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Ieatuup on this season: “I haven’t really thought much of it and I know we’re capable of beating any of these teams, time will tell I guess.”

Volamel 2019-03-28 01:46:45
  Australia’s, Jason "ieatuup" Ho, has always been a fantastic domestic player. Reaching all the way back to 2017 on Fusion Girls and on the team’s spiritual successor, Blank Esports, ieatuup has always had domestic success in the Australian scene. Now, he’s taken a new challenge under his wing; to find that same success in the Chinese scene. Late into 2018, ieatuup signed with the Shanghai Dragon’s academy team, Team CC, on a trial basis. Needless to say, he’s been promoted within the team and is now competing with them during the 2019 season of Overwatch Contenders. Ieatuup spoke with Esports Heaven about his transition into the Chinese scene, the addition of academy teams to the region, and much more!
You’re known for your dominance in the Australian scene with teams like Fusion Girls and Blank Esports, but towards the middle of 2018 you found yourself in China trialing for the Shanghai Dragon’s academy team, Team CC. What were some of the most difficult things that you faced as you transitioned to the Chinese scene? Obviously transitioning into a completely new scene isn't easy, especially into one where the language they speak isn't your first language. I actually had no idea how to say anything related to Overwatch—a simple thing such as hero names for example. I honestly didn't think into the language barrier that much because I knew I was good enough to get into a team, just took a matter of time that's all. Even so, I still ended up putting in a lot of effort into learning the language and all the in-game terms and made sure I could actually communicate on a decent level; putting now into comparison, I think I've come a very very long way! I guess one of the main difficulties other than the language barrier is that my name wasn't really as big in the Chinese scene compared to the other scenes I've played in. Only the people who really pay attention to Overwatch would remember me, or people who we've scrimmed previously and even then I feel like it didn't really do much. Who knows - maybe it did a little? So then obviously it would take time getting my name out there. I even streamed for a while on one of the Chinese platforms and it definitely helped, in fact, I believe it's how I got scouted for a trial. Not sure, it's either that or getting a high MMR in ranked, Top 10, just a little tip out there for those wanting to do the same I guess. Last year you and Team CC made it to the semifinals of Overwatch Contenders Season 3. Could you talk a little bit about the experience and what that meant for you? Semifinals and LAN to me isn't anything new as I've been there quite a bit in my previous teams and in the World Cup; however, being the only Australian in an all Chinese offline event was sort of special, I guess. Kinda sucks though not being able to speak my first language properly to anyone haha. Luckily my Chinese level is good enough. Other than that, it's just another LAN for me to do my best. Looking back at the end of 2018, Team CC was very dominant in some of your showing in LanStory Cup, specifically in the Hangzhou qualifiers. It seemed like the team gravitated towards 3/3 very well and were leading the pack for a while. Would you say that is accurate and why do you think that dominance didn’t continue? Not sure exactly if this is true. We never really had to face T1w before that; however, excluding them, I guess we sort of were dominating. Feels like other teams just weren't as good mechanically and obviously caught up through good coaching and being able to have a better grasp of the compositions they were using, whereas we sort of stayed the same and in the end it definitely showed. And it really sucks from my position because I really wanted to teach my teammates more intricate things about the composition but the level of Chinese that I had at the time kind of made it difficult to explain. This season you’ve added a handful of new players, namely GAGA, jwj (formerly Jason), FALLEN, and ManGoJai and vKei from Pacific Contenders. What have the new additions brought to this season? What is the atmosphere like in the team at the moment and how have things been going in practice? Having different perspectives this season is a nice bonus I guess, as obviously, these players came from other Chinese teams such as LGD and FG. Coming into this season you’ve got the addition of three new academy teams that are looking quite strong as well as a new Contenders Trials team. Are there any teams that are giving you trouble in practice at the moment? For me personally, I don't really think much into these things and just make sure that I'm doing my best and making sure we're improving every day which is happening - so yeah, it's good. I haven't really thought much of it and I know we're capable of beating any of these teams. Time will tell I guess. China has been a region that has always had its own “color.” Would you say the metagame in the Chinese scene is similar or different than in the Overwatch League? I'd say it's more or less the same now—lots of GOATs—wouldn't say it's surprising that it caught up to this. Really looking forward to a metagame shift though. [I] really do miss playing DPS and I think playing GOATs actually improved my DPS play as well, so the next meta should be interesting, whether [in] the league or Contenders. You’ve been grinding Overwatch for nearly three years now. Looking back at a myriad of event you’ve won and the success you’ve found in China with Team CC, where exactly are you headed? Where are your goals for this year and within the next 2-3 years? Think the answer to this is obvious, [I] really want to play in the league and show the world what I'm capable of. Actually, during the last season of Contenders 2018 I managed to get two offers and can't really get into much detail other than it didn't fall through [due to] unfortunate reasons out of my control, which really really sucks when you get that close and be let down in the end. It was a huge disappointment for me and my mentality was really down at the time. However, I'm past that now and [I] can't let it affect me for the new season, so I'm back on track and the goal for 2019 is still the same.
Joseph “Volamel” Franco has followed esports since the MLGs of 2006. He started out primarily following Starcraft 2, Halo 3, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. He has transitioned from viewer to journalist and writes freelance primarily about Overwatch and League of Legends. If you would like to know more or follow his thoughts on esports you can follow him at @Volamel. Images courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.

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