Interview with Speed/RattleSnake investor Weir

Q: Hello Weir, congratulations on taking the MLG Championship.
Thank you.

Q: On the official RattleSnake Weibo, it was mentioned that was sponsored by a ‘Speed’ (思必得)company incorporated as such. Fans looked into it and discovered that this is an IT company based in Chengdu, China, is this your company?
Actually, our previous RattleSnake Software company changed its name to this, and currently it is based in Nantong, Jiangsu, working in the realm of hardware and accessories. We changed our name at the time because there used to be another club with the RS abbreviation (RisingStars, recently disbanded).

Q: Already having a Chinese team, what caused you to sponsor an international team?
Myself and a friend, named Baoxiang, the two of us are all passionate about Dota 2, we really love the game. To be honest, the Dota 2 market has a lot of room for growth outside of China. There’s room inside China too, but it’s a bit slower, and at the time we felt that there was more potential and flexibility outside of China. So we shifted our gaze to the international scene. It was just at that time that Kaipi coincidentally were showing their potential, so we signed them as Speed.Gaming.Int.

Q: Before signing Kaipi, had you guys very thoroughly looked into the team?
Not really very in-depth. We watched their matches and replays, found we really liked them, haha.

Q: At the time you guys signed them, some fans expressed their belief that you had signed a ‘circus team’ (ie an inconsistent, unproven team that gets wins more through pocket strats and unpredictability than anything else).
Well it was pretty fun to watch, and can be considered a way to innovate and put on a show for viewers. There is a place in competitive for this element, so personally we fully embrace this label. Just sometimes something doesn’t work, and I feel like it’s a pity they couldn’t win that one, haha.

Q: Did you think they would win something like MLG when you first signed with them? What was the expectation for the team before MLG?
We hadn’t thought that they would win something like MLG, but for them to win, very excited. We originally wanted to gather them together in the US to train together, but considering the fact that they would soon come to China, the decision was made to let them stay with their respective families and spend some more time with them. Before MLG, we thought they would be able to advance from group, maybe get 4th. After the first day, I said to Baoxiang, we’re basically done, we’re gone! It’s 0-3, and we still haven’t played against NaVi or DK. But unexpectedly, the end result came, and it brought us such a happy surprise.

Q: Have you met your players, can you tell us a bit about each of them?
I actually haven’t met them face to face before, there’s just frequent communication via Skype. EE and Aui are Canadian-Chinese, and EE-sama knows a little bit of Cantonese. Singsing is Dutch-Chinese, bone7 is from Romania, and pieliedie is from Sweden. They all seem relatively humorous and interesting. They’ll be coming to China in December to train together, at which time we’ll all get to know them more.

Q: What do you think about the frequently-discussed topic of EE-sama getting revenge over Loda?
Haha. I think it might not be that big of a deal, I’ve never heard EE-sama talking about it. So it might just be a casual topic that everyone talks about.

Q: Will it be Arteezy or bone7 coming to China this time?
Bone7, I’m already arranging for his visa, Arteezy still has to go to school.

Q: Fans are all wondering — is the Chinese RattleSnake squad facing disbandment?
No, it’s just a temporary thing. Through WPC we found that our Chinese squad needs adjustments in both management and players. We don’t want to see the same problems occur with the international squad, after all it’s their first time in China. So we want to focus more resources on them first, but no worries, it’s just temporary and after a short while, you will all see a brand new Speed.Gaming.CN squad as well.

Q: What are your thoughts regarding the club’s future growth?
I think it should be to encourage cross-training between the international and Chinese squads, and have both teams able to qualify for events. The international team will stay long-term in China, I think in this way the club as a whole can continue to improve skill-wise.

Q: Any hopes for Chinese Dota 2?
I hope to see wider promotion, and steadier servers.

Thank you for the interview. We hope continues their glory, and hope to see Spg.CN sooner than later!


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DK.BurNIng post-MLG interview

Q: Thank you B-God for accepting our interview, go ahead and say hi to everyone~
Hello everyone, I am Team DK’s BurNIng.

Q: You’ve just gotten back from your trip to the US in the past few days, how have you adjusted?
We had a two day break after, and now have mostly adjusted back physically and timezone-wise.

Q: Yesterday was Mushi’s birthday, but he was back in Malaysia. When will he be back with the team? Do you guys have any plans to celebrate his birthday as well?
He’ll be back with the team in two days. As for celebrating, since he’s away there’s no physical way to celebrate together, we can only send him birthday wishes on Weibo, and then have a birthday meal together once he’s back.

