Very interesting and lively interview by Chinese site uuu9.com with big-name Chinese commentator and host, DC. Insight on TI2, Chinese esports, and more. Click on to read on!
UUU9 (U9): Hello Professor DC, thank you for doing this interview with UUU9.com. Can you outline a bit of what your life and work looks like right now?
DC (DC): Hi everyone, I am DC of the GTV Esports Channel. My current work is pretty much comprehensively moving towards becoming a host of a TV channel, not focusing on any single game anymore. In terms of everyday life, I’m still all over the place as is my old habit, gaming, anime, reading are all patterns in my life~~~
U9: Hm, then that means you’ll need to come into contact with many other types of games. What do you mainly play right now personally? Apart from Dota games with fans and Dota recordings for shows, do you still play Dota on your own?
DC: Right now I don’t play that much Dota outside of work, earlier I was really into OMG mode, and recently I’ve gotten better internet so I’ve been playing Dota2. Mainly I’ve been touching upon mainstream Dota-type games, and apart from that my personal interest is largely in single-player games.
U9: Then, if you don’t play that much Dota, is there any concern that you won’t be able to keep up with what’s going on in matches? If you really do have this concern then how do you address it and ensure you can maintain a good understanding of situations in matches?
DC: I think there will be some inadequacies. Mainly I maintain a level of familiarity through keeping up with the professional scene and tournament scenes, this is a process in gradually transforming from a Dota player to a television show environment, some growing pains are challenges for myself.
U9: TI2 has just ended, and iG took the $1M prize. Currently professional players’ benefits, wages, and prizes are all much higher than before, are there any thoughts about making a comeback as a player, or just lament at being born at the wrong time?
DC: There’s certainly some envy over the profit potential of current players, I often wonder how great it would be if the scene was this comfortable back then. As for making a comeback as a player, that would purely be lying to myself, that is out of the question. Right now the big prizes should be greatly appreciated, and the only hope is that players don’t lose themselves. We can’t ignore the reality of needing money, but we also can’t focus only on the money.
U9: Do you have any interesting stories from your trip to Seattle? What impression did Valve give you?
DC: Valve seriously was too awesome, not only have they got strong financial backing, they also had great accommodations for players, and there is no doubt the competition itself was excellent as well. In summary, once Valve goes open with Dota, other competitions are going to have a big challenge~~~
U9: During the competition, while other commentator teams were at work we thought we could hear your cheering, and from your hoarse voice we could feel Professor DC’s love for esports. So, as a commentator, is it necessary to have a certain level of love and devotion? Does Professor DC support all Chinese teams unconditionally or does he have more love for certain teams?
DC: Of course, if a commentator is not a passionate participant in the game itself, how can he infect and lead viewers in enjoying the match? Supporting Chinese teams is a basic premise, but during the Chinese vs Chinese matches I have always been a fanboy of Burning, so I was a big supporter of DK. But too bad lately fate hasn’t listened to my wishes.
U9: If I recall correctly, Professor DC also commentated for last year’s Dota2 International, what are the differences between this year and last and what improvements have been made?
DC: Last year was in Cologne, Germany, so a lot of things were limited by the surrounding environment. This time was not only held in Valve’s own backyard, it was held in a carefully selected and prepared music hall in addition to an entire team’s excellent dedicated support and execution. TI2 can be said to be a perfect representation of Valve’s true strength and ability, as well as a reflection of true gaming competition excellence.
U9: In regards to Dota2’s Chinese partner, you should have heard something in Seattle right? Is it basically confirmed?
DC: The Chinese partner is pretty much confirmed, but because the actual parties have made no announcement, then I won’t be the gossiping relative either~
U9: Okay, then let’s talk some matches. NaVi struggled in the group stages to get into the winner’s bracket, yet in the elimination stages frustrated many Chinese teams, and ultimately took second place. Can you give an overall analysis of this team, what do you think was key to their result?
DC: Without question the first thing is that they have superhuman ability in their team. NaVi’s resilience exceeded predictions from before the competition, so they are deserving of their second place result. In truth it can be said that NaVi lost standing alone against all the Chinese teams, it was only after iG put down their own burdens in the Grand Finals and played to their own style that they finally countered NaVi.
NaVi’s strategic system is very distinctive, they accurately control rhythm, either it was Anti-mage mass farming for late game, or Leshrac Juggernaut pushing early game. These two seemingly simple go-to weapons sufficed to shred all challengers before them. Of course, NaVi’s nearly invincible on-stage mentality was also key. They always lost the first game, sometimes even being stomped in the first game, yet it almost never affected their performance in the following games, this point is something I think the Chinese teams can learn from.
U9: In the end, NaVi’ certainly had Chinese fans concerned. As last year’s overlords on the scene, this year’s DK hasn’t performed as well despite having made no roster changes at all. They didn’t make it into the ACE Pro-league playoffs, got 4th in TI2, what is their main issue right now?
DC: I think DK’s team mentality was at one point pretty unstable, and their competition results haven’t been ideal this year, so to a degree that has affected their once royal confidence and momentum. And DK’s strategy is relatively unchanging, so after a year of winning 9 different championships many big teams have analyzed their weaknesses. Their preference for forcing teamfights is something that, in this version, is pretty easy to counter once it’s been figured out.
U9: Rumors say that DK will have roster changes in the coming days. Nowadays the first consideration when results are subpar is to make roster changes, what are your thoughts on this?
DC: Making roster changes is definitely a risk, but when a team has been together for a long time and has a high level of familiarity, then unless it’s an impulsive move, I think there must be other reasons behind the change that we don’t know about. DK club’s management has gone through quite a bit in the past two years so I think they’re up to the task, they don’t really have a habit of making rash roster changes, and even though the rumors are flying around this time, I say we just wait for an official statement.
