A Chinese e-Sports magazine (e-Sports) recently had an interview with Sylar regarding his recent activities and his future plans including his intentions for the next 6 months, his time in LGD, the Shanghai Major, and the saga with LGD.Ruru.
Interview with Sylar:
- "I'm Not Willing to Leave Just Like That"
A translation of the full interview is written below:
Interviewer: The roster shuffle window has ended, based on your performance in the Shanghai Major, finding a team shouldn't be difficult, so why haven't you joined a team yet?
Sylar: Actually, some teams had contacted me while the roster shuffle window was open, but due to things regarding team members and conditions, we couldn't reach any agreements.
Interviewer: There were rumours that you might be joining Newbee.Y, but you didn't, why?
Sylar: Because I wanted to form a team with 357/QQQ. Having played with him in VG, I knew that he would be a big help as a coach. Playing professionally was tiring and there were several things to research, so I felt that having a coach like 357 was necessary. When discussing with Newbee.Y, I expressed my wish for 357 to join as a coach, but Newbee.Y already had a coach of their own and couldn't accept my condition, so we didn't come to an agreement.
Interviewer: Did you get in contact with any other teams?
Sylar: Yes, iG contacted me and the situation was similar with Newbee.Y.
Interviewer: Could you assess 357? What's the difference between him and other coaches that makes you trust him so much?
Sylar: Veteran players all know that he used to play for EHOME and has a deep understanding of the game. As a coach, he is extremely disciplined and the things that he says are clear and are not difficult for players to accept. When watching the team train, he will list down the problems we had in a book, especially the main problems and I think that's what makes him better than other coaches.
Interviewer: You have yet to indicate the direction you want to go in, many players are concerned for you and some have even suggested finding a foreign team, since this is also an option, have you thought about it before?
Sylar: Actually, I've considered this option before but I felt that actually doing so would be very difficult. I haven't had much contact or experience with foreign players and I don't know their methods of communication. Not to mention various problems with language, realistically it would be very difficult.
Interviewer: Since the roster shuffle window has already ended, doesn't this indicate that you won't be participating in the Spring Major and TI6?
Sylar: I suppose so.
Interviewer: Earlier you mentioned that you had been in contact with iG and Newbee.Y, but you failed to reach an agreement due to conditions regarding coaches. Do you think it's worth it delaying yourself for 6 months just because of coaches?
Sylar: It isn't really just about the coaches but for a lot of other reasons as well. One of those reasons is because playing has been very exhausting and having a coach would take some weight off my shoulders. Another reason is because my mother's health condition has taken a turn for the worse this year, dealing with the late stages of cancer. To be honest, whether or not I get to play professionally is not important, I have been dealing with this everyday. The current situation with my career is that I will only think about continuing to play professionally if a team is able to fulfill my conditions. Otherwise, I would like to take a break for half a year and spend time with my family. I've already been playing professionally for 5 years without taking a break. I feel that if I have to join a team alone, there would be no difference from before and I would only feel more exhausted, and I don't want to continue like this either, so I want a coach which can stake it out with us.
Interviewer: Since you get to take a break for half a year, it seems like a good decision, and you get to spend more time with your mother too.
Sylar: You could say that, and I originally wanted to take an appropriately long break too. After all, I've been playing professionally for 5 years straight already, I'm quite mentally stressed out.
Interviewer: Earlier in your long Weibo post you mentioned that before the Shanghai Major you already decided to retire, how do you consider the prospects of retirement?
Sylar: When I wanted to retire before the Shanghai Major, it was because the team was performing badly. There were a lot of problems which I won't explain, I was the one who invited rOtk and we didn't manage to synergise, having invited my own friend, I couldn't just leave like that on my own. The situation at the time was like when I didn't see the possibility of a Top 3 finish at TI3, so I felt that retiring wouldn't be a big deal. After that, since WCA began we entered the new patch and the team's performance quickly improved, so I decided to continue playing, but everyone already knows what happened after that.
Interviewer: But looking at the current situation, you are in a worse situation, you're going to be delayed by half a year, why didn't you decide to just retire?
Sylar: During the roster shuffle window the main question was whether I wanted to continue playing or I wanted to take a break, I thought about it for a long time. A lot of things happened lately, what happened with Ruru on Weibo was one thing, but there were other things that upset me, in addition to the problems at home, so I was very stressed out. I didn't go out for quite awhile as I was thinking about all these things and I felt very confused. The friends who I'm closer with kept consoling and discussing things with me and I was also struggling with it everyday. My final decision was that if a team could fulfill my conditions in terms of players and coaches, then I would continue playing. Otherwise, I would spend half a year taking a break, spending time with my family and streaming. I feel that retirement isn't something that you can just come out of, so concerning this particular situation, I thought through it very carefully and since it's only half a year, I'm sure I will be back. Since I still haven't won a TI, I'm not willing to leave just like that.
