The Mobile Legends Playoffs is just around the corner, we sat down with a couple of players from SIM, one of the teams that fought their way into the top eight from Group B. Joining us today are Rena “OhDearLing” Ku and Vernon “Salmon” Khaw, former mid-laner for EVIL.
Welcome Rena and Vernon. Congratulations on making it to the Playoffs. Your performance so far has shown that the team is very coordinated and in sync in-game. Could you tell me how long have you all been playing together?
OhDearLing: We have been playing together for about two months. But it was only after we joined Campus Legends that we started playing and training as a five-stack. As for our training schedule, on average, we practice four days a week.
Salmon: During training, there is bound to be conflict. Differences in opinion or how to approach the game. But, throughout all our trainings, we were able to put our differences aside and come together. So, I would say that our overall team communication has improved significantly. In terms of mechanics, the individual players have been putting in a lot of effort on that as well.
Having seen the competition in both groups, who would you say is your biggest competitor and how has the team been training for any matches against them?
Salmon: Based on the number of MPL players on their team, our biggest competitor is probably ITE CC. In terms of prep, we just focus on our training and try not to think too much about it. When we get in-game, we do what we usually do and try to perform the best we can.
OhDearLing: After watching the games in Group A, I think RP is a strong contender as well. When I had a look at their roster, I didn’t think they would perform that well. Especially in the first game, since not all the members on their main line-up were playing. But in the end, their substitute did pretty good, so I think RP can be a dark horse.
I spoke to a couple of the players from RP previously, and they said that SIM was a team that were watching out for, especially you Vernon, given your performances of Xavier. Any thoughts on that?
Salmon: I do expect the other teams to watch our matches and respect ban heroes we perform well on. But I will just say that they should watch out. I will be bringing more heroes for you to target ban.
RP seems to be quite wary of Vernon. Rena, do you agree with them that he has been one of the stand-out players on your team?
OhDearLing: No doubt. Salmon has really been stepping up for the team, both as a player and a leader. In-game, he is one of our win conditions so the enemy team will always try to target him. The rest of us mainly focus on trying to support him. Outside of the game, during our training, we usually listen to Salmon’s advice or suggestions since he has the most experience on our team.
Salmon: She says that, but I would really like to thank my team. No matter how good one player is, they are nothing without the team, so I believe what we have accomplished is a team effort. Everybody played their part.
Seeing as how the team looks up to you as a leader, does that put any extra pressure on you?
Salmon: No, I don’t crack under pressure. This just motivates me to be a better role model or team leader for them.
Adding onto that, as a former MPL player, you have probably been through some high-pressure scenarios. How has the Campus Legends schedule been like for you?
Salmon: Talking about pressure, in terms of schedule and all, I found it quite manageable. It is similar to the MPL SG schedule. But in general, esports is like that. You need to sacrifice a lot of your time, and the rewards may not be great sometimes. Although I was quite surprised by the prize pool for this tournament. If you do manage to win, I think it is quite worth it.
What were the team’s expectations coming into the tournament? How well did you think you would match up against the others?
OhDearLing: For the qualifiers, we expected to beat Kaplan and NYP, so we were aiming for Playoffs minimum. But we didn’t set our expectations too high because a lot of the teams in Group B had former or current MPL players and were really strong. It was hard to say who would come out on top, so we just went in and put in our best effort.
What about for Playoffs? Which team are you most looking forward to playing against?
OhDearLing: NP and ITE CE. NP because I think they are the second strongest team in the tournament. I am not too sure whether they are on par with ITE CC, but I think we stand a good chance against them. As for ITE CE, they are similar to us in that they do not have many MPL players. I want to see how we hold up against them.
What do you think has been the team’s biggest strength coming into this tournament and why has it been so important in your wins thus far?
Salmon: I feel like the reason why we win is not so much our skill at Mobile Legends. It has more to do with our character. We have a never-say-die attitude which is one of the most important things. The moment you give up, you start trying to play safe and surrender objectives. At that point, you will just lose the game.
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