Kindy: "Main goal is getting to Major"
We have conducted an interview with TyLoo manager Dongwei "Kindy" Yan prior to SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals to ask him about the recent roster changes and his team's objectives for the $300,000 event.
The SL i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals will take place from April 4-9, with 16 teams in attendance. Among them are TYLOO, who recently won China Cup 2017 after beating fnatic Academy in the grand final.
The tournament will kick off with the group stage, in which a Swiss system format will be used, with their first opponent being SK. Unfortunately for the Chinese squad, their recent acquisition, Hansel "BnTeT" Ferdinand, will not be able to participate in the tournament due to visa problems.
TyLoo's first match will be against SK
To get a grasp of TYLOO's ambitions in Kiev for other future events, we sat down with their manager, Dongwei "Kindy" Yan. Below is the interview.
Firstly, TyLoo have undergone quite a few roster changes since the start of 2017, and as a result AttackeR and fancy1 are no longer with the squad. How did these outside factors affect your team in-game?
First of all, I found out that there were internal problems during the second half of last year; the team did not work well together. This kind of problem is fatal because if we can't solve it, the players can't be at their best. When ATTACKER and fancy1 decided to leave, I didn't think it would affect the team much because our performances were very bad. I thought the most important thing was to put the team back on track.
Shortly after joining the team, BnTeT was crucial to your victory at China Cup 2017, which was the first tournament TyLoo have won with an international team in attendance. How would you describe his impact and what are the new roles for each player on the team with his addition?
Before BnTeT joined us, when we were playing against his team and met them on LAN, we noticed he was a very talented player. But his ability was beyond my prediction, he carried us in all our matches at China Cup. Before the tournament, we had only just days of practice, so he got to know our tactics and defence only briefly. During China Cup, all his teammates were giving him as much space as they could to let him perform. But now that the event is over, that could be changed.
When did you learn that BnTeT would not be able to attend the event?
BnTeT applied for his Chinese Visa for China Cup immediately after we confirmed he would join the team. But for StarSeries, BnTet needed to apply for his Ukrainian visa while still in Indonesia. In the end, there was just not enough time for him to do that.
The group stage of the tournament will have a Swiss system, meaning you can play against any team in attendance. What are your thoughts about this format and do you think this is beneficial for your team?
Personally, I really like the Swiss system, because like you said we can face more teams. But our team's weakness is that our map-pool is not very deep, so there might be some games in which we will not play on the map we want to. But if we want to be a top team we have to work on more maps.
Do you change your playstyle against international teams? How are those opponents different than your local rivals?
I think that the main reason Chinese teams are progressing quite slowly is that the teams we normally face have the same style. The results are telling: there is a difference between playing against Asian teams and facing European or North American teams. That is why we want to send our team to Europe or North America for a bootcamp. I hope we can have the chance to practice against top teams more frequently.
zhokiNg will be TyLoo's fifth player in Kiev
On the subject of local rivals, which team has the potential to challenge you in China and represent the country in the international scene?
In my opinion, right now that team is 5POWER (UYA). Their players have all been playing professionally since the 1.6 era so they have a lot of experience at events, they know how to deal with pressure. In a few months, I believe we will also feel the pressure of Flash Gaming and of Vici's teams. But if we want to remain the No.1 team in Asia, we will have to face all sorts of challenges, and we are confident about winning.
What is the overall goal of TyLoo at StarLadder? Do you lower your expectations since one of your most important players, BnTeT, won't be there?
We are really sad that BnTeT cannot attend the event. He really wants to play against the western teams but life is this way sometimes. I hope our team can get through to the top 8, the last time we were in Kiev we had the chance to qualify for the playoffs but our players made too many mistakes against Astralis on Mirage. I hope my players will perform better this time around.
What are TyLoo's ambitions going forward after StarLadder?
There will be many big events this year in China, but for us, the most important ones remain the Majors. If we can qualify for the Major's main qualifier from the Asian Minor, we will have a bootcamp in Poland before the main qualifier. Our main goal this year is to be at a Major, and we will fight for it.
Keep checking our website for more interviews prior to SL i-League SS S3 Finals, whose event page can be reached here.