DK’s LaNm interviewed at Redbull ECL 2014 — talks about WPC-ACE, ECL, joining DK, hopes and wishes for the future…
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All dates and times below are in China Standard Time (UTC +8). Just updated schedule with latest info.
Dates: Jan 3 – Jan 7, 2014
Location: Beijing, China
Teams: iG, DK, Titan, TongFu (VG and LGD will be attending the D2L finals in Vegas starting Jan 6)
Prizepool: 130k RMB (21k USD)
Format: BO2 round robin into a 4-team seeding, elimination stage uses BO3 with matchups determined by seedings
Jan 3 – matches begin at 3:45 PM. DK vs Titan, then DK vs TongFu, then TongFu vs Titan
Jan 4 – matches begin at 4:15 PM. DK vs iG, then iG vs TongFu, then iG vs Titan
Jan 5 – matches begin at 4:45 PM. Elimination day 1 (4 teams –> 3)
Jan 6 – matches begin at 4:45 PM. Elimination day 2 (3 teams –> 2)
Jan 7 – matches begin at 5:30 PM. Grand Finals
Other games at ECL 2014 are SC2, Hearthstone, and CS:GO, in case you’re interested.
Chinese stream page: http://www.cespc.com/html/tvol/
In this, VG.Fy, the solo mid tournament champion at ECL 2013, talks about the win, what it was like playing against BurNing in the tourney, what’s important to him, and more~~
Replays.NET: Fy, hello, welcome to this interview with Replays.net. In the solo finals here at ECL, you defeated teammate CTY to become champion. Have you guys practiced any Shadow Fiend solos against each other before?
VG.Fy: In DotA yes, but not in Dota 2.
RN: Many people say that Shadow Fiend feels greatly different in Dota 2, what do you think?
VG.Fy: I personally think that it feels a little different, but once you’re used to it then it’s all the same.
RN: In the semi-finals of the solo tournament, you defeated B-God. According to DK’s manager, Farseer, back when PIS was still part of BurNing, B-god had never once lost a Shadow Fiend mid solo against PIS. Yet you managed to win against BurNing, can you talk about this matchup?
VG.Fy: B-god is really good. He’s played carry for such a long time, so his mechanics are immaculate. But perhaps it was because he hadn’t played mid much in a long while, even though he was ahead for a long time in terms of last hits, I still managed to seize on a mistake he made to get a kill, and thus caught back up.
RN: Let’s chat about yourself, when did you first start playing Dota?
VG.Fy: From version 6.59, and I liked the game from first contact.
RN: What led you to playing professionally?
VG.Fy: I achieved a small level of skill in playing Dota, and took quite a few online tournament titles. So the decision to play professionally is something of an answer to myself, to my time invested, and to my friends and family — so I have something to show, for all their support of me.
RN: Before you started playing professionally, what was your main role?
VG.Fy: Mainly leaned towards carry-core type roles. After coming to VG, the team needed to me to play support, and it was something I was willing to give a try.
RN: What was the transition like from carry to support?
VG.Fy: There have been doubts in the past of my ability. As for the transition itself, I can only say that support skill comes with time.
RN: Have you practiced on any specific heroes, then?
VG.Fy: Basically none, unless it’s a hero that I’m absolutely terrible with, in which case I do.
RN: In this ECL, with your team against iG, your Windrunner was a bright point. In prior matches as well, your support has often seen flashy play. Can you share with us your secret in playing such a flashy support role?
VG.Fy: For a support to be a bright spot, it’s still reliant on the team. For example against iG, the only reason my Windrunner had room to execute in that fashion was because we had some tanky core heroes up front in teamfights first and foremost.
RN: You lost to DK in the quarter finals, what do you think caused this loss?
VG.Fy: The reason was probably due to the fact that we did not sufficiently prepare before the match, we didn’t analyze how to counter DK.
RN: Was it because, while DK has TI3 to prepare for, you guys do not, so you skipped preparing for them?
VG.Fy: I think it was just our own problem. We could’ve done more specific preparations beforehand, but we didn’t.
RN: Do you feel that with this solo tournament title under your belt, you at least have some individual achievement to speak of?
VG.Fy: This isn’t really very important to me. And maybe it was because I got lucky, because CTY’s solo is a bit better than mine.
RN: Then what is important to you?
VG.Fy: I feel, to be able to achieve a good result with the team at an important event, that is most important.
RN: What do you think VG is capable of achieving, in this quest to prove yourselves?
VG.Fy: We want to strive for top 3 in the next ACE League.
RN: What do you think are your team’s biggest strengths and weaknesses right now?
VG.Fy: Weakness is that we aren’t focused enough, and we don’t have strong match mentalities, thus our performances at offline events are unsteady. Strengths are that each of our players has good individual skill, and our teamwork and communications are all decent.
RN: This should be your first experience at an offline event where so much trash talk is flying around, both between fans and players, and players themselves… How did you feel?
VG.Fy: Speaking for myself, this stuff doesn’t have any effect on me, because I think I’m the type of player that remains calm.
RN: Then do you have any views on whether or not to use soundproof booths?
