have been a subject of discussion amongst pro players for several months now. Do you think these mechanisms have a positive impact in competitive DotA2, or do you think they should be changed/ removed?

I think it’s bad at first but after many fixes and updates, it is better. I think there’s nothing that needs to be changed now.

Your most-played hero list includes several farm-dependent late game carries such as Anti-Mage and Morphling. Do you think these heroes have their place in their current meta?

I think it’s hard in this meta even though it is easy to comeback. Many teams choose to play early-mid game or pick carries like Troll, Juggernaut that are strong with less items compared to Morphling and Antimage.

Recently, your team has ran an aura strat, a strat which quite a few teams have ran, do you think that is the best strat in this meta or perhaps this is what your team feel the most comfortable at?

It’s a good plan, but to say that it’s the best plan or not is up to you. I think we can make a good performance with this aura plan.

Trust typically used to run the 4 protect 1 stratergy with you being the carry. nowadays, it seems like the team is not running that anymore. has the current meta destroyed the 4 protect 1 meta?

Yes, of course. Nowadays, 10 minutes is a time to fight, destroy towers. If I play a hard carry that needs to farm for up to 20 minutes; we will lose in the early-mid game.

Knowing that many teams consider Troll, Sniper and Storm first pick material, do you think that they will receive changes in the next patch? Or do you think they are just flavor of the month type heroes?

For Troll and Sniper, they should be nerfed. But not Storm, I think he is not imbalance at all.

Your team seems to heavily dislike playing against Bristleback, having banned him in many past games, is there a reason for it and are there any other heroes your team particularly dislike playing against?

I think Bristleback is the most annoying hero for us. He is good at lane, strong in the mid game and his DPS is high. About the heroes that we don’t like, it is the kinf of Meepo, Tinker, Brood surprise picks. It can make us lose.

Thank you for the interview, are there any shoutouts you want to give?

Shoutout to my fans, I don’t know if this is my last year or not but I’ll try my best to be first in the International this year.

Images taken from Signature.Trust's and AsianCyberGames Facebook page


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Ben “PineappleCake” Tan
Inactive editor for Gosugamers Dota2 and an osu! Standard lover. Contact me via a message on Gosugamers or email to [email protected]