ACE Alliance Events Director, Efeng (iG CEO) resigns from ACE

Efeng, CEO of iG, had previously held one of the top three ranking roles at the governing ACE Alliance for Chinese esports. As of yesterday, he has left his duties with ACE. Here is his resignation letter below:

I’ve officially resigned from my D.ACE role as Events Director, and I want to clarify a few things.

1. Reason for resignation

I’ve always said what needed to be said, and have never been afraid to take blame when necessary. But the recent treatment of King (ACE Alliance top official) has really left a bitter taste. He’s put everything into serving the esports scene, yet when his own club (Club WE, famed in LoL and with a long history, but no Dota team in the past few years, the club has seen declining fortunes in the last year and recently has seen instability hit hard) faces difficulties, all he gets in return are sarcasm, taunting, and people making light of the situation. I think that if the same thing happened to me, it would be even worse than King. So I might as well call an early end to it, so you all can celebrate once and be done with it.

Another is, iG in this past year hasn’t been in ideal shape, so I do not hope to see what happened to King’s WE happening to us [at iG] as well. If you want to label me as incompetent that’s fine, or say I’m running away that’s okay too, my only hope is to help iG operate steadily and stably onwards from now. ACE itself now has lots of capable individuals who can handle all aspects, and thus no longer even needs me around.

2. D.ACE

Don’t go throwing around any more talk about how D.ACE is working to help LoL. If the clubs involved simply wanted to kill off Dota, then merely having each club disband their respective Dota squads would be enough. Which club has a profitable Dota squad right now? Clubs are working to protect and grow Dota 2, with the hope that it can successfully take the torch from Dota 1 and become as hot as it once was in China. This was why ACE was formed, to protect and maintain order within the scene.

Secondly, ACE’s decisions to date have all come absent of outside influence. All criticism of ACE should come from reality first — This year’s losses at TI3 came with ACE, last year’s win at TI2 also came while ACE existed, no difference in that respect. Those who claim ACE denied events from happening, please stand up and provide proof of your claims. And at least since I’ve been appointed this role, I haven’t felt that Dota events are more sparse than in other games. If there is an event with a lack of ACE clubs, then it must have been because the clubs or players didn’t want to go, because where is the reasoning otherwise?

3. ACE Alliance Chairman

From the establishment of ACE, we needed a person who could lead, so King was selected unanimously. Regardless of personal support or not, everyone agreed on him as best for this role (professionally). This role would have no salary, no glory, we all knew that this role would be Scapegoat number 1.

Saying things like “if you don’t want to do it then don’t do it, no one is begging you here”, to those people I must tell you, it was indeed the respective clubs that begged him to do it. I was the one that most wanted to vote against his appointment, but even I couldn’t suggest which person would be able to perform the role in a way that would satisfy all of the players, sponsors, clubs, media, and fans. Since ACE solidified its presence this year, King has brought up multiple times that he wanted to resign, but looking inside, who is there that can keep all the clubs happy while also not presenting a large conflict of interest?

4. The players

At the end of May this year when I was appointed Events Director, I was firm in requesting that we take into account players’ thoughts. If there were players that were unhappy with something then I would absolutely not accept things, and thank you to Yao and Director 8 for their support at the time. For me, I cannot necessarily claim that I’ve contributed much, because honestly I don’t feel that I did that much, but at least in the past six months I have not done anything to let anyone down. And also in the past six months I’ve felt that Dota players have become more and more mature, have become better and better in coordinating with the clubs and ACE, and have grown to be more understanding of each other. This is all great for the growth of our scene, thank you all!

Just as it is for the players, it should be for those who truly love Dota, I think we must support ACE. I hope we can all calmy realize ACE’s role and extent of power. ACE represents the various clubs, yet the clubs are the most important element in this professional scene. Each ACE decision is come upon by the clubs collectively, so, if you support the clubs yet still say you are against ACE, this is a contradiction. For the players it is the same, ACE looks forward to the day when a players’ alliance emerges, because this also represents advancement in our industry.

As for Dota 2, strong opposition is ahead, hard competition is following behind. Only if players and clubs and fans can come together, is there hope to stand strong amongst these challenges. Which of us has not grown up playing Dota? So if we can each give our bit to help, things will be better. On the other hand, you could continue flaming players, ACE, the clubs… back then on the forums, the forum flamers alongside select editors did just that, they flamed, and did they save Warcraft 3? In reality they caused the events and clubs at the time to hasten their demise, because no one wants to be flamed. There’s not much money to be made in the first place, so why continue on just to have your name dragged through mud?