VG.Fy: Not having them should be okay, except if the opponent is DK, then they should be used.
RN: You’re very handsome, are there any worries that people pay attention to you because of how you look, instead of how you play?
VG.Fy: I will prove myself to them!
RN: Thank you Fy for the interview with us, any last words for everyone?
VG.Fy: Thank you to those that support us, thank you to ECL, and I wish Replays.net everlasting success.
Replays.NET: Hello LaNm, thanks for accepting our interview. Say hi to everyone!
RattleSnake.LaNm: Hello everyone, I am LaNm.
RN: Starting off, let’s talk about why your team only arrived at ECL on the third day?
RSnake.LaNm: We have two players who have never been to America, so the day before they had to go for the visa interview. ECL organizers were understanding of this and arranged for all our matches to be pushed back to the third day.
RN: On the third day your team had to play five consecutive matches, did this affect your performance at all?
RSnake.LaNm: Not too greatly, though we still didn’t manage to get the results that we wanted, so the hope was to improve later on in the elimination stages.
RN: So RattleSnake has not entered their best form, so to speak?
RSnake.LaNm: Yeah, we’re still adjusting.
RN: In the first two days, you made some cameos as a commentator during matches, and many viewers noted that your commentary was excellent. What do you think?
RSnake.LaNm: I feel that most professional players will have a great understanding of the bigger picture. Plus, I’m usually talk a lot within the team, so I have practice in this regard.
RN: Would you consider becoming a caster/commentator in the future?
RSnake.LaNm: If the chance is there, then yes, but for now I’m still concentrating on achieving better results in my playing career.
RN: Of course, your Tiny at TI2 left us all a great impression with the comeback win, can you tell us about some of what was going on behind the scenes at the time?
RSnake.LaNm: At the time, only in the few minutes where the comeback was on the verge did I feel the adrenaline rushing. For the rest of that game, I was calm and collected, completely in a competitor’s mindset, I didn’t think of anything else, and didn’t think about what people might say or think after a potential comeback win. Also, because our team at the time had practiced this strategy many times, the whole team had the belief that if we held out long enough, we would be able to win it.
RN: There’s an image online from a foreign website reviewing your team, giving you guys an 8 out of 10 in creativity, but only 1 or 2 in all other aspects, do you think this is an honest appraisal?
RSnake.LaNm: I think that maybe this website is trying to bait pageviews… because even though our team does indeed have relatively strong innnovative abilities, it’s not actually that great, plus, I feel that if a team did have good creativity, then their other aspects couldn’t possibly only be 1 or 2 points out of ten.
RN: The roles within your team aren’t very set, and you yourself sometimes switch between solo mid and the 4 spot, why?
RSnake.LaNm: Mainly it’s due to the fact that our play style isn’t particularly set upon any one style, then it’s that our players’ strengths have their differences. For example, Kabu, his offensive ability might be a 9 out of 10, but his defense might only be a 1 or 2. To put it simply, he doesn’t know how to babysit someone. So heroes like Clockwerk are suited for him, yet a counter-initiating Naga Siren wouldn’t suit him. Thus, sometimes I make cameo appearances on Visage, Enchantress, and Chen, as a bit of a substitute player in those situations.
RN: Talk a bit about your hopes and predictions for TI3?
RSnake.LaNm: TI3 is definitely going to see every team doing their utmost to win, us included. We just want to play to our standards and not leave any regrets.
RN: Lastly, some words for fans?
RSnake.LaNm: Thank you for all your support for us, and if I get the chance in the future, I will make more vods for you all.
Dates: July 13 – 14
Prize: 10,000 RMB (~1629 USD)
Rules: The top eight vote receivers in the open solo voting will be seeded from 1 through 8. 1 will face 8, 2 will face 7, and so on. The tournament will be a best of three set in a single elimination bracket, solo mid. First to three kills or two towers decides the game (denying a tower does NOT affect the score in any way), first to two wins in a best of three format.
The first game will be Shadow Fiend versus Shadow Fiend. Referee chooses a number and the two players pick a number, the closest number to the referee’s will get to decide whether they want Radiant or Dire. Games two and three will allow usage of any hero. Second game allows for the victor of the first game to ban a hero first, the third game’s ban order will be the reverse of the second game. Bans will be two for each side, alternating. Bans will be given thirty seconds of time each, with an additional 10 seconds of added time. Pick will also get thirty seconds, where going over means the player will get a random hero.
No runes, no jungling, no bottle crowing, no backdooring, no Soul Ring, no abusing creep AI with hero abilities (ie getting creeps stuck, pulling creeps far off lane, etc. Cutting creeps before tower is allowed) — any breakage of these rules will result in automatic loss.
In the case of a 2-2 draw and the third kill breaking out nearly simultaneously, the one that first displays on screen will be awarded the kill and win.
Bracket (should be VG.ZSMJ vs VG.Fy in the first bracket):
Replays.net: Hello xB, welcome to this interview with Replays.net. DK quite nearly didn’t manage to make it to the ECL matches this time, can you explain to us what happened?
