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INTZ Yang on Brazilian esports, IEM Oakland and playing on an international stage

Slingshot’s Andrew Kim talked to INTZ’s Felipe “Yang” Zhao at IEM Oakland about playing on an international stage, the state of the Brazilian scene and looking ahead to next year.

Andrew Kim: After your performance at worlds, everyone was excited for INTZ, so I want to ask how does it feel to come back to IEM Oakland to play in front of an international crowd one more time?

Felipe “Yang” Zhao: It feels good to be recognized by my performance at worlds. I was looking to have a good tournament, have good games, and put up a good fight, but it didn’t happen. Sadly we weren’t good enough.

AK: Now that this is one of the last tournaments for the year, where do you think League of Legends is right now? Is it in a good spot? What things would be very important in the 2017 season?

FZ: I think League is pretty big right now. Everyone plays it or knows about it, and what I like the most about Riot is that they keep changing the game so it doesn’t get boring. I think that if they keep doing that, the game will keep growing like they have been doing for the past few years.

AK: Brazil has been acknowledged as a very big part of esports fandom. It’s becoming more interested in League of Legends and other esports as well. As a player in Brazil, how did it feel to see your scene grow and the fans grow?

FZ: I think that esports in Brazil is pretty big. The fans are crazy about the games, whether it be Counter Strike or LoL. There are very passionate about it, but in gaming quality, at least in League, we’re not that good yet. We need a few more years. People should recognize esports as something truly big, so it’ll keep growing a lot.

AK: You mentioned that you liked the changes to the game by Riot, so we have to talk about the jungler changes, the new plants, the assassins and stuff like that. What has been your impressions of the preseason changes, and some things you like and some things you dislike?

FZ: I can’t say much because we were practicing on the last patch but I do have a few impressions. The meta won’t change much unless this buff or nerf some champions, and maybe the top laner will become a little more tanky. I don’t think mid will change much because the assassins don’t seem strong.

Cover photo courtesy of Riot Games