Moving from DotA Allstars to what is now known as Dota 2, Zheng “MidOne” Yeik Nai was never shy to show his skills in game. Known as one of Malaysia’s best mid player, MidOne was also the first player to ever have more than 8,000 MMR (matchmaking rating) in SEA. Fnatic took notice of this and it eventually brought him on to join the team professionally.
No actually, they noticed me back when I achieved over 8,000 MMR in Dota 2. That combined with our team winning the Mountain Dew challenge led to them deciding to recruit me as their (then) sixth player.
2. Coming from a tier-three team like Team DOT to joining a professional team like Fnatic, how was the transition like for you?
When I was with Team DOT, we played a lot against tier-three teams. The way we communicate back then is very different from how me and the Fnatic team communicate now. When it comes to play style, we were very slow compared to Fnatic’s. Being in Fnatic, our play styles are faster and we communicate a lot more by reporting every single detail in-game.
3. How did joining Team Fnatic help you with your self-development?
Being in Team Fnatic, I now have the chance of playing against other more professional Dota 2 players. With that, I get the urge and motivation to surpass them, which makes me train harder to beat them when we do meet at tournaments.
4. It’s good to build on individual skills, but what do you think of your team’s synergy? Do you all work well together?
Previously when Net left the team, our synergy did get affected but we’ve taken the time to readjust with the current players in the team and everything’s back on track.
5. Speaking of Net, what was the influence of his departure from the team?
In the beginning, it affected us quite a lot. Because we added Adam to the mix, we needed to change things up to get suited to a new player, that took a while.
6. If you had to choose, which player would you choose to have in the starting lineup? Adam or Net?
Unfortunately, I can’t make that decision because each player has their own style. At the end of the day, the decision still has to be made by the team. Both players are good, but it depends on how we work on the team’s synergy. If one of them has something troubling them, doesn’t matter what we do, in the end it just wouldn’t work out.
7. There was a time when the team had 6 players, did you find it hard to adjust as Fnatic kept switching out players, especially between Net and Adam?
Back at ESL One, there were only the five of us and Adam joined us a little later. We needed to get used to the constant switching of players, but regardless which player was on the team, we could manage.
8. Now let’s talk about the Dota 2 scene in Malaysia, do you think it’s slowing down?
Yeah, definitely. To me it’s the companies and organisations in Malaysia that aren’t going big enough when it comes to Dota or eSports in general. Take China as example, tournaments and events held in China are of much larger scale with an even larger prize pool. This is what’s lacking in Malaysia and it will eventually lead to slow development of the Dota scene in Malaysia.
9. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the development of eSports in Malaysia. In your opinion, what do you think is the major factor that is hindering the progress of eSports in Malaysia?
The lack of individuals involved in eSports in general. That and Malaysian teams aren’t strong enough. What I mean is that a lot of teams join a tournament, they get 5th or 6th place and have no intention to improve as a team. Most of these teams have the heart to play the game, but they’re just not determined enough to win it. If they lose the tournament, they won’t try to fix what went wrong or even improve. Because of that, they would always lose out to other teams and that leads to further discouragement.
Another thing about the scene in Malaysia is that there aren’t enough people supporting it. Events and tournaments in Malaysia are always filled with Malaysian teams, which doesn’t attract the audience. That being said, if there were more western teams like Team Secret, the audience would come. If you compare the Manila Major with tournaments in Malaysia, it’s a whole world of difference.
With the Summit 5 concluded recently, you can expect to see MidOne at Valve’s largest Dota 2 event of the year – The Internationals 2016, as the team has already qualified as the South East Asian representative. We wish him and Fnatic the best of luck.