In a decision that made waves through the Dota esports scene last November, Daryl “Iceiceice” Koh made the move to leave his home region of Southeast Asia (SEA) to join North American kings Evil Geniuses.
One of Singapore's best professional gamers, Iceiceice has had a storied career, but still hasn't won the biggest prize of the Dota 2 scene — The International (TI).
The 30-year-old had been playing in SEA since 2016 after returning from his successful China stint, and took the opportunity when his Fnatic contract expired to, in his own words, play for "one of the best teams in the world".
"I was looking to shake things up by playing for a western team after my contract with Fnatic was up, as I felt that I was getting too lazy and comfortable in my home region," said Iceiceice in an exclusive interview with Yahoo Esports Southeast Asia.
Re-joining former teammate Abed "Abed" Azel L. Yusop, Iceiceice felt that this change was something he needed.
"Abed is one of the best teammates you can have. He is young, suave and adorable."
Iceiceice added that he really wanted to play with Artour "Arteezy" Babaev, Andreas Franck "Cr1t-" Nielsen and Tal "Fly" Aizik, and did not consider offers from other teams when he signed up with EG.
Describing the current squad as "godly", Iceiceice said he would bring plenty of ideas to the table, as well as being dedicated and hardworking.
Another reason Iceiceice picked EG was the presence of Fly, who he knows is a great captain.
The Singaporean professional had previously mentioned that the teams he played in lacked good captains, and that he felt he had to step up to lead.
However, he admitted that he wasn't cut out for the captain’s role, so having Fly lead the squad would help him play better.
"It's definitely one of the big reasons why I'm joining EG, as captainship was never part of my strong points.”
“I'm better as the guy who plays the game at a high skill level and gives tips or suggestions," Iceiceice said.
Another ability he would bring to the team, Iceiceice added, was the skill to "order Chinese food in proper Mandarin instead of just pointing at the menu".
Eyes on TI10
With TI10 having been postponed last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the biggest Dota 2 competition will be something Iceiceice is looking forward to with his new team.
He rates his chances "as high as it can be", saying that the possibility of winning is "very strong now with me completing the roster of the team".
However, European team OG remain one of the biggest threats to any looking to claim the crown.
The back-to-back champions are probably hoping for a three-peat that would only further cement themselves in Dota 2 history, adding to their already amazing record at The International after winning TI8 and TI9.
Regardless, Iceiceice is confident his new team have what it takes to win the Aegis at the TI10, which could possibly take place in New Zealand.
"Honestly, I'll say the only thing that matters is the performance of my team."
This interview is the first of a three-part interview with Daryl "Iceiceice" Koh.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com