Thiay "JT-" Jun Wen is the off-laner for the Chinese Juggernauts – Invictus Gaming. We caught up with him for a quick interview where he takes us through his early professional gaming days in Geek Fam/Mineski to his decision to leave SEA and seek opportunity in China, IG’s form in the current DPC season, 7.23, DreamLeague Major Leipzig and more...
Kindly introduce yourself to our readers and please tell us a bit more about yourself.
Hi. I'm Thiay Jun Wen and my in-game name is JT-. I live with a happy family with two brothers, studied until high school and then I stopped it since I wanted to give a shot at becoming a professional Dota 2 player, if I could.
I was into playing video games since a young age and then one day my brother introduced me to Dota 2. I gave the game a shot and it was really fun so I started playing it regularly. I also tried to find sponsorship for us as tier 2 players and, if I really could make money, then my parents were willing to let me try at least for one year.
You came into the spotlight during your time at Geek Fam and Mineski. How did you get into such well established teams? Who approached you?
Geek Fam's organiser first approached me for a tryout. The process was quite successful and I ended up playing for them for nearly a year. Later, I ended up playing for Mineski as someone I knew got me introduced to the Mineski organiser.
In all frankness, China is more tiring compared with SEA
Why did you decide to leave SEA, go to China and join iG? Weren’t you happy playing in SEA?
At that particular moment, I did not find many opportunities as there were hardly any teams left that required my services after I was substituted on Mineski. This is when I decided to go to China and give it a try.
Related: DreamLeague Major schedule
Seems like going to China worked out for you. How different is it training in China as compared to SEA? What are the difficulties that you initially faced in China?
In all frankness, China is more tiring compared with SEA, since teams have a lot of scrims and more things to do here in general. At first, the difficulties that I faced was maybe on the payment, transport and other daily stuff as I needed to register on an app to deal with payments.
I see. What about your team? Did you face any issues in the beginning with the team in terms of coordination, difference in language, etc?
Actually we are all good since I speak Mandarin fluently, so there weren’t any issues among us as far as communication is concerned.
You started off this DPC season by winning The Summit Minor, placing third at the MDL Chengdu Major and now qualifying for DreamLeague Major. How does it feel to taste success after striving hard for so long? Which games and moments have been the most memorable for you in these tournaments?
I’m pretty happy with what I have been achieving of late right now but I hope I can get more of that. The most memorable game and moment should be the one at Chengdu Major against Beastcoast in the epic third game. The moment we were breaking their throne was the most memorable one for me.
Yeah that was an amazing series to watch and kept everyone on the edge of their seats. Let’s talk about the patch. How difficult is it for a pro player to get accustomed to patch changes? Do you’ve anyone at iG deducing the patch for you guys? Does Super help with the patch/draft analysis?
I do not think that it’s difficult to adapt because it is still the same game that I play every day. It is just a matter of time to get used to and familiar with the patch. It also helps a lot to have Super around and he’s usually the one who helps us out with analysing the patch and changes.
Speaking of patch, the outlanders update aka 7.23 has taken the game by storm with some crazy changes to map outlays, outposts, neutral drops and the introduction of new heroes. How do they change/contribute towards the game in terms of gameplay, etc?
I think this change is more challenging for the players because it is all new. One needs time to study the map, go through the hero changes, come up with strategies, etc.
Yes, I strongly believe that a change is needed. It is really not fair for those top tier-one teams
What do you think about the open qualifier system? Teams such as LGD and few others crashed out of the Major. Do you think the system needs to be tweaked a little?
Yes, I strongly believe that a change is needed. It is really not fair for those top tier-one teams because if you just lose one game in the open qualifiers then you’ll have no chance at competing for both; Minor as well as Major. It must be so disheartening for a team to go through such a phase.
Which heroes do you think are most likely to set the meta trend heading into the DreamLeague Major? At present, which hero and item do you think is broken and needs to be fixed?
The item that is most broken in the new patch for me is the third eye. I think it is really insane that you have an early gem at such an early stage of the game.
I believe Tiny is one of the heroes that’ll be a regular pick in upcoming games, unless he goes through any changes. His third spell (tree grab) is really insane as it helps in increasing his farming speed quite a lot.
Personally speaking, I would like to face Team Secret
How do you think iG will fare in major tournaments now that Secret, Nigma (ex-Liquid) and others have started playing again? Which teams would you like to face off against the most in coming tournaments?
Personally speaking, I would like to face Team Secret. I think they are one of the best teams in the world and it would help us to improve a lot, irrespective of the fact that we win or lose.
What aim/goal would you like to achieve on an individual as well as professional level this DPC season?
I just want to become better at my position. I want to improve!
Do you feel the pressure in being on a team that has won a TI?
I don’t really feel the pressure because everyone is on the same skill level over here. We are supportive of each other and just give our best every time we take the stage.
Thanks so much for your time. Is there anything you’d like to say before we end this interview?
Thanks for having me. Keep supporting and believing in us.