Q: Let’s chat about MLG — You guys advanced from group stages as the top seed, but sadly lost in the finals to Speed. What were the main reasons for the loss? Was the biggest issue stamina?
This time at MLG, our form never managed to get past the jet lag, and we only slept 3-4 hours every day. There was also a lot of getting-used-to with the food, so our overall stamina was very poor. Normally for us, playing three BO3s in a day isn’t a problem. As for our mentality, in the finals we were indeed less focused than during the match against NaVi, and this was also connected to stamina. Communication was poor, drafts weren’t done well, and we hadn’t done much analysis of Speed as a team.

Q: In the end, you sent out a post on Weibo, sighing that “Champion is not in your fate”. Why is it that you posted that? Was it because you were completely exhausted physically and mentally by then?
This should be the closest I’ve been to a title in recent times. It’s been two years, lots of events, but never any titles, so it’s hard to avoid expressing some negativity, I guess.

Q: Then, for you, what were the biggest takeaways from this MLG?
 For me I think it is in terms of mentality — previously I had given myself so much pressure, it was exhausting. Honestly it’s just that saying, “As long as you’re happy”, I won’t ask too much of myself in striving for champions, as long as I can play to my best and leave no regrets, then that’s okay.

Q: Okay, let’s talk about the Sina Cup then. One thing everyone is rather interested in is your team’s drafting. After Mushi stepped down from the duties, who is it that drafts for the team now?
I do the drafts recently.

Q: It is likely that your team will face VG in the second round here. Speaking of VG, your team has rarely won against VG’s Pugna, have you gone and looked at ways to counter their Pugna strategy?
Our analysis probably isn’t in-depth enough, our counters for it only sometimes work, sometimes don’t work, so we probably still need much more practice in order to deal with Pugna.

Q: In games where your team chooses Pugna, your results have been mixed as well. Is it a lack of practice with this? Or is it just some detail that is missing?
Not enough practice, and we’ve not been able to get comfortable with pushing lineups so far. This has a lot to do with the details and execution.

Q: The prize pool for this iteration of the Sina Cup is quite high, and the event schedule is pretty condensed, B-God what are your thoughts on the tournament?
A very good online tournament, I hope it can continue on.

Q: A question about iceiceice — In an interview he complained that he has no one to go to the movies with, as well as the fact that training every day is dry and boring, have you considered adding some programming to your team’s daily life to appease iceiceice?
I somehow don’t recall him talking about going to the movies, but I do agree that we are lacking activities outside of training, so this is something that we will improve on in the future.

Q: Another question that lots of fans are curious about: who is the strongest solo player in the team?
Iceiceice and Mushi. Depends on the hero.

Q: Thank you B-God for the interview. The floor is yours to say anything to your fans~
I sincerely thank all the fans that have supported us all along. And thank you to our sponsors Ttesports.


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MLG Columbus 2013 in my view

Going into this MLG, the first Dota 2 MLG, I didn’t really know what to expect. Never having been to Columbus before, that added to the mystique. In the end, I came out of it with a truly unforgettable experience, friendships, and a new-found understanding for why so many pro players are so damn skinny. I apologize in advance for the relative lack of pictures, as it’s a personal thing for me to not abuse my access when I’m invited to an event. This is my point of view from MLG Columbus 2013 as both an invitee to help with DK, and as a Dota 2 fan there for the spectacle, and finally, as a DK fan.

Thursday Nov 21, 2013

I left home in Seattle at 5am sharp to catch a series of flights that would guarantee I arrive in Columbus with a few hours to spare before DK’s plane was scheduled to arrive, the reason being that my first duties for MLG Columbus entailed being at the airport with the hired van driver to pick up DK and get them to the hotel. MLG had rented a big comfy van and a driver for this purpose, and around 9pm I got the call from the driver downstairs of the hotel and we headed over to the airport. Whilst waiting, Sigma and NaVi both went by and Dendi noticed me, got a goofy grin on his face and waved, to which I grinned back and waved probably even more goofily. His team seemed to be like “what you doing bro” and he gestured in my general direction. A brief time later, and the first of DK appeared at the foot of the escalators, coming down from the upper level of the airport to the baggage claim area. iceiceice, Mushi, and MMY, then BurNIng and LaNm. BurNIng smiled, somewhat surprised I was there I suppose, but seemed happy enough. A familiar face after nearly a full day of travel, perhaps? I waved as they approached, greetings were made, and iceiceice asked some random questions. We waited for their checked bags, and then we were off to the van to the hotel.

