In the greater part of Asia, Valve’s CounterStrike: Global Offensive has always been the little brother to the behemoth that is Dota 2. Whether on casual or on esports ranks, Valve’s MOBA title has always been the popular choice of genre among gamers in the region.
But luckily, recent events contributed to the rise of the CS scene in the region, from MVP.PK’s continuing appearances at high-tier tournaments in the west up to Tyloo’s emergence at the last FACEIT Major, teams in the region are slowly gaining attention.
Photo below: TNC Pro Team at the Zowie Extremesland 2018 finals in China.
Today we had the chance to talk with one of the rising teams in Southeast Asia, TNC Pro Team CS:GO.
The team shared their experiences in past international LANs and their insights with the status of the game in the region.
Q: First of all, congratulations for the continuing rise of your ranks in the Asian CS:GO scene. How do you find your recent stint at Extremesland and Kaohsiung? Do International LANs differ a lot compared to local and online tournaments?
Pro: I'm very disappointed that we placed 8th and 16th in Zowie and IESF respectively. For me honestly, I know that we can make it to the finals at that time even if it’s just our first and second LAN experience as a team. Unfortunately, it didn't happen, so we’re just moving forward to our next LAN tournaments.
I think International LAN differs a lot compared to local and online tournaments. When you play local or online tournament there is no pressure at all and maybe we’re already getting used to it. I don’t know if all players feel the same way as well. On the other hand, when you play in an International LAN tournament there’s a different environment whereas teams and players are being more prepared than the usual tournaments.
Q: As the team captain, how would you assess your overall team performance at those international LANs mentioned?
Pro: For me they still did a good job although we didn’t reach and shown the full potential of each player and of the team. It was a very good experience to all of us.
The boys looked back and shared stories of their humble beginnings as well as thoughts on the essence of experiences and relationships with the team.
Witz: I started my career when I was just playing on the PH community and one of my friends asked me to stand-in on their team in a Minor tournament and then luckily, I've played well on that tournament. After that I was scouted by a team and finally, I'm officially part of the pro scene.
Back then, I usually play in low-end internet cafes with my classmates, but now I play on the TNC boot camp.
Kenzy: As the newest member of TNC, I’m glad to be part of the success we are experiencing right now, because we are gaining a lot of experience in Asia which would help us a lot because four of us are lacking experience in the game and we have a lot of things that we need to improve and learn.
Q: Chulo, you have been one of the X factors for the team recently. How well do you think are you doing since your start at TNC?
Chulo: I don't think I'm the one of the X factor of the team's success recently because I'm just doing my role and what I am said to do. I think I'm doing well here on TNC because I feel very comfortable with my teammates. Also, I believe one of the important factors of being successful is to have good relationship with your teammates inside and outside the game and that's what we have in TNC.
Aside from LAN tournaments, TNC also caught the attention of fans after great performances in online tournaments and qualifiers.
Q: Give us your insights on your recent performance at the Asian Development League. You made waves at the international scene after beating Tyloo there. How did you feel?
Chulo: I think our performance in the ADL is pretty good but sadly we can't continue to play in ADL because of the schedule. It felt good after beating TyLoo
Q: You had almost qualified for the IEM Katowice Major Asia Minor. Despite falling short one series at the grand finals, it was the closest ever that a Filipino team had a chance to make it at a Valve Minor – are you disappointed or do you see it otherwise?
Pro: We are not disappointed at all, but it was inevitably regretful coz we are almost there, it’s just that we fell short in the finals. We should still be proud for the fact that we reached the finals. I think we still did our best and it was really a good run for us. There’s no reason for us not to be prepared and do better for the upcoming tournaments.
The whole team is also excited about the upcoming Plus Attack FPS Apex that will feature a million peso CS:GO LAN finals – the biggest prize pool ever for a Philippine CS tournament.
BORKUM: The Plus Attack CS:GO LAN is great for promoting the game in the country, because ever since the organization behind Plus Attack always supported the whole CS community in our country, I hope they will make more big tournaments not only Plus Attack, and I'm very excited to play and give our best shot in the coming LAN events.
They also shared their experiences as part of the TNC team, sharing tips for aspiring newcomers and amateur teams. The boys stressed the importance of practice and participation at regular online tournament platforms to keep themselves sharp and game ready.
Q: Witz, you are regarded as one of the best AWPers at least in the country – can you share tips?
Witz: I improved a lot with my AWP by just focusing on it and practicing in different situations every day, like on FFA, PUGs, scrimmage, and watching POV DEMOs.
Kenzyy: I can say for aspiring players and amateur teams to keep playing and never forget that you play CS:GO because you love the game. I would recommend tournament platforms for practice, because you will learn a lot of things in those kinds of tournaments that you won't get in scrimmages.