Tomio talks about joining DSG, declining to play in the LCS this split, and more.
DSG's Tomio Phanlith "Tomio" Chan is one of the rising stars in North America. The young jungler is coming off the back of a dominant NACL Spring Split which saw Cloud9 lift their final NACL trophy. Following C9's departure from the developmental league, Tomio found himself in one of the most popular organizations around, DSG.
Following DSG's victory over the old Delta Fox roster, esports.gg had the privilege to speak to Tomio. Tomio discussed joining Disguised Toast's organization, declining to play in the LCS on a scab roster, and more.
Tomio on joining DSG
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today, you’re now part of DSG, what are your thoughts about joining such a popular organization in esports right now?
DSG Tomio: I think it's a really cool opportunity to join the org as in recent times DSG has joined the valorant challenger's scene as well got a lot of hype and support from the DSG fans. It’s a great way to showcase my talent and the potential I have. Being on an esports org always will feel amazing regardless as I've previously been a member of Cloud9 and Evil Geniuses. I'm always grateful to be able to represent these orgs and have the dream of waking up and playing video games for a living.
How has the reception been for you? Obviously, you have played on big orgs such as Cloud9 but the social presence of Disguised Toast is something that even the top orgs can’t reach.
DSG Tomio: The reception has been good! I've been enjoying it a lot and had a lot of fun so far. It’s only been one day but it seems like the fans and supporters will support you no matter what happens and that makes me super comfortable. I feel like I'm surrounded by good people inside DSG and the people outside and I look forward to becoming a good role model for those who look up to us.
Obviously, DSG being in the North American scene is a huge deal, how quickly did this move come about after your departure from Cloud9?
DSG Tomio: This move didn't come about quickly as Disguised Toast hinted that he wanted to make a team or participate in the NA league scene, he tweeted "whos the best players in North America right now" and that came across my attention, and with the news surrounding the NACL requirement rule I was like ‘hmm this is a project that I would look forward to,’ and then it slowly got into the talks and it was a smooth transition after that.
What were your thoughts on getting to play these LCS legends in Delta Fox?
DSG Tomio: [Laughs] The DSG vs Delta Fox show match was very fun and I was pretty excited to be playing in it. I watched these people compete and stream growing up so it was pretty insane to me that we got to play them in a little fun event. Obviously, it was kind of one-sided because I assume they haven't played the game in a while from what I recall but I believe they had fun and my team as well. I was smiling throughout the whole best-of-three.
Do you think Delta Fox looks promising and could make a run in the LCS [laughs]?
DSG Tomio: HAHA I mean I'm a person that thinks anything is possible in the world if you put your mind to it, but in terms of now, I don't think they can because they have to relearn the game and learn how to play all the new champs and everything. If they do decide to put the time in I could say it's possible long-term but for the present and the next 2 years probably not [laughs].
DSG bringing more eyes to the North American scene
Do you think what DSG is doing and this type of show match showcases the good that can be accomplished in North America with the correct people behind it? The streams collectively had over 100k.
DSG Tomio: I think part of the show match is to showcase a little hint of what the roster looks like or what is to come in a fun way. Toast is a marketing genius [laughs] as it perfectly aligns with the LCS start date of June 1st and three days before Riot announced to pause the LCS season. Yeah, I believe it also showcases and shows to the audience "Hey there still are players and NA talent out there that want to prove themselves."
Toast kinda memed about this on Twitter being a replacement for the LCS, but do you expect DSG games to be the most watched all split even when the LCS is back up and running?
DSG Tomio: I can't predict exactly but I believe DSG games will be up there for sure and must watch for fans as it's a new and exciting org coming into the NA scene.
A lot of players like me or in my position were asked as well and believed it was morally wrong and not a good idea to participate in them.
On the LCS, there probably isn’t much you can say but I wanted to ask if you were contacted to participate on an LCS team for the proposed “scab rosters?”
DSG Tomio: Yeah, a lot of players like me or in my position were asked as well and believed it was morally wrong and not a good idea to participate in them because the LCS players are fighting for us and it wouldn't make sense to go up there and play on a scab roster.
That's the only question ill ask on the topic. Have you had the opportunity to speak to Toast at all? Has he sat down with you and the players to talk about the plans for the upcoming split?
DSG Tomio: Yeah, I had a brief conversation with Toast just through Twitter dm's. I just asked if they were any opportunities to play and I guess it started from there. I'm sure there will be more together as a team or one on ones in the future!
Looking ahead to the 2023 NACL Summer Split
What are your personal goals going into the NACL split? You are the defending champions along with your C9A teammates, do you think you have levels to go up?
DSG Tomio: Going into the NACL summer split my goals are to win it all again as me, Zeyzal and Fakegod were previous champions in spring split 2023, improve as a player individually and work on my weaknesses and most importantly have fun while competing.
I think with two new teammates things won't be exactly the same and we would have to learn and work as a different team and grow synergy but it shouldn't be too long as we have three players who worked together previously.
The final question I have is do you have any words to say to the North American fans out there?
DSG Tomio: I know things haven't been too great from the fan perspective in recent events and fans aren't too happy but don't worry, please keep supporting all the players cause we are all trying our working our hardest, and don't lose hope! I appreciate all the upcoming new fans and supporters of DSG. We'll make sure the games are entertaining to watch and of course, looking forward to winning.