Team DK at the Columbus Airport

On the way to the hotel, I asked if they were hungry, and hungry they were. After getting them into their rooms and dropping their stuff off, by this time it was nearly 11pm, and so we simply decided on getting them food at the bar on the second floor of the Hilton. They got some pizza and wings, and LaNm wanted a burger, so he got that too. Iceiceice got a single pork belly slider — it was good, he said. While eating, MLG’s Adam happened upon us, and the introductions were made. Awesome guy, super straightforward kinda dude, he made sure that DK were as comfortable as they could be with their accommodations and filled me in on the basics of what to expect for the weekend.

With stomachs filled, the team was ready to rest up. LaNm would room with BurNIng, and BurNIng jokingly asks LaNm if he snores. LaNm exclaims that, no, he doesn’t! Mushi and iceiceice are together, while MMY rooms with the manager Farseer. I update them on the schedule for the next day: venue opens at 10am, teams are free to enter at that time to practice on the many stations MLG had set up backstage, the event officially starts at 5pm, etc. MLG really had their bases covered regarding practice space for the teams — there was never a lack of stations for teams to warm up and watch replays on and players had full access to these stations during all hours of the event — well played.

Friday Nov 22, 2013

Friday started off slowly as only half of DK had gotten up by the time I got down to the venue around 11am. The ones that had gotten down there, however, apparently had woken up at 6am — even after that late night and all the travel. I found LaNm, iceiceice, and BurNIng I think it was at the off-stage area. We were soon joined by Mushi and MMY, and the five of them had some fun playing a few pubs together. At lunchtime, we ventured over to the nearby North Market, where everyone got pho except iceiceice, who got Indian food. LaNm however became distracted by a Thai place and promised that he’d come get that next time… though there wasn’t another opportunity for him to do so over the weekend. As noon passed, they wanted to head back up to their rooms to rest a bit more, as most of them had woken up early due to jet lag and needed some more sleep. Unfortunately this meant that they missed their 4pm autograph session, but hopefully DK were generally available enough over the next few days for any fans to meet and greet with them. Around 5pm they came back down, bleary-eyed but with a bit more bounce in their step, and went back-stage to warm up prior to their on-stage matches against Alliance and Liquid. First they played a pub or two together, then did some analysis and discussion to their upcoming games.

Team DK backstage at MLG Columbus.

And then they were up on stage to play — Alliance, followed by Liquid. Honestly I hardly even remember these games themselves, but DK came out of the games 2-0 victors, showing impressive form. After the games, some passionate local Chinese fans (students from surrounding universities, mostly) came and offered to take us all out to eat. The offer seemed to be well-received by the Chinese contingent of DK, while iceiceice and Mushi apparently had been planning on going to get a burger nearby. Either way, everyone ended up piling onto a couple cars and off we went, about ten minutes away, to a Chinese restaurant.

In the words of iceiceice, “I don’t like Chinese food, I don’t know why they come out here and still want to eat Chinese food.” It wasn’t too bad though, and when Mushi and iceiceice indicated that they wanted a bit of Peking roast duck, our gracious local hosts ordered an entire duck… By the time dinner was over, it was 11pm and at least BurNIng looked tired and ready to head back. Apparently the restaurant’s boss lady is a Dota fan as well, or at least feigned to look like she knew who DK were (maybe she just saw team uniforms and thought they must be important), so everyone gathered up to take a group picture at the end. The only one of these photos I have is the one where no one was looking at the camera…


It had gotten quite cold by nighttime, and BurNIng was shivering at the doorway of the restaurant as we left. I gave him a mini-hug to warm him up a little bit and he was like, “Aren’t you cold? Or you’ve gotten used to it…” Yeah, I guess the difference in weather from Shanghai to the American Midwest in winter is pretty drastic; in a lot of buildings in Shanghai they don’t even have heating, such are the mild winters. It had been snowing a little bit on and off that evening and night, and iceiceice was especially excited about it — he had never seen snow before in his life, this was his first time. So, in between shivering breaths, he’d be exclaiming how exciting it was, and asking whether his breath would frost up in the chilled air, and how he enjoys cold weather more than hot weather, because you can always put more clothes on, but can’t necessarily take more clothes off, and oh my goodness it’s so cold right now, and how he imagined snow might be fluffier…

Saturday Nov 23, 2013

DK’s next match would be their first off-stage match, against Fnatic. I had them down at the venue by around 10:30am so they could have some time to warm up and get used to the setting, and they had some fun playing more pubs together. They started their last pub pretty late before the 11:30am start time against Fnatic, with just around 20 minutes time. LaNm declared, “Pick fast push!” and off they went, with the likes of Shadow Shaman, Leshrac… for an 11 minute victory.

