Rift Rivals 2018: Interview with SOUPerior from the Kuala Lumpur Hunters

With the League of Legends Pacific Rift Rivals just around the corner, teams from all over Australasia are converging on Sydney to compete for the title of Pacific Champions. This year, we have teams from three regions, South-East Asia (Garena Premier League), Japan (LoL Japan League) and Oceania (Oceanic Pro League) bringing up the rear with home-court advantage.

One of the teams representing the South-East Asia region is Malaysia’s very own Kuala Lumpur Hunters or better known as KL Hunters. We recently caught up with their support player Calvin ‘SOUPerior’ Yang to talk about representing the SEA region in the upcoming Rift Rivals.

Which team are you looking forward to face the most? Why?

Probably looking forward to face off against either PENTAGRAM or Dire Wolves as both of them won their respective regional tournaments . Would be nice to see how we fare off against Japan and Oceania powerhouses.

Is attending Rift Rivals your first trip to Australia? Are you looking forward to anything in particular?

It is. I heard that Sydney’s one of Australia’s main attraction, so being able to fly there for a tournament is definitely a bonus for me. Another thing I look forward too is definitely how I’ll be able to play on stage again, especially considering Rift Rivals is being held internationally, this keeps me hyped up even more. Oh, I look forward to the good food I’ll be eating there too!

Are there specific players for each of you that you want to go up against?

Probably Shernfire from Dire Wolves since he reached rank 4 in Korea server previously . Also would want to go up against Ceros from Detonation FocusMe cause the Koreans regarded him as a good player.

What do the regions competing here need to do to be able to compete on the world stage?

I hope you’re not implying that our region is not good enough to reach Worlds (haha). But in all seriousness, I personally feel that the level of play in the region here are slightly lower compared to others. We’re not on the level to compete in terms of mechanics and macro skills yet but this certainly does not mean that there will be no improvement. As long as we’re able to learn, listen and adapt as well as have the drive to become better at the game, we can definitely see teams from these region going into Worlds just like how Vietnam did before they became their own region and earning their own seed to Worlds independently.

Has there been much communication between the other SEA teams going to Rift Rivals about strategy and such?

Not that I am aware of, no . Most teams would probably just be figuring out what’s best for their teams . Like some teams are good at funnel strategy , or bruiser/mage bot lane or just standard.

What is the current state of League of Legends in Malaysia and how is it comparable to other countries within the South East Asia region?

Compared to other regions, I would say the state of League of Legends in Malaysia is declining whereas other regions are growing. Viewership in Malaysia has been decreasing as the number of professional teams as well but I do sincerely hope this changes in the long run.

Have you guys looked into any of the Oceania teams? Which one do you see as the biggest threat going into Rift Rivals?

I think the biggest threat would be Dire Wolves from the OCE region. Probably because they won their regional tournament and they have international experience from playing in the past Wildcard tournaments leading up to MSI / Worlds.

For many players coming into this tournament from SEA, it is their first taste of international play, has there been much excitement among the teams?

Although this is not my first international experience, nor is it KL Hunters’ first , we’re still very excited to play internationally again as it’s always a new experience to be able to play in front of a different crowd and in a different atmosphere.

League of Legends Rift Rivals will take place July 2–5 at the State Theatre. Tickets are available from here. Photos supplied by KL Hunters.