Singapore competing in Hyperplay – [Credit: Hyperplay 2018]

On 4 August 2018, Singapore’s Sovereign (SVR) put an a commendable performance against the then-undefeated Vietnam’s Super Star Destroyers (SSD) in the Singapore Indoor Stadium in front of thousands of fans. They ultimately lost to SSD 2-0 but they most definitely won the hearts of the crowd. We spoke to SVR for their thoughts on the game as well as Hyperplay.

First of all, it was a much closer series against Vietnam than the results suggested. I’m sure you have gained quite a number of fans from the match alone. What were your takeaways from this event?

Arykelic: There were a few people who messaged us and said it was a good try. It was quite touching to know that people actually care about how we performed. It feels irregular and was a surprise for us.

OMO: It’s good to see that people are supportive. It definitely feels quite unusual but it’s definitely something we could get used to. We will keep showing more performances that will make our fans proud.

Do you want more events like Hyperplay?

OMO: For me, I feel like the best country that we played in was in Vietnam. The crowd was fantastic, viewers were passionate and the player base was so huge. And then we came here, it feels very much like that. I could hear the crowd from beyond my headsets as they were so loud. It’s a great experience for us.

Yone, you actually have some international fans who look up to your Yasuo now. Some even call you the best Yasuo in Singapore. How do you feel about that and is there anything you wish to say to those fans?

Yone: It’s very surprising because I don’t feel like I played that well. But it is very heart-warming that people come up to me and say “Nice Yasuo” (laughs). I’m very happy about that.

Arykelic, you put on those carry pants in game 2. Making massive plays against Vietnam so many times. What was the team atmosphere during the game?

Arykelic: I was making a lot of calls so it was very blurry. It was very tense throughout the entire game. We were very hyped and enthusiastic when we were getting advantages and winning fights.

We understand that the team has had limited training time due to commitments national and otherwise. However, your team still managed to bring the pain to a full-time team from Vietnam. What do you think Singapore is doing well in order to stay competitive despite such a handicap?

Arykelic: I think our players have a lot of passion for the game. Despite NS and internships, we still put in many hours to better ourselves and show better performances.

OMO: Singapore is honestly definitely not lacking for talent. It’s more of how you use it. A lot of players have been playing for quite a while and they know their roles very well. Their fundamentals are solid and that’s probably a huge part of why Singapore still has so much success.

Arykelic: And what Doublelift said is true: There’s a Faker everywhere.

On that note, Singapore as a culture has not been the most accepting of the gaming industry. Could you share with us your experiences; is it difficult to pursue this career?

Arykelic: I think in general, parents and the older generation prefer to look to the government for signs of change. So with MCCY and NYC taking part in Hyperplay, it should hopefully help change their point of view.

Moving on, what do you think of Artemis from Vietnam? How does he stack up against Ozoraveki?

Yone: Artemis was really good. He clutched quite a few plays. Other ADCs could not have done that. It felt like he was hard carrying Vietnam all the way and it was very impressive.

Quake: I think that Artemis is a stronger Bot laner than Ozoraveki. But if KLH can show better team play, it is not impossible to take them down. Vietnam’s other laners are not as strong and with good team work, KLH should be able to take them down.

Yone: I believe that Vietnam will win with their better early game and laners. They should be able to win off their individual skill. But I do hope KLH wins.

Arykelic: Actually I think it’s like Ozoraveki says. If Qaspiel rolls “6” then KLH will win. (laughs)

As for Hyperplay as a whole, how have you enjoyed the event thus far?

OMO: The lead in to the event, they tried to make it a fun and friendly event. But the main appeal of the event was when we say the Indoor Stadium with the crowd screaming and cheering during plays. It was the highlight of the entire event.

Yone: I’ve actually never played in such a big stage before. So I was very nervous.

Arykelic: Comparing the main stage event to All Stars in Vietnam, I never expected that Singapore would have such reactions as well. It was very surprising.

OMO: Like, when we locked in Yasuo, I could hear the screams from beyong my headset. It was incredible.

I hear teams have been mingling and talking with one another during the week. How was the interaction with the other teams?

Quake: I think the Brunei team was the friendliest. Their manager also approached Arykelic for a short interview, so it was a great experience with them.

Yone: One of their players actually said they were a fan of me 2 days ago during the Night Safari trip. He said he tunes in whenever I play Yasuo. So I was really happy.

OMO: For what it’s worth, I think Brunei played very well throughout the tournament as well.

So looking forward, Sovereign has suffered some painful losses but still remains as one of the strongest teams in Singapore. What can we expect from Sovereign in the future?

OMO: For starters, hopefully we will continue dominating Singapore. Other than that, we want to also put up performances regionally as well and show that we are not a weak country in the region.

Anything else you want to say to your new fans?

We’re sorry for not being able to beat Vietnam this time. But we are very thankful for your support. Thank you for supporting us.