interview: commentator DC talks Chinese eSports

Original: (technically the real original is from, but I can’t find that one, and didn’t look hard for it either)

Dotaland note: insightful look into Dota2’s place in competitive esports, the Chinese market, player development, and more, from one of Chinese Dota’s most experienced and well-rounded contributors… interviewed by a mainstream website’s gaming section.

DC, personal name Dong Chan, is a legendary Chinese Dota figure. Formerly played on EHOME, winning countless Chinese and international competitions, nicknamed Teacher DC. After retiring became a commentator, and is now a top Chinese commentator.

Q: As a veteran of Dota competition, how do you view the changes coming from Dota2?

DC: In terms of game quality, Dota2 has escaped from the limitations of the old game engine, and thus quickly achieved an overall improvement; IceFrog and his development team need no additional praise, and their future innovations on a new and limitless platform will be something we all look forward to. The transition from DotA to Dota2 has been a series of practical changes that lead to improvements, allowing Dota to be more stable, and more lively and open for creativity, it’s great!

Q: Dota2’s Chinese agent Perfect World has estimated that Dota2 will hit the market in 2013, will this affect the game’s domestic market share?

DC: The issue of Dota2’s official date of going open, has already become a major weakness. In the past two years, large amounts of Dota-type games have arisen, and in many ways have limited Dota1’s territory, even to the point of affecting Dota2’s growth. How to solve and conquer this issue will be the core of Dota2’s growth strategy. Even though Dota2 is an unparalled game of high acclaim and fame, when it does finally hit the Chinese market, perhaps it would be best to focus on its inherent production quality and superior user experience.

Q: Dota-type games, such as League of Legends, what are their current status in China? Are you able to make a prediction in regards to this segment of the market?

DC: League of Legends can be said to have chosen the right time to lay out all their cards. Its development was quick, its momentum is fierce, all to the point of having no equal. It was because of League of Legends’ momentum and growth that ultimatley pushed Dota2 to make its belated appearance, so the pressure is immense here. There’s no question about it, LoL on the Tencent platform will be a juggernaut on the scene for a considerable period of time yet. In the competitive scene it also has been very effective, and taking the lead Dota1 set, it has become a world-leading competitive title.

Q: When competiting in international competition, what exactly is the competitive level of Chinese players?

DC: In terms of Dota 1 and 2, Chinese players have attained a dominant level of performance in the world. Looking at competitions over the years, at the highest level, it’s common to see Chinese teams take consecutive championships, and sometimes even take all three top spots. In the recent International 2 in September, not only did Chinese team iG defeat Ukrainian juggernaut NaVi to take first place, all five Chinese teams made it into the top 8, and 3 out of 4 of the top 4 spots were taken by Chinese teams, once again recording a legendary feat. At this competition, players from all over the world gave high praise for Chinese players’ skill level, noting the excellent training environment and competitive atmosphere available to them.

Afterwards, many well-known international players expressed desire to come to China to train and develop, and top Chinese team LGD has already created an international team, currently training in Hangzhou. This Chinese-created international team, how well they perform exactly, will be a point to look forward to seeing.

Q: What are the prospects for professional players in China now?

DC: After many years of development and growth on the scene, current players in China now enjoy very decent compensation and benefits. From champions iG who just moved to Shanghai, to LGD who just moved to Hangzhou, as well as the kings of kings DK, situated in Yunnan… the players have access to excellent training facilities and conditions, and countless fans envy and follow them. And their incomes are continuously rising, with dense calendars of competitions and high prize pools, added to their good salaries, all allow them to completely focus on training and competition with no other worries. The most representative example here is team iG, who, after taking the 1m dollar prize, are now being called the million-dollar team by the media.

In summary, the players who are currently stepping into their career peaks right now, have conditions that are worthy of envy.

Q: What is the greatest barrier to the growth of a professional gamer?

DC: Lack of enough time and background support. For the entire player development scene, it is still very much a grassroots situation currently. There’s virtually no strict or organized system for developing and bringing up new players, so new infusions of talent into the scene is still in a confusing and random status. In the majority of examples, the rise of a new player relies mainly on that players natural talent and ability to work hard, plus an exceptional amount of luck, to be able to ultimately display a little bit of their brilliance.

The difficulties at this level perhaps require an organized, unified, and intentional administrative push to resolve and eventually create a positive and sustainable model for the scene, thus breaking our current awkward situation of the professional scene being a virtual ‘building in the sky’ type of isolation.

Q: After the national government made efforts to encourage professional work in culture and creative arts, were there any changes in this situation? Why or why not?

