x5 StarCraft 2015: Forging a New Legacy
Welcome all to 2016 and Happy New Year from the Exile5 Starcraft 2 Division! :)
It has been a busy and exciting year for us, with some excellent results and fun additions to the organisation, so we figured it'd be nice to catch you all up on what has been happening this year and our plans for 2016.
There's a brand new expansion out - Legacy of the Void - with a faster paced style of game as a result. In general we are gearing up for a massive 2016 as our players become more familiar and comfortable with the changes. You can see some of our players early thoughts, post-beta, here.
We'll kick things off with a 'few' words from the SC2 Division manager, Eugene 'uJeanZ' Astuto ;)
There were a few highlights for me
It was the first year that I was able to personally attend ACL events. The experience of cheering on our boys as well as
being part of the regional SC2 community was magnificent.
Rounding off our Australian line up by picking up Pigeon straight after ACL was pretty exciting. As you know Pigeon won
ACL Sydney and had impressed everyone previous year. Although he's been busy with his studies since then, it's awesome
having him in the team and I can't wait for him to represent us at this years LANs.
Team leagues also injected a lot of extra enthusiasm into the players and it was great to see everyone working together,
stategising, practicing and ultimately giving a blistering performance to convincingly finish on top of the SEA Team
league (particularly given that our esteemed captain came in only at the tail end of the league due to casting duties).
Which brings me to my next proud moment. Witnessing Pig represent the team in a way not many players will ever have. To
be chosen numerous times to cast major tournaments is a testament not only to his skill and game knowledge but also his
ability to articulate in an entertaining way. Having said that he's playing at an extremely high level at the moment and
I'm so excited to see what 2016 brings his way.
I'm particularly proud of the academy players. I've seen them all step it up a notch in terms of practice, training and
I just enjoy genuine the comradery between them all.
A big highlight for me was the expansion of our SC2 division internationally with the recruitment of Tilea, ChanKim,
Neuro, Agile, Believe and Kawaiian. Despite having let Agile go from the team, they've all brought something unique and
positive to the team.
Every one of them shows enormous promise. I've long been a fan of Tilea and will never forget her game against
mOOnGLaDe. Chan Kim is a player who can potentially do great things in eSports and he's well on his way. xKawaiian being
at the ROOT house is clearly taking his journey seriously and I think could be one of the best Terrans to come out of
I'd like to make a point of stating that I'm glad that I swum against the massive tide of internet negativity when
deciding to pick up Believe. I knew about his past ladder indiscretions and I had thorough discussions with him before
recruiting. I genuinely believed that he had become a better sportsman in every sense of the word and to date. I wanted
to give him a chance to prove himself to me and to x5. Well my decision has been more than validated. He's been a great
addition to the team.
Finally, I'm pretty darn excited about Neuro. I've been a fan and sub of his channel for some time. In recent times I've
seen him being to take enormous strides in SC2. I love the way he approaches the game and his approach to improving. He
is truly a model of what as eSports people, we should strive to be like.
I was pretty chuffed about the success of his Kickstarter project He came to be beforehand and told me what he was
thinking of doing. I told him that it was a fantastic idea and x5 were happy to support him any way we could along his
journey. I enjoy seeing him now and his rapid progress from living in the CSN house and he seems to be enjoying the game
That ended up being a bit more than you were probably after but hey what can I say, I love this team and I love
StarCraft. Sorry I get a bit carried away
We also got some thoughts from one of Exile5's managers, Dorothy 'Dot' Tran
2015 started out amazingly for x5 sc2 and for me personally. Seeing PiG go so far into WCS Season 1 was fantastic. I can remember staying up to watch his matches against Happy in the round of 32 in Cologne. It will always be a moment I remember and cherish in his career.
The rest of 2015 was a fairly quiet year as far as x5 sc2 historically has been. We haven't seen the dominance that we were known for in the years prior and that was a little disappointing.
I am hoping, with the new changes to WCS and with KingkOng's return, that we can bounce back in 2016.
This year saw some significant changes to the Starcraft2 Division in both our player and organisational lineup.
The acquisition of Yingjie 'Pigeon' Zhu (Protoss), ACL Sydney 2015's Champion
Release of Grimz (Protoss), Yours (Zerg), and Sparrow (Terran)
Acceptance of Ice (Protoss), Jevyn (Zerg), and Metalcore (Terran )
This year saw the acquisition of several players from outside of Australia as we sought to become more involved in International team leagues such as DuSt League.
Chan 'chankim' Kim (Korea, Zerg)
Tileä 'Tileä' Flavall (America, Zerg)
John 'Believe' Lagousakos (America, Protoss)
Austin 'Neuro' Filsinger (America, Zerg)
Taylor 'xKawaiian' Vinson (America, Terran)
Tom 'Agile' Fetterhoff (America, Zerg)
Acquisitions: James 'Crescendo' O'Dwyer (Assistant SC2 Manager + Website Content & PR)
Releases: Juno 'JunO' Kwon (SC2 Academy coach, subsequently with Invasion eSports and currently on Team Property)
With a deeper roster of players Exile 5 were able to participate in team leagues
When it comes to team efforts, it is fair to say the SC2 Division's crowning group achievement in the local scene was winning the Saulo Silva Team League.
