XiaoXiao is currently a popular caster and streamer in China. He used to play support for Invictus Gaming during the "golden era" of Team WE and was part of the iG roster that finally managed defeat them after six months of dominance in the Stars War League. Western fans may know him best for playing in the Season 2 World Championship or All-Stars Shanghai 2013.
He retired and started his casting career at the end of 2013 just before the formation of Edward Gaming. He was kind enough to talk with us after the Fnatic vs SK Telecom T1 game.
Hello, XiaoXiao. It's been a little while since you played for Invictus Gaming. What influenced your decision to become a caster.
I felt I was getting too old to continue to play the Pro League, but I still love League of Legends so much, so I wanted to be in the scene.
I know you're quite popular in China. What do you specialize in when you're casting, and what do fans appreciate about your perspective?
I've been a video game player since I was a child, so I am the player/caster guy who understands how it is to be a pro and think like a gamer. I think people like me because of this.
Having just casted the Fnatic vs SK Telecom T1 game and also having played professionally, how would you have reacted in Reignover's position to the visual bug? (Note: For reference)
While I'm in game, and the pressure is on, I will have to just keep fighting. If we lose, we lose.
At this tournament which team is your favorite team to cast?
SKT because SKT has so many different strategies. They understand "peel for the carry," "let's fight," "let's farm." Beyond that, SKT used to be quite strong, then they fell, but seeing them succeed again makes me feel good.
Do you believe that SKT will win the tournament?
I believe that Edward Gaming and SK Telecom T1 have equal chances of winning.
Given that you believe SK Telecom has a greater grasp of strategy, how can Edward Gaming win?
SK Telecom has better strategy, but Edward Gaming has stronger mechanics, so if EDG just plays in a standard way, they can win.
Other analysts have said SK Telecom T1 have an advantage in a lane swap situation. Does that neutralize some of Edward Gaming's mechanical advantage and an ability to play standard?
In the LPL, EDG has a lot of experience facing lane swaps. Even if SK Telecom lane swaps, EDG can adapt to play comfortably.
I know that Clearlove in particular is a player you've faced before when you were a player, but his playstyle has changed a lot over time. What is it about Clearlove that you think has allowed him to continue to adapt and play successfully over a long career?
Clearlove and I are rivals. We played against each other a lot. The thing that most impresses me about Clearlove is that he wants to win so badly. He doesn't care for anything else. If his teammate is not practicing, he will poke them and say "we are practicing." In China, there are many distractions like streaming, but Clearlove doesn't care about any of that. He only cares about winning.
Your previous team, Invictus Gaming, they just placed third in LPL Spring. Do you think they can do better in the upcoming split, and do you have any insight into the team's dynamic?
First, all of Invictus Gaming's players are young. They are about 18 years on average. The advantage of this is that they're very talented and many are geniuses at the game. But they are also less focused on the competition and are instead enjoying playing at this point.
In China, you are known for having insight into roster changes during the offseason, and you often share some of what you hear with the fans. Have you heard anything about the LPL roster changes recently?
Sure, here is a teaser, but these are only rumors. Coco from CJ might come to LPL to play in the summer split, and Duke from Najin as well.
Thank you very much for your time, XiaoXiao, and enjoy MSI.
Kelsey Moser is a staff writer for the Score eSports. You can follow her on Twitter.