DC: For now, there haven’t been much noticeable changes. The entire industry, for now, is still relying on its own internal momentum, as well as pushes made by industry insiders for their own purposes. On this topic, there remains a considerable amount of conservatism; how we can accurately and fairly portray the difference between addiction to games and playing games professionally, how we can provide balanced news reports and publicity, and how we can engage in dialogue rather than plug our ears and embark on single-sided narratives, these will all be things that will have effects. If we want to build a concrete foundation for the entire industry, then we still need firm and strong leadership and support.

ZSMJ returning with an all-new team, alongside chisbug, 820, and more?


In the G-1 League match between TongFu and Flash, Chinese commentator 2009 revealed that ZSMJ is currently putting together a new team. The former supporters of LGD have devoted an amount of money to 830GOD, the goal being to create a new team. Involved are ZSMJ, Chisbug, and in addition they are trying to recruit 820, though he hasn’t shown much interest, so they’re also currently in contact with WE’s Jiejie and WE captain Luo. They’ve already been practicing together (video linkDire team is Chisbug, 830GOD, ZSMJ, Jiejie, and Luo from top down), and ZSMJ’s Steam account confirms, with over 111 hours in the past two weeks on Dota2. Added to all the previous rumors, we have reason to believe that the news of ZSMJ making a comeback to be true.

Gamefy Cribs: iG, NA, LGD team houses overview

Dotaland notes: Chinese gaming channel Gamefy visits iG, Noah’s Ark, and LGD team houses.Video link below.

iG has just moved to a new base in an apartment in Shanghai, where they have a dedicated internet line that is vastly improved over what they had in Shanghai. According to Zhou, Faith grinds his teeth in his sleep and likes to eat at night. ChuaN’s cell phone holder is a gift from a Thai friend. Zhou has a lucky Buddha that he brings with him. IG typically trains from 5pm to 9pm every day, and they go to bed around 1-2am.

Noah’s Ark’s training base is their team owner and sponsor’s internet cafe, also in Shanghai. Their goal is top 3 in every competition once they get the hang of Dota2. They all like spicy food, so they often go to the restaurant next door for dinner, where their captain makes the order for everyone too. Last scene of the NA section is them getting taxis to a competition that night.

LGD’s new base is in Hangzhou. Two floor house, Yao gets one of the two single rooms. Yao enjoys reading and is currently reading more adult novels, in the past he enjoyed romance novels aimed at teenaged girls…

17173 interview with iG.Faith: “LGD was better in the past, G-1 offline matches will be even more intense, Dendi is very funny”


Dotaland note: 17173, organizers of the G-1 League currently ongoing, has this interview with iG.Faith. Good insight into iG and perspectives of things from a top tier pro.

In the G-1 League group stages, team iG has shown an enormous display of skill and ability in consecutive wins over MUFC and LGD. On this, we interviewed iG.Faith, and learned more about iG’s latest developments.

G-1: Hello Faith, thank you for doing this interview with G-1 Champions League. In yesterday’s key match against LGD, your team was able to take the win 2-0, which surprised some people. Can you comment on the match a bit?

iG.Faith: Both games revolved around a high pressure in-your-face team ganking strategy led by Bounty Hunter and Night Stalker. Yet in both games, the opponent lacked any kind of crowd control team fight ability, so they ended up losing fights over and over as they tried to defend their towers.

G-1: This match received extreme amounts of attention, so with iG being able to take the win so easily, what were your first reactions, and does this give you more confidence for your upcoming matches?

iG.Faith: Both games revolved around teamfighting so to pull it off successfully left us feeling very satisfied. Of course we will gain confidence from this, but we also will not underestimate any opponent.

G-1: Can you tell us why iG is so strong right now? Has the TI2 title really triggered a chemical reaction within the team? If you had lost in the Finals against NaVi, would your current mentality, confidence, and form be any different?

iG.Faith: I think we’re close-knit as a team, trust each other, and we are quite all-around. The TI2 title gives us motivation, as well as pressure to perform. If we had truly lost back then, we would still need to rely on our own ability to adjust ourselves and the team as a whole, because in the end we still believe that we are a talented team.

G-1: Can you evaluate the current LGD? It seems like xiao8’s position is shifting towards a support role. In your match with them yesterday, what do you think was different about them compared to in Seattle?

iG.Faith: I felt they weren’t as good as they used to be, perhaps because they’re changing roles. In comparison, it’s still LGD of the past that’s a bit stronger, in Seattle every match with them left us feeling drained.

G-1: Talk a bit about your thoughts on the new DK and TongFu rosters, or how do you view 357, Dai, longDD, Veronica (new TongFu member)?

iG.Faith: DK should need less time to learn to play with each other, after all 357 and Dai are veterans and will have a comparatively easier time blending into a new team. As for Veronica and longDD, what they’ll need to do first is find and confirm their role with their new team.