Both our Academy, Professional, and Global rosters pulled together to create some exciting games against the other 3 major teams of the SEA region: Ecko eSports, Frenetic Array, and Silicon Sports. The team's preparations for their opponents showed, and Exile5 carried home the prize.
We also had a strong showing in the international DuSt League prior to that, where Chan and Tileä both achieved all-kills for the team. It is fair to say DuST League helped prepare the division well for our subsequent strategies and victory in the SSTL
On the topic of our players, some of our roster have had an excellent year when it came to individual results and eSports projects.
We'll start off with our professional roster:
Jared 'PiG' Krensel
First of all, congratulations to Jared for achieving some incredible career milestones this year
1: He blasted into the WCS Premier League Ro16, carrying Australian and Exile5 pride onto the international stage.
2: On top of that, he had the opportunity to act as a caster and analyst at international events such as WCS and IEM.
3: He represented Australia in Nation Wars 3
Going into the new year, he will be playing in the OSC Global Finals against strong players from around the world.
Sam 'KingkOng' Yu
KingkOng made it into WCS Challenger league in Season 1, but his commitments as a chef significantly reduced his practice time, and as a result he couldn't quite overcome the competition. Nonetheless, we are excited to see what happens when he can return to more regular play. His defeat of PiG in the recent SEA DreamHack qualifiers is a sign of good things to come when he returns to full form. KingkOng will also represent us in the OSC Global finals alongside PiG.
Yingjie 'Pigeon' Zhu
Our Protoss player came seemingly out of nowhere to win ACL Sydney - at which point Exile5 quickly approached him to join us. Although study commitments have kept him from active play in tournaments, he nonetheless was able to take time out of his studies to clinch some crucial victories in the Team Leagues this year.
Next up, our Academy:
Although these guys haven't had any major tournament results this year, they have practised hard and shown a lot of improvement, which was displayed in their games for both the DuSt and Saulo Silva Team Leagues.
Special shout out to Namakaye who won our first 'Fight for the Flight' - an Exile5 in-house Academy tournament where the winner gets their travel expenses paid for a single major LAN. The second event was won by Yours, who subsequently left the Academy after ACL Melbourne.
We hope 2016 will be the break out year for Academy member tournament results!
Finally, our Global Division:
First of all, much love to Tileä who acted as our Team League captain when PiG was overseas casting. She was unarguably our top-performing player in the leagues.
On top of that, she handled the day-to-day organisation of the team leagues and even streamed some of the games for us.
She achieved multiple all-kills on enemy teams and was an inspiration to us all. We hope 2016 brings more team leagues for Tileä to shine in.
Our Korean player Chan Kim was another star in our team league lineup, also achieving all-kills for Exile5. He is a valuable practice partner and we hope to support his dreams to achieve results in the Korean events this year.
Our Protoss player Believe has been a valuable training partner and won his first LAN this year, at the EGL LAN in Toronto. Since joining us he has been a solid addition to our division and we are glad to have him about. We hope in 2016 he will play in the many online events available to him to increase his tournament experience.
Our Terran player xKawaiian has been making good use of his time at the ROOT house to improve his skills and streaming presence. We hope that 2016 brings him the LAN results he is working hard towards, and that we'll also see his name in the brackets of online events.
Our Zerg player Neuro has had a fantastic year on his path to mastery. With a successful kickstarter he has managed to make the move into the CSN Teamhouse with Polt, Violet, and JaKaTaK. We are proud to support him as he works hard to take his game to the professional level, and will encourage him to enter more online tournaments to broaden his competitive experiences.
To round things off, we sought our players thoughts on the year just ended and their hopes for the year ahead
~~~What were the high points of 2015 for you as an SC2 player?~~~
As a player hitting the WCS ro16 through some ridiculous and gruelling games in the ro32 was definitely my highlight. Getting sent overseas all expenses paid by Blizzard/ESL/WCS for ro32 and also ro16 was awesome. Even though I bowed out of the ro16 early I was incredibly close to beating Showtime (who made it to the semis) and I had a small trip around Paris with Kane for a few days after which was a lot of fun.
I didn't play a lot so I think it is not high
I think my highest achievement is ACL champion in Sydney.
I had a couple of high points. I got picked up by Team Exile 5 their support has been amazing I represented x5 in a few team league games which was also a massive honour and I finally got masters
Playing at Lans, Respawn and Melbourne ACL, There's something about the atmosphere at lans that fills you with enough passion to want to ladder until your fingers fall off (until you get home : ^) )
High points for me in 2015 where getting involved with my team and going to whatever events I could attend.
