The first DotA 2 Major Championship hype is starting to run through our veins. We open our player and teams spot light for the Frankfurt Major with an interview with EHOME’s captain Zhang 'LaNm' Zhicheng.
What defines the new EHOME line-up, how a player mentality adjusts within a roster change and what are EHOME’s most feared opponents are some of the questions that LaNm answered to GosuGamers in an interview conducted by Ernest "ernest429" Yim.
First I want to congratulate you on the birth of your first daughter! How has becoming a father changed your E-sports career and commitment?
Thank you. I think it mostly changed my attitude. I was more arrogant when I was young but now I realize that many things don’t matter as much as they seem.
Can you describe the differences between being in a veteran all-star team like DK, a partially new EHOME roster with you, ddc and ROTK at TI5, and the current young EHOME roster with you as the only experienced professional player?
At DK we were all playing our separate roles in the game, just doing the best on my part was enough. With r0tk at EHOME I put more effort into contributing to the development of the team. With the current EHOME roster I participate in more aspects of the team, whether it is in-game or managing.
Looking back at last year, you declared your retirement after TI4, what made you come back to the professional scene joining Big God?
The competitive aspect of playing professionally has always attracted me. Seeing all the players competing after I retired made me want to participate in these competitions again. At the time r0tk had the idea of forming Big God just for fun, I liked the idea so I joined the team as well.
After Big God disbanded, all of your team mates found their team to participate for TI5, what was the reason behind joining EHOME?
EHOME provided stability. On top of that after I retired the top teams at the time did not consider me as a candidate for their rosters.
Let’s change the subject to TI5 and the post-TI5 reshuffle. Were you satisfied with EHOME’s result at TI5?
I really think we had the chance to win TI5. If we defeated EG at the upper bracket we would have been able to play out the rest of our matches in higher spirits. But once we dropped to the lower bracket, the weakness of an inexperienced team was obvious as we could not adjust our mentality due to stress.
I think most of the audiences thought EHOME’s performance at TI5 was outstanding, what was the reasoning behind the huge shuffle after TI5?
EHOME was affected by the success of CDEC Gaming. They believed that bringing in new talents will secure a better future for the team. Moreover they were uncertain when will the older players retire, if they leave at a bad timing the team would suffer from a big loss.
What are the strengths of EHOME’s three new players (OldChicken, Kaka, and eLeVeN)?
Kaka is a very aggressive player with strong individual skills. When eLeVeN is confident he can put severe pressure to the other team. Old Chicken improves at incredible speed and is very hardworking. Moreover he has the willingness to sacrifice himself for the team and these are all very rare characteristics on a solo mid player.
How is the communication between you and the new players during matches? What have you done to make them feel more relaxed considering they have no experiences in the professional scene?
During games if I feel like our team is under a lot of pressure I will communicate slowly and tell the team what needs to be done. Communication is the key and I play the role of calming the players' nerves.
picture courtesy of Nanyang staff
Just looking at the roster changes, which teams in China do you think has the most potential? How about the west?
Vici Gaming, CDEC, Team Secret, and Evil Geniuses.
There have already been a decent amount of matches with all the teams playing in their new rosters now, after seeing these teams actually play, which team do you think is the strongest at the moment?
Team Secret and EG.
It was very unfortunate that Visa issues prevented EHOME from attending ESL One in New York. How do you think EHOME would fare against the teams at ESL NY if EHOME was there?
I think we would have gotten top three, but there are still unpredictable factors being a new team.
Did you expect a direct invite from Valve for the upcoming Frankfurt Major?
We didn’t expect an invite, we were even preparing ourselves for the qualifiers.
Are there any teams that you think should have been invited but were not?
No, all teams went through reshuffle and we all need to prove ourselves in matches.
Thank you very much for your time, do you have any shout outs before we conclude?
Thanks for all the support, feels good to be a dad ^. ^