DK.rOtK_xB: Following DSL, the feeling was that we lacked the drive to win championships, and so for a few days we soaked in an atmosphere of disappointment and demotivation. After that, the club’s boss called out to us to gather back at our Yunnan base, where we held a team meeting in which we all reiterated our collective desires to win. We all felt that with so little time before TI3, we should do this for ourselves, and go out there and try our best once again. So with that understanding, in the end we managed to set aside all other obligations in order to participate in ECL.
RN: In the DSL you guys lost, where do you think you lost?
rOtK_xB: Our in-game performances and pre-match preparations were both inadequate, and our mentality wasn’t in the right place either. In the offline environment, execution and performance is very key.
RN: Did this have anything to do with the fact that just the day before, your team had defeated TongFu?
rOtK_xB: Yeah, we had a bit of overconfidence.
RN: Then what will be your team’s goal in participating in this ECL?
rOtK_xB: We lost in the DSL, taking second place. In reality, this result is one that we can accept, because after all, the second place result is one that we fought for. We all care about the process, so in our meeting we had agreed that this time at ECL our goal is just to fight it out and do our best, whatever we can achieve as long as we do that, as long as it’s in the top 8, is something we can take.
RN: So your DSL result was certainly not poor, second place. Then why did you say earlier that after this loss, you were all seriously demotivated?
rOtK_xB: Because, the team didn’t feel united. Everyone focused too much on the result itself, and forgot to actually have the heart to fight for it.
RN: Many people are saying that ECL, being an offline event, is your place to shine. Yet today we didn’t hear you do any trash talking, why not?
rOtK_xB: I feel that something like trash talking should be done in moderation. The inherent nature of it is to simultaneously raise your own team’s spirits while lowering the other team’s, so keeping it at a reasonable level is enough. It’s been around all along, yet because I was one of the early adopters of this, I got the reputation for being a very aggressive trash talker. Really, over all these years, whenever I do partake, I always keep it to a certain level without going too far. For example if they’ve already called GG, and you’re still shouting and yelling… this is not something that I will ever do.
RN: Well, then will we see your trash talking abilities later on here?
rOtK_xB: It’ll be contingent upon the atmosphere at that moment. Typically the best times for it are when a game is really close and tight. If one side is really far ahead or behind, there’s not much power behind it, it’s only when the game is back and forth, intense, that its effects are truly seen.
RN: Over the first two days of competition, many viewers and spectators are saying that it is just this kind of offline environment, with no soundproofing between the two teams, that provides for the best trash talking.
rOtK_xB: I also feel this way. Being able to shout at each other, face to face, that’s what really gets the blood flowing. If you look at other competitive sports, none of them will have any soundproofing; if you’re playing basketball, you aren’t going to have covers over the players’ mouths so they can’t speak. In the end, games aren’t won on the back of shouting at each other.
RN: With TI3 approaching, what goals and thoughts do you have for it?
rOtK_xB: TI3 is the true challenge for us. It will be time for us to truly show everything we have, and the goal is top 3.
RN: We all know that B-god will be retiring after TI3, how do you and your teammates view this?
rOtK_xB: Our DSL-related meeting also touched upon this issue. We all understand his decision, because BurNIng is not only respected and admired by all of us, but also the entire scene and other players. So we all agreed, that with TI3 very possibly being B-god’s last tournament, we must strive to leave no regrets for him, for this unmatched teammate.
RN: 820 in a recent interview mentioned that he thought your team’s playing style is relatively stale and predictable, what thoughts do you guys have on strategies for your team?
rOtK_xB: Before, we had always played 4 protect 1. After doing that for a while, we realized that as long as BurNIng’s farm is impeded significantly and he doesn’t get fat, then we would have no way into the game. So back and forth, we always came back to leaning on the 4 protect 1 heavily, the goal being to make sure that he does get the farm he needs. In reality, 4 protect 1 doesn’t really suit the current versions of the game, so we’ve made complete changes to everything. Because B-god himself might’ve been unfamiliar with having less farm to work with in early game, so the new strategies for our team encountered some early challenges and growing pains. Now, though, BurNIng has said, he can play anything in any style, and if he is needed to go up against heavy pressure, then he will carry the pressure, and thus our team has opened up many new styles, and we’re now able to play almost any style, and willing to play any style.
RN: So this ECL, your team is partaking purely for the purposes of getting more practice?
rOtK_xB: Yes indeed. For TI3, this time we’re here to thoroughly transition our style.
RN: Then how many different strategies have you guys prepared?
rOtK_xB: We’ve prepared many different ones. As long as we’ve thought of it, then we dare to use it. Right now we’re very liberal in this, we aren’t like before where we were very conservative in our style. In the past, perhaps we’d think of a strategy or a draft but not go with it because we weren’t completely comfortable or familiar with it, but this time we’re willing to use whatever we come up with!
RN: We wish you good luck, and you have the last word for anything you might want to say to fans.rOtK_xB: After all this time, especially in recent times, I really want to thank all of DK’s fans for their support. Just as one fan said to me: supporting DK is a kind of belief. I really really really thank you and appreciate you all for your support. And of course, also thanks to our sponsors Tt eSports for their long-standing sponsorship. Thank you all.
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