With barely a week and a half to go until Intel Extreme Masters Taipei kicks off at the Taipei Game Show next Wednesday, the Taipei Assassins are more than ready to defend their eponymous home turf. We sat down with team manager Quaker Liu as well as team leader Wu “Polo” Ching-Chen and captain Chen “Winds” Peng-Nien to find out more.
ESL: Hello, and thank you for your time. Congratulations on qualifying for Intel Extreme Masters Taipei. How much does it mean to you to be involved with this tournament?
Quaker: It means a lot to TPA to come back from the defeat. We learned from the loss and fought our way back bravely.
ESL: It’s been quite a while since the Taipei Assassins were the best in the world. What do you think will make 2015 the year to look out for you again?
Quaker: TPA has been through many changes since the day we gained the World Champion title. It’s always a new start and challenge for us every year. However, it’s quite special this year, because we felt the improvement from the very first day of 2015. After a lot of hard training, we expect good results in international tournaments.
ESL: When you take a look at your recent placements, you and AHQ seem to be fighting for the top spot on a regular basis. Can you tell us a bit about your teams’ past and how you see the balance of power in your region?
Winds: In my opinion, as long as amateur teams have planned training, they’ll catch up with pro teams. It’s good for the Taiwanese esports scene – the more competitive teams the better.
ESL: With Bebe, the last remaining player from your World Champion team has left, while you’ve also acquired two non-Taiwanese players in the form of Chawy and Lupin. Can you tell us a bit about these transfers?
Polo: Bebe’s always been the spirit of Taipei Assassins – his retirement affected the whole team. However, TPA has become a totally different style of team now. Three of our positions have been adjusted (top, mid and AD). We recruited Chawy based on his great performance in tournaments. After a few tests, Lupin, a Korean AD player, joined us. We think TPA has quite a lot of potential with the new lineup.
ESL: In major tournaments over the last two years, you have given quite different performances depending on the location. What do you think the reason is for your strength at home?
Polo: The former TPA tried too many changes to its lineup, and lack of international match experience made us play badly against different countries and team styles. I think a good team should not be affected by external disturbances, no matter where you are or what kind of opponents you fight against. Playing on our home turf grants us the advantage, and we can enjoy the cheering from all the different audiences around the world.
ESL: A new Summoner’s Rift will come fully into the spotlight in 2015 – what have your experiences with it been like so far? Do you prefer this new map or do you still see things that need fixing?
Winds: The current version of Summoner’s Rift is great – the jungler has many kinds of play style to choose from and Smite is awesome!
ESL: When you look at the development within the different League of Legends scenes around the globe, which region do you see as being able to take on the top Korean teams in 2015?
Winds: LPL, as many top players from Korea transferred to LPL during the 2014 season.
ESL: Depending on your placement at Intel Extreme Masters Taipei, you could find yourself at the Intel Extreme Masters World Championship in Katowice. How much do you and your teammates want to make this happen?
Winds: As a pro player, I’m eager to win every single game. Although I’m 24 years old already, I’ll still try hard to achieve my goal.
ESL: Thank you once again for your time. The last words are yours – any shoutouts or things to say to your fans?
Winds: Please expect a whole new TPA this year – we’ll show you how good we are.
Polo: In return for all the support from our fans, we’ll fight through the world stage and have impressive matches.
Quaker: Let’s look forward TPA’s next match 🙂
Head over to the official Intel Extreme Masters Taipei site for more information in the leadup to the event, and stay tuned for more League of Legends interviews.
Additionally, if you’re a StarCraft II fan, why not check out the following interviews?
- Caster announcement – ping Michal”I hope the Intel Extreme Masters Taipei champ will be Zerg!”: an interview with Shin “Hydra” Dong Won
- “I’m very happy that I got the chance to continue playing in Europe”: an interview with Park “ForGG” Ji Soo
- “I will repay my invite with good play”: an interview with Lee “Life” Seung Hyun