The OMEN Challenger Series 2019 which concluded day before yesterday witnessed an exceptional performance from the Thai team ALPHA Red. After going undefeated through the group stage, they went all the way to the grand finals, giving Grayhound a tough time before finishing as the runners-up.
AFK Gaming present at the event caught up with Peeratch “Olivia” Ingkudanonda right before the finale to discuss a few things counter-strike and more. Let’s see how that conversation went.
Hello, Olivia! How about a quick introduction?
Hi everyone, I am Olivia from Thailand, currently playing with ALPHA Red. I have been a part of their roster for about ten months now and mostly like to use an AWP.
How’s the Counter-Strike scene in Thailand?
Thailand as a region is slowly coming-up, the game is widely popular across the country and a lot of local tournaments have started taking place now. As a result, more players are coming out and participating in these events and the overall skill of the region is gradually increasing.
Thailand is one of the most competitive regions with teams like Lucid Dream, Beyond Esports, and MiTh. Who would you consider your closest rivals?
I would consider our closest rivals to be Lucid Dream. In recent times it is mostly Lucid Dream that we face in the finals of a regional qualifier and they always manage to give us a good fight. In 2019 we have faced each other a total of five times across multiple Thailand qualifiers for bigger tournament, sadly losing a bit more than we have won.
What’s the practise session like for an ALPHA Red player? Did you guys try anything different for this event and eXTREMESLAND?
We practise for around 6-8 hours a day which includes a bit of individual practise and some scrim games. We did not do anything special for the two events, just stuck to our schedule and continued our daily practice.
How long before we can see a team from the SEA region at a Major?
Right now it looks like the region will still take some time to break out into the Major. Currently, we are playing our own style of Counter-Strike, which tends to be disorganized and a bit confusing, but if we can learn from the European playstyle and adapt to it, we might be able to reach a Major.
What does the future hold for ALPHA Red?
Well, we definitely want a sticker with our signs on it, so qualifying for a Major is on the top of our to-do list.
What is it that makes these international teams more successful?
According to me, I think a well-balanced combination of teamwork, tactics, and communication, along with the amount of work they put in to make it all work.
If it was up to you to choose your opponents for the grand finals who would it be?
I think I would have still gone with Grayhound Gaming because they are undoubtedly the most experienced team present here and also the favourites to win the tournament. To be the best, you have to beat the best, so I would have definitely chosen them.
That was our time with Olivia, the 21-year-old AWPer from ALPHA Red. It was great catching up with him right before their finals against Grayhound. They might have lost the finals but made sure that the Aussies gave it their best to pull through the three-game series.
Let’s see what the Thai squad has in store for us at the upcoming ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2019, all set to take place in Shanghai from 14th-17th November.