When you're the best player in your position in your region, that usually comes with a lot of trophies on the shelf. But not for Jian "Uzi" Zi-Hao. Since he broke out in Season 2, the AD carry god has hustled, strived, and fought for championships but he always failed to take the last step: back-to-back World Championship silver medals and three more LPL second places. Imagine being an unmatched carry and a god of silver at the same time?
But in these last LPL playoffs, Uzi finally lifted a trophy — the first one in his career. Yet even then, he didn't take any credit. We caught up with the legendary AD carry at MSI 2018 to find out why.
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A lot of people in the press and elsewhere have been talking about your growth from the emotional person you were in Season 3. What are the reasons?
At first, I was just thinking about only enjoying the game, but I didn't think about my teammates and other people's thoughts. That's why I tried to carry by myself. Later on, I realized that was a game of five-people teams, so I started improving myself and moved towards being more teamfight oriented, and not just being focused on myself.
When did you realize that?
It was at Season 5 when I didn't get to Worlds. I realized that was not a solo game, it was a team game. That's when I started improving myself.
That coincided going into Season 6 when you joined Qiao Gu Reapers. And at some point, you found yourself in RNG. What did you notice in RNG that stood out in terms of team atmosphere?
The atmosphere in RNG is actually better than in any of my previous teams. We tend to argue a lot in RNG, which makes us closer, but we also have fun together. That's how we communicate more.
When I played with Zero [at Star Horn Royal Club — Ed.], we just didn't talk. That's why it got worse and worse. In RNG, I tend to talk a lot, so that's how we solve that problem.
Tell me a little bit about the dynamic with Ming.
Ming actually abandoned his previous play style to get closer to mine. That's how we play together, so I'm very happy I have him as a support.
At some point, at least this year, you got your first LPL trophy — your first trophy in general, actually. I was told that you lifted it for your teammates, rather than yourself. Can you tell me more?
I've been to a lot of finals, but unfortunately, I didn't get any of the championships. This is the first trophy I lift up. Previously, I thought if I played the best, I can win trophies, but I realized that all of my teammates have to perform the best so we can do it all together. It's not my trophy. It's my teammates'.