Taipei Assassins interview with Toyz and Stanley

Taipei Assassins interview with Toyz and Stanley

It's been a rough couple months for fans of Season 2 World Champions team, Taipei Assassins. With Mid Laner and team captain Toyz announcing his and Top Laner Stanley's retirement from the team, former AD Carry and interim captain Bebeisadog is the sole remaining member of the prestigious Season 2 roster. We talked to Toyz and Stanley about the recent developments.

The roster attrition started at the very cusp of Season 3 as founding member and former team captain MiSTakE took substitute Mid Laner NeXAbc and substitute Support Colalin with him to establish sister team Taipei Snipers, who recently topped the Taiwan eSports League. Former member Lilballz has since been demoted to substitute, and is currently replaced in the jungle by Sarsky. TPA fell short of expectations at IPL 5 and struggled in the Garena Premier League, but the roster changes shocked the community.

"After we won Season 2, we had to deal with a lot of extra things, other than practices, so we didn't adjust to the new meta." -Toyz

"I'm not planning to stay in the Taiwanese esports circle," said Stanley. "I'm planning to go to the US to study. I think I might start with an English learning school."

Toyz, on the other hand, plans to stick around, but is as yet unsure of what capacity he'll fulfill.

But the big question is: why did TPA struggle so hard with the season's change? And to that, success itself might be the primary cause.

"Being targeted [at IPL 5] was one of the reasons, but isn't the main one," said Toyz. "I think, after we won Season 2, we had to deal with a lot of extra things, other than practices, so we didn't adjust to the new meta."

Stanley concurs. "The main reason is because we decreased our practice time by quite a lot," he said. "After we won Season 2 World Champions, we had a week of vacation and then endless media interviews."

The day immediately after their victory on the world stage, every major newspaper on the island gave them the front page treatment.

Changes to the metagame also affected their individual performance. "I did spend some time adjusting to Season 3," said Stanley. "In the beginning of the Season 3 patch, the most overpowered champions were Singed and Rumble. Singed isn't a champion I like to play -- and don't play well -- which gave me a lot of headaches. Rumble is a super OP champion, and no matter what, I had to learn him. So I did, and afterward I didn't play him too badly."

"I didn't adjust to the changes in mid lane at first," said Toyz. "But after approximately one month, I think I started doing pretty well. However, Lilballz and Stanley had to completely change their styles, so it was going to be hard."

But neither player looked to blame the otherwise major changes to the game. Despite the setbacks it imposed on them personally, they apparently wouldn't have it any other way.

"I think changes to a game are a good thing -- a game must continue being fresh," said Stanley. "After every season there's a big change, and it lets players who couldn't adjust to the play style get a chance to catch up. There are changes to the game, but it isn't exaggerated. I think that's the best."

Toyz also agrees. "This game's attraction and greatest feature is that the meta keeps on changing," he said, "and esports will be an environment for those who survive the new meta."

But with that in mind, how is the team itself adapting to those changes? Though he's now moved to the AD Carry position, TPA's Dinter had come under heavy criticism by the Taiwanese community for a perceived lack of skill.

"We don't want to mind what fans say, because I think he's a hard working player," said Toyz. But he added: "I believe his AD will be better than his Support."

Though the future remains uncertain for the both of them, the one thing we do know is going to disappoint fans: Even if given the choice, the Season 2 Taipei Assassins won't be revived.

Quoting an old Chinese proverb, Toyz explained: "A good horse never eats grass he's eaten before."

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