Exclusive Interview: BRAYYY from RSG SG speaks about mistakes and comebacks

The end was in sight. Team Flash’s base was left with just a sliver of health; just one hit would guarantee that RSG SG would win and give them a fourth consecutive MPL Singapore title. But as with most sporting events, nothing is ever confirmed until the game is finished. 

And so was the case with RSG SG. BRAYYY (Brayden Teo), the team’s Jungler, made a crucial mistake right at the last step. Rather than finishing off the base, BRAYYY set his sights on eliminating his opponent and celebrated too early, a move which backfired as Team Flash’s Adammir got the best of him and allowed the opposing team to rally and win the round, forcing a Game 7. Team Flash went on to beat RSG SG in the final game and lifted the title at their expense.

It was a big mistake by BRAYYY, on a high-profile stage. Understandably, many will feel that this is their rock bottom. But we all love a comeback story. Robert Downey Jr, Ke Huy Quan, and more — there is something mesmerising about seeing a person rise like a phoenix after being reduced to ashes.

In the lead-up to MPL Singapore Season 7’s Playoffs, where BRAYYY and RSG SG are competing to reclaim the title, I spoke to him about bouncing back from such a setback and his journey to redemption.

The Big Misstep

Every story has a beginning, and for BRAYYY, we have to start at that moment—one that he acknowledges was pivotal to the final course.

“At that point, when it happened, I found myself “stoning”, and I was really at a loss regarding my mistake. I was truly in shock at what had actually happened and this ended up affecting my mentality going into the final game. I could have won the game for my team right then and there, but due to my misstep, I was not able to,” says BRAYYY. 

“After the match had ended, I was very disappointed in myself because I know I could have done better. At that point in time, I just wished that I had done things differently, and even wished that the whole error did not happen at all, and what I was going through was just a dream.”

In the aftermath of the final, BRAYYY says he received reassurances from his teammates that everything was good. However, he still felt self-loathing due to the gravity of his mistake—it prevented his team from making further history as four-peat champions and prevented them from qualifying for the M5 World Championship, one of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) ‘s prestigious competitions. 

There was also the matter of online negativity in the wake of everything, with lots of unsavoury comments and content about him. While hateful online discourse is always bad, it feels especially so for BRAYYY—it is easy to forget that he was still 18 then, and experiencing such things when young can be harmful in the long term.

Social media is often an escape for people that age, but for BRAYYY, it presents an endless spiral of negativity. So, instead of delving deeper, he pumped the brakes. On the advice of his teammates, manager, close friends, family, and MPL Singapore host Cheryl Yao, he decided to step away from social media for a month after the Grand Finals.

Talking about the break, he elaborates: “I knew there was a lot of negativity (comments and content) being made about me, and I made it a priority to refrain from reading and engaging with them. It helped me get my mind off of what had happened, and I think that helped me maintain my mentality coming into MPL Singapore Season 7 and wanting to prove myself in esports.”

Road to Redemption

The break following the Grand Finals proved fruitful for him. He used the period to spend time with loved ones and focus on himself to get out of the negative headspace. Eventually, training had to restart, but it also presented another opportunity for a renewed outlook.

RSG SG is undergoing a transitional season this year. Much of the lineup that started in the finals for Season 6 was no longer in the team. Essentially, BRAYYY was pretty much beginning in a new team; a chance to start from scratch.

“Honestly, it did give me a fresh start because there are quite a few changes to the starting lineup, leaving only Roy and I, who are now considered the “OG” members of the squad,” says BRAYYY. 

But it was more than starting the season with new members. In addition to his role as a player, BRAYYY was also thrust into a mentor role to his new teammates as RSG SG was prepping for the upcoming MPL Singapore season. 

BRAYYY Interview: Match 1
BRAYYY now assists the team as a coach

“I’ve also taken on added responsibility this season, stepping in as coach and analyst when I need to, so there was a lot of work that I had to put in. I helped with grooming the new players, making sure they are up to speed when it comes to brushing up on our basic skills, and working on the tactical and gameplay aspect of things,” he shared.

“I think I’ve seen a lot of growth in myself and as a player — I’ve put in a lot of time and effort this season to taking on these added roles this season and its also given me more perspective that coaching is not as easy as it seems.”

The Revenge Rematch

MPL Singapore Season 7 began in earnest with the Regular Season on the 4 and 5 May weekend, where 8 teams duke it out over four weeks to gain one of six spots in the Playoffs — transitioning into a knockout format to determine a winner. 

Having lost the finals and coming in with an overhauled team, RSG SG were underdogs for Season 7. They had a mixed start for Week 1, claiming victory over Evil for their first match but then disappointingly losing 2-1 against league newcomers Asteris the following day. Week 2 had the potential to compound things.