The rest of the day, DK mostly cruised. Right before the DK and Navi went on stage, they were informed of the question that would be asked of each of them. Iceiceice and Puppey quickly decided that they would coordinate an answer between themselves, and hence came the hot chocolate answer. After their off-stage match against Sigma, they had around 2 hours for dinner or a break, or whatever. All of them except iceiceice chose to head up to their rooms to get some sleep, while iceiceice went with us to Five Guys at my suggestion, as he had been wanting a burger. It was snowing again as we made our way by car to the Five Guys a mile away, near Ohio State University campus. I ordered for iceiceice at his request, and got him a bacon cheeseburger with everything, plus extra mushrooms and onions, with A-1 sauce on top. “This is quite good,” he said through big mouthfuls. I’m glad you liked it.

Iceiceice with Five Guys

The light snow continued on our way back to the hotel. “Snow makes everything look nicer,” iceiceice remarked. Yeah, it does. But it was still cold, and iceiceice quickly forgot about his plans to make frosty clouds of air with his breath outside as we rushed back inside the hotel from the car. For the remaining hour, he went up to his room to relax for a bit as well, and so I waited downstairs for the rest of the players to appear at 8pm, half an hour before their scheduled match against Pretty Boy Swag.

Mushi came down first, followed by MMY, but then the rest of them were nowhere to be seen. 8:15 went by, then 8:20, then 8:25. By then I’d knocked on their doors and had begun calling their rooms. Sleepy voices echoed out from the other end of the phone, at least alleviating my fears that they’d somehow gone out and gotten lost somewhere. Instead in its place was a mystifying wait, as it was only 15 minutes later that iceiceice finally appeared downstairs, by which time it was already 8:40. So I went to room 520, where BurNIng and LaNm were staying, and knocked on their door — LaNm came to the door, putting on his jacket, and BurNIng was just climbing out of bed. He looked groggily to me, “We’re late, aren’t we?” I looked back at him… “Yeah, yeah you’re late,” with an exasperated but amused feeling inside.

BurNIng gets up, puts his shoes on, and looks at his phone and bursts out laughing. “I know why we never woke up!” he looks around at LaNm and me, “It’s because I set the alarm for 8 in the morning, when it should’ve been for night.” I laughed, LaNm laughed… Yeah, that’ll do it… that’ll make you late indeed. We rushed down to the venue, a mere 25 minutes late for Pretty Boy Swag. DK was clearly still tired, as their play and drafts were sloppy in both games against PBS and later Speed.

DK drafting in an off-stage match.

Afterwards, we discussed with MLG briefly the logistics of the next day’s semifinals matches, upon which DK eventually decided on playing second, and they went back up to work together on discussing their next challenge against NaVi. BurNIng started discussions that night by saying to his team, “This is one of our great opportunities to win a title… we’ve come so far already…” Even though they were fine with me being there, I didn’t want to intrude any further, and after helping them get a late dinner, I said my goodnights, made sure they knew their schedule for the next day, and left them to their preparations.

Sunday Nov 24, 2013

The next morning, iceiceice, BurNIng, and LaNm were up bright and early as I found them around 9:30am finishing up breakfast at the restaurant on the second floor. After breakfast, BurNIng went back up to get some more sleep, and iceiceice, LaNm and I headed to the venue. We went backstage, and LaNm excitedly exclaimed, “Time to pub!!” I love playing pubs!” and then invited me to play with the two of them. That was pretty fun. During one of the pub games, the other team was convinced they were fakes, but by the end, were wishing DK luck at MLG.

A bit later, MMY, BurNIng, and Mushi showed up, and DK gathered to do some last minute analysis and whatnot.

DK preparing before MLG semifinals against NaVi.