U9: As for the rest of this year’s Chinese competitions, what are your thoughts, will it be iG all the way? Why?
DC: We can’t really make a logical prediction of the remaining competitions. iG certainly has a huge amount of momentum and confidence over everyone else, but after big victories in big competitions, they enter into a long break period, and whether players who historically have lacked self control can maintain this momentum and competitive form, I have concerns. Esports clubs typically not allowing long breaks before the end of the year is generally because of this.
Also, whether LGD can regain their composure and find their form, this is another variable. In terms of both overall ability, as well as their own attitudes, I think if they really end up being the “forever 2nd” team, I don’t think they will accept that easily.
U9: The ACE Pro-league has come to a close, and from broadcast quality to the quality of matches, it’s pretty much one of the best competitions so far in the Chinese scene. However, ACE takes up a large chunk of time, and also requires teams to go to Beijing to compete, will this cause other Chinese competitions to have scheduling problems? How can this issue be addressed?
DC: During the peak of Warcraft 3, it could be said that there were big and small competitions all over the country, but under all that sunshine, there was the reality of a giant esports bubble created by the rush to get in. Our hope is that, through ACE’s model we can improve and even increase the longevity of certain other competitions, and we’re willing to work with high-quality competitions. In actuality, weren’t there quite a few competitions going on between ACE’s schedule? I also believe that blindly organizing and holding events is not going to fundamentally help this industry. For a slightly inappropriate metaphor, if we want to at least achieve the level of Korean Starcraft leagues, we can’t possibly also be making concessions for small competitions such as local internet cafe tournaments?
U9: Will ACE be making plans for the 2nd season this year, what is the ETA? Will there be changes from the 1st season?
DC: ACE does have plans for a 2nd season, but they can’t be announced yet. There will definitely be new things, and improvements to the details.
U9: As a former EHOME player and coach, it need not be mentioned your feelings for EHOME. But ever since EHOME re-formed, they’ve seemed to have faced a lot of problems, such as the dispute with the ACE Alliance, only getting 5/6th at TI2, what do you think EHOME desperately needs right now?
DC: On the topic of EHOME I have no words to speak, and from a personal perspective I have failed to meet certain promises made to players and club, for this I am very sorry.
U9: Professor DC what are you feelings towards Dota2? Talk a bit about some things you think it does well.
DC: Apart from the overall graphic style not really fitting my tastes, everything else is very good. After getting away from the Warcraft 3 engine’s limitations, Dota2 has given it a big upgrade, so I think there’s no point in nitpicking certain small things, because Dota 2 is inherently a big improvement. Especially the improvements in overall experience and interface, so I really look forward to it officially going live on the Chinese market.
U9: It seems that a lot of old Dota players are uncomfortable with Dota2’s graphics and mechanics, yet Dota2’s beautiful effects has also drawn in some new players. After Dota2 goes open, what percentage do you predict will remain with Dota1?
DC: This isn’t really easy to predict, Chinese gamers’ opinions really aren’t easy to analyze. But I believe that staying with Dota1 will be a truly strange thing, if in ten years I am still playing the same games as today, then I can only conclude that either society is not making enough progress, or I am not making enough progress.
U9: Every industry has limits, and now more and more retired players are going and doing first person vods, what do you think about this? Additionally, the market for new commentators is getting close to saturated, so do you have any advice for retired players?
DC: Make preparations a bit earlier in advance, widen your horizons a bit, focus a bit more on being a person of society as opposed to a player with professional skills. However, in reality most of the people I’ve worked with in eports have varying degrees of interconnectivity with the scene.
U9: Nowadays a lot of young esports fans have dreams of playing professionally, and I’m sure you’ve met quite a few of them as GTV’s host. Do you have any words or advice for them?
DC: Stay calm, and think about whether you truly love playing games, or you just want to go professional? Is it to escape your studies, escape society, or is it to chase your dreams? A lot of people focus only on those in the spotlight on stage, thinking and planning their own futures on the same stages, but what they fail to see is, in the corners beyond the spotlight, the shadows of those who failed. Everyone believes they can be the ones up there, but the truth is that the stage is very small.
U9: Let’s ask another personal question. Does Professor DC have a girlfriend currently, have you thought about starting a family?
DC: Still have not acquired a girl, this comrade must continue to strive. In this regard I am a bad example for everyone, you should all take me as a caution, and work hard to become a winner in many ways in life!
U9: What kind of girl do you like? Mature or girly?
DC: More mature for sure!
U9: Have any female fans expressed love to you before?
DC: As for this question, I can only say I have no success to report. Of course, on this issue, I personally encourage this~~~
U9: Between Miss and MuMu (Chinese female commentators) who do you think is prettier? Yuchen and Guangmo (Chinese male commentators), who is more handsome?
DC: Of course MuMu is prettier, as for our Miss that’s called classy, we share similar tastes! Yuchen with his little pale face is so careful in his looks, as for Guangmo what does he have to do with the term ‘handsome’?
U9: Is your body weight a burden on you?
DC: It’s frustrating, but I will carry its sorrow, because this is the fate of a born-fatty like me.
U9: Dota1 or Dota2?
U9: Is there anyone you want to beat up badly?
DC: Yes, many amongst the players! Those more handsome, those skinnier, those making more money, especially those that don’t know to appreciate what they have.
U9: Alright, thank you to Professor DC for this interview with UUU9.com. We wish you success in all life and work. Are there any last comments you’d like to make to everyone, or anyone you’d like to specially thank?
DC: Have to remember to thank Guo Jia (Chinese player of a game similar to Dota, called 3-kingdoms), that bitch~~~ And lastly I want to say: Taitai I like you!