Their next match was against the very same opponents who dethroned RSG SG — Team Flash. To make matters worse, there was a familiar face among them. Diablo (Yeo Wee Lun), who was formally of RSG SG, now headed Team Flash as captain. And he had some strong words to say before the rematch.

“I hope they [RSG] don’t let me down because I want to meet them in the Grand Finals. I want to show them the difference between having me as the captain versus not [having me there anymore]!” challenged Diablo, who further insinuated that he was the RSG SG’s “win condition” when he was there.

It was perhaps even more sobering to hear for BRAYYY, who had been teammates with Diablo for a good period of time. Notably, Diablo himself said that one of the main reasons he switched teams was because he thought BRAYYY would enlist in National Service, which hints at a strong bond between the two. But the words did not seem to faze him.

BRAYYY Interview: Diablo vs BRAYYY
BRAYYY eyes Diablo during their head-to-head

When I asked about his thoughts on Diablo’s remarks, BRAYYY was remarkably cool about it.  “While Diablo did have some fighting words during his Week 1 post-match interview, I didn’t let it get to my head. I was not too concerned about it and used it as motivation to train even harder for the game. I think it is most important to let our gameplay do the talking…” 

And so, on 11 May 2024, more than six months after that fateful day, Team Flash and RSG SG once again went head-to-head.

It seemed like history might repeat itself. Team Flash took the first game, and there was a slight sense of cruel irony as Hadess was presented with a similar situation as the Season 6 Finals but made no mistake on his end to help his team to the win. But the game had tight moments, proving that RSG SG could match Team Flash.

Game 2 begins, and it is different. BRAYYY took centre stage not just as a coach but as a player as well. His X.Borg Last Insanity ultimate plays were crucial in hurting Team Flash, dealing the most damage out of everyone as he and his team stormed to a win. And it continued for Game 3. RSG SG slaughtered Team Flash in the early game, with BRAYYY helping to secure the turtles and lords. It became an easy win, and a satisfying revenge match was completed for RSG SG.

“I think the win goes to show us that we really have what it takes to win MPL Singapore, despite our rocky start during Week 1 of the Regular Season. It also gave our brand-new lineup a much-needed confidence boost for the rest of our games. We beat the defending champions, and I believe that this was the turning point of the Regular Season,” BRAYYY commented. 

“Before the match even began, all the casters had predicted that the match would go against us and that we would lose. But we managed to prove them wrong and show them the mettle of RSG SG. I think this really puts us in an advantageous position heading to the Playoffs because we got a sense of Team Flash’s gameplay and gave the newer players the experience of going up against them. During the Playoffs, we will definitely be more prepared, not just against Team Flash, but against all the other teams!”

Looking Forward

RSG SG completed a decent turnout for the Regular Season, finishing third in the final standings. Though they suffered a 0-2 defeat in their last match against Bleed Esports, the team will be buoyed by the fact that they are the only team other than Team Flash to record a four-game win streak. It is an experience that will serve the new team well, especially if RSG SG meets Team Flash again in the Playoffs.

BRAYYY Interview: Match 2
BRAYYY and RSG SG will look to bring their good form over to the Playoffs

“We work hard during training, spend time strategising, and also exploring different playstyles as we move along in the tournament. Since RSG SG does have certain playstyles that we have stuck to in the past, we work together to experiment with different types of heroes and gameplay strategies to mix things up so that other teams are less likely to pick up on our strategy.” says BRAYYY as his team preps ahead for the Playoffs.

Many lessons were learned throughout the Regular Season, and combined with his experience in the Season 6 Grand Final, BRAYYY believes he has come out better and stronger.

“Throughout this whole process, I’ve learnt to be less complacent and overconfident. Despite being champions of MPL Singapore for three seasons, this whole experience taught me that anything can happen even when I’m at the top. It made me realise that I still have a long way to improve, and I am working on that with my team all the time,” says BRAYYY.

“It also made me believe in the phrase ‘it is not over till it’s over’. This not (only) applied to my mistake last season, but what I have experienced and what is coming up for MPL Singapore Season 7. During Regular Season matches, when we were trailing behind, I made it a point to adopt this mentality, and we ended up bouncing back to snatch the win. And I think this also applies to what we have coming up ahead of us with the Playoffs. It really is not over until it is over, and I will continue to push on with RSG SG and hope that we will emerge champions once again this season.”

Watch the MPL SG Season 7 Playoffs

Follow BRAYYY and RSG SG as they attempt to reclaim the crown in the MPL Singapore Season 7 Playoffs. They will be up against Bleed Esports in their first match on 14 June 2024, and you can catch them live on the official MPL Singapore Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok channels at 10am!

Visuals courtesy of RSG SG and Moonton.

Russell Matthew Loh

Watcher of films and player of games. Dabble with writing in between.

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