We spoke to Thailand’s local champions, Ascension Gaming’s coach and co-founder, Akarawat ‘Cabage’ Wangsawat ahead of the team’s finals match against Gigabyte Marines for the #1 seed directly into the League of Legends World Championships. He shared a lot about the team getting out of their slump, their expectations for the GPL, their upcoming fight against Gigabyte Marines, and import players.
In the TPL, ASC won the Championship from initially placing 3rd in groups by 3-1’ing in both the Semis and the Finals. What do you feel was responsible for Ascension’s run from 3rd place in groups to Champions in the TPL?
During and after RR, the team suffered a big mentality breakdown due to the poor performance. Seeing how we were exploited in international tournaments, the local teams back in TPL followed suit with the same strategy used against us. This called for immediate action else the team would crumble ultimately. We sat through as a team and agreed on bringing an import in to change the team dynamic. With the week we practiced with Jisu, we were sure that we will win TPL because his play style complements the team as a whole.
We sat through as a team and agreed on bringing an import in to change the team dynamic. With the week we practiced with Jisu, we were sure that we will win TPL because his play style complements the team as a whole.
What are the team’s expectations for this GPL? What do you view as your main obstacles/ challenges in the way of that?
Our goal coming into GPL is winning the Champion title. We believed that it is within our capability and the only obstacle holding us back is ourselves. If we draft carefully and play according to our plan without us throwing the game ourselves, we should win.
Having taken down Vietnam #2 YG in a 3:2 series, what are your expectations going into the series vs Gigabyte Marines? How different are GAM and YG are skill-wise?
GAM is a stronger opponent compared to YG judging by the fact that we went into game 5 against YG while it only took GAM 3 games. In the GPL, YG have shown an aggression we have never seen before in the GPL region. It is as if they came from LPL. However, we believe that GAM is not invulnerable within the SEA region and we are going to prove that.
With all of Thailand’s top 3 teams this split having imports; what are your thoughts on the sustainability of imports in Thailand and for South-East Asia as a whole?
It is a good sign for GPL and especially for TPL showing how investors are ready to invest in the region and how competitive we are. I cannot say much about this but I say that this is a very positive sign and the future of SEA’s esport is going to be bright.
Jisu, what are the differences between playing in Korea, Europe, and Thailand?
The EUCS is hard because there are many strong top laners and weird picks such as Illaoi. In Thailand, it is easier because the top laners are not as strong. While in Korea, I do not have experience on stage. In solo queue games however, I can say that it is hard but there are no strange picks.
G4, do you have any words for Optimus or your fans ahead of your rematch?
I want Optimus to watch out because the result this time won’t end like the last time we faced off in GPL spring. I also want the fans to continue supporting both me and ASC; I will need it going against GAM in the finals.