With about an hour to go before their semifinals match against NaVi, NaVi themselves showed up, and the two teams hung out a bit backstage. Iceiceice challenged Kuroky to an arm-wrestling match, and upon beginning the match, iceiceice immediately took both hands to KKY’s one hand, ‘won’ the match illegitimately, and raised his arms in triumph while Kuroky looked on with a mixture of bemusement and non-acceptance of having just lost the arm wrestling match. The rest of the time went similarly lightheartedly, with chattering and trolling and joking amongst the two teams.

I think it was before the NaVi match here that Mushi ended up being the one who had an on-stage question directed at him, thanks to iceiceice volunteering him for it while Mushi was in the bathroom. Mushi came back, heard that he was going to be questioned, and immediately shrank back trying to decline. In the end, I coached him on his answer a little bit after Mushi kicked iceiceice for signing him up in absentia, and Mushi went on-stage with his answers ready.

Discussing strategies.

Then came the semifinals match. The actual games were a blur in my mind, but DK ended up with the win after a game 3 in which BurNIng, perhaps uncharacteristically, took the risk of building a Divine Rapier when he wasn’t absolutely pressed to do so (in fact, not at all needed).

Of course, his Rapier came after they lost a close game against NaVi in game two, where XBOCT built a dominating two Divine Rapiers. After game three ended with a Rapier of his own, BurNIng then said something I’ll never forget:

“How am I worthy of our fans if I don’t build Rapier there?”

Throughout the weekend, DK were regularly mobbed by fans looking to get pictures and autographs, perhaps because DK were unable to make their session. Hopefully they were available enough throughout the event to make up for their absence at the session. On finals day, they had far less time to pause for signings and photos, and even still, they tried their best and often I had to play the bad guy to ‘drag’ them out of a crowd of fans in order to keep them on schedule. Hopefully no one was let down, and hopefully everyone understands the scheduling… BurNIng always had a conflicted look on his face whenever he had to decline.

And then, without much downtime at all due to scheduling delays, DK were up to play against in the Finals of MLG Columbus. They’d come so far, and perhaps this was the closest any of them had been to a title in recent times. It was Mushi’s first final ever, in fact. DK won game one after a gruelling back and forth battle, with LaNm carrying the team on his spectacular Earthshaker play. After that game, backstage, LaNm was exhausted. He looked like he’d run a marathon, and indeed, he probably did the mental equivalent. By this time, DK hadn’t eaten since breakfast around 10am. A lot of players prefer not to eat full meals within a reasonable time of a competitive game, so you can imagine just why guys like LaNm are so skinny.

One more win, one step away.

In the end, DK faltered. LaNm was practically asleep during the game 2 draft, and from a casual fan’s point of view (my point of view, that is), his seating in the center of DK’s five isn’t a coincidence. He’s the beat of the team, the rhythm-keeper, and when he’s tired, the team feels it. (For those that are curious about DK playing the second semifinals, refer to this reddit post to learn more) Some of the drafts were questionable too, perhaps another result of the team, and BurNIng, being really tired. After the loss, Mushi sat quietly for a bit, the rest went without talking, and then they waited for each other to head back to the hotel together. It was nearly midnight already, and MMY, BurNIng, and LaNm all went up pretty quickly and fell asleep. Mushi came back down after a while, he and iceiceice hung out with us on the second floor lobby. We ordered some pizza and pasta delivered and the two of them, with me and my girlfriend, we four sat peacefully, eating and chatting into the night until about 2:30am.

BurNIng, MMY, and LaNm were to leave at 6am in the morning for their flight back to China and I was to go with them to make sure everything went smoothly. Originally iceiceice and Mushi were supposed to come along too, but their flight being only at 11am, they decided to head to the airport later. At nearly 3am, we all headed back up to our respective rooms, said our goodbyes. A few minutes later, iceiceice messages on Wechat (instant messaging service) asking what room I’m in… and appears at the door in his boxers. He insists on giving me the stuff from the bag that MLG gave to each player — a Steelseries mouse and mousepad, and a Turtle Beach headset. So right now I have in my possession the headset that iceiceice used live in his off-stage games at MLG. o_O. Thanks ice. Then we say what we think are our last farewells for the weekend… Hotel fire alarm goes off ten minutes later, and we see iceiceice and Mushi again in the lobby. Evidently, the rest of DK has slept through the alarm.

