Although Team Japan underperformed at the World Cup and CYCLOPS fell short of taking first place in Contenders, things appeared to be looking up for Ta1yo when he was spotted in a scrim by GGEA. That is, until GGEA imploded and missed the deadline for roster submission. Shortly after, Ta1yo announced he was leaving CYCLOPS.
Given the timeline of events, I wanted to confirm with Ta1yo that he was part of the GGEA roster that fell through and find out whether its implosion lined up with his departure from CYCLOPS. He reflected on his turbulent year and divulged his plans moving forward.
Are you able to comment about the time you scrimmed with GGEA? Were you in talks to join them?
Yes, I was supposed to join but they canceled the day before the Trials started. Contracts weren't given out yet, but we were told they would send them out soon.
My contract ended with CYCLOPS athlete gaming and I was planning on joining GGEA. Even though GGEA's mishandling is public, I can't go back because Japanese culture wouldn't approve of me coming back.
When you say Japanese culture, are you referring to the management? Or do you mean everyone ranging from the fans and the players?
Pretty much everyone would not really agree with me coming back.
That stigma won't linger into the next year for Team Japan World Cup considerations, will it?
Definitely not, since it has nothing to do with the Japanese teams. It's just that it would be unacceptable for me to go back to Cyclops right after leaving.
Would you have considered renewing your contract with Cyclops if GGEA hadn't happened?
Hmm, that's a hard one. But I think I still would have left. I was unsatisfied with the current contract, and I felt that I really needed to put myself into a new environment.
Do you feel that the Japanese scene is still improving? You had mentioned before that the inclusion of Korean teams into Contenders PAC should boost the skill level of the general region.
I really can't say that the Japanese scene is growing, but moreso the core of the scene is improving. Honestly, CYCLOPS athlete gaming is the only Japanese team in Contenders, so they would be the only ones taking advantage of the Korean teams.
Esports in Japan is still young, due to recent changes in gaming tournament laws. How much have you made as a pro gamer so far? What's on the horizon for you?
I think the esports scene is still in early development due to how little support there is. It is realistically very hard to run a team for profit. So far, I have probably made $10k USD but honestly, I would have made a lot more money taking a part-time job.
For the future, I have no clue what I am going to do. There's pretty much no options that let me play in Contenders as of now, so I'm probably going to wait for Season 4.
Ashe seems pretty good, but I haven't had the chance to play her yet. The first thing I thought after seeing her shotgun jump was the Scout's Force-A-Nature, but it seems a little bit different.
Do you play any other games when you need a break from Overwatch? Or have other hobbies outside of gaming?
I really don't enjoy playing video games alone, so I rarely play anything else. For hobbies, I just like to hang out at school or with my friends and going thrifting.