In 2015, joining team x5 was a big high point. Also me all-killing DGTV and some EU clan in ITL was nice.
High points were my masters promotion and competing in ACL Melbourne
One of the biggest high points was the return of Brisbane LANs. Huge shoutout to TheMightyOne for setting that up and getting all the brisbanites together again!
Another definite highlight was the ACLs. It was my first time travelling for SC2 and winning Fight for the Flight and getting that chance was a huge motivator for flying myself down for Melbourne.
Fight for the Flight was my best achievement IMO, but all the games I took of better players, mostly in macro games, was a great achievement too. Truly shows how far I've come as a player.
Joining x5 was probably one of the high points for me, mainly because it provided me with opportunities to play in team leagues and stuff
Because I recently came back from a long break getting back into the same kind of form I was in before I quit was my main/most important accomplishment of this year. Going 30-7(?) in teamleagues, including wins against Apocalypse and True, is a good indicator of the kind of form I've gotten back into and I'm probably better than I was in 2013 - though maybe not comparatively to other players because everyone has improved a lot since then.
Probably winning EGL Lan in Toronto, I got $500 for first and it was the first lan I got 1st place in.
Dipping down into Masters to train LingBaneMuta ZvT, Ling/Roach/Hydra/Viper/Brood ZvP, Ling/Bane/Roach ZvZ from PiG then placing back into GM with new styles in all 3 matchups in February.
Twitch Partner in March, now up to 150+ subs.
Weekly articles and interviews through TheWeeklyAllIn propagating information on the path of mastery.
Committing to learning TheCore hotkey layout and getting back into GM in November.
Getting accused of maphacking which inspired detailed analysis videos now released regularly on the YouTube channel.
Highest points as an sc2 player this year? Hmm probably meeting root hydra and kelazhur at the basetrade LAN and competing in both that LAN and the Philadelphia tournament. Moving to the root house and joined Exile5 who have been nothing but a family to me ❤
~~~What are your hopes and goals for 2016?~~~
Since the WCS announcement I'm toying with the idea of going super hardcore all-in on competing again, however instead I think I'm just going to train pretty hard for the qualifiers to do as best I can, and whenever I qualify for a big event I'll train my butt off for it. I'm hoping in this first year of LoTV I can do really well and if I find my rhythm I really want to hit top 8 in a few big events.
I will be champion again If I practice hard. I can always be champion haha
I hope I can became a more aggressive Protoss in 2016
My Hopes & Goals are to keep improving, to win atleast one tournament would love to see my name on the right hand side of sc2online and id love to push toward gm and maybe sneak in the last season
Well I guess first goal is to get my skill level back to up to where it was. Second goal is I want to be able to reach a top 32 of SEA level. Hopes (or dreams) would be winning a weekly. That'd be nice :)
In 2016 my goal is to qualify for at least 1 international WCS event. One of the biggest motivators for me to play in Esports was the opportunities to travel and see the world doing something I love. So with some hard work and some luck I'll turn a dream into a reality
Hopes and goals: Main team x5, top 100 gm, Beat chase in a series (lol), attend ACL, day 2 wcs.
My goals for 2016 is to learn to play LotV in my own way and develop my own unique style
I want to play more. Last year I lacked a lot of motivation to practice, which was especially evident at ACL Melbourne's Open Bracket when I was playing awfully. I still don't know how I made groups honestly. #Protossed I guess. Anyways, I'm already achieving this goal, having played about 160 games so far this season, which is a good sign going into the new year
I hope to be able to attend ACLs again. Even if I don't play the best or whatever, ACLs are always a fun time for all involved. Hanging out with like minded people from around the country and eating KBBQ after the event makes everything worth and then some. Hopefully we get one in Brisbane this year! (Baldiepls we have alive scene too!)
I hope to become good enough to qualify for Code A in 2016
I don't really have any goals for 2016. I don't want to play Starcraft full time or be extremely competitive so I might quit at any time if playing the game stops being worthwhile for my enjoyment. I'd like to continue to improve and maybe qualify for some events, such as getting back into whatever modified form "Challenger" takes in the new WCS system, but I don't expect that to happen and won't be too disappointed if it doesn't
Goals for 2016 is just to do well in general, and have a positive mindset about the game
2016 will bring the first encapsulated version of all the Neuroscience articles: 'The Path', released to Kickstarter backers first then the community a bit later.
GoPro YouTube content on time-efficient exercise options, thinking about weather and adverse circumstances, and various forms of incoherent psychobabble.
Dedicated off-stream practice leading up to major qualifiers and events. I'll be preparing styles pertinent to the maps presented and thinking more about how to structure a boX repertoire than just fighting as a ladder hero.
Mastery is a path--an ongoing process. My goals are not achievement oriented so much as urges for more deliberate and effective daily effort. Each moment presents us with opportunities. KEEP FIGHTING!
Goals and hopes are to improve myself as a player and a person in both sc2 and life!