Fnatic Malaysia has a pretty wide history. Before there was Fnatic Malaysia, Fnatic was recognized as a European team which has registered offices in England, Australia and Netherlands. However June 4th 2015 marks the historic day where Fnatic acquired Team Malaysia! This was a breakthrough of the European team which has allowed a South East Asian team to join the fray. For team Fnatic Malaysia, we have Eric Khor as the Manager which we were given the opportunity to have an interview with.
Here’s a video of their debut in Fnatic back in June 2015. Of course the roster has gone some immense changes since then:
What is your biggest motivation that makes you accept the job as the Fnatic Team manager?
Prior to me becoming the manager of Fnatic, I was working in GosuGamers as the head of Dota 2 division. It was very competitive and the work hours are high in order to keep the site running since I am required to cover every news from all parts of the world single-handedly (almost). Soon after, I got really tired and when Mushi approached me to become the manager of then Team Malaysia, I was really excited to get a new type of job that I think I will excel in. I was motivated to make the team feel as comfortable as possible and also liaise with a lot more people working in the scene. It is fun.
Many readers probably wondered what is the job scope of a Team Manager, could you enlighten them?
Basically, the team manager job in my perspective is to make the players in the team be able to put all their focus in the game. This includes me taking care of the schedule, visa, finance, food, housing situation and many other of the 5 players in my team. I also have to at times fight for the team to make our schedule or flight better. I am also the mediator between the players and our sponsor, Fnatic. I will need a deep understanding of each players’ needs so that they don’t feel bad or uncomfortable when they are with our team.
It’s been quite a while that you take on the mantle of Fnatic team manager. What is the most frustrating task that you ever faced?
The most frustrating task is definitely schedule and visa issues. During our run to The International 6, we qualified for a lot of tournaments (some say too many), and I felt that I was always running on borrowed time trying to make visas for all the players and myself. It was particularly frustrating because DJ had to make a lot of his visas in Philippines and the processing period is extremely slow. To be able to make all these visas while scheduling all the tournaments we are participating in was insane. I don’t think I had a single day off for like half a year. Haha.
Tell us what is the biggest difference between a gosu gamer editor to Fnatic Team manager.
In GosuGamers, I felt that I am racing all the time, racing to be the first to put out the news and make the site as interesting as possible. It is very stressful and I don’t get time to interact with people in the real world at all. In Fnatic, while it is also busy, I still have time for myself and I interact with very fun individuals on a daily basis, since I am living with them. It is a lot more fun. I won’t get depression haha.
What do you think of Fnatic performance at ESL one?
In ESL One, our performance was definitely not ideal but it cannot be helped considering that we did not even train more than 3 days with our proper line-up. InYourDream had a family holiday and he could not come to Malaysia to train properly with us until the 4th of January. We went into ESL One Genting pretty blindly and it is a fitting result to go play a tournament unprepared.
After the departure of Yamateh and inyourdream, what is Fnatic next step? Anything you can share with us?
Before ESL One Genting, Yamateh made it clear that he will only be standing in for this tournament and we understood that. I was upset when InYourDream told me that he is going to be leaving the team because of his family problem after ESL Genting. It was very disappointing considering that if he had communicated that there was a possibility that he will be unable to join us earlier, we probably would have looked for alternatives. But he decided to tell us about it after, and it was one day before the roster lock. Life goes on, the three remaining moved on pretty quickly and started looking for players to join us.
Most memorable experience in Fnatic.
My most memorable experience in Fnatic is our win versus Liquid at The International 6. Historically, our team has never beaten Liquid and we have been wanting to win them so badly. Fortunately for us, it came at the most crucial time (also from a massive comeback). During that match, I was watching the game in the manager’s room. When we started winning fights after fights, I remember Kenchi (coach), Kips (analyst) and I were screaming so loudly that I think the people outside thinks that we are insane. After the win, I was overwhelmed with feelings and teared up. I believe Kips did too but we had to keep my composure when we greet them. We sober up really quickly and gave them a high five. Second most memorable moment would have to be after our loss at TI6. I know what the team has gone through for the whole year and seeing our dream ended when it was so close yet so far, it was really heartbreaking. I knew some of the players are gonna cry but when I saw DJ and Ohaiyo crying, I couldn’t help myself but cried with them too.
Do you have anything to say to your team members (or ex team members)
Hello guys, I hope you are all doing well. I miss all of you.
What do you think of Malaysia’s current esport state? Any ideas to improve esports in Malaysia?
I think that Malaysia is primed to become one of the biggest Esports country in Asia. After the success of ESL Manila and ESL Genting, I think that South East Asia will have a lot more tournaments in the future from external contractors. I do hope that the organizers in Malaysia learn a lot of their style of management, so that we ourselves can host tournaments like they do. With that, more respected teams will join.
What do you think of Dota2 patch 7.00?
At the first sight, I think that the patch is really confusing and I thought that I would hate the game. But after they implemented the patch, I felt that it was in fact quite fun and add a whole new dimension to the game. The map changes also feel more team fight oriented which makes the game a lot more exciting to watch. Though I am not sure if it would chase away newer players considering the difficulty of the game. It was already hard before, but it is even harder now.
What is the biggest improvement of Dota 2 patch 7.00?
The biggest improvement would as I said in the previous question, the map changes. I feel that the map is a lot more balanced now and it encourages people to play support.
Pretty sure there are a lot of readers seeking careers in esports industry, any valuable advice that you can share with them?
Jobs in the esports industry is currently still very limited in all aspects. Salary other than the top of the top can also be often, quite low. I think that everybody working in the esports industry now either have an extraordinary ability in a certain field or have started a long time ago and worked really hard to get to where they are. Newcomers should be highly encouraged to start somewhere small and build up your resume before moving into the bigger establishments. Considering how little people there are working behind the scene in esports, an individual that is amazing and hardworking is very easily noticeable. I started working a volunteer job 8 hours a day for 2 years before I got my $100 salary. Then from there, it increased to $500 and to where I am today. Develop your skills before going into the big leagues.
Before ending this sweet interview, I would like to take this opportunity again to thank Eric Khor for his wonderful insight and sharing of his Dota 2 career in the E-Sports scene. Eric Khor has been through a whole lot to attain where he is right now, a journey that could resonate and give an impact to many fellow Malaysians out there who dreamt of joining the E-Sports scene. So take heed on his advise and never give up on your dreams.