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June 26, 2017

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Assassins prepare for next showdown after win in US

TAIPEI--The Taipei Assassins (TPA), a group of computer gamers from Taiwan that defeated a South Korean team to win an international video game competition in Los Angeles Oct. 13, started training for upcoming events immediately after returning home late Tuesday.

Group leader Chen Hui-chung said the group did not even have time to think about how to spend the US$1 million prize money they won in the U.S. because they needed to start preparing for tournaments in Singapore and Las Vegas from late October through November.

Chen said he and his six team members, average age 21, thanked their families for their support, which he said will help them focus on the coming tournaments.

The team, which comprises six Taiwanese and a player from Hong Kong, will also attend a meet-and-greet event with their fans Oct. 20 in Taipei.

The Taipei-based TPA arrived at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport to more than 100 screaming fans after winning the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship.

The group said they appreciated the support from the fans and that although the training was tough, it has proved to be fruitful. Chen said previously that the team trained for over 10 hours a day over the past two months to prepare for the competition in L.A.

The TPA has risen to become a household name among the Internet gaming community. The number of fans on the group's Facebook page grew from less than 100,000 to more than 261,000 after they won the L.A. tournament. The victory has even prompted the Ministry of Education to consider creating an education track specifically for professional gamers.

The TPA, which was not a favorite going into the contest according to one team member, made it to the finals by beating NaJin Sword of South Korea and Moscow 5 of Russia. The TPA edged out top favorite Azubu Frost of South Korea 3-1 in the grand final.

Moscow 5 and Azubu Frost were ranked among the world's top three teams prior to the tournament while the TPA was ranked 80-something.

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