Team Netherlands from WESG 2017-2018 is a super interesting mix of two old friends, WehSing ‘SingSing’ Yuen and Alaan ‘SexyBamboe’ Faraj who simply took the highest three MMR players from their country for this event.
It’s been really nice and refreshing to talk to these two and the chat went all over the place, from personal goals and plans, to what the WESG Olympic format has to add to the professional scene, and how to or not to make a living from arts, you can read everything about it below.
You’ve both been playing in the first WESG edition, last year you didn’t advance to the Global Grand Finals, but now you did, so congrats on that. How do you find the second edition of WESG European and CIS regional qualifiers finals?
SingSing: Everything here has been good so far, last year was also pretty good I must say. The StarLadder staff is super professional, they are all experienced. Everything happens on time, people are always here to make sure you are ready on time, you don’t have to wait for random things. We didn’t have to do anything except show up and play and focus on our stuff, no stress with anything else. So yeah, I’m very happy and impressed with how the event is run, especially that they have so many teams, players, a lot of game disciplines to take care of, and yet everything it’s been super good.
SexyBamboe: The Kiev regionals were also nice and smooth. But, I think I like Barcelona as a location much more than Kiev. More sun here, nice weather, and we qualified so yeah, so far, all good here.
I believe I have more of a nostalgia thing where you want to play on a big stage, play against big teams, tough opponents and stuff.
Sing, now that you talked about the organizersprofessionalism, may I ask you if you miss playing in events, or if you miss playing competitively?
SingSing: Playing events, I guess I do miss that, but to be honest, I believe I have more of a nostalgia thing where you want to play on a big stage, play against big teams, tough opponents and stuff. But, to play at a competitive level it means to practice on schedule every day, you have to be with your team every day, do scrims every day …erm.. so no thanks. It’s too much effort, too much stress and too little payout from that.
Bamboe, you’ve been doing a little bit of everything in the last two years let’s say. You’ve been on an ESL Frankfurt panel as well, so tell me, do you contemplate a commentator or analyst career or do you still push forward with the competitive play?
SexyBamboe: I never actually even thought of a commentator or analyst career. The ESL appearance was just a one time thing when I said, ok, let’s do that and see how it is. In a perfect world I would be playing in a tier one team and do my best to compete regularly, so yeah I am still pushing to play. I might consider a caster alternative if really nothing happens with the competitive play part, but for now, all I want is to play.
Tell me what do you think of the WESG Olympic format? It’s been a lot of talk last year about how this doesn’t fit the esports world, but at the same time it’s a good opportunity for smaller teams or up and coming players. What do you think of it?
SingSing: I think it’s good to have something like this around. Let’s be real, this is not that much of a serious tournament. It’s bunch of high school friends with some decent MMR gathering up and winning national qualifiers in countries that don’t even have any real Dota teams. And I like that actually. I don’t think WESG should change, I don’t think it should be as important as TI or even Majors. WESG is also fun and refreshing for the viewers as well. It’s this one time per year when you get to see something else.
SexyBamboe: Also, watching a country vs country thing once in awhile, even in Dota is interesting.
hey, I see you are 7K MMR, so let’s go!
Yeah, I quite agree with you both, and I like the fact that once you are at WESG qualifiers, regardless of the region, you get to see so so many players at high MMR that you never heard about. It’s a great way for them to showcase their skills and who knows, maybe better things will come their way after an event like this.
SingSing. That’s exactly the situation with our Team Netherlands teammates. We took random dutch players, highest on the ladder from our country. I didn’t even know them from before, I don’t think we even played a pub game together before making this team for WESG qualifiers. It was simply like that, “hey, I see you are 7K MMR, so let’s go!”
Well, RIP MMR now, the new system has just arrived this week. By the way, have you calibrated already?
SexyBamboe: I played only one calibration game as of now.
SingSing: You played one game in the same game with me you mean so that’s party calibration.
SexyBamboe: Right yeah, we were sleeping when the new system was launched and then the next day we came here
SingSing: Yeah, so I guess we will calibrate when we get back home.
Ok, I look forward to your Divine/Legend player memes.
Sing, I know you have a hobby that’s actually more of that, considering you have a degree in Arts, I also hear you when you say you’re lazy, but for real now, why didn’t you do anything with drawing, even now after you retired?
SingSing: Yeah, that I am, lazy. Why not doing something with drawing? Because it’s such an oversaturated line of work. It’s actually the same in all arts right now, music, acting, drawing every area is oversaturated right now. For instance, with drawing there’s a lot of volunteers or internships sort to say, that work for insanely low amount of money and to make a break out in this industry, like for example games 3D modeling or something, it’s very hard and you might never work for a big studio. So, I was like fuck it, I’ll do something else with my life.
Yeah, I understand, but there are people who made it in this industry and they are really talented. There are a lot of game designers or 3D artists who do make good money, right?
SingSing: I would say it’s 1% of the people who graduate an Art school. My colleagues, and not only, I know a lot of young dudes who are talented and didn’t do shit with their Arts degree.
Funny how we talk about the arts area and the young talented people having hard times with making a living out of their skills. I think it happens a lot in Dota as well. A tournament like this showcase so many good players that you never heard about and sadly, most of the times, you won’t hear any more about them after neither. Can you explain me why is this happening? Why a dude that shows up here and you see that he is good, really good even, will still not make a break out anytime soon?
In tournaments like this it’s all about the personal skill
SexyBamboe: Because in tournaments like this, with special, let’s say setups, where a few professional tier one players gather with some semi-professionals or completely unknown guys, it’s all about the personal skill. You don’t look for team-play and creating a team environment and everything. It’s all about how you play around personal skills of each individual in your National team. You know, the pros and their teams practice every day for how to become a better team. While for here, you practice if you can call it like that, around what you know your teammates strengths are.
By the way, how much did you train or practice for the WESG Barcelona qualifiers finals?
SingSing: A week or maybe less, five days
SexyBamboe: Yeah we just tried to sync with each other that’s all. As I said, you don’t care who your opponents are for tournaments like this, you just have to play your personal best.
Well, you did play your best in the group stage I guess, again congrats on the qualifying spot and good luck in China next year! It’s been really nice to chat with you, and thanks for taking the time to do this interview. Any closing thoughts or shout-outs?
SexyBamboe: Shout-out to Netherlands, we are building the Netherlands esports scene guys!
SingSing: Shout-out to all the people following me and supporting me and of course shout out to my sponsor, Cloud9!