Sometime during the night, we ran into Dendi. He offered a photo op with him, but then added on that it would be ten dollars. Instead, I offered him the photo op with myself, he accepted, and thus I got a free photo. And he gave me a hug too. That made me feel better about the finals that had just ended… Thanks Dendi, you’re cool. I’ll see you next time too.

Hello Dendi.

In the morning, BurNIng and LaNm are downstairs and checked out on time, and after a slight delay, we have the others who are leaving on the morning flight. Spirits seem to be as high as they can be after losing a major final… or perhaps it just hasn’t sunk in yet. I know it hasn’t for me yet at that point. They’re discussing loudly — boisterously, even, what went right and what went wrong for them the previous night. LaNm is confident in what he says, MMY often offers a different perspective, while BurNIng sometimes agrees, and sometimes disagrees with the both of them. I go with them through security check, and after half an hour in which they never stop discussing, their boarding call is heard, and I herd them over to their boarding gate.

MMY smiles wanly before quickly turning away, the manager nods in appreciation, LaNm waves and simply says “See you next time”. BurNIng lingers a little bit, turns to me, smiles, and says “Give me a hug!” And then DK was gone, as quickly as they’d come.

Perhaps it didn’t sink in for them until they got back. It didn’t sink in for me until the trip home. I only then realized that I had so wanted to be able to send them home that day with the trophy, with a major tournament title. I’m sure they wanted it way more than I ever could have imagined.

All credit to Kaipi/Speed, they played to their style and didn’t let anyone or any external factor (of which there were many — all the more impressive for them) stop them, and that’s what winning is about. As for DK, MLG Columbus weekend has given me an unimaginable chance to be close to them, get to know them, and perhaps even help them. I can only thank MLG and Adam for the opportunity, and my respect and liking for DK and each of their players has only increased, if that was possible at all. DK — BurNIng, LaNm, Mushi, MMY, iceiceice… you guys are great.

Thank you.

shout outs to Cyborgmatt, Xixi, LD, Vykromond, Lumi, DPM, Godz, Merlini, Tangeng, Sun-Tzu, Dendi, Valve Chris, Valve Phil and family, and anyone else I missed but enjoyed the company of, for being fun to chat or hang out with at various times during the weekend. You all helped me keep my sanity while I went through with ~14 hours sleep over 4 days.

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Interview with new team New Element Gaming manager

Earlier DOTALAND reported on a new Chinese Dota 2 club — New Element Gaming. Now check out this short interview with their manager Tony…

Q: Hello Tony, thank you for the interview, say hi to everyone~
Hello everyone, I am Tony, currently the manager of NE Club, and occasionally also cameo as a commentator on the Sina Cup.

Q: NE is a fairly new entity to viewers, so can you describe the club’s situation for us again?
Our club was founded in August of this year, and the team house is currently in Shanghai. Of our five players, there are three who have only begun playing Dota 2 this July. These three are previously top 10 players on the Dota 1 ladder: Shiki, Longlong (龙龙), and Zcd. The other two are our support players and have played Dota 2 for a long time: the 4 is our oldest player, Wil (上头是常态, a name that followers of high level Chinese Dota 2 pubs will be familiar with), and our role 5 is our lovely Shana.

Even though no one has prior experience playing professionally, we’re all very united and work hard together to practice and build teamwork. The team has been scrimming together now for nearly three months, and have participated in some online events, the results of which have been average.

Q: NE has advanced in the current Sina Cup, yet you still say they’ve only played average, why is this?
In my opinion, the players’ individual ability is pretty good. They’re all fairly calm players and don’t easily tilt, even though Wil’s [Chinese ID] would suggest the opposite! Their weakness is that they’ve come to Dota 2 relatively late, and are lacking in execution. Their playing style doesn’t have any particularly unique aspect, and also isn’t specifically rigid.

Q: The Sina Supernova Cup has gathered second-tier and new teams from across China; you guys probably scrim with these teams pretty often, who do you think are the strongest amongst this group?
Amongst the ones we often scrim with, everyone’s probably around the same level, but I do think that ForLove and DT Club are a bit stronger.

Q: In appearing as a caster for this Sina Cup, you’ve made a small comeback since fading from the public eye a bit after the last G-1 season, how does that feel?
G-1 was actually my first major event casting experience, so thanks to G-1 and 17173 for the opportunity and learning chance. For casting Sina Cup I made a lot of preparations, and because I’d become pretty familiar with all the participating teams, along with watching my team scrim and compete, so the main challenges in casting here aren’t issues for me. I hope to get everyone’s support, but will everyone still like me even without my amazing hair from G-1?

