Interview with Pan "Fade" Yi

Mar 10 2020 6 min read

Interview with Pan "Fade" Yi ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

Team Aster came out of nowhere with a surprise victory at the third Minor of the current DPC season – StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. We sat down to talk with the captain of the victorious roster Pan "Fade" Yi, who told us about the current state of the team and about his childhood dream of making cakes.

     First of all, congratulations for the win! It was pretty much one-sided and very impressive victory. You were screaming a lot and emotions went through the roof. All your games were pretty one-sided, you were 10:0 this tournament and you lost just one map to Alliance. Let’s talk about the Grand-Finals. What was the gameplan for it?

     Actually, our scrims were bad before, so we hired a new coach – LaNm. He’s a very smart person and knows a lot about how to play this game, so we became stronger. That’s why our performance became good.

      Were you playing scrims against the European teams? You said you lost against everyone. Who were you playing against?

      Teams like NAVI and Virtus.pro.

      Coming to this tournament, did you expect this kind of a performance? Did you expect it to be so easy to win a Minor?

      Before the Minor I thought it’s going to be hard, because I didn’t think we were that strong. But we went 10:0, so maybe we became stronger now.

      Where did you bootcamp in preparation for the Minor? How long was it and what were the results?

      We stayed at the same place in China. I know that many western teams don’t live together, but we do in China. So that’s the place we bootcamped at.

      So you live together all the time? Why?

      Yes, all the time. Because we are pro-players, and that’s the way we do as a team in China.

      Don’t you get bored of seeing each other every day?

      Actually, if you live like brothers or like a family it feels good, otherwise it can be daunting.

      Are Team Aster like brothers?

      Yes, absolutely!

      For how long did you bootcamp in China?

      We bootcamp every day. But after we qualified we took some time off and didn’t live together.

      You were not considered as the favorites for this tournament – Alliance was. Did you feel any pressure before it, or did you just come to play?

      I guess they have achieved higher places at Majors, and I thought they were a strong team. Before we came to the Minor we thought that only Gambit and Alliance were our rivals. But as you saw we destroyed them, so it feels good.

      In the games you were really emotional – you were screaming, smiling. It’s not common for a Chinese team. Chinese teams are usually calm, composed and reserved. What’s different about Team Aster?

      Yes, I agree, because Chinese people are sometimes shy. But we like energy, shouting things like “Let’s go!”, motivating ourselves that we can beat the enemy. I think it’s really good for our games, because when you feel energetic you feel that you can do better.

      There was this one map where Limmp played as a Dragon Knight and attacked you on Storm Spirit and died. After that all your team tipped him Dota Plus points and he was very tilted at that moment. Do you feel like this affects people? Like OG do at The International every year? Why did you do that?

      We did it because Limmp tipped our mid, he did it first. So that why we returned the favor. I mean it’s up to each individual person – if he’s weak, he will feel pressured and tilted.

      What are your thoughts about the new DPC system? What do you like or dislike?

      It’s hard to say. I’m torn on it. It all depends on how Valve implements it. People say that it should have been done earlier, during TI5 or 6.

      So it should have happened earlier?

      Yes, because during those times Dota 2 was really popular. But nowadays it’s not as popular as before. But in time we’ll see how good the system is.

      What is one thing that you would add to this DPC system if you were working at Valve?

      I think it’s fine. Right now we have a system with five Majors and five Minors and we have to fly twice a month. It’s really tiring. But next season we may have to even play in China, so it’s fine. No need to add anything.

      LaNm was invited to your team to be the coach at the Minor, and the main coach is QQQ from PSG.LGD. What was the impact of LaNm at this tournament, how did he help you?

      He was a pro-player for a long time. He played professionally for ten years, and he really understands this game. He taught us how to play the midgame, how to destroy our enemies in lane. But it’s really hard to say.

      What I mean is, do you feel his impact on your result during this tournament? He was the one drafting, right?

      Yes, absolutely. He was picking.

      QQQ couldn’t attend this tournament because of the coronavirus. What happened, is he OK?

      Yes, he’s fine. Before the Minor we wanted him to join us at the bootcamp. He asked his family, and his wife and his mother didn’t allow him because they thought it’s dangerous.

      Wait, so QQQ’s family didn’t allow him to travel because of the danger of the coronavirus?

      Yes. That’s why we invited LaNm, because he was nearby.

      That’s the only reason as to why you decided to pick him?

      Yes, only because QQQ couldn’t come.

      But how does it feel to say goodbye to the coach you won the Minor with? I mean you had the perfect tournament, you defeated everyone and now it’s a goodbye time.

      It’s a good question, because we’re not sure yet. Maybe he will stay with us.

      Maybe LaNm will stay for the Major?

      I don’t know yet, we need to talk with the team.

      How are you going to prepare for the Major? Are you going back to China?

      It’s hard, because we don’t have American visa. And we’re not allowed to apply now. So maybe we can’t go to America. Maybe we can find players that have the visa so they can join the team. It’s sad.

      How many people in your team don’t have visa?

      Three. Sccc, me and ChYuan.

      Some people say that coronavirus can affect the Los Angeles Major attendance. You have probably seen the empty Spodek Arena in CS:GO. How do you feel about this? Do you feel better playing with crowd, or without it? Do you feel any pressure?

      It’s hard to say. I’ve heard that the situation with the coronavirus in the west is better than in China. But I don’t know. It’s better than before in China, and maybe it’s dangerous in the west now.

      Were they testing you when you came to Kyiv? Did they take your temperature?

      Yes, they tested us. I understand, they just want to make sure people are safe.

      But do you feel comfortable with this? They’re checking you everywhere.

      I think it’s fine. It’s really important. We need to care about other people’s lives.

      And the main question: one week is left before the Los Angeles Major, you still need to get visas for three people. But how are you going to prepare? It’s only a week, and there are many top teams participating.

      I mean, we won the Minor. We have confidence in ourselves, that we are good. So if we play like we did, we are good enough. We don’t need to prepare anymore.

      And the last question: what would be your dream job if Dota didn’t exist? What would you like to do? Maybe your childhood dream?

      It’s a funny question. I really like cakes, so maybe I would have been a confectioner, making cakes.

      That’s so cute! I wish you good luck and all the best!

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