Of course I must also thank the clubs, players, media, and friends within the scene for their support in helping Dota have more and more events and competitions nowadays. And thank you to you all for your support of my work these past few months. If ACE requires assistance in the future I will of course offer everything I have. I hope the Dota scene can come together closer, such that Dota 2 can reach the heavens. 🙂


iG.ChuaN and iG CEO Efeng question and answer session

iG held an event on t.qq (similar to Twitter) where anyone could ask questions and they would answer. Good questions, good answers. Check it out.

Questions to ChuaN and his answers

Q: How tall are you and YYF?
ChuaN: I am 190cm (roughly 6 ft 2 in), I dunno about YYF

Q: Will your girlfriend think you’re too fat?ChuaN: I am working hard to lose weight!

Q: Can you reveal how speaking rights are divided within the team?
ChuaN: We discuss things together, there isn’t really anything like that

Q: ChuaN-god, it’s been a while since you’ve come to China. After your pro gaming career ends, what are your plans? Will you stay in China? Or go back home?
ChuaN: Right now all I’m thinking about is how to play well, and get good results.

Q: Will there be more interactive events between players and fans?
ChuaN: We often do these on our official YY channel 90007, and we’ll be frequently streaming first person gameplay there as well, we welcome everyone to come visit! (Dotaland guide on how to watch YY streams here)

Q: How did you first step onto the path of becoming a pro player? In many people’s view, esports is the same as casual play… Can you tell us what your training is like? Is it at all similar to what some people think?
ChuaN: I stepped onto this path by playing and fighting for my dreams! Esports has become my professional career, so it isn’t simply play! Every day we undergo specific, targeted, and planned training!

Q: ChuaN-god! I am here in the name of my roommate, who wishes to profess his love to you!
ChuaN: Thank you, I love you guys too!

Q: You went from being a solo mid player to successfully transforming into a 4 position support, very different roles both mentally and attitude-wise. How did you adapt?ChuaN: Thinking back on that moment standing on stage as champions, all the sacrifice is worth it! The team and togetherness above all else!

Q: Are you optimistic about Dota 2 in China?
ChuaN: I am very much optimistic about Dota 2 in China!

Q: How long is your daily training, does the club arrange other activities for relaxation?
ChuaN: The club arranges physical exercise; I am really good at basketball! ;P

Q: How much longer do you plan on playing Dota, ChuaN-god?
ChuaN: I will play until I cannot play anymore!

Q: Which competitions will iG.Dota take part in in the coming year?
ChuaN: All big competitions we will participate in! And we’ll do our best to achieve good results, we hope that everyone supports us!

Q: iG add oil
ChuaN: Thank you for the support!

Q: iG is my spiritual belonging, I believe in iG… How does an esports club have this much magic?
ChuaN: It is the result of a collective effort and nurturing! 🙂

Questions to iG CEO Efeng and his answers

Q: Will there be iG-branded merchandise? Stuff like gaming peripherals, perhaps?
Efeng: Yes! This year, even!

Q: Out of iG’s players, who do you think will get married first?
Efeng: My guess is either YYF or Zhou.

Q: Can I get a blessing from you in my quest for the goddess in my life?
Efeng: Sure, as long as your goddess isn’t my wife, I officially bless your quest.

Q: What do esports players do after they retire?
Efeng: The cream of the crop can continue on as leaders, coaches, or managers after they retire. Others can transition into club support staff, media people, or work at gaming companies, or become a commentator. Lots of possibilities 🙂

Q: Efeng, what are your views on those players who are still very young, and also need to continue their studies?
Efeng: I feel that these things aren’t necessarily in conflict with one another. Games can be their hobby from youth, it’s the same basic principle as those kids that take up things like art, sports, etc. And if they display true talent in some way, then they can consider a career in it. 🙂

Q: Hello sir, can you say whether you’re satisfied with the atmosphere of our esports scene? Compared to foreign esports, what are some weaknesses of Chinese esports?
Efeng: Still lacking in mainstream recognition and understanding.

Q: When will the iG website get an overhaul? It’s lacking compared to many foreign clubs’ sites. Looking forward to official iG forums, so we iG fans have somewhere to go. What do you think?
Efeng: It’s all in the works! There’ll be an all-new look soon!

Q: I would like to ask, what is average pay and compensation like in the industry, what are the benefits?
Efeng: Staff are comparable to typical gaming companies. For players, it depends on the club and the players’ ability. The better the results, the more popular the player, the more they get paid… similar to professional sports.

Q: As a university student, how can I best contribute to esports?
Efeng: Study hard, graduate, then join the esports industry!

Q: Any considerations for creating sub-teams, for example regional or provincial feeder teams?
Efeng: Yes, in the future we will have all sorts of developmental squads.

