Lack of mental preparation led to GAM’s elimination from MSI 2023, coach Hankai says

“We cannot let the next incoming international event be another place for us to study anymore.”

GAM Esports came confidently to the 2023 League of Legends Mid-Season Invitational as the indisputable VCS champions. But once again, their explosive performance in their home region last Spring Split did not translate to the international stage.

Despite a crushing defeat in the first round of the competition at the hands of NA second seed Golden Guardians, GAM walked on the MSI stage to face Latin Americas Movistar R7 as the favorites to claim victorybut ultimately, they would fall well short. After three games the series went in favor of R7, but the way GAM were eliminated was more disappointing than the loss itself. 

The team is known for their fiery gameplay, but the pressure of performing on the international stage and in front of a crowd played a trick on the confidence of GAMs players, according to their coach Huỳnh “Hankay” Tấn Đạt.

The issue of in-game knowledge is not actually big, we can fix that very easily, Hankai said to Dot Esports, highlighting his players are more than talented enough individually to be at MSI. The coach explained the results of GAMs last day were due to a lack of mental preparedness for the competitions environment. We lack international experience, and we are not prepared enough on our mentality when we are going to play on stage, he said. 

Hankai shared the lack of a live audience for VCS has been a detriment to the teams growth. And while GAMs coach expressed his gratitude to Riot Games who prepared a big venue and a large crowd for the teams attending the event, he also mentioned how the addition of a third international tournament would benefit all regions greatly, but especially the minor regions. [Minor regions] dont have many chances to practice a lot, and then they don’t have experience to face the major regions at international events.

And that would certainly be the case for GAM as well, who are now tired of just going to international competitions to see the crowd, as Hankai said. With the last Worlds 2022 and this MSI 2023, we have gathered enough experience. We cannot let the next incoming international event be another place for us to study anymore.

GAMs coach is confident his team has the potential to bring down any major regionall they need is to better prepare for the mental warfare that occurs when players walk in front of the crowd. Hankai took the blame onto himself and GAMs staff for not having worked enough on that point with their players, but hes sure the VCS champions will return to the international stage stronger next time.

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