Interview with Toyz and his teammates from Hong Kong Esports: "Expect great efforts and great performances"
Thu 5th Feb 2015 - 2:24pm
This year there was a pretty substantial change to the professional scene in Southeast Asia, which split the Hong Kong/Taiwan/Macau region from the rest of the region. HK/TW/MO inherited the region's "major" status, and will be sending representatives to this season's World Championships. To qualify, teams play in the LoL Masters Series, a competition between the eight best teams in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
One of the biggest surprises this year has been the strong showing that Hong Kong Esports, formerly Hong Kong Attitude, has had out of the gate. But when you look at HKE's roster it shouldn't be surprising, the team is a veritable Hall of Fame of Taiwanese talent. They've blasted out to a strong start in the LMS, with a 5-2 record, only dropping close games against the Taipei Assassins and the Yoe Flash Wolves. I had the chance to sit down with the team, translated by their manager Andrew Leung, and ask them a few questions about their feelings on the SEA/TW split and the LMS season.
The team is composed of:
Top Lane: Wang "Stanley" June-Tsan
Jungler: Lee "Smurph" Tae-Gyeong
Middle Lane: Kurtis "Toyz" Lau
AD Carry: Wang "GodJJ" Yong-Jie
Support: Kim "Olleh" Joo-Sung
Manager: Andrew Leung
Substitutes: Shiue "DinTer" Hong-Wei, Yeh "Yezi" Chih-Hua
Coach: Park "Kingdom" Yong-Wook
First, thanks for taking the time out of your schedule to do this. I'm sure you guys are busy prepping for the LMS regular season. Let's start with the team as a whole, you guys are all established names in the Taiwanese scene, most of you making a name for yourselves on TPA or its sister team. What lead you all to come to Hong Kong Esports?
Toyz: So Hong Kong Esports reached out to us individually and walked us through what they were trying to establish in League of Legend's professional scene and in eSports in general. We think we held similar goals with the organization and that's why we decided to join Hong Kong Esports.
What do you guys think about the split of Southeast Asia and Taiwan-Hong Kong-Macau? Do you feel that this is a good change for the TW/HK/MO scene?
Toyz: We think it is a good change. Southeast Asia and TW/HK/MO are really quite different both culture-wise and location wise. Southeast Asia itself has a lot of LoL teams and that number of teams is getting larger and larger. This split makes the boundaries of Asia regions clearer.
How do you feel it will affect the SEA scene?
Toyz: This change will make the teams in SEA regions become more competitive than before. As of now, they're fighting for worlds spots among their own region instead of the entire big Asia, which lowers the chance of winning as there are so many teams playing each other. [They'll] want to improve themselves as hard as they can when they see the chance of winning is higher.
Looking at the LMS, it seems to be the usual suspects in Taiwan - TPA, Snipers, Yoe, and AHQ. Which team are you most concerned about?
Toyz: For now, we think we are most concerned about Yoe. Yoe recently had their Jungler changed, who is playing really well in the LMS. It also takes time for us to adopt their new strategies.
Team portrait courtesy of Hong Kong Esports.
Toyz, you retired about a year and a half ago due to your carpal tunnel. Have you recovered fully? What precautions are you taking now that you're back in a full practice routine?
Toyz: I have fully recovered. In order to prevent any health problems like the one I had, I now exercise during days off to keep my body as healthy as I can.
DinTer, the Jungle has been the epicenter of change during the Pre-Season. What are your impressions of the new Jungle?
DinTer: The new season's Jungle really changed comprehensively, it feels like another game. The thing that impresses me the most is the new Jungle items that have various functions. That gives a lot more options for Junglers to choose the items that fit with their play styles.
You guys recently picked up Olleh (formerly of Korea's Midas FIO and Brazil's paiN) to be your starting support. Do you have any worries about switching supports?
GodJJ: I wasn't really worried with the new support. I met Olleh in solo queue and we became friends. We used to duo queue quite a lot, so we both know each other's play style.
Who is the player to look out for this season in the LMS?
Toyz: Yoe's midlaner Maple. Maple has been showing how talented he is with his plays on the Korean server. He's been owning many Korean players in solo queue and has had really good performances during tournaments.
If you guys had a chance to play any team outside your regions, who would you pick and why?
Toyz: We want to play SKT T1. Since many people think SKT T1 is still the best team in the world, what gives better feelings than beating the best team in the world?
What should we expect out of Hong Kong Esports this season?
Toyz: Expect great efforts and great performances. Greatness is what we are trying to bring to the people who watch us.
You guys have any shoutouts?
Toyz: Shoutout to our fans all over the world for the love and support. Without you guys we wouldn’t be here for sure. Thank Hong Kong Esports for supporting us all the way since the moment we got picked up by this great organization.
Thanks again to Andrew for translating this interview. Follow Hong Kong Esports on Facebook as well as on their own website. You can follow Olleh on Twitter, and Toyz on Facebook and Twitch, and follow me on Twitter for more Southeast Asia and Wildcard eSports content.