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What we can learn from iceiceice

Esports competitors are fun to observe. Not only do they create legendary moments and games for us to enjoy, but they usually are people with interesting stories in their own right. Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang is one of them. Besides being one of the most talented players in Dota 2’s history, his journey in the game is an inspiring story of willingness to tackle any problem. There’s so much we can learn from him and his adventurous spirit.

His career began in the original Dota—winning major events like CAPL and ESWC Paris. After a brief stint competing in StarCraft II, iceiceice made the full-time commitment to Dota 2, and started competing in late 2011. From the very beginning iceiceice was willing to tackle problems. Many would be fearful of trying to compete at a top level at so many different games. Not him. More than that, he demonstrated he could build himself up to a legend. 

It started off small. Besides a strong third place showing at The International 2011, his results in Dota 2’s years were very modest, lacking any major tournament victories. He turned a lot of heads at The International 2013, however, winning the Solo Tournament and establishing himself as one of the most talented players in the world. 

It wasn’t long after that he was picked up by Team DK—playing alongside legendary players like Xu “BurNIng” Zhilei and Chai “Mushi” Yee Fung. The team was initially slow to pick up steam despite the talented list of players. Many would be discouraged by this, but iceiceice kept on. They became a formidable force by the beginning of 2014, with several victories at some of the most competitive tournaments in the world. 

After competing with Team DK, iceiceice continued to foster a long and successful career in China. He played throughout the rest of 2014 and 2015 with Vici Gaming, and again proved capable of winning some of the most premier events available. Even in times when the team faced heartbreaking losses or other disappointing setbacks, iceiceice’s resilience and love for the game continued to propel him forward. Though his next stint on EHOME was not as successful as his previous two teams, he still remained capable of playing well enough to help his team qualify for 2016’s iteration of The International. 

iceiceice returned home to create his own Singaporean lineup—Team Faceless. After so much time in arguably the strongest region, it’d be a difficult choice for many to step down to a less competitive area. And though the team didn’t reach the same heights of his previous teams, they still were a formidable regional force, and represented Singapore at several major events. On his next team with Mineski, iceiceice once again showed his impressive skill—winning several big events, including the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018. Even after more than a decade of grinding in esports, iceiceice was still capable of winning top events. 

Afterwards, iceiceice made his first appearance in Dota 2 on a Western roster—signing with Fnatic—an org that decided to establish their roster in SEA. There he had two years of success for a player as seasoned as himself. Even with roster shuffles and other internal challenges, iceiceice remained a steady rock that helped his team win and qualify for top events.

Here this Offlane legend has continued his versatile and adventurous career. Despite never playing in North America, and playing with a lineup of players he is very unfamiliar with, he has carved a valuable role on the team, and continues to help Evil Geniuses to fantastic results. There are few more adventurous than iceiceice.

Images via Evil Geniuses

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