G-1: You guys will soon be participating in the WCG Dota competition, and afterwards there is the SMM Dota competition, so you continue to be busy on two fronts. What are your thoughts on future ACE and G-league competitions then?

iG.Faith: If we compete in Dota1 then we will practice Dota1, if we compete in Dota2 then we will practice in Dota2. I think in the future Dota2 will become the mainstream.

G-1: Apparently iG’s team headquarters has moved to Shanghai, can you reveal the specific reasoning for this? Compared to Beijing, how is the new environment, what is your favorite aspect, or what do you miss from Beijing?

iG.Faith: The main thing is that Shanghai’s internet service is better, so we decided to move to Shanghai. In terms of environment it’s also quite a bit better than Beijing. It’s still got to be the improved internet in Shanghai that satisfies me most though, this way we can practice better, and perform better in online competitions.

G-1: LGD has built an international team. If iG were to really create an, which international players would you recommend to your manager?

iG.Faith: This is something I’ve never thought about, we players are only responsible for playing Dota well, win championships; other issues are up to the club’s management to handle. Although in Seattle I gained a strong impression of Dendi, he is very lively and funny.

G-1: Apart from this iteration of the G-1 League maintaining its easygoing, fun, style, the actual competition has made big breakthroughs in terms of participants, format, and prize money. Which of these has given you the biggest impression?

iG.Faith: This time G-1 will have an offline portion, so in comparison to the past the matches will be even more intense.

G-1: There was an interesting sidenote from yesterday’s match with LGD, you guys failed to join the room 10 minutes early and as a result lost 20 seconds from your ban/pick timer, what is your opinion on this relatively strict ruling? If you have any other suggestions for the G-1 League, we will strive to improve.

iG.Faith: Don’t really have anything, I feel it’s all pretty good. At the time YYF was watching replays to analyze, and ended up forgetting the time for a while, the resulting punishment I feel isn’t inappropriate.

G-1: Thank you Faith for doing this interview with us, is there anything else you’d like to say to everyone?

iG.Faith: Thank you to the club for the nurturing you’ve given us, thank you to everyone for your support, in the future we will continue to do our best to bring exciting matches for all.

BurNing mini interview: “Didn’t expect to beat iG at WCG China, will retire after TI3”


Dotaland note: Short little interview with BurNing

In the recent WCG China area finals, DK faced iG and DK were able to achieve a good start in their opener, taking the win against iG! After the match, Sgamer’s reporters interviewed DK’s captain and carry player BurNing. BurNing revealed that he didn’t expect to beat iG, and that he would retire after TI3. Let’s check out the details~

SGamer (SG): Thank you to DK.BurNing for accepting our interview. DK just underwent roster changes, and went on to get a win over iG here at WCG China. Can you describe the process of this last match?

BurNing: We haven’t practiced Dota much recently, plus we have new members and lack understanding, so we thought it’d be very difficult to win, we never thought we could beat iG here.

SG: What were the considerations that led to Dai and 357 being recruited to DK?

BurNing: This was something we had considered immediately after TI2. We had a lot of people to choose from, and the reason we ultimately went with Dai and 357 was because teamwork and closeness is important to our team atmosphere, and these two players contribute to that.

SG: Playing both DotA and Dota2, are there any difficulties, and are there any differences for you all as professionals?

BurNing: The two games do have some differences. For example the way bottles interact with runes, in DotA you have to specifically use the bottle, in Dota2 you simply right click the rune. Dota2’s hotkey system is different as well, you can directly alter and customize them. For example 357 uses the QWER system, and during practice once, 357’s Tidehunter wanted to eat a tree, but the hotkey was on V, and he ended up using his ult… very awkward.

SG: This… what kind of situation was this?

BurNing: 357 hasn’t played DotA in two years, his ladder score isn’t even 1500!

SG: Does B god have any wishes for this WCG?

BurNing: For every competition our wish is to win, and this one is no different!

SG: At TI2, DK’s results weren’t great, do you have any plans and hopes for TI3? What are your plans for after TI3?

BurNing: TI3 is definitely something where we will give our all for success. As for myself, no matter what results I achieve, I will be retiring.

SG: You’ve been named one of the three best carries in the world, what do you think are the attributes that other carries can compare with you?

BurNing: I like Zhou and Sylar the most, although Sylar still lacks some experience right now, and Zhou trains relatively less so isn’t in the greatest form.

SG: Thank you to B god for the interview, we wish you all the best in your future competitions!

BurNing: Thank you!

Sgamer interviews 820: “Not going back to EHOME… yet”

Dotaland note: 820 sounds noncommittal, but reveals that there are talks going on between him and EHOME about returning in some capacity… this, his thoughts on TI2 and more, below.