Q: Without that hair, it will indeed seem like something is missing. When will we see its triumphant return?
Wait ’til my hair reaches my waist, we shall meet at TI 1006.

Q: Okay let’s talk a bit about tonight’s match (this match has since been played), your opponents HGT are also a new team, how well do you know them?
We’re something of a sibling team, we scrim with them quite a bit, and the players all know each other pretty well now.

Q: Since you know each other so well, then how about a simple prediction of odds?
50/50, in scrims we both win and lose, so for the match it’ll depend on execution and performance as well as pre-match preparations.

Q: Once again, thanks Tony for the interview, you get the last word.
Thank you for the interview, and I hope new teams can all achieve good results, and for everyone to lend their support to NE.


Chinese Social Summary: Nov 15 — Nov 26, 2013

Link to previous issue: Nov 1 — 13, 2013

Translations of random snippets from Chinese Dota 2 scene social media… for fun and light reading, etc. This issue includes some posts regarding the MLG Columbus Championship held over Nov 22-24. I also probably missed a few interesting ones from right before and during MLG.

My MLG writeup will be coming in the following days, stay tuned.

ChuaN and DeMoN

Let’s make a team!!: DeMoN posts this at ChuaN, but ChuaN’s response, “RETIRED”, and thus our hopes for a new international super team withered.


Diretide Roshan coordination: “Through farming Roshan, we improve our teamwork :D”


Relationship with CTY (with pics): “Public display of affection”


This is iceiceice with a puppy (with pic): “iceiceice’s son”

rOtk, Faith, and ddc

Response to G-League group draws:
rOtk: “What a nice draw Haitao (Chinese caster with G-League) has given us, oh well, we can only get in and go!”
Faith: “It’s gonna be bloody :o”
ddc: “Holy shit it’s gonna be bloody”


Farming Roshan for weight loss:”I’ve lost 2.5 kg while farming Roshan”

MLG Columbus 2013 posts

BurNIng after losing final group stage game: “Don’t think any team would purposefully try to face NaVi in the elimination stage? Losing to Speed was our own problem, banpick and laning we all didn’t do well, and my own play was very weak as well, with lots of low-level mistakes. As for tomorrow’s matches I can only say: Let’s do this!”

rOtk watching DK vs NaVi: “NAVI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” “Worth staying up all night to watch, 1-1 is a new series. Hope DK comes through next game, this game XBOCT was too scary”
Of course, random people accused rOtk of being jealous of DK, to which he responded that he was purely expressing excitement at a good game, and later on predicted that DK would win the finals 2-0.

Black is a huge DK fan (of course): multiple posts consolidated in one link

xiao8’s prediction for finals: “DK 2-1 takes the title!”

BurNIng after finals: “Champion is not my fate.”
KingJ response to BurNIng: “It’s not that bad, don’t get pessimistic”

KingJ to MMY: “I know you’re really sad… don’t cry!! At worst, just start over again!!!” (MMY re-posted and responded “Yeah”)

Mushi: “The title passes me by. For someone like myself who has never been in a finals before, I can only say thank you to my teammates for bringing me into the MLG Finals. Let’s get back and continue working hard.”

LaNm: “Once again, one step away from champions. In the latter two games of the finals, I’d run out of stamina and my thoughts were a mess. Dota nowadays, unlike in the past, is truly difficult to just win all the way on the back of strong momentum. Tactics are more varied, laning and other elements can all determine the early game. With an early game advantage, snowballing farm with Midases, without a very resilient and flexible lineup it’s very hard to come back. I will focus on working on stamina, it is so important to be able to remain clear-headed. Sorry to my teammates, I tried my best.
DC (retired pro player, current caster) response to LaNm: “The scheduling we can talk about in private, but stamina is indeed something that wouldn’t hurt to look more at. Think about me, look at MMY, and you’ll have plenty of motivation to get out and exercise!”

Zhou: “eesama………..”

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WPC-ACE 2013 iG and TongFu post-game interview

SCNTV: Alright, let’s interview the two teams’ captains. This is iG’s YYF, and this is TongFu’s ZSMJ. First question for YYF, you won a game then lost a game, what did you think you lost on in the second game?
I feel that mainly I didn’t play very well, the fight right after the opposing Lone Druid finished Radiance wasn’t a good fight for me. We actually could’ve won that fight but didn’t get the details right, and then things went out of control afterwards.

