He has a brother and a sister.
Zai and his siblings grew up with a limited amount of time that they were allowed to play computer games for per day. He was introduced to Defense of the Ancients (DotA) by his older brother when he was still quite young. Therefore, when the beta for Heroes of Newerth (HON) was released in 2009, he was curios and decided to try it out. It soon became his main game, as he found it more enjoyable than DotA.
As his skills improved, he moved on to teams with higher skill levels, and feels that he learned a lot from each team that he was part of young and travelled to compete with his father and brother when he was a pre-teen.
Zai entered the competitive HON scene when he was fourteen years old in 2013, as part of Blackfade.org when he travelled to compete in Thailand. His mom was a lot more concerned about his travelling overseas at such a young age than his dad was.
Although he felt that HON required higher skill levels, he switched to DotA 2 in summer 2013, most likely due to the bigger prize pools. Together with PPD, he joined Team USD to compete in Dota 2. He then joined Evil Geniuses’ Dota 2 team the next year, before switching to Team Secret in early 2015.
He then decided to take a break from the competitive scene during his last year of high school, which is why he only acted as a sub for Evil Geniuses’ Dota 2 team for the 2016 spring season which transitioned into a permanent position. He then returned to Team Secret in September 2018.
His parents were supportive and allowed him to travel out of the country to compete in tournaments, even during the school term. In fact, as he was underage when he joined the pro-scene, his father was the one who negotiated and signed on his behalf.
Zai is estimated to have around 100 subscribers. This would net him at least $350 USD per month, excluding revenue from sponsorships, tips, team salary, advertising, tiered subscriptions, Twitch cheer bit contributions and tournament winnings. According to EsportsEarnings, he has won over $2.3 Million USD from various tournaments.
He doesn’t have a set schedule.
[In order to go from a good gamer to a pro gamer, you need] dedication and ambition… [Also] watch and learn from other players. Take their advice, play with them, train with them, watch them play, and… improve with them instead of improving by yourself.
You have to have your education somehow, at least your basic education. [So that] if you had a very successful esports career, you have other things to fall back on.