Sgamer (SG): Thank you to 820 for doing this interview with Sgamer. A while back you said in one of your videos that you might return to EHOME, approximately when was it that you got in touch with EHOME?

820: Someone mentioned it to me in passing, I said I’d consider it, but right now the whole thing is still missing some key elements.

SG: Even the news of EHOME moving headquarters to Shanghai isn’t accurate?

820: Like I said, everything hasn’t come together yet.

SG: Returning to EHOME is still in your consideration?

820: When did I say I was going back to EHOME? It really was just something I thought about…

SG: Not long ago, 357 and Dai both transferred to DK, so what kind of a situation is EHOME in right now?

820: Basically disbanded? Right now LanM is the only person left.

SG: As for whether you will take up the managerial/coach position at EHOME, is this news accurate?

820: We’ll have to see what developments and negotiations occur, there won’t be anything in the short term.

SG: What kind of feelings do you have for EHOME?

820: Of course I really love EHOME, after all they are the team that I went through much trials and tribulations with. All the details within are hard to describe now, so I will just wish EHOME luck!

SG: What do you think were the reasons for EHOME’s weak performance at TI2?

820: Unclear positioning and roles within the team, and individual skill was slightly lacking compared to other teams.

SG: There were once rumors saying that you would make a comeback to play in TI3, have you ever had these thoughts?

820: Where did these rumors come from. Yes, but they were just random thoughts.

SG: Dota2’s professional scene is pretty much all the same old faces, have you found any new players with good potential?

820: It’s hard, unless current players are willing to train and help new players, there is basically no chance for them. Unless a completely new team appears and takes the scene by storm!

SG: EHOME has pretty much fallen apart, how do you view the ACE Alliance versus EHOME situation now?

820: I feel that, the circle of people involved isn’t very large in the first place, so it would be best if we never had any divides such as this, no one has it easy.

SG: Previously you created a Dota2 first person vod, but didn’t get many views. Will you give up on creating content for Dota2 in the future because of this?

820: No, I will continue, but just not as much.

SG: Perhaps a lot of people do not necessarily view Dota2’s future positively, what are your views on this after your experience at TI2?

820: Dota2 is a game with very high production quality. But the only problem is that it’s too hard for new players to get in, and right now there is no open beta, so it’s not reaching the masses. TI2’s impression to me was that this game has really great spectator value.

SG: To end the interview, any last words?

820: Thank you to SGamer for the interview, and I hope SG continues to get better.

Perfect World press conference confirming partnership with Valve

dotaland note: Press conference going on in China with Perfect World, officially announcing the partnership with Valve.

Duowan and Sgamer have put up an interview with Erik Johnson of Valve, with some good insight. I’m sure it was done in English but I can’t find the original English source anywhere, only Chinese version… the interview seems like it had a lot of PR talk in it, so I’ll just quickly translate it a selection of the more interesting/revealing comments…


Question (Q): Surely many players want to know the answer to this, rumors from Perfect World state that Dota2 will only go open to the public officially at the end of next year, is this for real?

Erik Johnson (EJ): We want our game to go open to Chinese players as soon as possible, players all over the world have already established a massive following. So we will work to allow Chinese gamers to join this following as quickly as possible.

Q: What brought Valve to choose Perfect World as the Chinese partner, and will there be even more partnership with them in the future?

EJ: First off, we have a very solid working background with Perfect World. Perfect World subsidiary Runic Games we know very well, they’re a bunch of geniuses, and their Torchlight series has been brilliantly received here in North America. We have a lot in common, so it’s not hard to understand why we chose to work together. Our company really pays attention to the players, and Perfect World has similar views on this. Perfect World is an able company, and they understand the Chinese market more than we do. There are a lot of things we need to learn from them.

Q: As for China’s large Dota following, I’m quite worried that the China servers will not be up to par.

EJ: This is something we’re worried about too, our advantage is that globally, we have built up a community of millions of gamers. This size of community is one that also requires a similar level of large scale server support. Our choice in Perfect World is also due to their ability and experience in handling this kind of thing, so for your question, we are carefully assessing solutions. Our hope is that we can solve the problem carefully, at the same time utilizing statistics and data to our advantage.

Q: Will the Dota2 International ever come to China?

EJ: The next International is still undecided as to where it will be held, after all the last International has just ended. But both our company and Perfect World recognize the importance of professional play. From a technical standpoint professional play can help other players learn more about the game and how to play the game, including for players such as myself. When Dota2 officially enters China we will hold many events, and players will be able to participate in a lot.


Also, Anderson is announced as joining Perfect World in a product and events capacity:

As of August of this year, PW has been recruiting talent for their Dota2 work. Anderson has just been announced as joining Perfect World.