Malaysian TV channel NTV7 has aired a special feature on Team Malaysia, including a Mushi interview segment. Mushi opens up about the struggles he had to cope with early on in his career, and talks about his MY teammates and TI5 hopes.
Regarded as one of the best players in the world, Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung has been a professional Dota player since 2009. In March 2015, he founded Team Malaysia, which quickly became one of the top Dota teams in the SouthEast Asian region.
In Malaysia, Mushi’s home country, Dota 2 is a nationwide phenomenon. Almost 80% of the Malaysian teenage population plays Dota. Early this year, the Malaysian Ministry of Youth and Sports has recognized eSport as an official national sport, listing it under the Sports Commission of Malaysia. Mushi played a big part in the process. eSports started to receive a lot of publicity throughout the nation when Mushi’s former team, Orange eSports, placed third at The International 2013.
For Mushi, it wasn’t all plain sailing from the beginning.
I’m not a smart guy. Many people have looked down on me. I’ve never had any ideal other than to play Dota well. And now, it’s become my career. I don’t want to work for someone other than myself, and I can’t become the manager of my own business, because I’m not rich and smart. So for me, this is the only way to succeed in life. I have a contract with a streaming platform and my monthly income is quite stable.
When Mushi started playing Dota and decided he wanted to become a professional player, his family wasn’t happy about it, to say the least. He struggled to get his parents on board: “At that time, no matter how I explained it, no one would listen. So I decided to prove myself to them.”
He wasn’t allowed to play Dota at home, so he skipped classes to go to cyber cafes. Mushi’s mother, Fong Yau Seam, remembers locking him out of the house, one time: “He wasn’t a bad kid, he just didn’t like to study. He wasn’t allowed to play at home, so he would ditch school and go to cyber cafes. Every time he came home, I would scold him. Go find a proper job! How do you expect to feed your future wife and kids by playing video games? One time I got so angry with him, I locked him out of the house. I let him inside a couple of hours later.”
Mushi’s father was impressed with his determination: “He asked us to give him one year and that if he failed, he would start looking for a proper job.”
During that year, Mushi’s family faced financial problems. “He insisted to help us with money earned from his Dota tournaments,” Fong Yau Seam recalls. Mushi’s father admits he still finds it somewhat difficult to wrap his head around the idea that one can earn money from playing video games.
Mushi’s family is now very supportive of his career. “Now we even spend time watching him play. During The International, we would stay up in the middle of the night and support him.”
Mushi interview: newly formed Team Malaysia, his teammates, TI5
The International 5 is Team Malaysia’s ultimate objective. They train for eight ours every day, some days even longer than that if they have tournaments scheduled. Team Malaysia will join Invictus Gaming, HellRaisers, Team Secret, and Summer’s Rift in Santa Monica, to compete in the Red Bull Battle Grounds 2015 offline playoffs, from May 5 to May 7.
Team Malaysia is looking very strong and confident leading up to the days for The International 5 invites and qualifiers and their Red Bull Battle Grounds performance might tip the scales even more. They’ve been on a winning streak recently, securing themselves placements in China’s i-League and ESL One Frankfurt. The team grabbed first place in both CORSAIR Gaming Event and GEST-SEA-CUP, all since parting ways with E-Home.cn, on March 26.