Unlocked: GIGABYTE Marines

There’s one thing in my personal view since the first day I became a coach till now, I have always observed everyone and come to a belief: That there’s another way to play this game. I have failed with many teams, but I have never stopped believing in this. So coming to MSI, all I wanted to do was to prove that there’s indeed a different way to play this game. GAM’s playstyle in my opinion, You can say from an outsider’s view, GAM is very risky and careless but to us, we surely know what we’re doing because we have been training hard.

Before MSI, we were under great pressure from the press and the Crystall Ball community.

After our success at MSI, we have earned more appreciation and defied all the doubts about our strength. And of course, we were delighted then. Especially since we lifted all the pressure that was upon us for the last six, seven months. Because my performance at MSI wasn’t good… I felt like If I did better, GAM could have gone further Like they could have made it to top 4 or even top 3 and proceed to the next round.

When we came back I was feeling very guilty… And wanted to release myself from the stress. Deep down inside, I’d always wanted to prove that… The poor showing at MSI was just because I was new and I could actually do better than that. So I want to compete again and to join a new team different from GAM. To show that, I am gonna perform my best.

The time I was at Saigon Jokers with Archie, QTV, Junie, Safety, and others we had the best conditions that one could find in Vietnam’s League of Legends. Because they provided us with Korean coaches, gaming house, great food and the best support for their players. We asked ourselves if we would ever be able to find a place aside from Saigon Jokers that is just as good. The first person to leave and also the most important person in Saigon Jokers was Junie. He had led and paved the way for the whole team and eventually QTV, Archie and I also left Saigon Jokers. Our main goal then was to create a team that could compete with Saigon Jokers because we wanted to disprove that… we could achieve success only at Saigon Jokers.

That was the initial goal that we pursued quite aggressively when we established what has become Gigabyte Marines today. To me, GAM… the name GAM is like my brain child and its members…the players of GAM are like brothers to me … like little brothers in the family. The latest change in GAM happened last July. At that time, I, Tinikun, Optimus and Archie sat down and discussed as the team has gone through a big change and we also suffered from a massive failure.

Then we all agreed that… We are going to spend the next 7 months ahead to put everything in. we can call it “All-in” I told Tinikun that this would be our last “all-in” Tinikun agreed with me even though he was thinking of giving up. 7 months we spent together, all for one goal we were bound as brothers and faced many problems.

Nobody wanted to leave. When everyone has the same goal and never gives up, I knew they would never give up on me either. They first pick Kassadin in 3 games They played 7 games, 4 of which Kassadin was banned. The other 3 games they first pick Kassadin First pick at the 2nd round on red side but not blue side. Meaning if Cassiopeia is first picked, they counter with Kassadin on red side So we can flex and pick Kassadin But why do we have to ban Varus & Ashe? To make them play Jhin They will play Jhin Remember if you see them in a bush, just beat them up!

Just fight them and then Levi will cover. We cannot hesitate for a second because we know for sure Levi will be there to cover. The first thing about Archie is that despite his look, Archie is actually a people pleaser. You can ask him for any favor. He appears nonchalant but if anyone in the team is feeling down, he will be the first person to come and comfort them. Always.

Actually it is Archie who acts the most like a parent to this team. Archie has switched between many different positions. Like the way I’ve described him as a person, Archie always tries to please everyone. So he has played as Marksman, Support, then Top-laner Whatever position that the team is missing, Archie will try to be the solution regardless of the disadvantages it may cause to him personally.

His constant change of roles is damaging his career. And he receives a lot of criticism from outsiders. But the thing is I always believed, is that Archie is the best player in Vietnam. And I can confirm that: The day Archie quits professional gaming, I’ll quit coaching in Vietnam. When Archie turned around 4 – 5 years old… Me and my wife we both have to work, there was nobody to take care of him.

We didn’t want him to wander around the street, so we sent him to a game store so that people there could keep an eye on him You know back then there were a lot of bad people like drug addicts we didn’t want him to get influenced by those people. You know, he was really good at gaming. He was asked to compete in a tournament in Hanoi.

