Oscar “Yuki” Jiang (江铭亮) is an intergral part of the strong Alliance roster. They are one of the strongest EMEA teams competing in the ALGS Championship.

Alliance are one of EMEA's strongest teams. Oscar "Yuki" Jiang (江铭亮) is making the most of his first experience playing in front of a live audience. We got a chance to sit down with Allliance's Yuki to talk about his experience so far at the ALGS year 2 Championships.

Tom: So we're at LAN, in front of a crowd, how different is it playing down there in front of that many people?

Yuki: It feels amazing. Incredible. It’s my second time [at LAN], the first was in Sweden. There's nothing better than playing your favorite video game in front of a crowd of people.

Tom: Do you find there’s more pressure?

Yuki: No, absolutely zero pressure. There is a little bit of pressure, I say a tiny bit, maybe 1 or 2%. However, I think if there is anything, it's only better. Because when the fans cheer you on, when you win a game, it feels amazing. But when you actually play through the games, you don't see the audience, you know, you don't even feel like they're there you just just locked in, looking at the monitor. 

Tom: Can you hear them when you're playing? Or is it only when you take the headphones off?

Yuki: You can hear them while you play, yes, but it doesn't really impact you. It’s when something big is going on, right? The crowd starts to cheer you on, like "oh", it kind of hypes you up a little bit. But I think it feels amazing. It's a very perfect sound level.

Photo: EA
Photo: EA

Tom: And so how would you sum up your performance? Obviously, group stage and then you dropped into the lower bracket. But then you've qualified now for the second round of the lower bracket. How are you feeling about your points, so far overall?

Yuki: Group stage, I think it wasn’t as we planned, unfortunately. I think we were 22nd, very close to qualifying, but definitely not the standards that we trained for. We had to reset there. We noticed that it wasn't really a team mistake, it was more like individual mistakes. It was kind of just like, the three of us weren't on the same page about the times. And for the lower bracket. First lower bracket round, we kind of just locked ourselves in and figured things out. Tried to play together more.

Tom: So you've been one of the teams that's been experimenting with Seer, can you just a little bit about why you've decided to bring him out.

Yuki: Seer gives us a lot of like, wall hacks, you know, thinking just like player awareness during fights during 3v3s is very important to know where they are. And it's kind of just with Seer, it doesn't do that much except give pressure to the enemy team. Because as a pro team, you should really know where the enemies are anyway, where it kind of just gives an extra pressure to the enemy team thinking, Oh, my God, they see me through the walls, and they try to run away or they kind of under pressure to kill us. And that's what we take advantage of with Seer and punish them with the Wall hacks. 

Tom: What do you think has caused the sudden uptick in Seer usage? Obviously, he’s not had changes for quite a while, but now suddenly is the fourth most picked legend so far.

Yuki: Think it's just HisWattson and ImperialHal just playing him a lot? But he's also a very good fighting character. You know, it really depends on where you drop also. Not every team can use it. If you're dropping outside the zone, and you work in edge [of zone], Seer is a very good character to fight 3v3s on Edge of zone. However, there's not going to be a center map and the early rotating. You're going to find yourself again getting 3rd partied. And so there's not much use there.

Photo: EA
Photo: EA

Tom: Is there anybody that you particularly have a lot of respect for, or you’re hoping to avoid? Maybe Furia? I know we’ve both seen the video on Twitter.

Yuki: Oh? Furia? Yeah, they’re a bit like a dog let loose on the leash. Right? They either run into a wall or run everything over. Not too scared of them. You know, we'll figure things out. We're just gonna aggress back. We've got them under control. Who scares me in Pulverex. You know, is that their name Pulverex? the Duo? You see them you just have to run. Have you seen what those two are capable of? They call them a duo. That team we are scared of. 

Tom: Oh, yeah. Okay, so looking at ALGS a bit more widely then do you think that ALGS needs to introduce legend bans?

Yuki: I don't think they have to. However, it'd be fun if they did. Because it shakes things up. And also, it weren't even though it's pretty unnecessary, I think it gives an even playing field for every team. Because it's banned for every single team, you know, if there's if there's one legend ban, we'll just go back to a complete other meta as well. I wouldn't mind legend bans, I think it’d be pretty cool. But it won't change much. It'll just bring back Caustics or like, Octanes or like Revenants you know, but I think it'd be interesting.

Tom: What would be the first legend that you'd ban if you were given the choice?

Yuki: I'd ban Valkyrie because she's picked over 99%. And if she if she's out the game then we might even see like, you know, Wattson, Pathfinder, those kind of Legends coming in. We still do see a bit of Wattson now but yeah, if Valkyrie or Gibby was banned, we've got a complete new game.

I'd ban Valkyrie because she's picked over 99%. And if she if she's out the game then we might even see like, you know, Wattson, Pathfinder, those kind of Legends coming in


Tom: And then obviously, this is the last event of ALGS year two, what are you hoping that they change? Introduce, get rid of ahead for ALGS year three? What are you looking for in that announcement whenever we get it?

Yuki: Another season of Pro League. Right now we have two splits. It'd be awesome for a competitive scene if they added another split if its possible. I don't know if they're talking about it. I think that'd be really cool in the competitive aspects of things in the casual in the casual sense, maybe keep control permanent. I think that's really cool. Like a warm up strategy, just kind of go into control, controls really fun. Also more tournaments. 

Tom: That brings me definitely on to my next question, because I was gonna ask about what do you think needs to happen either in the region or from a sort of an ALGS point of view to grow the EMEA region obviously right now. So because obviously, NA gets all the love at the moment with the third-party tournaments. They have Nerd Street Series-E, Chipotle.

Yuki: EMEA will never be as big as NA, because EMEA is separated by different countries and languages. Right? So let's say just what needs to happen. Weekly tournaments or monthly big tournaments strictly for EU players that NA can't join. I don't know. I'm not quite sure about that. Don't have too much insight.

Photo: EA
Photo: EA

Tom:  Do you think that the lack of tournaments is harming the EMEA scene when going up against NA teams?

Yuki: No, I think EMEA still gets the practice because of scrims however more tournaments would be more publicity and content. And that would give more like supporters for EU right. And if EU has more sponsors, they'll have more tournaments to host so yeah. Definitely lack of tournaments affects practice.

Tom: Finally then obviously, you guys are competing in a couple of hours. How you feeling? What your what your expectations? Are you feeling good about making a top 10?

Yuki: Yeah, I'm feeling very good. I just went into the firing range, one clipped the bot.

Tom: So that's always a good start. 

Yuki: That's all it takes. We got a good sleep and had a monster and it's been great so far.

On the losers bracket, Yuki predicted that teams who had already played might tire towards the end of the circuit.

Tom: How you think that those teams playing this morning will get on? Do you think it gives them an advantage or a disadvantage? Are they warmed up? Already tired?

Yuki: Depends on the player. It depends on the body of the player, whereas some people they play better when they're tired. However, people who might be a little older. If they play like a games and you have to play number eight, it might affect them. Some people see it as a boost. Some people see it as different for everybody. It's going to be tiring going into game 15-16, I reckon for them it will be.

Alliance qualified through the losers bracket and will play for the ALGS Championship today at 5pm EST. Check out our ALGS hub for more. You can find the ALGS live scores updated here.

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