The International 2013 in my view (part 1)

This is part 1 of “The International 3 from my view”. Stay tuned for part 2, describing thoughts and events from the elimination stages at Benaroya Hall, in the next day or two!

This is a semi-diary, semi post-competition gathering of thoughts and recollections, from group stages at the Westin Bellevue to the elimination stages at Benaroya Hall. I’ve tried to focus on giving a view into what the players are like, as well as some of the casual, random events that happened that I saw or was a part of, that can serve to bring behind-the-scenes stuff closer to normal fans. It’s a long read but worth it, I think, if you’re a fan at all of Chinese teams and players. I’ve not only written about Chinese teams and players, however, and there’s some other stuff too.

I have to apologize in advance, because I am not the type of fan to take a lot of pictures with players, or to really intrude at all. I’ll chat with them if they make themselves available, and offer myself up to assist if it looks like someone needs it, but that’s about it — no autographs, no photos, basically nothing else. So, apart from my words and descriptions, I generally lack stuff to share with fellow fans. Hopefully you’re up for some reading, because there are a lot of words below!

Day by day recollections

7/31/2013 to 8/1/2013 – pre group stage prep time

My first day involved was July 31. Met Hippovic, who showed me around. Then I just hung around at the Westin Bellevue while teams did their photo shoots and promotional stuff. Met various players.

The next morning, Puppey sat down at the table during breakfast where Erik Johnson and I were sitting, and Puppey talked briefly with Erik Johnson about the infamous all-chat incident between xiao8 and Dendi… Then after breakfast, they had me translate for the players’ meeting that outlined some rules, expectations, and a general idea of how the event would go. That went… okay. I am not good in front of large groups of people. A camera is different because even though there are lots of people on the other end, I don’t actually see them.

At the players’ meeting. So much talent in one room.

Later on during the day, Dendi sat down next to a fellow translator, Tracy, and began watching her play, as she was playing a pub match on a laptop. Tracy dismisses this, thinking it was Mouz Black, who had been hanging out with us earlier. Then I tell her to look over, and then she’s like, “omg it’s Dendi”. And Dendi sits there with an innocent look on his face. Then she got a kill, made another nice play, and both were met with Dendi getting up and dancing about nearby. Shortly afterwards, the meeting room internet at the Westin cut out (as it often did), Tracy got an abandon, and Dendi strolled off to entertain (or be entertained) elsewhere.

Coach Dendi

Speaking of Mouz Black, who had made fast friends with a couple of us: We had taught him a few phrases in Chinese. He wanted to meet some of the LGD people, including LGD’s manager Ruru, but was apparently too shy to do so on his own. We taught him how to ask for a team jersey in Chinese (since he wanted an LGD set), and later on I taught him how to say the name of his favorite hero, Anti-mage, in Chinese. Much later on, some other Chinese kids must’ve taught him some not so savory words, because by the last day of the main event at Benaroya Hall, he was slinging them around until we told him that he should save it for when he really hates someone or something. Below, Black is saying 我想要一套队服, which means “I would like a team uniform”.

8/2/2013 – Group stage first day (Wild card)

RattleSnake: LaNm is one of my favorite players. He was the one that I chose as my favorite player in my compendium. He’s a funny guy, brilliant player, and casually approachable in person. After their wild card win, I waited behind with Kabu, who was waiting for the rest of his team to go to the players’ dinner. I knew where the dinner was, they didn’t, so I wanted to make sure people weren’t getting lost on the way (these players had missed the Valve-led delegation over earlier). Incidentally, Quantic were also late and so I told them to follow us too. Was that a bit awkward? Maybe… Quantic looked a bit low energy and hardly ever appeared downstairs for the rest of the group stages afterwards…

Anyway, I tell LaNm, “When I saw you guys pick Storm Spirit, I knew you’d already won. LaNm responds curiously, “Why? I think it was because they didn’t have much in terms of disables.” But my opinion was simpler, “I just think you’re awesome on Storm, haha.” And he grinned.

RattleSnake team interview after Wild Card win

iG: Ferrari_430 was up to play the solo mid matches, so during the players’ dinner at El Gaucho, Erik Johnson grabbed me over to translate to get his picks for heroes, and to make sure he knew the rules. He hadn’t checked the rules before and was surprised that runes were allowed. This revelation in part caused him to change his initial pick from Lone Druid to Templar Assassin. He was sitting with his team and chatted a bit with them before deciding on his hero picks. Ferrari is a really friendly person in a really unassuming manner. I already admired his play and style, and after meeting him, I like him as a person too.

After his and Mu’s first solo match, the TA match, which took over 40 minutes, they looked to me to ask if they could simply do the SF match next. When told that SF had to be third game, they decided to do Shadow Demon instead (whereas originally it was going to be OD as second match) to save some time. When I went downstairs to grab some water for 430 and Mu, I ran into XBOCT at the bar. He was seated, looked over to me, said “I like you”. I don’t think he really knew who I was then (or if he even really knows, now), but his friendliness had me asking him which of the Dota-themed drinks he’d had. He looks at the drinks menu and starts pointing. “All of them?” I ask. “Yes,” is his reply. Cool guy.

During Mu’s solo match against Ferrari, Hao stood behind his chair for much of the time, joking and making suggestions. Hao even brought Mu a drink of some sort. He had two of the same drink, one for himself, one he gave to Mu. Aww. TongFu’s players seem to be the friendliest with each other (this is not to say that the other teams aren’t all quite friendly with each other). While the Ferrari and Mu match went on, several other matches came and went. Iceiceice versus s4 was funny in that iceiceice giggled whenever something happened, especially whenever he used his coal.

