EHOME, whose teams in DotA and Dota 2 have become legendary, announced on May 7 that they had picked up a CS:GO team. This week, the team's manager Meng "MOONBOW" Long and player Ning "Richie" Wan took the time to answer questions from theScore esports, shedding some light on the players on the team and discussing the resurgence of Counter-Strike in China.
Some of us in the West may not be that familiar with the roster, so could you tell us a bit about the players?
MOONBOW: I’m only a member of the management staff with passion in CS, but for me, our team’s Kymeister [Ping "Kymeister" Nie], 19-years-old, and kelele, [Yifan "kelele" Zhou] 16-years-old, are two top domestic players that I’ve been watching over time.
As for NOT77 [ZhenDong "NOT77" Mo], Richie, and NQR [Yongjie "NQR" Wang], they were a trio in the Chinese champions for CS:OL [Counter-Strike Online] K1 in 2009, and I’m good friends with them.
Right now Counter-Strike is pretty small in China in comparison to Dota 2, League of Legends or maybe Crossfire. Why did you guys start playing CS:GO competitively? What keeps you in it?
MOONBOW: In the past in esports, CS 1.6 had always been the one with the most players, the best spectator viewing, as well as the best for displaying the true strength of a team.
After CS 1.6 fell to the wayside for a few years, CS:GO emerged as a top quality team-based FPS. I hope that this will relight the CS fire, and with China’s huge player base, there is potential to expect our scene to surpass the CS 1.6 times.
Which CS:GO teams are your favorites?
MOONBOW: Fnatic, they are a very mature club. And they are a team with world-class individual skill and focus.
Are there CS:GO teams that you try to emulate in your competitive games?
MOONBOW: No, because every player is unique. Richie’s mentality in leading the team is to allow each player to express his own talents, and not to blindly imitate and borrow from others. Instead, it is better for the players to be themselves and thus reach higher levels in the future.
Two of the players came from Wings Gaming, but how exactly did the team form and come to be part of EHOME?
MOONBOW: The choice of the players was completely up to our manager, with our coach giving his input. EHOME is a top esports club in China, while Wings is a newcomer on the scene (with their Dota 2 squad being a new force), so our goal was to give ourselves a way to reach yet another level.
What has changed for you since joining EHOME?
MOONBOW: The organization has provided excellent training facilities, allowing the team to be very stable, and for us to have great confidence in improving ourselves, so we can work even harder.
Richie, you’ve been competing in CS since 1.6. Back then, China seemed to have a decent presence in the scene, but for CS:GO, it seems like only recently Chinese teams have been having an impact — especially TyLoo. What’s your opinion on the state of Chinese CS:GO?
Richie: CS:GO in China is different from in Europe or North America. By 2009, CS 1.6 players had already become very rare, and now many famous 1.6 former-pros have returned as coaches, which is something that will quickly raise the overall level of current Chinese pros.
Chinese CS:GO right now is heading towards a positive direction.
MOONBOW: Richie has a reputation in China as the number one FPS coach. Every time he moves to a different FPS game, he always wins titles in China. When he was with TyLoo and EDward Gaming, the players there were also directly under his mentorship, so we hope that his arrival here can really help our team’s young players express their ability.
How soon do you believe there will there be a Chinese team at a CS:GO Major?
Richie: It should be pretty quick. CS:GO has reached a sufficiently popular level here in China even while not having an official Chinese operator (for the game). Tournaments are popping up everywhere, and soon afterwards we should be seeing even more young, skilled teams emerge.
What are some of your first impressions of the team playing and scrimming together?
Richie: My first impression is that the team is very united in their purpose, so we can really focus on training hard. Secondly our team’s young players have so much potential, so it really gives us confidence.
Recently you competed in ImbaTV H-Cup Season 1, but were unfortunately eliminated from the group stage after losing 0-2 to NEW4. What went wrong there for the team?
Richie: New4 has a famous Chinese CS 1.6 player, and their team has been together for around 3 months now. They have become a formidable opponent in the Chinese scene.
For us, we only formed on May 6, so to be able to go against them was an important opportunity for us and it allowed us to find weaknesses. So what remains from that is to go and work hard at addressing those weaknesses and our mentality.
What competitions will the team look forward to competing in?
Richie: WESG [World Electronic Sports Games], D-Fire, NEA and G-League.
What hopes do you guys have for the future of the team?
Richie: Our goal is definitely Chinese champions, but we must be realistic and understand that we also need more time to gel, and that we need to first perform well in our upcoming competitions.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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