A few weeks ago in the AsiaFortress Cup 13 Division 1 Grand Finals, Xiao obliterated Prinny Pirate Plunderers in 3 straight maps (Viaduct 3-0, Gullywash 5-0, Snakewater 4-1) in a Best-Of-Five series, winning their third AFC Division 1 title, the premier TF2 division in Asia.
Xiao’s roster consists of veteran Singaporean players, with fwishy being one of them. Other than his current position in Xiao, he is also the current Head Admin of AsiaFortress, the primary league for the competitive Asian Team Fortress 2 scene. After being part of the AsiaFortress admin team for a while, he was promoted to Head Admin of the league and is currently faced with several problems that exist within the competitive Asian TF2 scene, both new and old.
The Asian TF2 scene has faced a multitude over the span of its lifetime, including a diminished and small player base, many players migrating to other competitive games, and a lack of additional incentives to play outside of competition and in-game medals.
Now, with competitive TF2 seemingly making a minor resurgence in recent years, we caught up with fwishy to get his opinions on his team, his work within the Asian TF2 scene, and his plans for nurturing its future.
What are your thoughts on winning Division 1?
I joined this team expecting nothing short of first place, so it’s a relief to be able to defend the first place seat. Being a new addition to the roster, I’m glad that putting me in didn’t lose them any games. I’ve also been on the grind for way too long, it feels incredible to finally attain a first place medal.
What are your experiences like playing with Xiao so far?
It’s been really easy to transition into the team. We’ve known each other for years and they know how I play. They give me the support I need to play effectively, and are all talented and chill players. Scrims are rare, but it gives me time to concentrate on school and running the league.
With the other bigger scenes that have been dominating TF2 recently, what is the current state of Asian TF2 now?
It’s in a good place. We’re still small, but the community is more united than ever, and the efforts to bring in new players is definitely showing as we’re seeing greater sign up numbers each season. Skill-wise, we’ve had a large void to fill for awhile now, since the older top players went to pursue Overwatch careers, but I think the top players of today have done well in filling that void, and while there are fewer of them, they have achieved heights not touched by top players of the past.
So, what’s the future then for Asian TF2?
The long-term goal is to keep 6v6 available for anyone that wants to play; keeping pugs and leagues up and running. I hope for more global exposure and a way competitive TF2 could offer a monetary incentive to players in Asia, but I think that’s a long shot. For now, at least, I want to keep the scene moving forward steadily, with small off-season tournaments and show matches planned. The league of course, will remain annual constants.
Many people have been asking the question of how would an Asian team fare in a LAN setting. What are your responses to that?
Unfortunately, I don’t see us attending an international LAN anytime soon. Work life keeps all of us plenty busy and it would be difficult to scrape out time to even attend a LAN, much less the practice involved in attending one. Furthermore, it’s difficult for most of us to fork out money from our own pockets, and we wouldn’t hold a fundraiser without assurance of performing at our peak level.
So, what are your personal plans for the future?
I’m a long way from employment, thus my sole responsibility is to focus on school. I intend to finish tertiary education and pursue further studies in University. For AsiaFortress, I want to keep running the league for as long as possible, and maybe keep playing on a few teams while I’m at it.
Lastly, any shoutouts you want to give?
Shoutouts to all the AsiaFortress teams for participating in the league. Every team that signs up means a lot, and seeing new teams dive into the competitive scene as well as old teams returning season after season motivates me to keep the league going.
I also want to shoutout the AsiaFortress Staff team. They’ve been an absolute pleasure to work with, and have been a great help in dealing with league matters.
Finally, shoutouts to the entire TF2 community, especially the ones who have put in time, effort and money to improve the quality of competition and production.