Lots of good stuff in this one! 71 talks about EG’s struggles at TI2, ‘growing Chinese esports’, EHOME’s future, and more! Click through to read it all!
After Seattle, we contacted EHOME’s manager 71 for an interview, and ‘Grandpa 7’ not only revealed to us that PCT had left EHOME, but also that former EHOME member Laoshu/FCB/Crystal, who left under controversial circumstances earlier may come back. Additionally he lashed out at other Chinese Dota teams, and gave us insight into a lot of other interesting things.
Replays.net (RN): First off, thanks for allowing us to interview you, go ahead and greet our fans and users.
EHOME.71 (71): HI
RN: At TI2, EHOME placed 5/6th, are you satisfied with the result?
71: Between players, the club, and our sponsors, I don’t think any of them will be satisfied with a 5/6th place result. But in terms of our ability we really do lack, just yesterday I wrote a lot in an email to our 4 players for discussion, we really have a lot of holes in our play.
RN: During matches, PCT performed quite poorly, has this ever been seen in training? Or is this because of the LAN environment?
71: I think it’s still going to be a combination of training and match environments. We saw a lot of problems in training, but his poor form right now still is directly linked to his current mentality, his mentality has been affected by all the widespread public criticism, which I think has caused him to lose confidence.
RN: Has EHOME had internal problems or divisions as a result of PCT’s poor performances?
71: No, I believe PCT’s failure to adjust and improve his form is merely a result, and attacking the results of an event is meaningless. And during PCT’s time with EHOME, I treated him as my player, and others treated him as their teammate, so what I heard was far more encouragement and accommodation than complaints.
RN: During the tournament we didn’t see Dai play solo mid as much as before, and we even saw him not playing his signature Storm Spirit when he was picked early on, what were the considerations behind this?
71: For Storm Spirit, it had already been decided that it wouldn’t be Dai controlling. Two reasons, one is that Dai felt that in the 2, 3, positions he wouldn’t be able to carry the team, and the other is that PCT’s best heroes almost entirely overlap with Dai’s heroes, so Dai’s only option was to drop down a position to play support. In our best of 1 versus iG, Storm Spirit was supposed to go to PCT as well, but when he was picked there was a lot of cheering from the crowd, so PCT didn’t dare play Storm anymore, and this scared Dai too.
RN: Following this, what are the plans for the team, will there be any personnel changes?
71: Yes, because PCT has already left, so we definitely need to bring someone in. As for what kind of player we haven’t decided yet, for one we need Dai and LanM to finalize their own roles in the team, for another we need 357 to confirm his opinions on the matter with us.
RN: The Wisp plus Tiny combo stunned the whole world, was this ever practiced in training, how was it developed?
71: In training if we focused on making it work we would always win, only thing is that we never got to train with other Chinese teams, so the development of the strategy wasn’t as complete. Dai has been playing Wisp for a long time, he says since before Wisp was added to captain’s mode he has been flying around with Laoshu/FCB/Crystal. Tiny’s pretty strong, if you saw the live crowd’s standing ovation and chants of “Tiny, Tiny, Tiny, Tiny…” you would reflect that this is such a great game.
RN: What do you think are the strengths of Dota 2 over Dota 1? Weaknesses?
71: This you should ask the players. In Seattle this was something I discussed with Burning and DC, Burning says the biggest change is attack animations, DC says he was told that the maps are the same size, they’ve done tests using the same heroes in both games etc, though I personally am very interested in the numbers.
RN: What do you think about Dota2’s development and future prospects, will it have the draw and status of Dota1?
71: If you heard Chinese players’ complaints about Dota 1 then you’d have your own answer. In terms of status, this is hard to say, amongst the public I think some will still stay with Dota 1, but professional players will probably lean towards Dota 2.
RN: The ACE “Alliance”, are they still enforcing a training embargo on EHOME?
71: Ask them.
(Dotaland note: China’s ACE is an esports organization, and EHOME for various reasons is the only major team not a part of it. Because of this, ACE teams have sanctions against EHOME that include no training together)
RN: Facing this training embargo, what steps has EHOME taken?
71: Nothing specific. In non-Chinese eyes, we are a Chinese team, in Chinese eyes, we are a non-Chinese team. Our poor results can’t be completely blamed on this, I think NaVi’s training environment isn’t ideal either. Too many media outlets ask me about this issue, you guys should really ask “The Alliance” and see who is behind these great policies for growing Chinese esports (this is sarcasm).
RN: Were there any memorable happenings from your trip to Seattle this time?
71: EG’s members have always been pretty good with us. During the group stages at one point because of bad results, Maelk said they were going to forfeit the remaining matches. I told them my thoughts on the matter, in hopes that they would believe in themselves and their teammates and continue on. You can see that later on, they performed very well and nearly beat iG in a best of 3. I applaud them, the Evil Geniuses.
Navi and iG, some of their games really left an impression. Puppey’s tactics, strategic adjustments and flexibility were all outstanding. After seeing the stats, Dendi’s laning left us amazed. In down time, Puppey and I chatted for quite a while, a lot of his ideas and thoughts are very cutting edge, and are worth learning from.
iG’s core-less push-oriented system at TI2 was very unique, to the point where I think it could lead a wave of new thought in the metagame. After the group stages I gathered our team and we watched roughly ten of iG’s replays, they set a very fast pace, taking a tower every five minutes, taking the game by 35 minutes. This is something that many top teams cannot do.
I hadn’t seen Burning in a long time, so meeting in Seattle this time was a nice feeling. During the three days of group matches, when I was spectating alone, he would come over and we’d chat until the match ended, giving me a very dear and friendly vibe, I was really happy about that. Our players also hope that DK can continue winning.
RN: Now that TI2 is over, fans are very concerned about whether EHOME will disband again, can you speak about this?
71: This is a question I’d already answered in an interview in Seattle, EHOME as a team was never built for a single competition. What I want to build is an outstanding team, this is not just a business where I work with players I like.
RN: Earlier it was rumored that EHOME would be sold off, what’s the word on this?
71: Regarding this I received an international phone call from the boss, all he said was for me to keep things steady and stable, focus on competing, to ignore outside news, and he very clearly stated that this would not happen.
RN: We’ve heard that some of EHOME’s players are being contacted by other teams for recruitment, what are your thoughts?
71: Who’s doing it? Is it those that are promoting Chinese esports growth? (sarcasm)
RN: We heard that Laoshu/FCB/Crystal might join EHOME?
71: My first knowledge of this was via media nice enough to share the information, only yesterday I received a phone call from Laoshu/FCB/Crystal himself, so we haven’t been in contact for long. I think we still need some time to sort out some things internally, and then we’ll talk about this.
(Dotaland note: according to Laoshu/FCB/Crystal himself, he says he is not going to join EHOME again.)
RN: Thank you to 71 for the interview, and we wish EHOME success in the future! Anything else you’d like to say?
71: Thank you to our sponsors Gigabyte, Razer, and Intel. Long live EHOME, long live Tiny!