Known as the “Gatekeepers of APAC” prior to Season 10, the fact that Giants Gaming has got to a place where it is now is a feat deserving nothing short of respect and acclaim. Constantly having to fight the lack of an ability to go full-time in the game, losing members to mandatory two-year National Service, and studies, the going has not been easy for the Singaporean squad.
Initially formed as Team Envy, the Singaporeans became the first players from APAC -- alongside Mindfreak on Xbox (now Fnatic on PC) -- to make it to an international LAN event, going to the Six Invitational in 2017. There, despite lacking any formal competitions like the Pro League or even Go4s, the team managed to take a map off eventual finalists eRa Eternity.
Now, playing under Giants Gaming, two members from the original Team Envy roster finally make the day-long trip back to Canada after three long years of mostly failure. Up until Season 10, the Giants roster (in its many forms) had lost to Fnatic an incredible four times at APAC LAN events, and had always been second-best at each event by skill -- but had never qualified.
Two whole years of these failures had got the roster thinking of throwing in the towel, but with what team captain Glen “Lunarmetal” Suryasaputra would describe as his “perfect roster”, the curse would be broken. Fnatic first fell, then NORA-Rengo, and the then-Aerowolf team shot straight to the top with a win against Wildcard Gaming to also become APAC champions. Going to Tokoname for the Pro League Finals for the first time, Giants Gaming (now Rogue) was also defeated and suddenly the international community took notice of the team from the Little Red Dot.
Now, signed by Giants Gaming and having a coach for the first time (former Natus Vincere coach GiG) the Singaporeans head to Montreal to play in a group with three Latin American teams. To know more about the team’s preparation, SiegeGG spoke to the captain Lunarmetal:
Your team was only recently signed by Giants Gaming but how has the shift been like from Aerowolf so far?
It only happened very recently, but they have been very supportive of us and we are so excited to be repping red at the Six Invitational.
During your signing, you mentioned hopes for a boot camp. Will your team be attending one prior to the Invitational?
Unfortunately, no, because SpeakEasy and I are busy with school (exam and submissions period) and HysteRiX has NS (National Service), so a bootcamp is impossible this time of year.
With a few games with jrdn under your team’s belt already, how has he settled into your team? Is the work to integrate him complete?
He has settled well so far, but it is still a very long process. Jrdn had little to no pro league experience, so there is still a lot more experience he needs under his belt for him to be integrated fully.
The storyline for you truly seems to be Singapore versus Brazil. How do you fancy your chances of making it to the playoffs?
As great as any other group. I think literally all the teams at SI are strong right now and the skill gap is closing not just between between teams at SI, but also between regions and within regions. I would not say our chances are better or worse than any other team’s, and it will just be down to who plays better in Montreal.
Much has been said about the seeding process for the groups. Does your team have any gripes with it?
It was a random draw and you just cannot help a freak event like this happening, but facing against 3 Brazilian teams will be a new one for us. We have never played against any teams from LATAM outside scrims, so not sure what to expect, but I just hope the fans will be nice to us!
How do you think that the double-elimination playoffs will change the dynamic of the event, and what is your opinion of the one-map advantage in the grand final?
Like the double-elimination, don’t like the one-map advantage. Statistically it just becomes so hard to win if you're entering from the Lower Bracket.
How much of an improvement do you think SEA and APAC can make in the upcoming months with this international exposure?
I think we’ve been on track to improve a great deal even outside the International events. You can visibly see the changes within the region and most of that is probably because a lot more teams are bunkering down, staying together and putting in hard work to get their strategies and play styles in order.
Do you have anything else to say to your fans?
If you're waking up at ungodly hours to watch our games, tag me so I know who to send love to!
Giants Gaming plays MIBR as the opening match, with matches against either Team Liquid or Ninjas in Pyjamas scheduled afterwards. Check back here at SiegeGG for more Invitational Insights and full coverage of the event as it comes.