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Taipei Assassins share joy over e-Sports victory

LOS ANGELES--The Taipei Assassins, a group of gamers from Taiwan that won an international online video game competition in Los Angeles and US$1 million in prize money, have been sharing their joy and excitement about the achievement on Facebook.

When I began video gaming a few years ago ... I dreamed of one day competing internationally and making Taiwan known around the world for its gamers,” posted Chen Hui-chung, team leader of the Taipei Assassins (TPA), on his Facebook page.

“(The dream) is one step closer,” Chen wrote. “From now on, the world will remember my name and the TPA.”

On Sunday, Chen and his team comprised of Taiwan nationals and one Hong Kong person won the League of Legends Season 2 World Championship.

Chen, 22, told CNA following the team's victory that his team trained for over 10 hours daily over the past two months, adding that “it was all worth it now that we have won the championship.”

Nicknamed Toyz, the team's Hong Kong-born player thanked fans for their support at the competition venue and expressed his joy of winning the championship on his Facebook page.

“I never believed the title of world champion would come. No one believed we could make it, not even myself,” he wrote. “Yet being here in the finals and holding the trophy proves everything.”

Toyz wrote that the loud cheers from the crowd actually affected communication among the team, as they could hear people shouting “TPA! TPA! TPA!” despite wearing earphones. He added that it felt like the team had the whole world's support.

Chi Hsiu-ying, who led the team on its trip to the U.S., said the players were so excited about their victory that they could hardly sleep.

Since winning the competition, the team has been busy with interviews with Riot Games, the developer of the popular game League of Legends, and shooting a promotional film for the game, Chi said.

The TPA, which officially formed this March, had six men and one woman on the team, with an average age of 21 years old.

The Taipei-based team, which was not a favorite going into the contest according to one team member, made it to the finals by beating fancied teams 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.

League of the Legends has over 2.4 million registered users in Taiwan and over 70 million users worldwide. The competition had a total purse of US$5 million, which was touted as the largest prize pool in eSports history, according to the contest's official website.

Twelve teams were selected from Europe, North America, Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia to play in the LA tournament.

The TPA has won a number of tournaments already this year including the GIGABYTE StarsWar 7 and the Garena Premier League Season 1 Opening Event.

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