Last Sunday in Mumbai, Mineski lost the grand finals of ESL One 0-3 to a well-prepared Keen Gaming and arguably to several personal mistakes. The SEA team had to play in the event with one of their former members standing in for Ryan “Bimbo” Jay Qui.
Bimbo sat this one out in order to work on his visa for MDL Disneyland® Paris Major and while he did so, Kim “Febby” Yong-min, replaced from the Mineski roster after the DreamLeague Season 11 Major back in March, came to India with a bit of a personal agenda. He took each interview or camera appearance as an opportunity to remind the Dota 2 fans that he needs a car and he managed to turn the MVP vote into a popularity vote. Truth be told, if any other team had reached the grand finals instead of Keen, Feeby’s chances would have been slimmer.
ESL One’s MVP vote campaign was held on Twitter, a platform banned in China, so most of Keen Gaming fans from home didn’t bother with it. The Chinese team do have a Twitter account, but their fellowship numbers are super small for a professional Dota 2 team. They have around 450 followers while Febby alone has 13,200. At the end of the event, when Febby was asked to come on stage to receive the car keys, he was the first to say that he didn’t deserve an MVP prize and had a very humble speech, almost in full contrast with his joyful personality.
The Chinese community didn’t hesitate to take on Weibo to express their disappointment with how the vote went.
Keen Gaming’s coach, Wu “Fyms” Junying:
“When we met the talent group at the airport, only Eri came and told us that he voted for Yi and that he’s sorry about what has happened. Other talents just acted like they don’t know us and said nothing.”
Ren “eLeVeN” Yangwei – Keen Gaming offlaner:
“What was that? So it’s because my boy old_chicken is not popular enough?”
Haitao (Co-founder of ImbaTV):
“They are not giving the MVP title to a player from the Chinese team who clean-swept their opponents in the grand finals? What?”
Xiaofeiji (ImbaTV caster):
“Maybe that’s why ESL don’t get to organize a single DPC event this year 🙂 Well Played.”
Fengzhuiyi (ImbaTV caster)
“ESL has lost their mind, if you want to make a meme become reality, then get another Mercedes and give it to Febby. Why would you take it away from KG?”
Chinese fans on Weibo:
“LOL, got 3-0ed, died 20+ times and now he’s the MVP”
“New slogan for Audi and BMW: Mercedes is for the second place.”
“- LMAO, 0/9 and got awarded a Mercedes, if I could play on stage I can make it 0/18”
“- “You know what, if you get 0/18 kill death ratio you can get 2 Mercedes.”
“Hey I have an idea, let’s have a poll at TI9 so we can give the prize money to the team that wins the vote.”
translations provided by Yuhui Zhu
While it’s true that the ESL One Mumbai MVP prize went to a player from the losing team and it might look outrageous to some of the fans and personalities, there is nothing that the organizer could have done. They can’t ask the fans to vote and then change the vote results to fit the tournament winning team. Did the MVP vote look like it was turned into a popularity vote? Perhaps it did, but unfortunately, that’s mainly because of the lack of presence in the western media from Keen Gaming.
Headline photo by ESL ONE