After the announcement of the new Team Dignitas LoL roster, there has been much curiosity directed towards some of the less familiar faces on our fresh squad. Previously a very prominent player in the EU Challenger scene on teams such as Copenhagen Wolves Academy and most recently Denial, Team Dignitas recognized the promise in Thomas 'Kirei' Yuen and recruited him to become the new jungler for the LoL team. Robert 'Roscoe' Wery spent some time interviewing Kirei about his competitive background and his personal aspirations towards the NA LCS.
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How did you come to be with Team Dignitas?
Kirei: First of all, we lost to Gamers2 and got 4th place in Challenger Series. It happened that Dignitas NA needed a jungler. Since they know me from Challenger Series, they know how I play and what I can do, so they asked me if I wanted to join. I would rather play in the LCS than Challenger Series, so that's how I came here.
As part of the application process, we asked people what their goals and motivations were, and what drives them to join teams like Team Dignitas. What are your own goals and motivations for competitive LoL?
Kirei: My goal is obviously to win NA LCS first and then Worlds, but since this is our first split together, I just hope that we perform well and that the team stays motivated with the right attitude.
Talking with Brokenshard, he said that you already have good experience in terms of how you handle yourself, your play, and how you stay composed in-game. Would you agree with that statement, or do you think you have more room to improve?
Kirei: I think attitude-wise I am fine, as I know myself and that's a good thing. Overall I'm just a team player that wants the team to improve. If everyone thinks the same way and watches the tapes together, I think that's the best way to improve as a team. Playstyle-wise, I think I can definitely still improve. I haven't played much on stage yet, but I've played against Origen and Roccat in the promotion series. We lost those, but I think more on-stage experience will help a lot there. I still have a long way to go, that's for sure.
After you test the waters in the LCS, do you think you can really take off?
Kirei: I think we'll do fine against most LCS teams, even though I don't have much experience.
Have you ever been to America before?
Kirei: This is my first time in America, and it's pretty nice here. Compared to where I was, it's also pretty warm.
What are some of the big differences that you've found between NA and EU LoL, and the teams that you've been on? Or is it too early to say?
Kirei: We haven't played together yet, so I can't speak to the differences, but I have a lot of experience playing against Lennart 'smittyj' Warkus in Challenger Series and I think he's a good player. As for Shiphtur, KiWiKiD, and Apollo, I don't know much about them since I didn't watch much NA LCS before, but I've been duoing with KiWiKiD a lot, and I can tell that he's pretty good.
This year Team Dignitas had some Korean players. This time, you're the "foreign" guy, but your English is very good and you can communicate well, so there's less of a language barrier. Do you think that a language barrier can cause teams to have a longer "rebuilding" phase after roster changes?
Kirei: I think if you have no language barrier, it's way easier to communicate, because if you're trying to make plans and have players that can't speak English, it will be pretty confusing and hard for them to follow. If you are trying to set up for an objective and telling each individual player what to do, it's hard to do in that scenario. If you want to play really good as a team, especially at Worlds, communication is pretty important.
When you were on Denial, would you guys use English as the primary language or another?
Kirei: Yeah, English is the way to go. No one really speaks their own language unless all 5 are from the same country.
Since you have scrims coming up soon, do you have any predictions or ideas as to how those might go?
Kirei: I have no predictions, but I think we will do fine in scrims. We just have to make sure that we are setting up scrims.
Thanks for the interview with Team Dignitas! Welcome to the team, and looking forward to seeing you guys play in January. Do you have any shoutouts or last words?
Kirei: I want to thank the fans for their support, as well as all of our sponsors.