There are a handful of curses that permeate through League culture. We’ve seen Liquid finish 4th time and time again. We know all about the “Worlds” curse -- any team that wins a World Championship fails to attend the following year -- although SK Telecom T1 look ready to dispel that this season. But there is one curse that is little known outside of Southeast Asia and the LMS.
“Chawy’s Curse” -- to come so close to your dreams but always have them just out of reach -- has followed one of the greatest players never to take to the stage at Worlds. Xing-Lei “Chawy” Wong, the pride of Singapore, has taken more big hits in his career than a pro boxer. But each time he drops to the canvas something drives him to get back up.
It all started with the first Southeast Asian professional League of Legends team, the Singapore Sentinels. Despite being one of the best players in Southeast Asia, he wasn’t invited to join the team due to having to complete his compulsory military service. The Sentinels assumed Chawy couldn’t balance the rigorous demands of both military service and pro play. So Chawy set out to prove them wrong -- by starting his own team, Sleeping Giants. Through heroic solo performances, Chawy managed to take games off the Sentinels in local competition. It was enough for them to see that despite his military service, Chawy had the drive and the skill to be a force on the competitive circuit. After signing Chawy, the Sentinels started an era of local dominance. They were nearly undefeated and were the only team that posed a threat to the Taipei Assassins, who had risen to become the dominate force in Southeast Asian League scene.
But each time the Sentinels made a run at Worlds, Chawy’s Curse would rear its ugly head. In both Season 2 and Season 3, they were one game away from attending Worlds but fell at the last hurdle. For Chawy, each failure only made him more determined.
Whatever I do, I want to do it well. So even if I’m super tired, I will keep on practicing. That is because I want to be the best.
It’s this determination that led him to join TPA -- even though he was forced to play as a sub in favor of Kuan-Ting “Morning” Chen. If doing so would help him attain his dream of playing on the Worlds stage, then so be it. Despite being drawn into a favorable group at Worlds 2014, TPA finished dead last and never gave Chawy a chance to set foot on the stage.
Their dismal Worlds performance caused TPA to turn to Chawy as their starting mid laner. The team struggled throughout the 2015 Season, but Chawy’s individual brilliance managed to carry them to a position where they could make Worlds 2015 through their accrued Circuit Points. In any other story, this would finally be Chawy’s chance to show to the world what he was capable of -- but this isn’t one of those stories. On August 1, 2015, Chawy was suspended for ELO boosting. TPA failed to qualify for Worlds and decided to part ways with Chawy.
“For me, when I look back, I feel disappointed. I feel betrayed. But at that same time I learned a lesson. No matter what mistakes you made in the past, you’ll come back to it eventually.”
When the dust settled and the ban was lifted, Chawy found a new home on ahq e-Sports Club. Their current mid laner, Shu-Wei “Westdoor” Liu, is one of greatest mid laners of all time. His play on assassins is unrivalled -- but it was his tendency towards this one playstyle that made it easy for opposing teams for target bans. Chawy, on the other hand, was a robust player and almost impossible to ban out. For Spring 2016, they played on a blue-side-red-side rotation and finished the Regular Season at the top of the table with no match losses.
Yet in the Spring Playoff Finals, Chawy and Westdoor were dismantled by Yi-Tuang “Maple” Huang of the Flash Wolves. Chawy would once again miss out on international competition and have to watch MSI as a spectator.
Their collapse led ahq’s coaching staff to step away from the duo mid-laner strategy. Their new decision was to base their new decision was to choose their mid laner based on who manged to climb to a higher rank on the highly competitive Korean server. Westdoor climbed higher and faster, and Chawy was once again relegated to the role of substitute -- this time on ahq.
In the face of all this personal and professional adversity, Chawy still holds onto his dreams -- to one day play at the World Championship on the international stage. Will this be the year we see the best player never to play at Worlds finally take the stage? Or will Chawy’s Curse live up to its name?