Dotaland note: A site that doesn’t do much coverage of Dota, Netease, did this interview with 4 members of iG. It’s got some blatant product placement, which is itself an interesting look into the degree of commercialization and sponsorship that Chinese teams have access to. Additionally, Zhou’s responses are stiff and authoritative as usual, there’s talk of them participating in creation of a new iG team (!), and near the end they each talk a bit about each other, which is sorta fun.
Netease (NE): We’re very happy to be able to interview the members of iG’s renowned Dota team, go ahead and say hello.
Zhou: Hello to all fans of the Netease gaming section, I am iG’s Zhou.
Faith: Hi everyone, I am iG’s Faith.
430: Hi everyone, I am iG’s 430.
YYF: Hi everyone, I am iG’s YYF.
NE: First off, congratulations for your win in the Dota2 competition at WCG2012. Can you talk about how it felt at the time?
Zhou: At the time we were very happy, and very excited. WCG can be described as a dream for all professional gamers, and so for us to take the title in Dota2 can be seen as fulfilling a career dream.
NE: We watched all the matches in the competition, and iG’s advantage was quite noticeable. Was there any specific game that left you the biggest impression?
Faith: The second game in the finals, if we had dealt with laning properly then the opponent would have had no chance against us in the following teamfights. But because we had some mistakes in earlier fights, there was a risk of it spiralling out of control for us, but we gradually rediscovered our feel for it and eventually took the game.
NE: We heard that you guys really took this competition seriously. In order to fully prepare, what were some things you did beforehand?
Faith: In the days leading up to the competition, we intensified our training, and focused on practicing some of the more popular heroes.
NE: In matches, apart from strong player mentality and high-level performances, computer hardware also greatly affects outcomes. What do you feel are the most important hardware indicators for competitive gaming?
430: Usually, there are very high requirements for video cards, processor, and RAM.
NE: We heard that you guys used Lenovo’s Y-series laptop for training at one point before the competition. Normally in training desktops are used more, so what led you to considering the Y-series laptop?
430: Because its hardware specs fit our requirements decently. Its processor is an Intel i7, graphics are driven by a GForce650, plus it has 4GB of RAM, so it runs Dota2 quite comfortably.
NE: We’ve also heard that the Y400 has some special features, were these a factor in choosing this product?
430: Originally the reason we bought this was for its Ultrabay feature, it allows modifications to fit changing needs. For example when we play big games (on full screen) we have greater requirements for graphics, so we can utilize dual graphics card mode and thus achieve very smooth effects. Similarly, if we feel that heat dissipation is becoming an issue, we just switch in a fan, and this problem naturally goes away. The ability to make adjustments to key parts when needed, this is definitely a very convenient feature, and it suits our needs as professional gamers. After using this for a while, we all feel that the experience has been quite good, so we really like it.
NE: Supposedly you guys are planning on a nationwide talent search, where worthy candidates are selected to join iG for professional training sessions, with a chance to represent iG itself in competition. Can you give us some details?
YYF: Soon we will take part in a series of school campus events, the goal is to select five exceptional players, and then we will train them as a team, and they will represent iG at competitions.
NE: As a professional team, in what direction will iG develop for the future?
Zhou: Our team’s development direction is to become an international top tier Dota2 professional team.
NE: Any short-term plans, or long-term goals?
Zhou: Short-term plans are to win every single major competition, long-term goal is simply to become an international top-tier Dota2 professional team.
NE: Any special arrangements to help along the way?
Zhou: Better training, more communication, improve teamwork, practice player understandings, etc.
NE: So you’ve been training very hard lately, you have competitions coming up soon?
Zhou: Indeed, our hard work in training is so we can win more competitions.
NE: You’ve all been on this team for a relatively longer amount of time, in your professional careers, what kind of feel have iG and esports given you?
YYF: I think, when first coming into esports it was holding onto dreams and hopes, playing for the love of esports and gaming. So in the beginning there was a lot of passion, and when you win your first championship there is a lot of excitement. But after that, training day after day, honestly also gets quite tiring. Professional gaming isn’t actually just fun and games like a lot of people think, it is also a kind of work.
NE: Normally, an esports team’s players should have very close understandings, and I see that you guys have excellent teamwork. Are your personal bonds with each other similarly strong, are there any interesting stories to share from this?
Zhou: 430 and YYF often mess around with each other, this is what I think is most interesting.
Faith: ChuaN keeps the air conditioning on cold no matter what the weather is like, even in deep winter he’s gonna want it on.
430: Sleeping at night, Faith grinds his teeth, it’s like someone is eating in the middle of the night.
YYF: I often stand by 430 and watch him play pubs. When he’s solo mid, every time he dies 1v1 he’ll utter a phrase, “This person is so noob!” and then I’ll make fun of him, “He’s such a noob but he still killed you”.
NE: YYF brought it up just now — esports itself is a professional industry, and many people don’t really understand it much. Can you give an overview of it for everyone, is it what everyone thinks it is or is there a distance between reality and what people believe?
YYF: There’s still some difference from what most people think, everyone thinks it’s just fun and play, and while there is a lot of passion and joy at first, over a long period of time, no matter how much interest you have in it, needing to play and train for 10+ hours a day is enough to grind anyone down.