In-Conversation with Aiman "aimaNNN" Azham at OMEN Challenger Series 2019

Aditya Singh Rawat
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The Malaysian powerhouse FrostFire has not been having the best year with mediocre performances at multiple tournaments including a group stage finish at OMEN Challenger Series 2019 in Jakarta.

AFK Gaming present at the venue were able to get a few minutes with the captain of FrostFire, Aiman "aimaNNN" Azham, as we spoke about their collapse at the eXTREMESLAND 2019 SEA Qualifier, the counter-strike scene back in Malaysia, what the team’s future looks like and more. Read on to find out!

Note: At the time of taking this interview FrostFire had not disbanded.

Hey AimaNNN! How about a quick introduction about the team?

Hello! I am Aiman ‘aimaNNN’ Azham from Malaysia, currently playing for FrostFire which is a Malaysian esports organization. The team consists of five players, me, acAp, Subbey, Avirity, and hiqa1, along with a coach, Bali.

Describe a regular day for a FrostFire player?

Our regular practice starts at eleven in the morning and ends at around seven in the evening, giving us about seven to eight hours of practice daily. The practice consists of normal individual practise along with 3-4 scrims on a daily basis.

What changes did Bali bring in as a coach since replacing Rexa?

In my opinion, Bali brings with him a lot of experience, he helps every individual to overcome their shortcomings. Taking a personal example, he keeps track of my performance on a weekly basis and then comes back with feedback on the areas where I can improve, he gives a solution to these problems as well making it easier for me to concentrate on the problem and work on it.

Taking away no credit from Rexa, he is a brilliant coach as well and helped us break into the top ten within Asia, whereas Bali came with a different approach, focussing on every individual player separately and helping them with their own set of problems.

What went wrong during the ZOWIE eXTREMESLAND 2019 - Regional Qualifier? Was it because of hiqa1 replacing Nutr1x or just lack of preparation?

What I felt was that none of us showed up at that qualifier. In the days building up to that qualifier, we were doing really well in the scrims, even beating Chinese teams, so I was a little surprised when none of us could show up during the qualifier.

It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with the roster shuffle, we were just not on the same page. We were not communicating properly, did not execute our plans properly, very sloppy when hitting the sites, and none of us were connecting with our shots. So overall it was a bad performance by all of us.

Which team from the region do you enjoy playing against the most?

If I had to choose one team against whom I thoroughly enjoy playing, I would go for MVP PK. They have made me push myself in order to become a better player, something that I admire about them is how technically sound they are with their executions, something which is absent in a lot of teams from this region. Also even as individuals, all the players are very strong, and I always look forward to having a good competition.

Does the fact that you guys are representing Malaysia have any effect on your performance?

Speaking strictly about myself, it doesn’t add on as an additional pressure for me. I just concentrate on my gameplay and have enough sleep before a match, so this tag of representing Malaysia doesn’t really impact my performance. Instead, the expectations that I set upon myself does make me nervous at times.

Give us a gist about the Counter-Strike scene back in Malaysia.

CS:GO is definitely growing in Malaysia although at a very slow pace when compared to other countries in the SEA region, especially Thailand. Compared to when I was playing for MVP Karnal back in 2016, I did not draw a monthly salary and was paid timely as and when it was possible.

But now the scene has changed with multiple teams coming from the region and competing at various regional qualifiers, but we are still much behind when compared to countries like Thailand.

Which team from your local circuit would you consider as your local rivals?

I would go for Darkhorse and Orange Esports, it is really difficult to choose one among these two but if I had to choose one it would be Darkhorse.

What lies ahead for FrostFire?

After this tournament, we are really not sure where we will be heading as a team. We will be looking forward to playing together because right now we really need to stick, get back in the game and win. But before that, we need to try and figure out what we are missing out on, is it our teamwork that needs to be fixed or something else, cause we are consistently choking at certain points. We really need to take an in-depth look into the team and our playstyle, come to a solution and then fix it.

Note: At the time of taking this interview FrostFire had not disbanded.

By when do you think will we be able to see a team from SEA in a CS:GO Major?

I would really hope to see one by next year, as far as this year goes I have been seeing ALPHA Red perform, and think that they might be the SEA representatives at the Major. The level that they bring is comparable to how the East Asian teams perform, they are definitely up there and hope to see them at a Major by next year.

That was our time with the IGL of FrostFire, Aiman ‘aimaNNN’ Azham. He gave honest feedback on where FrostFire currently stands and how they plan on moving ahead while showing his support for the SEA region. Unfortunately, right after the conclusion of OMEN Challenger Series 2019, FrostFire released it's CS:GO roster.

The only thing we are left with is Aiman's prediction of ALPHA Red making it to a Major in 2020. Let's see if it comes true or not!

Check out some other interviews that we took at OMEN Challenger Series 2019,

Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.

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