As announced by Invictus Gaming and confirmed by Jeremy “HysteRiX” Tan to SiegeGG, the Singaporean will be unable to play at the Sweden Major next week. This follows an earlier tweet from HysteRiX that had indicated he would not be able to go due to his National Service, though the tweet had been published before a final, last-ditch appeal to his superiors had failed.
Playing in his stead will be the team coach, Ellis “GiG” Hindle, who played at and won the small, UK-based epic26 LAN event in 2019 with MnM Gaming. GiG also played in the ESL Premiership Winter in 2018, as well as a CCS Europe qualifier.
“So, currently I am out of (annual) leaves from NS,” said HysteRiX in an interview with SiegeGG, referring to his National Service obligations. NS is a 22 or 24-month period in Singapore, where all able-bodied males past the age of 18 must serve either in the military, police, or civil defence force. HysteRiX serves in the police.
“I can’t take any more leave this year for the Major since I took leaves in May and August for SI and the Mexico Major,” he elaborated. “There’s no way for me to get extra leaves to go for this competition.”
While frustrating, the news has not come as a complete surprise.
“Since my enlistment, we sort of knew that one day this is going to happen,” revealed HysteRiX. “Honestly the past two years has been just a blessing, I shouldn’t have been able to compete at all. I guess this Sweden Major, I’m okay with losing it, with not going.”
According to HysteRiX, GiG has been practicing gelling with the team as a player and has been working on his individual skill through Counter-Strike and ranked play with some European pros. The Singaporean has also been helping his coach memorize the setups he usually does in game.
Practice for the Englishman means that he has to wake up early in the mornings to play alongside his Singaporean teammates, who are eight hours ahead. But despite the late and significant change, HysteRiX is upbeat about his team’s chances and thinks they can still make it to the playoffs.
“Since my role is pretty much a flex role, there’s not been a specific job for me to do,” he said when asked about the tactical shifts the team will need. “That plays into GiG’s strengths as well on attack, where he can see the big picture and know all the small movements he needs to do.”
Despite the positives, Invictus Gaming had still wanted to either bring its substitute Muhammad “Ultima” Ariffin Bin Mohamed Shah over instead, or sign a free agent -- potentially the players' former teammate, Adrian “Ysaera” Wui. But with school commitments for the former, and transfer rules for the latter, both those options were out of the question.
Even if the move turns out to be a death-knell for iG’s chances to qualify for the Six Invitational 2022, with the team needing a strong run into the playoffs to qualify through the Global SI Points, HysteRiX is ready to run the open qualifier gauntlet.
“Either way, we’re going to get to SI, for sure,” he confidently says.
If the team qualifies, HysteRiX will be available to attend, as his NS will be complete by then.
Catch Invictus Gaming on Nov. 8, when they take on Ninjas in Pyjamas to start their Sweden Major campaign.