Interviewer: Aren't you worried that taking a break for half a year would cause your performance or skill level to take a dip?
Sylar: Yes, I'm worried about this too, and 357 also advised me to continue playing if I could, it's just that this time I'm really exhausted and I need some time to readjust.
Interviewer: Let's talk about LGD, rOtk joined LGD at your recommendation. However, after a series of competitions his performance was questionable, how did you assess rOtk's performance in LGD?
Sylar: I feel that since he came to LGD, he was very responsible as a drafter, watching replays and discussing strategies and problems with us after competitions. He did have some bad sides to him but as a teammate I believe that he had done enough, I wasn't scared of how he would perform during the competitions as it isn't a problem that players have.
Interviewer: After LGD were eliminated by CDEC in the Nanyang Championship, did you have a heated argument with rOtk?
Sylar: That one time was actually just normal discussion. At the time, we had had a dispute over a problem and, after watching a replay, we all had a meeting and solved the issue.
Interviewer: I think a lot of players would like to know what LGD's team atmosphere was like. Was anyone unhappy with rOtk?
Sylar: The team's atmosphere was quite normal, but that's also because we lost more competitions. There wasn't really any unhappiness regarding rOtk, just that there were a lot of arguments, but these arguments were all in-game anyway.
Interviewer: During the Shanghai Major, Chinese teams performed poorly, including LGD, where did the problem arise?
Sylar: The Spring Festival break definitely played a huge part, when EHOME won MDL, all the Chinese teams were playing well and had no issues. Even though everyone practised really hard after the break, it wasn't enough. Hence, the spring break had a huge impact on the Shanghai Major.
Interviewer: Other than the Spring Festival, are there any other reasons?
Sylar: I think that regarding the strategies, a gap in individual skill and understanding of the patch had developed between Chinese teams and foreign teams, but this gap could've been closed through practice.
Interviewer: As a player, how did you feel watching each Chinese team getting eliminated one by one, including yourself, how did you feel inside?
Sylar: Watching the feelings of each team as they left I understood how they felt, having gone through it several times before, even when I went up on stage myself I wanted to win, but it just couldn't happen.
Interviewer: After the Shanghai Major, you tore Ruru apart on Weibo, why did you decide to let the public know these things?
Sylar: At the time LGD wanted to get rid of me, yet they posted on Weibo that I myself wanted to leave and even wanted to confront me. I originally thought felt that it doesn't matter, I didn't want to fight over this matter because I still wanted to continue playing, It's just that Ruru PM-ed me on Weibo and talked to me about my conscience, so I got angry. I knew that publicising some things wouldn't be beneficial to me at all, but I just couldn't suppress my anger this time.
Interviewer: When you were writing this long post on Weibo, did you think about the consequences that it might have on you?
Sylar: I did think that I might get blocked, but when I made that post I had already said, since I decided to bring this up, I had already decided to take a break. After things were understood, Ruru had indeed thought of blocking me, but she ultimately failed.
Interviewer: How would she have blocked you?
Sylar: By banding with other e-Sports organisations and e-Sports unions.
Interviewer: Stop other organisations from scouting you into their teams?
Sylar: Pretty much.
Interviewer: Now that you have decided to take a break for a number of reasons, do you feel any regret over that impulsive post? If it weren't for that post, you could have continued playing competitively and you could also have participated in the Spring Major and TI6.
Sylar: Of course I've thought back on these things but I don't regret it because I don't want to be someone who tolerates and keeps quiet while I'm being used.
Interviewer: In the end, you reached an agreement to terminate your contract with LGD anyway, so does that mean that this whole saga has come to an end?
Sylar: You could say that.
Interviewer: Has this saga affected your relationship with any of the other players?
Sylar: Perhaps there is some awkwardness but definitely not aggression.
Interviewer: What are your opinions of LGD? After all, you've played with them for two separate, long periods of time.
Sylar: I don't have any particular opinion, I just feel a bit of regret for deciding to return to LGD after TI4, I regret not seeing through Ruru at the time.
Interviewer: Then let's talk about your plans for the future, what do you have planned out for the next half a year?
Sylar: At the moment, I only intend to stream and spend some time with my family. I might consider forming an online team later on, participating in competitions to help me maintain my level of skill.
Based on the interview, we can assume that Sylar will most definitely be back after taking this break and we would like to extend our well-wishes to his mother who's suffering from cancer. But for the moment, we can clearly see that Sylar will stream and hopefully return to some competitive play with an online team before the next roster shuffle.
Translated by 2009