Rumay "Hafu" Wang sat atop the throne in World of Warcraft, Hearthstone's Arena mode and now she is one of the most prominent Teamfight Tactics players. Queen of strategy games has been streaming Riot's autobattler from the day it was released, and has competed in the biggest tournaments in the scene. At the 2019 All-Star event, we caught up with Hafu for a brief chat about her competitive nature, and her transition to Teamfight Tactics.
Hey Hafu! How are you doing today?
I’m doing well, how are you?
I’m great, thank you for asking! What are your thoughts on League of Legends All-Star overall?
It’s a lot of fun! I mean, I didn’t make top 4, so I’m a little sad... But it was a little reassuring because my friends watched and they said I got unlucky. So I’m glad it wasn’t just in my head.
Have you met any players that you were wishing to see at All-Star?
Ehm… No? I didn’t really get a chance to talk to anyone. It was just, immediately we had to play. I sat next to Scarra and he’s already my friend.
What’s your schedule like on an event day?
We just chill! This is a really chill event. The Teamfight Tactics tournament is the only thing I’m playing in, so I’m done.
Let’s talk a bit about your past. You mentioned before the interview started that you played a lot of World of Warcraft—what was that like?
So, back in 2008—oh man, I was seventeen, I am twenty-eight now—I used to be a competitive World of Warcraft player. That was my first video game ever actually. I was lucky enough to go pro in it, and win a few tournaments. So that’s kind of how I made my name. It made becoming a streamer a lot easier, because people already followed me for something. I’m really grateful to be in gaming for so long.
What is it about video gaming that makes you stay in the scene?
I love competing. I think the thing about games is that you can constantly improve. There’s always a sense of progression, and it’s really satisfying when you come up with your own strategy, you can execute it, and you can slowly tweak it until you just crush everyone.
When you talk about levelling up in games, and in real life as well I guess, what is it that you do when you feel like you have plateaued in a game?
I think, in today’s day and age, it’s really different from back then. Back then there was a lack of resources. Now you can just watch the best player on Twitch. I mean, generally the best player streams, and you can literally watch their perspective. If you think critically on what they’re doing, especially in games with less mechanics—in Teamfight Tactics there’s no pure mechanics—you can literally copy what they’re doing, as long as you can understand it.
What about Teamfight Tactics? What caught your interest?
So, I used to stream Auto Chess, which is what Teamfight Tactics is based on. It’s just a really cool, new genre. I mean, I feel like gamers really needed a new game to play. From League of Legends we’ve seen so many different game companies trying to make MOBAs. I know that World of Warcraft wasn’t the first MMO, and League wasn’t the first MOBA, but you saw this wave of clones. They would do something with, like, one new mechanic, but it wasn’t really new. Auto Chess, Teamfight Tactics, it’s a brand new genre, which is so much fun.
Talking about new genres and new games—Riot Games announced so many new titles this year. Which one are you the most excited about?
Okay so I’ve never dabbled in fighting games, and I know that they’re doing a fighting game, so I want to try that! It looks fun.
Are you a fan of the fighting games competitive scene?
Like I said, I haven’t played it personally, but I think it’s super hype to watch. I used to be on Cloud9—I’m on G2 now—and I met Mang0. I did a bunch of events with him, and he’s a friend of mine now. But it was a lot of fun to watch him and cheer him on. Even if you don’t play, you know what’s going on and it’s so much fun.
Do you think different game titles like that will change the way people see what Riot Games is doing with their Intellectual Property?
For sure. I think the Riot Games IP is so strong. Their fan base is amazing. They’ve done a really good job keeping the community strong, and [they] really listen to the community. So I’m excited to see what new brands they can evolve in other genres.
Talking about community, do you have something to say for your supporters?
Just, thank you so much for all the support all the time. Thank you to everyone who roots for me on G2, and thank you to everyone who follows my stream!
Storyteller by heart. If something is competitive, I am interested in it.