WARDELL says he hasn't received any offers, so is focused on building his brand for now
In our final interview from Fragadelphia 14, Joe "tolkienfanatic" Cardali had a chance to talk to Matthew "WARDELL" Yu about the event, his ongoing free agency, the future developing talent in North America, and his personal growth over the years.
You guys just got eliminated by Divine, what do you think about your run at this event?
It was really disappointing to be honest because we practiced leading up to it. But then I had the IEM qualifier and then we didn't play for three days, so that definitely impacted us.
Yeah, it’s unfortunate, you guys won Fragadelphia 13 so you were here defending your title. What would you say tripped you guys up in that Divine series?
I think we've been playing for so long and we haven't eaten yet, and they also just played better than us. We didn't play our best so then that's also a factor. What else can I say here... yeah, they just outplayed us, and we lost to our ourselves.
You mentioned the IEM qualifier that happened earlier this week, you played with vanity and curry, and actually took down some Gen.G and Envy. How did that feel getting back into the swing of things, after you've been inactive for a few months?
It actually made me crave to play more competitively, because streaming is really boring, spamming PUGs all day. Yeah, it feels good to have that competitive feeling again.
Obviously, we've seen a lot of new organizations come into the space, OG, 100 Thieves, Gen.G, has there been any interest from any of these teams or other organizations? Why do we not see WARDELL on a team right now?
At the moment I'm just trying to build my brand and keep on grinding in hopes of a team approaching me. So, when the team approaches me, I'll be ready, and everything will fall into place for me. It's just a matter of time when a team wants to inquire.
So even in the course of this Cloud9/Gen.G rebuild you've had no contact, nothing from anyone, no interest? Nothing from Chaos, anyone?
No... no... nah. *laughs*
Do you feel that playing PUGs, FACEIT, Rank S... even though you don't know what time it starts but you figured it out...
Haha yeah, I won that [week].
... do you feel like that's keeping you at a good level or is there something missing?
I feel like Rank S and FPL don't really help you evolve.
But does it help you maintain your level of performance?
Yeah, yeah it helps me maintain. Everyone is good so certain things you do may not work against them, and certain things you do won't work against noobs. Yeah, just like reading the players and all that is just what I work to maintain.
From that Ghost squad you were on, obviously neptune is kind of involved with Swole Patrol, Subroza isn't really anywhere, and you're kind of just hanging out. Why do you think that the three of you haven't found new teams?
I don't know man, Subroza is really good like he's been popping off lately. I think he's going to find a team soon, man. I can feel it.
Oh, you can feel it?
I can feel it, I don't know anything, I can just feel it. But yeah that's what usually happens when someone pops off. neptune, I think he just needs more exposure, more space to pop off, he needs to like shit on these MDL kids first, y'know what I'm saying? He needs to build the hype around his name.
Personally, for me, I think that I need to go into MDL, I need to join an MDL team and just build up from there. Yeah, I guess that's what I'll do because apparently that's how it works, you just pop off in MDL. So, I'm just going to do that.
Have you been following MDL this season?
Nah not really.
Are there any names of anyone or any teams that you think are up-and-comers that we should be keeping an eye in, maybe in Rank S or FPL?
Oh yeah, Riot Squad is good. INTZ is making a comeback. Dude, I'd say curry, but curry didn't play so well in the IEM qualifier so I don't even know if I should put his name here...
Oof... hey he's been playing well here at Fragadelphia.
Yeah, but I'm like "where was that like three, four days ago", man like shit, honestly, I don't know if I should put his name in there. I'll think about it some more. I think Xeppaa is good.
Yeah, I was talking to vanity earlier about Xeppaa, and he mentioned that Xeppaa is a player that tends to stick with his crew and his friends, and you kind of have been like that in your career I'd say. Looking back, do you think that is a good way to be or has that caused some problems?
I think it depends on what kind of person you are, and what you care more about, you know? Like if you care more about your career you'll leave behind your friends and pursue something more challenging and risky but staying with your friends is more comfortable. For me I feel more comfortable, and when I feel comfortable I play better so that's why I haven't adventured off but like I think I've grown enough to like want to know about growing as an individual, joining a new team, meeting new people. I understand how he feels and it's totally normal and tempting to do what's most comfortable and stay home and play video games instead of going out.
Last one for you, you mentioned growth, whether it be team growth or personal growth. For me at least, just being here doing this interview is a sign of growth, because I know three years ago there was no way in hell you would be up for this! Are there any other ways you have matured or grown over the past couple years?
I think streaming really helped me communicate to others because I talk to the chat every day. Like I can talk now without being shy, that's why I didn't want to stream at the beginning. Even though bee told me to stream and all that I didn't want to be because I was hella shy talking to chat and shit but then I'm like whatever. You always get haters and all that shit, but I just ban them so like whatever, "get the fuck outta here." Like they say one thing and they're out.
But yeah you also have a lot of people who support you and want to see you do well. Yeah, you build relationships there with people that like the same thing as you, and you can also talk about real life shit. The relationship between my viewers and me as a streamer is very nice to have in the back of your head. That's the reason I can talk in these interviews now and do pretty well in them.
As mentioned, WARDELL and J Money Crew fell short of their title defense, falling to Divine to finish Fragadelphia 14 in third place.