Freeman – “I am happy to play for any team in Asia: English or Chinese speaking”

by Nikhil Hathiramani

During IEM Sydney, we met with ViCi Gaming’s Wing Hei “Freeman” Cheung and had quick chat about his team, his recent learnings and what’s next for the Hong Kong native.

CSGO2ASIA: ViCi have been making a lot of progress recently, attending some big international events and surprising everyone at the Asian Minor. Describe how this journey has been for you?

Freeman: In September when we formed the new team, our goal was to qualify for the Major and get those stickers. Everyone was so focused on this goal, and we did it. It was a great feeling to be part of a team that is so focused on the same goal!

CSGO2ASIA: What was the biggest learning you took away after the Asia Minor? What stood out?

Freeman: Playing at the Asia Minor made me realize the real differences between the Asian teams and Australian teams – and at the end of the day, it’s just their better communication. I mean, we always knew that communication was important, but this time it really was obvious to me than ever before. Seeing how Grayhound and Renegades read our plays and the map, it was clear to me that what we need to improve on as a team is how we communicate.

CSGO2ASIA: It’s clear that the ViCi has made progress. You have taken maps off teams like fnatic, NaVi and even beat TYLOO to qualify here. What do you think happened in the group stages here at IEM Sydney?

Freeman: I think it was a lack of preparation. Because of that, we didn’t have a lot of confidence going in. And without the confidence, when we lost 4-16 to NRG that really didn’t help us going forward, it just worsened the confidence even more.

CSGO2ASIA: Is the team actively looking for a coach or are you still relying on advent to come up with all the strategies and call?

Freeman: We are actively looking for a coach, yes. But, it hasn’t worked out with anyone yet. For the moment Advent is doing everything, strategy, calling, watching demos, so yeah he’s basically a full-time coach and IGL.

CSGO2ASIA: Some of us have heard that you are leaving the team after IEM Sydney. What prompted the decision to leave, especially now since your team is just making progress? Is it a mutual decision with ViCi?

Freeman: Yes, it is mutual. I have been discussing this with ViCi for some time and negotiating the contract. I just feel that my style of play is changing and maybe I have reached the potential in this team, despite our success. I am looking for a new challenge, there are no bad feelings, I just want to try something new!

CSGO2ASIA: So, what’s next for you, any plans to play outside of Asia?

Freeman: I think I will go back to Hong Kong first and figure things out. I don’t think I can play outside of Asia. Europe or North America is too far away from home and I don’t feel comfortable in that environment. But I am happy to play for any team in Asia, English or Chinese speaking.

CSGO2ASIA: Tell us a little bit about what’s going on in Hong Kong. Are there still teams that compete or is it mostly a dead scene now?

Freeman: No, there are no professional teams in Hong Kong. There are still some mix teams here and there but nothing like in China. Frankly, no one really takes it seriously there I feel.

CSGO2ASIA: Is this something you’d like to change, maybe?

Freeman: Haha, I would like to but this would require a lot of investment and support and I don’t think I could do much. It’s pretty hard.

CSGO2ASIA: What advice would you give to the younger players in both Hong Kong and China?

Freeman: You should be hardworking, keep practicing and play with a team of people that you like. The most important thing is playing with people that you like and sticking with them. If you stick together and be consistent you will see the rewards.

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