Q: As management of the club, what are the most important things for the club’s success? Where does most of your funding come from? Thank you.
Efeng: I think that the most important things are stability and the ability to execute well. Funding mostly comes from sponsors, sales, events, and promotional activities.

Q: Have you thought about creating an international squad?
Efeng: If Chinese players are the best in something, then what’s the point in creating an international team?

Q: What are your thoughts on flexibility of roles and the ability to transition between roles in esports?
Efeng: I feel that the limits are much fewer, and it is much easier to transition between roles in the esports industry, as long as one is willing and able to work hard. Those who can be successful players can also be successful esports staff. 🙂

Q: How do you compare Chinese esports skill level with foreign?
Efeng: Chinese esports is very strong!

Q: For esports to sucessfully become an Olympic event, what do you think is the biggest bottlenet? What are primary cash flows for various parts of the club? Thank you.
Efeng: I think the biggest bottleneck is popular support and recognition… As for funding for, players have their salary, bonuses, sponsorship and events, the club has sponsors and sales, and staff have their salaries.



iG CEO Efeng recaps 2012


Dotaland note: Really cool reflections on 2012 written by Efeng, CEO of Invictus Gaming, and before that, manager of PanDa. Looks into behind the scenes stuff, his reflections, happenings, events and more. Just an overall excellent read for anyone interested in going through the past year in Chinese esports.

“2012, a transitional year”

January, PanDa set out to Beijing for the WGT, a very important competition at the time. At the time, this competition would directly influence PanDa’s sponsorship situation in the upcoming year, so every player was going all out — it was such a heart-warming scene to see, because the atmosphere was one where you could feel every member of the club was in it together, with a willingness to fight for the club, and exceptional teamwork and togetherness. Sadly a miscue in the form of accidentally denying the Aegis meant that their goals were ultimately not achieved, yet in the end we all felt fulfilled in one way or another, Lyn took the SC2 title, Toodming took third place for the same, and in Dota it was a second place finish, leaving us as the best overall results as a team at WGT.

“How come I’ve got a bad feeling about this…”

February, PanDa moved their team base to Nanjing. Upon arriving in Nanjing, I commented, “How come I’ve got a bad feeling about this…” The weather there in February was very cold, PanDa’s new base was located next to the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall, everyone arrived on time. But because it was so cold in the dorms, our entire Dota team chose to sleep on the floor in the training room. Thinking back a bit now, the scene was quite moving… despite the conditions, there were few complaints at all. At the time, all Hao had to say was “I only want results this year, nothing else”; no one could predict what might happen afterwards. This month, I was very disorganized, and the club’s direction ended up creating a gap between the boss’s wishes. Mr Yu, the boss, was constantly un-contactable, our monitors at our new base did not support Dota2, our players couldn’t practice, Lyn’s salary went unpaid. Plus I had family issues back at home, my relationship wasn’t going well, so my emotions were frayed and all over the place, and all of a sudden I wanted to just get away and take a break… and then I managed to talk with Mr Yu, who said he would deal with the club’s problems as soon as possible, and I went to Hangzhou to clear my head and heart, and ultimately decided to resign from that position.

Compared with WE’s ups and downs in no less than the past 10 years, where regardless of financial, sponsors, or any other problems, they always stuck closely with one another and ultimately were rewarded with glory, just one month of missed salaries and everything fell apart, it was something that made me think quite hard.

March, I had resigned from the position of manager for PanDa. PanDa was the club that I had put the most blood and sweat into at the time, and so the decision was extremely hard to make. But the situation at the time led me to no other choice, and afterwards I began a life in Beijing of playing poker. At that time, when chatting with Old Liu we came to the topic of iG. In 2011, iG had actually approached me, but at the time I was putting everything into PanDa and so I had laughed it off. Yet now, I had no job, and had not given up on esports management, so I was immediately interested. The conflict at the time was between going on to play poker professionally, or to come back to this industry that I was familiar with. I chatted with many people, asked their opinions, and decided to go to iG and give it a try. I still felt I could contribute something, and additionally there was another big reason, that at the time I could only keep to myself. At the end of the month, Yaobai (of PanDa) suddenly messaged me on QQ, said he was done with his work with the team, he hadn’t been paid, Mr Yu was out of reach… I tried to talk with him about it, but he said he was really upset, and wanted to just leave, at least until people were paid again. At the time no one thought too much of it, and it just happened. Who would have expected this all to lead to the earthquake that was PanDa disbanding. And so it was a series of events, and fortunately in the end nothing terrible happened, everyone managed to find a stable new place to call home. Thinking back, PanDa at the time was solidly in the ranks of top4 Dota teams, and its SC2 team ahd Lyn, Toodming, Ash, and its sponsor situation was stable. Compared with WE’s ups and downs in no less than the past 10 years, where regardless of financial, sponsors, or any other problems, they always stuck closely with one another and ultimately were rewarded with glory, just one month of missed salaries and everything fell apart, it was something that made me think quite hard.

