When Wong "Chawy" Xing Lei took center stage for ahq e-Sports Club (AHQ) at Worlds 2016, the pride and tension was evident on the face of the Singaporean Mid laner. Finally, Chawy had accomplished his longing for a Worlds debut and the former Singapore Sentinels player put in a noteworthy performance on Zilean coming up against EDward Gaming (EDG)'s Mid/Jungle pair Pawn and Clearlove.
Despite AHQ's early exit at Worlds, few could have predicted the 10 Bans addition to competitive play for the upcoming Season 7 which forced many players to diversify their champion pool. A no-brainer for AHQ as Chawy's depth and versatility with a number of Mid champions saw him rightfully get the nod ahead of club stalwart Liu "Westdoor" Shu-Wei for League Master Series (LMS) in 2017.
Once described as “Chawy’s Curse”, the 25 year-old has played at Worlds and is now the main starter for ahq e-Sports club.
“I am definitely relieved to be given the chance to play for AHQ this season, because the time I spent as sub really affected me a lot. For a pro player to not get any scrims or matches experience, it can be quite demotivating. But, I'm glad I never gave up and kept training, hoping for a chance to play.
“Regardless, I learnt a lot from what Westdoor does better than me. Like communication with the team. I never really got the chance to build chemistry with the team last year, so although we had great players, we couldn’t work well together. But this year after plenty of training, I feel that our chemistry has indeed improved a lot this time around,” he said.
During the most recent LMS weekend, Chawy has been downright stellar with two MVP performances in AHQ’s four games. As can be seen below, Chawy in Mid lane makes AHQ look refreshed, more adaptive to team plays and opposing compositions as they outclass Hong Kong Esports (HKE) and eXtreme Gamers (XG) in two separate Bo3 matches.
As Chawy aims to put the past behind him one game at a time, winning the LMS and qualifying for MSI/Worlds are daunting tasks in their own right. The two teams who dominated the LMS Regular Season last year were Flash Wolves (FW) and J Team (JT) formerly Taipei Assassins; the Season 2 World champions.
Despite AHQ securing their spot at Worlds 2016, FW and JT are two names commonly shuffled at the top of the standings. Asked on which team should be feared the most in LMS, Chawy responded: “I feel that every team is strong but FW are our main challengers this season. They’ve always had a quality Mid-Jungle combo and the only way to beat them is by shutting down both of them.
“J Team is really strong too but they did some roster changes and the Korean coach that used to coach them has left so I guess it’s a new start for them. What I can assure everyone is that you’ll be seeing the best of me, because I really won't know if this might be my last year playing competitively (cries),”
Singaporeans are especially excited to see Chawy become the focal point in Mid Lane following his well-documented struggles on Legends Rising: Season 2. With all the faith and belief being put into him, Chawy will have to respond tremendously this year.
“All the best teams have a strong Mid laner.. Winning the mid lanes always open up to a lot of options to snowball the game. It creates a lot of pressure for the enemy team.
“Personally I hope to be able to always win my lane so my jungle can invade or do anything he wants freely knowing I will always be there faster than the enemy mid. The pressure to do well is definitely there. Regardless, I hope to win both LMS series this year,” he said.
Catch Chawy in action when AHQ meet Wayi Spider at 4pm, Friday on 17 February 2017. Head over to Garena LMS eSports to watch the livestream!