While New Life are a name that a few Asia-Pacific (APAC) fans will have a memory of, they will be hard pressed to identify the team’s roster.
The South Korean team first made an appearance at the Season 6 APAC LAN, finishing in second place in Korea in the inaugural APAC Pro League. At the APAC LAN, though, they failed to make a mark and made a meek exit in the quarter-finals. It was not helped that their performance overshadowed by an explosive eiNs vs Team CryptiK (now Aerowolf) game either.
Since then, they have had a tough time. The team failed to make it to the 2018 Six Invitational APAC Qualifiers LAN, the Season 7 APAC LAN, and the Six Major Paris; being denied by mantisFPS (ex-Team Yetti and ex-Element Mystic) for both the Major Qualifiers.
This season, though, New Life has had a bit of a resurgence. Finishing a comfortable second in the regular Pro League season, and then beating their far more established opponents mantisFPS 2-1 for seeding, they are looking far stronger than before. They will have no easy path to Rio, however, with their first match against Japanese titans NORA-Rengo, and a possible second against Aerowolf (from SEA) or Athletico (from ANZ).
We had a chat with team captain, Seo “SmileBoi” Chan Ho about his team’s performance this season, and their expectations from the Tokyo event.
(The interview responses have been lightly edited for grammar.)
New Life was first seen at the Season 6 APAC LAN Finals, but only SmileBoi and Nova is still on the roster. How has the team changed since then?
Since CATsang, WATB, and ELCbis became our new team members, we believe our team has become younger, stronger and has even better teamwork.
Your side finished second in the Korean Pro League, and you guys lost 3 games to mantisFPS’ (ex-Element Mystic) none. How would you say your online season played out?
We think that mantisFPS was a bit careless or was not in a good condition when we beat them. So, we won’t be overconfident. We will instead keep working hard to become more successful.
In Korea, Overwatch, Starcraft II, and League of Legends seem to be far more popular than Rainbow Six: Siege. Is this the case, and if so, why did you choose to go pro in this game?
New Life is not yet a pro team (we don’t get paid), but we try to learn and play like pros. The reason behind that is although Rainbow Six is not as famous as Overwatch, League of Legends, and Starcraft in Korea, all our team members were attracted by the strategic factor in this game, which made why Siege stand out from other FPS games.
With two teams in the Korean Pro League having been disqualified due to excessive no-shows (Ready Up Gaming and Tyrant), what would you say the local Korean scene needs to grow properly?
More teams should participate in the Korean Pro League. If there are more teams competing with each other, more people are cheering for the teams, the league can become more competitive, which will eventually make it harder to predict who will become the next champion.
Back in Season 6, at your only LAN appearance so far, you were defeated 2-1 by Corvidae (now DarkSided). What are your expectations now, two seasons later?
Like I’ve mentioned above, after our new members joined our team, we played lots of scrimmages and even ranked to build our teamwork. We really believe that we have become stronger in every factor. Now, our team is a totally different team.
This LAN will be a good chance for you to establish your name in the APAC and international scene. How has your preparation been going?
We are practicing as a team three to four times a week, and if we can let go of the greed to get kills, and do what we have been practicing, then everything else will follow eventually.
We know mantisFPS is one of the strongest teams in all of APAC, even having defeated LATAM team Immortals -- how did you turn around to beat them 2-1 in the playoffs after having lost 0-2 on the first day of the Pro League?
Every Korean fan knows that mantisFPS is a superior team, but before the playoffs, we told each other “do not be stressed, don’t be greedy for kills, and play what we have been practicing”. We believe that’s how we won that final game.
Is there anything you would like to share with your fans, and to the international audience that will read this?
South Korea has always been strong in esports, but not in Rainbow Six. This time, we want to show that we are competitive and can win against any other team in the world. We hope more fans will cheer for our victory. Thank you!
The New Life roster is:
Seo “SmileBoi” Chan Ho (Captain)
Lee “Nova” Si Hun
Park “ELCbis” Chan Young
Heo “CATsang” Se Woong
Lee “WATB” Jae Deok
Kim “Kom” Min Young (Coach)
Catch all the APAC LAN action from Tokyo, Japan, on the 13th and 14th of October from 9:45 AM GMT+9 onwards at twitch.tv/Rainbow6.