SGamer: Thank you for this interview. Earlier there were reports saying you guys had moved your team headquarters from Tianjin to Hangzhou because you had switched sponsors?
xiao8: We haven’t changed sponsors, it’s just that internet in Southern China is a bit better. And also because we were forming our Int team, so having everyone together would make things easier to manage.
SG: LGD has always been seen as a favorite to win in any competition, yet you have lost in the finals of consecutive competitions recently, will there be any roster changes as a result?
xiao8: I don’t think so, lately the main reason behind our losses has been the fact that we’ve been making changes to positions within the team. After the ACE League, DD said he wanted to try playing the 3 position, but then after a bit of that he went back to his support role. Competition schedules have been very dense recently, and so we haven’t had much time to get used to the changes back and forth, and thus we haven’t found our team rhythm and as a result have been losing more.
SG: Were the original changes made to accommodate just whomever brought it up? Or were the changes a result of everyone feeling that they wanted some adjustments?
xiao8: It stemmed from individual requests for a position change and we all discussed it together. After all, if someone doesn’t want to play a certain position, they certainly aren’t going to be able to play it well.
SG: Because of the competitions you are now in, you guys probably don’t play much original DotA anymore, right? In your free time do you still go back to DotA and group up with friends to play some?
xiao8: Once in a while I’ll still go play solo or with a few friends on ladder.
SG: Regarding your newest teammates, how do you usually communicate with them?
SG: How come it seems like there’s quite a bit of pride in your tone of voice here… which of you has the best English?
xiao8: Right now, Yao’s English is best, although the club is already looking for tutors to help us with our English, so I think in the future the one with the best English skills will definitely be me!
SG: How do your two teams normally train?
xiao8: Pretty much whenever everyone’s here, we just train. And we just yell at each other, except sometimes no one knows what is being yelled. We usually play the “Cola Cup”, which is one Best of 3, whoever loses goes and buys two cases of Coca-cola …
SG: So your side wins pretty much 100% of the time, right?
xiao8: No, they’re quite good, in training we lose some and we win some.
SG: After TI2, IceFrog pushed through a large amount of changes in updates, do you feel that the updates in the last month have affected the pace of the game?
xiao8: I feel that right now, the fast tempo of games is just temporary, because an appropriate way to play this update version hasn’t been found yet.
SG: What are your thoughts on potential changes to the ban/pick phase?
xiao8: Don’t think it’ll really affect much, in the end everything depends on a team’s overall ability.
SG: Training with LGD.int, have you been inspired in any way? It seems like current Chinese team strategies have all stagnated somewhat.
xiao8: A bit, but right now more of the focus in training has been on getting them acclimated to Chinese teams’ playing styles.
SG: What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of Chinese teams versus European/American teams?
xiao8: Strengths are we are more professional and more focused; weaknesses I’m not sure, maybe the fact that they have better mentalities, I feel that they perhaps find more enjoyment out of the game.
SG: What is your assessment of DK now that they’ve made their roster changes?
xiao8: Their lineup has grown a lot stronger, so it’s a stronger DK
SG: Why do you say so? Because a lot of people have been questioning 357 and Dai’s skill.
xiao8: Dai and 357 are excellent 4 and 5 position players, from technique and mechanics to teamwork and experience, they’re top tier.
SG: Currently iG is undoubtedly China’s strongest team, and also probably your biggest adversary, have you guys figured out any weaknesses of theirs?
xiao8: No. They don’t have any significant weaknesses, so you can only rely on the ban/pick phase or excellent in-game performance to beat them.
SG: Are you all currently making the adjustments to pick up your form for the upcoming G-League and G-1 League?
xiao8: We’re still adjusting right now, and whether our form is good can only be known after we actually play…
SG: Due to the original DotA still getting updates, the majority of players in China still stick to it. Yet most competitions have shifted to Dota2, and as a result in China we see an awkward situation where DotA has lots of players but no competitions, and Dota2 has lots of competitions but no players. Will this kind of a situation affect Dota2’s overall growth?
xiao8: Whether it’ll affect anything I’m not sure myself, but I feel that once Dota2 is open domestically, the players will gradually come.
SG: In the end, anything you’d like to say to bring a close to this interview?
xiao8: Thank you to our sponsors LaoGanDie Hot Sauce, Taobao, Razer, and to all the fans supporting us, thank you.