Ahead of the IEM Beijing-Haidian 2020 Asia, we had the opportunity to sit down with ViCi‘s Andrew “kaze” Khong. Khong touches on the addition of JamYoung, the current state of ViCi in these unprecedented times, and being stuck in his home country of Malaysia.
Currently ranked 2nd in Asia, ViCi has always been one of the top teams in Asian CS:GO, despite living in the shadow of TYLOO for as long as we can remember. In just a day, they will go up against three teams at the IEM Beijing-Haidian 2020- Asia, and fight to earn their title as top dog.
We discussed several topics with Kaze, among them, the situation of ViCi since the pandemic, the recent changes happening in Asian CS:GO, and his opinion on another Malaysian player currently pursuing his career with an international roster, Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee. Read the interview below for more insight into Kaze’s thoughts.
CSGO2ASIA: It’s been a long time since we’ve spoken! How are you in this pandemic? Is everything good? And is there any difficulty playing with ViCi since you’re staying in Malaysia?
Kaze: I’m really bored during the pandemic period because I’m just home all the time, and tournaments are all online. There are travel restrictions, and I can’t take a break from gaming due to the pandemic as well. Playing apart from my teammates (who are all currently at base) is probably the most challenging issue we face as a team.
CSGO2ASIA: What’s something you’ve been missing about being with the rest of the ViCi players?
Kaze: The Bootcamp we had in Europe was one of the most memorable things, and there was so much to take away from that experience. Every day was a new learning day for us as a team, and we’ve gained so much from that. It’s just so unfortunate that we’re faced with this pandemic, and it seems unlikely for such opportunities to happen anytime soon.
CSGO2ASIA: Can you tell us how the team is doing, from your perspective? Do you think 2020 overall has been a good run for ViCi?
Kaze: The first half of 2020 wasn’t exactly great for us. We had to pull out from IEM Katowice, which was a huge bummer for us. We worked really hard to get ourselves qualified but we were faced with the very first wave of the pandemic in China. But overall, as we approach the end of 2020, things started picking back up, and we’re all doing great so far.
CSGO2ASIA: Since our readers might be familiar with JamYoung, could you share your view on him? As we know, he joined ViCi at a very young age, which is uncommon in the Chinese scene.
Kaze: I would say he’s the China version of mouseports‘ Robin “ropz” Kool. It was actually my captain (Zhuo “Advent” Liang) who found him in a PUG by chance and decided to recruit him as a trainee after we got Tao “Franke19” Deng. No doubt, he definitely has great potential to be the next best player in Asia.
No doubt, he (JamYoung) definitely has great potential to be the next best player in Asia.Andrew “kaze” Khong
CSGO2ASIA: What’s his role? Is it the same as Freeman?
Kaze: It is the same, but JamYoung is calmer and collected when faced with tight situations. Most of the time, he manages to grab a clutch and pulls one for the team when we need him most.
CSGO2ASIA: Touching back on the upcoming match up at IEM Beijing-Haidian 2020, how ready are you facing TYLOO, Invictus, and D13 since most of them are known to be your regular opponent. And what do you expect from them?
Kaze: All three opponents are tough and should not be taken lightly. We have made sure that we are well equipped to face the unexpected and expect nothing less from all of them. It’s more of an ongoing process in bettering ourselves to prove that we are just as strong or better. We just gotta keep grinding and put in the work to bring us to the next level. Never underestimate, and we are fully prepared to face them this coming weekend for IEM Beijing-Haidian.
CSGO2ASIA: Are you familiar with Khalish “d4v41” Rusyaidee? If yes, what are your thoughts? He’s one of the only other CS:GO players playing outside of a Malaysian team?
Kaze: d4v41 is no doubt a great player and has the potential to get to higher places. He is the only player left to represent Malaysia because most of the CS:GO players have switched over to Valorant. He has my full support as a fellow Malaysian and friend, I do hope to see him succeed. Malaysia Boleh!
CSGO2ASIA: What do you think about the latest news surrounding the NG Esports international roster? Do you think they can be the ‘Asian FaZe’ everyone expects?
Kaze: I can’t say much for now because I’ve only watched them once. More time is needed before I am able to give any comments.
CSGO2ASIA: The last thing we want to know is, what is your view on the Asian CS scene in 2021? Since there are new international rosters like as we have seen in 2020 like NG Esports, or Paper Rex?
Kaze: The rosters are still being shuffled here and there, but something’s definitely brewing! I guess we need more time to see what’s gonna happen next.