April, I officially joined iG, and began my professional manager career with them. IG’s Dota team, ever since SMM hadn’t achieved much in any way, and were undergoing a fierce practice regime. The NGF competition at the end of the month everyone felt must-win, yet in the end iG lost to LGD, who had barely trained. ChuaN cried tears of real sorrow below the stage, yet it was just that type of atmosphere that let me know that this was a team that was destined to achieve results, because of that hunger for victory, one that exceeded anyone else’s.

One loss after another drew them each closer to one another, and the arguments and disagreements of wayward days lessened, in its place there appeared more trust and understanding.

May, the ACE League began. A glorious new page in the history of esports, ACE League is to-date the most ambitious and large-scale project and competition, and was also the hope and dream of every team that joined hands in the alliance. That month, iG started training on Dota2, starting at a worldwide Dota2 team ranking of 447. So it was under these conditions that YYF began his 30 games per day training regime. One loss after another drew them each closer to one another, and the arguments and disagreements of wayward days lessened, in its place there appeared more trust and understanding.

June, iG’s management had stabilized, and a formerly messy situation gradually calmed down. This month, because of internet issues, the decision was made to move the LoL team to Shanghai, and after that iG’s YY channel (a live audio streaming platform, popular in China) went online, marking an effort to build up our Fan Club project.

July, was CCG, and iG’s SC2 team getting crushed to wrap it up. But perhaps because of just this devastating loss, iG’s SC2 team became more motivated. On the 15th, at CCG’s evening reception, I met a girl.

On the 29th, we arrived in Seattle, and five days later, iG were up on the stage of the finals. When NaVi typed out GG, we all broke into tears.

August, on the 5th, the whole team arrived in Shanghai, for what could be said to be the most important competition of the year for iG — G-League. Fate finally smiled upon us, and iG successfully took the first big title of the year, thus writing the first chapter in our Dota team’s glorious journey. Teams under me had taken Warcraft 3, SC2, and FIFA championships, and watching them accepting their winnings up on stage was truly an emotional event for me; it could be said that we finally achieved a goal of ours. On the 29th, we arrived in Seattle, and five days later, iG were up on the stage of the finals. When NaVi typed out GG, we all broke into tears. As they waved Chinese flags on stage, and as they hoisted the Aegis of Champions up high, we all knew that that 447th-ranked team from three months ago were the ones now standing on top of the world. Additionally, we would continue the glory, TI2 undoubtedly became iG’s most meaningful competition of the year, yet the reason I labelled G-League the most important was because winning G-League was what gave the players the confidence and desire to win more, ultimately serving as the door to triumph for the team.

September, iG’s management changed, with Old Liu leaving. Looking back on the year, he has absolutely been an amazing mentor and friend to me. I’ve truly been lucky, every time I enter a tough period, I always meet someone who can give me a hand up, so here I truly thank Old Liu for his unwavering faith and trust in me and his help. On the 14th, iG took the ACE League’s first season championship, taking home the year’s third major trophy. On the 19th, the team headed back to Xi’an for WCG qualifiers, and were very lucky in that the FIFA team took the Xi’an regional title without training at all beforehand. At the end of the month we learned that Leiyu Esports had met problems with finances, and after contacting them we were able to give a whole new face to our CF team by signing their former members, and the new team repaid us all by winning the CFPL.

October, all of iG’s teams officially made the move to Shanghai, settling in the Xujiahui district. The various teams thus began another phase of dominance, achieving 3 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze at the China region WCG finals, to place as the best team present. And, in the beginning of the month, that girl I had met at CCG became my girlfriend, and apart from that I devoted all of myself to the business side of things.

November, a month of business development!

December, iG took the Dota and CF titles at the WCG World Championships, putting a perfect end to the year. The LoL team began to undergo planned changes.

This past year, a year of joy and sorrow intertwined, endless challenges, changes and rebirth, ends with a gladness that I went on with my original dreams and didn’t go down the path of poker. There are too many memories, I’ve learned more than ever, and it’s ultimately been a very lucky year of the dragon for me. Thank you to all the friends who came to celebrate my birthday at the end of the year, I’ve never had one with so many people. Hopes are that next year will go smoothly for all, that the team and the ACE League can achieve all goals and ambitions, and that everyone does well!