Zeal, a new rising star from Malaysia who is currently playing for EHOME. You might not have heard of his name, but he is already making waves in his first season.

He sat down with Esports.GG's LeonArthur recently on his podcast and here is the summary for you!


EHOME.Zeal - "The Boy out of School"

We've often hear of professional players drop out of school to pursue their career. Rarely do we hear players that jump right into this risky career after graduating from the University. Well, Zeal is one of the rare ones.

This is his first official year as a full-time esports athlete. However, he has had couple of oversea offers years ago when he was still studying in the University. For example, offers from Complexity when they were still active in DOTA2 and CDEC from China.

That being said, he did not go for them because he thought he still needed more time to develop himself, and most importantly, finish his studies. Moreover, the offer from Complexity was the Carry position which he would be completely new to. Because of this, he did not regret much for not taking up the offer since it would be a major leap of faith for him at that time.

Zeal (in the middle), with his long-time former team - Dota Hero, when he was competing while studying
Zeal (in the middle), with his long-time former team - Dota Hero, when he was competing while studying

Taking the Leap of Faith

Zeal's first attempt with EHOME was rocky. Initially, EHOME was planning to build a roster consisting of the current Vici Gaming players - Xm, Yds and 起风了 (also known as Victoria). He was invited to be part of the try out. Unfortunately, it did not work out as the squad went with Irving, the current position 3 player for Vici Gaming.

However, things quickly changed days later as the squad took up Vici Gaming's offer. Hence, EHOME decided to build their new team around the cores of former Phoenix Gaming - Shiro, Planet and zzq. This time, there wasn't any tryout session for Zeal with the new players. It was a direct offer on the table. He was told : "If you're good with this, we're set."

Zeal asked around for thoughts on the players from some of his friends like Oli~, who is currently the position 5 player for Invictus Gaming. He eventually began his journey with EHOME after one week of considering.

Image credit to EHOME's Weibo
Image credit to EHOME's Weibo

Personality first, Skill second

Zeal was asked whether personality or skill level of the players would be the priority when he was considering to join a team. Without any hesitation, priority was his answer.

To him, a healthy environment for the team and himself to grow is the utmost important. He prefers to share the same growing curve with the other teammates rather than having different dynamics in the team.

It was a Rocky Start

When the team just formed, no one in the team knew what to expect since they had not held any tryout sessions before confirming the roster. The team had struggled in the earlier scrims a lot and had tried many different ways of playing to understand each of the players more.

Fortunately, Zeal mentioned that the team atmosphere has always been healthy. The players have been very welcoming to him, even though he is the least experienced player in the team with no DPC experiences at all.

Despite struggling in scrims, the team did not say that he was an unfit to the roster. In fact, they pushed through the scrims everyday with perseverance and hard work. And finally, once they started improving their team communication on a daily basis, they were seeing more improvement.

Hence, before DPC started, Zeal's guts told him that his squad might have a good chance contesting the top 4 seed, which they eventually succeeded.

It’s all business before pleasure

When Zeal was talking about the team environment during official games, he said that the energy level and mood are very different from scrims.

Interestingly, the team is a lot more relaxed in official games than in scrims. Even Zeal is surprised by that initially.

I think that's because we have been through way worse in scrims, and we always overcome them.

Zeal on the team being more relaxed during officials than scrims.

He also added that the team's carry player, Shiro, tends to be a lot more vocal and funnier in official games which uplifted the mood a lot.

Shiro's outstanding Morphling game against Phoenix Gaming during DPC
Shiro's outstanding Morphling game against Phoenix Gaming during DPC

Best Nickname in the Team - 'The God'

In China, players tend to address each other by nicknames instead of their official in-game nicks. Interestingly, the team calls him by his real name - Yong Han.

For him, his favorite nickname from amongst his teammates' is plAnet's, the position 4 player of the team. The players address him as P-God. This way of addressing is often only for the players who are widely respected in the scene.

One of the very popular players that share the same nickname is the one we all know - the legendary B-God, Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei.

He also said that everyone in the team tends to take plAnet's words as a command, rather than just an idea or a simple thought. The team will give more priority and execution to what Planet has to say in the game. Planet is also known as the in-game leader for EHOME.

Expectations for upcoming Regional Finals

Lastly, Zeal mentioned that his aim for the upcoming China Regional Finals is to finish top 2. EHOME will be competing for the precious DPC points and prize money alongside PSG.LGD, Royal Never Give Up and Team Aster. EHOME will be starting the playoffs by challenging the undefeated - PSG.LGD.

Chinese Regional DPC from Liquipedia.
Chinese Regional DPC from Liquipedia.

According to Zeal, due to the long Chinese New Year break. EHOME had just resumed their training schedule on the 10th of February. That will give them nearly a full week of preparation.

Let's wish the young squad best of luck in the upcoming China Regional Finals!

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