The Chinese outlet Max+ had the chance to sit down and talk with Liu ”Sylar” Jiajun, who is currently without a team. In the previous season, Sylar bounced between Team Aster and Team Sirius, he made a role swap and tried to lead the Sirius roster from position 5 support, but his efforts didn’t pay off. He missed TI9 and when the shuffle came he didn’t join any team.
Max+ talked to the Chinese legend about his plans, if he is looking forward to rejoin the competitive scene or if he is focusing on a streaming career. They also talked to him about what went wrong with Aster and Sirius. Courtesy of Blair Zheng we are able to share with you the English translation of the interview.
Hello Sylar, long time no see! Thank you for accepting our interview. After TI9, we didn’t have any updates from you, so what have you been up to lately?
After TI9, I took a break to relax and adjust my state. Since I’ve been playing in the professional scene for so long, I’m more aware of the importance of competitive form and mentality. So I will put more focus on them.
During the transfer window you didn’t join any other team, is this break temporary and you’ll return to the pro scene or will you just dedicate to a streamer career in the future?
As long as there’s a team that suits me, I’ll definitely return. I want to join a team that’s competitive. So, for now, I’m trying to regain my form by playing pubs. As you can see, there have been a lot of western pub stars joining the pro scene in recent years. Therefore, I feel playing pubs is actually a good way to keep my form.
Did you get in touch with any team during the shuffle?
I’ve got in touch with 2-3 teams, but nothing worked out in the end, and I think the key reason for that is that I was not ready for it. For the next month, I’m going to play tons of pub games and when I feel better, I will take the initiative to contact the team I want to join. The other reason was that my contract hadn’t been handled perfectly, so the transfer became a little bit more complicated than imagined.
Will you consider casting the upcoming MDL Chengdu Major? Will you co-stream and cast with BurNIng again?
I will check it out of course, on the games that I’m interested in. I’m not a professional caster, it’s more about talking about my takeaways of the game. As I mentioned, my priority is still regaining my form, so, I haven’t thought about other activities just yet. I might just use the time to play more pubs.
Since we’ve brought up the Major, let’s talk about the Lycan who may appear in the tournament. We all know that Lycan’s your signature hero. What do you think about his Aghanim’s Scepter?
I’ve built Scepter on Lycan several times myself. I think the Scepter makes Lycan farm faster. The thing about Lycan is that in late game, he can’t deal with tanky offlane heroes. If such heroes are not picked, you can build the Scepter on Lycan for him to carry in the mid-late game. However, Lycan’s value mainly lies in pushing as well as picking up kills on the squishy backline heroes. Building Aghanim’s Scepter sacrifices Lycan’s fighting and pushing potential in the early-mid game, which is something you don’t want your carry to do especially in this meta, that’s why in professional tournaments players still build Necronomicon.
What are your expectations for the upcoming Outlanders update?
I hope there are more elements in the new patch, so it can be more fun. We have been playing this patch for too long, so gameplay changes and new mechanics would be interesting.
Last year you joined Team Aster, the community had high expectations on that roster, but the results weren’t ideal. What do you think was the problem? Is there anything you could have done better?
I think playstyle-wise, we weren’t compatible. Actually, everyone was making adjustments, trying to synergize with each other better, but we just couldn’t find a perfect solution. On top of that, we lost a lot, and that made things worse.
Do you have any regrets about that project?
Actually it was me who wanted to quit. I’ve been playing in the pro scene for around 8 or 9 years, and it was the first time I asked to leave a team because I just couldn’t see it going anywhere, and if we kept playing like that, I would perform worse and worse, so would my teammates do.
When you were at Team Sirius, you played support for a while, then returned to carry position. Why did you make the role change?
I wanted to play support because there were too few people who could make calls, which made the games much more difficult. So, I tried to play support and be the shot-caller. However, after a while, I found out that I had so much to worry about since Sirius was a new team, and as new support, I wasn’t really good at it. Therefore, I felt if I play carry, I could read the game better because I’m more experienced in the carry role. So I changed back.
Throughout all this time playing competitively, which year do you miss most and why?
The most rewarding year was 2012, I guess. It was the second year I started to play competitively and it was really fulfilling. My happiest season was TI5. I miss these two years most.
Do you have anything to say to your fans?
Thank you all. I know I’ve been disappointing for the past few years but I won’t give up. Perhaps there are too many setbacks, but I’ll make effective adjustments for myself, and everything will be better in the future! Thank you again!