SCNTV: Next question for ZSMJ, in the first game your team had a small advantage at times in early game yet still ended up losing, where did you think you lost the game?
I feel that Lone Druid mid might’ve actually been better. And then it was our roaming supports trying to gank mid without much success, and YYF got really fat in top lane, so fat that we didn’t even want to try ganking him, and then we gradually couldn’t compete any longer.

SCNTV: We’ve seen that YYF recently has really favored using Bristleback, so why do you feel that Bristleback is able to be used on the competitive stage?
Because this version tends to favor teamfights and face-to-face fighting, and Bristleback is just the type of hero for this. He’s excellent in head-on conflicts, can get Mek for the team, so it can be said that he is able to ensure a team’s mid game.

SCNTV: Let’s ask ZSMJ: we know that currently, Alchemist can fit into the 2, 3, and 4 roles, so can you tell us what is so special about a support role Alchemist?
I’ve felt for my entire career that this is a hero that can play everything from the 1 role to hard support, because he has strong abilities, and is also suited for fighting, so he can play in many roles. For a support Alchemist, his stun and acid are both very high damage in early game.

SCNTV: YYF, there’s been a pretty dense line of matches recently, how have practices been for the team, what is the team’s form like right now?
Just continuously exploring [new tactics], the main purpose of which is to get familiar with things. There are lots of matches right now, so the matches are our main form of practice currently.

SCNTV: ZSMJ, your coach sydm, has been playing as a standin for VG recently, what do you make of his performances?
Even though I didn’t really watch that match, but coach came back and said that they almost made a big comeback with Spectre, so it seems he’s been pretty good.

SCNTV: Okay, thank you to both for the interview, and we hope that you can bring us even more great matches in the future.


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Chinese Social Summary, Nov 1 — 13, 2013

Link to previous issue: Oct 17 – 31

Translations of random snippets from Chinese Dota 2 scene social media… for fun and light reading, etc.


Praise for BTS: “BTS stream not bad, kudos.”
Is a NaVi fan: “NAVI NAVI NAVI”


Important question: “Asking for a friend, if he fell asleep and missed his girlfriend’s calls, several of them, is he dead meat?!”


Has a Sina Weibo account too, now:


KingJ’s missed hook (with pic): “OMG”
xiao8 and MMY’s responses: “Your fault!”

(it was also KingJ’s birthday this week)


Dad’s birthday wishes: “Lost today to VG. Today was my dad’s birthday, ever year I would take some time on family birthdays to go eat together, but today I wasn’t able to spend time with family to celebrate the occasion. My dad didn’t blame me, in fact his wish was for me to win these games today, but not only have I let down fans I’ve also let down my dad… I’m sorry~ I wish my dad health, happy birthday~~

Sansheng and xiao8

Getting friendly: After xiao8 posted about their undefeated winning run through NEST, Sansheng responded “Director 8 so good, I want to have your babies [flirty face]”


Exhausting event schedule (NEST): “Played so much that my spinal discs are protruding…”


Getting fit (with pic): “Life is about fitness, not late night snacks! Time for situps, xiao8, ddc, take your time eating, I’ll be at home.”
Stamina for event (NEST): “Really time to start training stamina for esports in this day and age.”Champs of NEST: “Champions, our first big offline event after our roster changes. Everyone worked very hard, especially Rabbit xiaotuji, with his first career title. The road ahead is still lengthy, brothers let us continue facing our challenges!”


About his trashtalking at offline (NEST): “Been a while since my last offline event, I wanted to shout and get our team’s spirit flowing. Usually in these kinds of events if you lose in spirit then things become much more difficult, in the group stages our loss to VG came from just this reason. But anyway, today’s taunts might have been a bit much, so if I offended anyone I want to say sorry here :D”

New Element Gaming – new club


Officially founded in August 2013, the Dota 2 roster was assembled in mid-August of 2013. Since then, the five players — all of whom are brand new to the professional scene — have gathered for offline practices. Some of the players may be familiar to those who closely follow the Chinese pub scene: 两仪落, 龙龙, Zcd, 上头是常态, and Shana.

Noted Dota 2 personalities in the Chinese scene, including various players, casters, and the ACE Alliance’s King, have responded to their announcement with support and welcoming.

Their official Weibo can be found at: