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All-Star Shanghai 2013 - Garena Premier League

Allstars brackets.jpg



Garena Premier League: The Bellwether

Teams from Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong play in the Garena League centered in southeast Asia. The cream of the crop compete in the Garena Premier League -- a hot-spot for the meteoric growth of professional League of Legends. In 2012, the Garena Premier League (GPL) introduced the first regional and fully-professional League of Legends league in the world. GPL’s bold innovation blazed the trail, and set an example for up-and-coming sister leagues, like the LCS. To fully appreciate the extent of GPL’s impact on professional League of Legends play consider that SEA teams were virtual unknowns in Season 1, yet the Taipei Assassins snatched the Season 2 World Championship -- after being honed and polished by the inaugural year of the GPL. This win granted the Garena region a seed into the second round of the All-Star tournament. Currently in its second year of competition, the GPL consists of two 14 Week seasons. Eight teams play four Best of 1 matches over each 14 week interval. The GPL is already into their Summer Season, having closed out Week 2 as of May 19.

The top two teams from GPL’s 2013 Spring Season (and GPL Season 1), the Taipei Assassins (#1, with a 27W-1L record) and the Singapore Sentinels (#2, with a 22W-6L record), are the home teams for four out of five of SEA’s All-Star players. TPA’s Stanley and Toyz have joined forces with SGS members Chawy and HaRleLuYaR. The remaining member, former-TPA MiSTakE, now hails from TPA’s sister team, the Taipei Snipers, which have recently placed third in the group stages and 5th-6th overall in the second season of the StarsWar League, and are currently ranked #1 with 9W-1L at Week 5 out of 12 in the Taiwan eSports League.

In a potentially awkward twist of fate, the Garena All-Star team might have been an all-Taiwanese affair except for the GPL’s slightly different (and somewhat controversial) qualification rules. In the SEA region, each ‘’country’’ (rather than team) could only field a maximum of three All-Star representatives. Additionally, voters were able to vote for players whose teams are in the Garena region, but are not in the GPL. The official winners of the All-Star votes in Garena included TPS OhReaL and TPA Bebe who were benched because of lower vote percentages to cooperate with the three-players-per-country rule. The SGS team members -- the runners-up in each position -- joined the crew to complete the SEA All-Star lineup.

Some GPL fans despaired the injustice of the country representation limit, but this unique situation may have made the SEA team stronger. The Singapore Sentinels are known as the Gambit Gaming of the GPL because of their innovative playstyle. This creativity combines with an air of relative mystery around the SGS members to give the SEA All-Star team a potential for surprise attacks which an all-Taiwanese lineup would have lacked.

The Garena All-Star Team

Role Southeast Asia All-Stars
Top Tpa std.png
  Stanley
Jungle Ssentinelslogo std.png
  HarLeLuYar
Mid Tpa std.png
  Toyz
AD Ssentinelslogo std.png
  Chawy
Support TaipeiSnipersLogo std.png
  MiSTakE
Coach Garena Teamlogo std.png
Puffs
Voting Ended 04/22

Top Laner: Wang "Stanley" June Tsan

Stanley is 22 years old and is from Taiwan. He has played League of Legends since the beta. He got his start in professional gaming when he was recruited by MiSTakE to join Team For The Win (later renamed Taipei Assassins) in 2011. Stanley is well-known for his theory-crafting skills and innovative champion builds. In particular, his itemization know-how draws much attention - his four Doran’s Shield AkaliSquare.png Akali and four Ruby Crystal RengarSquare.png Rengar made heads spin in Season 2. He regularly shares his “so crazy it just might work” ideas (in Mandarin) on his Facebook page. Stanley never uses alternate champion skins -- he says that they make champions larger and easier to target. He is a mad clicker and boasts one of the fastest Action Per Minute records among LoL players. Stanley is looking forward to the All-Star games and Shanghai’s famous BBQ.

Champions and KDA

Favorite: NidaleeSquare.png Nidalee
Recent: Nunu & WillumpSquare.png Nunu and RumbleSquare.png Rumble
Also seen on: ShenSquare.png Shen and EliseSquare.png Elise
GPL Spring Season KDA: 8.25

Playstyle

Strengths: Stanley is a relentless split pusher who favours champions that have poke potential and are hard to gank. His eclectic champion picks from a sizeable champion pool tend to reflect a preference for bruiser builds. He believes bursty, all-in champs that push quickly create opportunities for ganks. His steady pressure often forces opponents’ initiators to play responsively, and disrupts the opponents carries. His emphasis is on winning his lane via trading and tactical understanding of his lane opponent and the opposing Jungler. Stanley is a clutch player who is known to perform well under pressure - even when facing a 2v1 lane. Additionally, he is capable of farming himself back into contention if he falls behind in CS.

Weakness: If you steal the tissue on Stanley’s mouse, he will cease to function.

Neutralizer: In other words, Stanley has no known weaknesses.

Jungler: Jason "HaRleLuYaR" Koh Wei Hao

HaRleLuYaR is 17 years old and is from Singapore. This one-time Support player is surrounded by a cloud of mystery not entirely unlike the fog of war which he is fond of attacking from in Summoner’s Rift. What we do know is fairly mundane. He chose his IGN while downloading League of Legends onto his laptop at church one Sunday. At one point in time, HaRleLuYaR dropped out of school. The support and encouragement of his father and his SGS teammates helped him decide to return to his studies. He is considered one of the top Junglers in the GPL and some consider him “Best Lee Sin Garena” -- a highly contested title in that region. His fans cheer him on and vote on his next hairstyle (mostly in English) via his Facebook page. He believes that the Garena All-Star team combination will work well together.

Champions and KDA

Favorite: Lee SinSquare.png Lee Sin
Recent: ZacSquare.png Zac, ZedSquare.png Zed, HecarimSquare.png Hecarim, and SejuaniSquare.png Sejuani
Also seen on: ViSquare.png Vi, Xin ZhaoSquare.png Xin Zhao and OlafSquare.png Olaf
GPL Spring Season KDA: 6.60

Playstyle

Strengths: HaRleLuYaR is an Initiation Jungler or “Carry Jungler”. To help with his initiation, he favors champs with gap closers. HaRleLuYaR likes to make his presence known in early game via strategic ganks that help his team’s lanes to snowball. Although Lee Sin is nearly always banned against him, he possesses a deep champion pool and is willing to take risks.

Weakness: He’s not yet entirely stable and isn’t always able to play at his top level.

Neutralizer: Stanley, Toyz, and MiSTakE are rocks of stability. Their consistency will provide HaRleLuYaR a solid foundation and will grant him the freedom to fully develop his blitzkrieg assault tactics.

AP Carry: Kurtis "Toyz" Lau

Toyz is 20 years old and is from Hong Kong. Before he played League of Legends, Toyz’ gaming interests included games like World of Warcraft, AION, and Dragon’s Nest. He initially tried LoL in 2011 at the urging of a friend. In Toyz’ first-ever LoL game, he quit when he reached the outer turret in the bottom lane because he did not think the game was fun. Two hours later he gave LoL another try; he has been hooked ever since. He advises LoL players looking to improve their skills to watch live streams and think about why things happen as they do in game. His AP Carry efforts are well-known, but Toyz also enjoys the role of Jungler. In a midlane matchup, his personal kryptonite is the combo of a CC Jungler and CC Mid because he believes it’s a mix that is sure to lead to ganks. Toyz posts streams and occasional messages to fans (mostly in Mandarin) on his Facebook page.

Champions and KDA

Favorite: Twisted FateSquare.png Twisted Fate
Recent: Kha'ZixSquare.png Kha'Zix and NasusSquare.png Nasus
Also seen on: OriannaSquare.png Orianna and RyzeSquare.png Ryze
GPL Spring Season KDA: 9.85, #1 KDA in Spring GPL

Playstyle

Strengths: Toyz is Mr. Consistent in terms of playstyle. His teammates can depend on him to present an imminent threat to every lane under any circumstance. Skillful positioning contributes to his average of fewer than two deaths per game. He is also known for his ability to make decisive and clear judgements - even in the midst of chaotic teamfights. His selection of champions, glyphs, and quintessences aims at dominating mid to late game and teamfights, rather than carving out early game advantages. He has some exotic mid lane champion picks in his pocket - including an AP AmumuSquare.png Amumu that came out to play during GPL’s Spring Season. Toyz is able to power farm to catch up with his lane opponents if he falls behind in CS.

Weakness: Toyz is now TPA’s captain and shot caller. With more distractions than usual due to team leadership, some say that Toyz has not always been able to play at full force in Season 3.

Neutralizer: MiSTaKe is the captain and shot caller for the SEA All-Stars, so Toyz will be able to go all out in the mid lane.

AD Carry: Wong “Chawy” Xing Lei

Chawy is 21 years old and is from Singapore. His first foray into professional gaming was as a pro DotA player. He placed third in The International Dota 2 Championship before moving on to League of Legends to try something new. He first played LoL at the 2010 World Cyber Games convention. Chawy is currently serving in Singapore’s National Service. He balances the demands of full-time Service work with the demands of pro gaming with a 14 hour schedule Monday - Friday and weekends full of LoL training. For the latter, he recommends playing solo queue on servers in other regions to gain experience against different playstyles. Chawy is well-known for his physical fitness and his promotion of fitness to others - perhaps inspiring a certain Scottish Jungler to do the same. He keeps in touch with his fans (mostly in English) via his Facebook page. His “Dream Team” All-Star lineup is the current SEA All-Star team - his only concern is that Shanghai will be the first time that he and HaRleLuYaR have competed on such a large stage.

Champions and KDA

Favorite: LuxSquare.png Lux
Recent: EzrealSquare.png Ezreal, CaitlynSquare.png Caitlyn, and VarusSquare.png Varus
Also seen on: Kog'MawSquare.png Kog'Maw
GPL Spring Season KDA: 6.41

Playstyle

Strengths: Chawy is a versatile player and has played both AP and AD Carry for SGS. He brings his background of solid AP mechanics and aggressive play into the bottom lane where he focuses on spamming spells and snowballing to win his lane. He uses a variety of champions that possess some level of crowd control. He tends toward brutal early game pressure and uses his understanding of equipment and champions to invent new strategies.

Weakness: He has been training for AD Carry for approximately four months.

Neutralizer: His AD Carry approach benefits from considerable AP Carry talent which posed serious problems for Toyz in the GPL.

Support: Chen "MiSTakE" Hui Chung

MiSTakE is 24 years old and is from Taiwan. His first experience as a pro gamer was with World of Warcraft - where he played a toon of the same name. He chose the name because of a song entitled “Beautiful Mistake”. He knows that some people see his summoner name as a negative thing, but he doesn’t mind it. His experiences as a pro gamer in WoW led MiSTakE to believe that the PvP system in that game was unfair. His search for a more balanced PvP system led him to try LoL. He first played on US servers where he was ranked as one of the top 10 AD Carries. Yes, you read that right - AD Carry. He was the mover and shaker behind the formation of Team For The Win, which would later be renamed Taipei Assassins. He recruited his fellow team members and took the role of captain because no one else wanted to do it. He also took on the role of shot caller for TPA and now fills both roles for TPS. MiSTakE believes that Supports make the best shot callers because the role gives them vision control and more time to think. In addition, his leadership abilities are highly respected by GPL players and pundits alike - thus he is also the captain and shot caller for the SEA All-Star team. MiSTakE posts his streams and other information to his Facebook page (mostly in Mandarin).

Champions and KDA

Favorite: JannaSquare.png Janna
Recent: SonaSquare.png Sona
Also seen on: BlitzcrankSquare.png Blitzcrank and ZyraSquare.png Zyra
Taiwan eSports League KDA: 4.7 (as of Week 4)

Playstyle

Strengths: MiSTakE’s approach to the role of Support is closely linked to his AD Carry philosophy. It even has been suggested that facing a lane with an AD Carry and MiSTakE as Support is really like facing a lane with two AD Carries. However, Support Carry MiSTakE is assist-focused rather than kill-focused. Taking into consideration the recent TPS matchups in the Taiwan eSports League, MiSTakE has averaged approximately 17 assists per game. When you add up his 4.7 TESL KDA, it becomes clear that he is also willing to “take one for the team” if he needs to sacrifice himself for the greater goals. MiSTakE prioritizes map awareness as one of the keys to Support success and is likely to buy a Sightstone first, when possible.

Shot Calling Philosophy: In TPA, MiSTakE’s calls were somewhat conservative due to the TPA team members’ playstyles. However, TPS tend to make bolder and more aggressive plays, and MiSTakE’s recent shot calling has adjusted to suit the atmosphere on TPS. Chawy and HaRleLuYaR’s dynamism could encourage MiSTakE to call on TPS-style strategies more often than TPA-mode plans.

Weakness: As recently as January, MiSTakE reported that he had not been performing very well.

Neutralizer: January was five months ago. He may have worked through his troubles since then.

With Garena Powers Combined!

Practice Makes Perfect: Toyz and Stanley took a field trip to Singapore with their TPA/All-Star Coach, Puffs, for All-Star team training. Additionally, MiSTakE and Chawy have been duo queing together as have Toyz and HaRleLuYaR. The time taken to bond and play together should make the Garena All-Star Team more cohesive.

Leader Love: All team members acknowledge MiSTakE’s leadership skills and believe that he is the best leader for the Garena All-Stars. This means there is likely to be few disagreements about calls made during games. Their respect for their captain should contribute to maintaining a good team atmosphere, even under duress.

Mutual Respect: MiSTakE isn’t the only SEA All-Star member to get the love. When the team members have been asked about each other (even before the All-Star team voting began), they have responded positively and have been complimentary regarding each other’s abilities and playstyles.

Linguistic Simplicity: The Garena All-Star team are all fluent Mandarin users; language is not an issue.

Troublesome Opponents and Other Obstacles: The team members believe that the Chinese and the Korean teams should not be underestimated. Other concerns include their ability to overcome playstyle and communication style differences. In addition they have wondered about whether they would be able to train enough or have adequate time to bond.

Optimism: Nevertheless, all five members of the Garena All-Star squad have reported an overall optimism in their abilities and performance. They expect to be more than staunch contenders. Their unified positivity may indicate that the SEA All-Stars are already a team, mentally.

Last Words

Many pundits overlook team Garena due to the more well-known threats from Korea and China. Because of this, the SEA team has seemingly become an Asian regional underdog team. However, there is a good reason to believe that this All-Star alliance will deliver exciting and unexpected gameplay. They may be a top dog in underdog’s clothes. Find out how they will fare by checking out their first matchup on May 25 at 3:30 AM PDT. The SEA All-Stars will battle the winner of North America vs. China All-Star game.



Written by Marissa Moody Kuo
Translations by L.H. Kuo
Edited by Irena "Curlychan" Pencheva


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