The prize could be as high as 50 million VND (~2200 USD) And if he wins, he will get paid. He was so good that everyone loves him. Back when we usually go to Thuan Kieu Plaza. You know? In District 5.

When he was around 11-12, we took him there The moment he saw the game zone, he would come straight in. He would always stay in there while I’m busy shopping. Then came this boy, who was pretty famous in district 5 came in and started playing with him. I stood behind and watched them play.

A boy from District 5 versus a boy from District 10. Then… my kid beat the crap out of the boy from District 5 in the game. He never knew where my kid came from He looked at Archie – A total stranger from District 10. He was completely tilted. I felt, ah, this boy is no match for Archie.

And so at that time I knew that my kid has a talent. Normally I have to train so I’m not at home But everytime I get to go home and see my dad watched every match I played it’s a huge motivation for me because he has spent time to watch me play every week and I really appreciate that. My mom doesn’t know much about the game but she asks my dad if I win or lose after each match how did I perform? she cares about my results and that really touches me.

I think GAM’s style is very aggressive All of the members have very high individual skills and confidence. They also have Tinikun who is an excellent coach. I think he will help me a lot in training and improving myself. When I first joined GAM, I was reprimanded a lot by coach Tinikun. But that’s how I learned to be more demanding on myself. I have known Tinikun for quite a while… since 2012 when he was working for Garena Vietnam.

The most special thing about Tini that makes him become such a great coach is that once he determined to do something, he would put all his time, his mind and effort into it. And he will push it to the limit. That’s the best thing about Tini and also his greatest strength as a coach. Secondly, his way of thinking. and his detailed oriented mindset that is far beyond most of coaches that I’ve met He’s very special. Ever since MSI, people have seen us as the best candidate for the championship But I didn’t think so My team has gone through some drastic changes Other teams in Vietnam have changed as well and have leveled up themselves So we need to try harder to keep our championship unlike what people said, that we are strong and we can easily win this.

So I think we have to work hard to stay as the best in the country. After MSI, Levi, Optimus and other members as well as Tinikun received many offers from other teams around the world with very good deals. At that time, I didn’t know what would happen if my team splits up I spent lots of time thinking but the choice is theirs. After several times asking them if they want to go and discuss what it would be like to work abroad and them talking to their family I got all the same answers that they don’t want to leave. They even questioned me back if I was trying to sell them.

I just said “There are some teams that want to have you” and they asked me “Are you going to sell me?” The sentence I like the most from Tinikun was… Tinikun said that… “I don’t know if I’m getting paid well here today…” “but I know for sure that when I’m here…” “Whatever happens tomorrow, Linh would never abandon me.” That’s the sentence I like the most from Tinikun. During the time I’ve coached Gigabyte Marines, about proud moments, when we played at MSI or when we became champion at GPL, I didn’t feel proud nor content. Even while playing right on stage, I turned to Optimus and asked him “Why am I not feeling anything?” But the moment when I felt the most proud… was the time when our manager, Linh, updated his facebook status “We are the champions!”

I felt immensely proud. Even though it was only a Vietnam championship. But it made him very happy. I felt so proud because he was the one who convinced me to go back to GAM meaning he put all his faith in me.

So when I saw that I had not let him down, I felt proud. That was the only moment when I felt proud. GAM worked really hard and always tried their best in practice And they want to make it the furthest they can They sacrificed a lot of things: family, friends, and girlfriends… So they can concentrate on going far to make their dream come true Seeing them make it happen and achieve what they want, I feel more eager to join GAM and together with them achieve that dream. What makes GAM special compared to others is when one join GAM… They’re not just athletes doing a job to get paid, They’ve got to put themselves in GAM’s position and share the same goal.

They may also have to let go of their egos to be able to integrate into GAM. Each individual in my team has his own personality but I’m trying to connect everyone together as brothers GAM represents professionalism, unity and passion. A year ago, no one believed GAM would go to the Worlds Championship but now GAM has proven their strength at MSI, and won a direct seed into Worlds for our region. This is something that a year ago very few people could imagine. So what I want to show to myself as well as other members in the team is that after GAM, in whatever we’ll be doing next opportunities will come when we put enough will and efforts.