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PSG.LGD’s position 5 player, Jian Wei ‘xNova’ Yap, is easily one of the most humble and down to players in the Dota 2 scene. It is always a pleasure to talk to him and this time, it was no different as we spoke about the new patch, PSG.LGD’s season and The International 2019 being on PSG.LGD’s home ground amongst other things.

Hello xNova! How’s it going? How does this season feel?

Hello! This season has been fine, I guess. Nothing big has really happened to our team yet.

The DPC format for this season has been different as compared to last season. Do you like this better or was it better last season?

I like that the fact that in the new DPC system, if you qualify for a Major, you’ll get a break in between as compared to last season, when it was really hectic. But for the teams that qualify to the Major by winning the Minor, it is still quite hectic. Also, I prefer the invite system more than having every team play all the qualifiers. Maybe the top four or top six of a Major could get a direct invite to the next Major. It is unreasonable that the Major winner and teams that do really well at a Major have to play in the qualifiers for the next one. It also prevents smaller teams the opportunity to have a fighting chance in Major qualifiers as they have to play against the top teams in every qualifier.

Yes, a lot of people have voiced their opinions on having an invite system. Patch 7.22 was released a few days ago. What do you think about the patch?

I don’t really know whether I like the new patch or not. It is still in an investigative stage where teams are trying out a lot of stuff, but based on the number of heroes picked at ESL One Birmingham, I like the fact that any hero seems viable in 7.22.

Sure seems like it. We will get a better idea during the Minor and Major. Which is your favorite Scepter(s) of 7.22?

My favorite Scepter upgrade is Ember Spirit. The additional Remnant charges and increased Remnant speed is quite powerful late game.

What about Grimstroke? You play that hero quite a bit. Is his Scepter upgrade good?

I think initially, the Grimstroke Scepter was way too strong. It got balanced a bit in 7.22b, but yes, I do think the Scepter upgrade for that hero is strong. However, an Aghanim’s Scepter is not as valuable as other items like Spirit Vessel, Hex and Nullifier.

Agreed. There are more valuable items to build on that hero. Let’s come to PSG.LGD. You guys have had some good results this year, like two 4th place finishes in Majors, but are lacking that final touch to win or get 2nd place. What’s happened this season?

It’s hard to say what has happened, but I guess we have been slower to catch up to the new patches as compared to last season. I mean, we might not have played that well too, but I think the major problem is not getting used to new patches as fast as the other top teams.

Do you think the level of competition is higher this year?

The level of competition is always high, everyone is working hard.

What are your thoughts on the current Secret team? Is it one of the strongest squads ever?

I think Team Secret is really strong in terms of their game understanding and also the way of they play. They have a mastermind in Puppey. Their playstyle sometimes is really unpredictable. All the players are very skilled and fit perfectly with each other.

That they sure are. Let’s go nearly a year back to TI8. PSG.LGD and OG gave us the best final till date. Was it hard to come back mentally from that?

I don’t think I was mentally affected by the result. It just proved that I’m still not good enough, and instead gave me a chance to thrive to and do better.

I love how you are so motivated and have a positive outlook. What was everyone’s reaction to True Sight?

I don’t know what their reaction was to True Sight, we didn’t watch together *laughs*.

I see! So TI9 – Shanghai, China. You think Chinese teams will have an advantage?

Playing on your home ground always feels good and comfortable, but I don’t think it is too much of an advantage. The best thing will be that we won’t need to adjust our body clocks. All the past TIs were in western countries and some of the players experienced jetlag.

What will the team’s plans be after the last Major?

After Epicenter, I think we’re just going to start our bootcamp after a short break.

How has life changed after becoming a TI runner-up? Is there more recognition for you in Malaysia?

I don’t think it changed my life much, but I noticed more people realized the fact that esports could be a reliable career. Esports has definitely gained a lot of recognition from the government and society.

That’s always a big positive! Thanks for taking the time xNova. Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to all the fans for continuously supporting me and my team.

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