The solo mid competition room at El Gaucho. Ferrari_430 vs Mu, Mushi vs xiao8

8/4/2013 – Group stage day 3

DK: rOtK is just as fierce in person and out of game as he is in-game (and at LAN events). He also seems like a very sincere person, and he’s got an amazing sense of humor and quick wit, more than once causing uproarious laughter in the Chinese section of the viewing lounge at Westin. He wears his heart on his sleeve, a rare specimen amongst your average Chinese player.

Here we see DK’s rOtk, in green, animatedly discussing something with the other players

iG: The iG players tend to be more quiet, though YYF can really talk, and talks quite fast, when he has something to talk about. Ferrari is very thorough whenever you ask him about something; in the mini-series with Soe where we asked players for their ID and what it came from, Ferrari_430 was by far the most thorough in explaining. He also likes to hold the mic himself when he’s talking (he was the only player with this preference). I’m not sure why his part was cut out from the final player ID video that was posted online, though. But his ID is pretty self-explanatory anyway: he likes that car, and the name of it was what he went with when registering himself on a gaming platform in the past, and it stuck.

Speaking of player IDs, I wish we could’ve gotten more, especially more of the Chinese players, but unfortunately it was not to be. In the final two days, I did some interviews with Perfect World, helping to translate Chinese questions to Western players, then translating their answers back. Additionally, I worked on the final versions of all the subtitles for team intro clips that they played before each team’s first appearance at Benaroya Hall this year. That took a while, because I needed to fix up the translations, the grammar, and then the timing of the subtitles as well. A lot of fun seeing my work up on the big stage later on, though. Anyway, player IDs. The teams and players were in and out as well, playing matches, going out for dinner, etc. Maybe there’ll be more chances in the future for this.

The player ID vid, as posted, is below. Whenever I’m not on camera, I was the one running the camera! ;P The Orange players were all so polite, and seemed a little bit shocked that anyone would want to ask them anything.

LGD: I think it was on this day that xiao8 was recognized in the lobby of the Westin Bellevue by a visiting group of Chinese tourists. An older Chinese man and his wife are walking out of the elevators while xiao8, his friend, and a few of us are waiting to go up, and the man turns around, peers at xiao8 and goes, “Aren’t you that guy on the TV? The dating show? Were the scenes in the show real or staged? Xiao8? …You’re here to compete!” Xiao8 confirms that the show and its result were not staged, and then just nods a bit, not sure how to respond. The man and his wife grin widely and wish him luck as we walk into the elevator. In the elevator, I remark that he’s a superstar now. Xiao8 smiles lightly in a way that suggests he doesn’t necessarily embrace it, and goes back to whatever he was doing on his phone.

I don’t remember which exact day this is from, but here is xiao8 with two bananas during the group stages. Sorry it’s blurry, camera derped

8/5/2013 – Group stage final day

RattleSnake: LaNm needs glasses. He had trouble seeing the screen while watching matches on the screens in the players’ lounge at Westin and constantly had to squint.  So I told him to go get some glasses. “Yeah, it’s indeed time to get glasses,” he replied.

You can sort of see LaNm straining himself to get a clear view of the screen from where he’s sitting. He’s leaning forward with his arms folded underneath his head in the center of the picture.

As seen in some of the panoramic photos so far, the teams and players mostly mix pretty freely. There’s a pretty clear divide between Western and Eastern, and then within that there’s another less clear divide between Chinese and SEA, and between Russian and non-Russian. But by and large, the players are friendly and cordial with each other, and most every player is willing to meet and get to know another player. A rare few players have the talent of slipping almost seemlessly between all the different groups (though they still have their own preferences). The Chinese teams seem to especially be friendly with one another, and when they weren’t competing, there would be intermingling to the degree that, to an untrained eye, you wouldn’t be able to pick out which players were on which teams at all.

Also, Black^ and Bulba partook in an activity they called ‘Ghost Ship’, in which they would ambush unsuspecting fellow players, pick them up, then put them down unceremoniously whilst shouting “ghost ship!!!” I saw them do this to two or three different people, and I don’t think anyone much enjoyed it. I am also wondering if they meant ‘Torrent’, as in Kunkka’s Torrent, which gushes someone up then drops them down.

LGD.cn and Dignitas played a tiebreaker, a close one. Afterwards, the two teams seemed to be pretty cheerful, even gathering together briefly to chat a bit.

After the tiebreaker: Aui_2000, DD, xiao8’s back, Yao, Waytosexy, Sneyking, Universe, Sylar

TongFu: I’d earlier offered to help the Chinese teams arrange for some Chinese delivery from a local Sichuanese Chinese restaurant located in Bellevue. On the last day of group stages, after everyone had finished playing their matches, there was some time, and TongFu’s manager CuZn came to get my help. We got some menus printed out and I had them go around and mark down what they wanted, then we ordered the food. They got nearly $200 of food, and TongFu’s manager paid for it. When it all arrived, it came in a large cardboard box, and word spread quickly amongst the Chinese teams. Pretty soon, members of every team were gathered in a big circle around a table, eating. Quite a happy sight. With the normal hotel food, the Chinese players would hardly ever look excited about the food, nor would they rush to it. In contrast, this time, they all rushed over eagerly. These players are amongst the best in the world, but in the end they’re all kids and young adults, far away from home, and I was truly happy to be able to bring them a little bit of that comfort…

The players descended upon the delivery Chinese food like… hungry Chinese players

Throughout the group stages, there was an on-going joke amongst the Chinese players that whenever someone stepped out for a smoke break, the Chinese team currently playing would lose. Hao in particular would come back inside after a break outside, and exclaim, “What? Lost again???” This is another reason to not smoke, kids. It was just a joke, but later on in the group stages I did hear comments at least once or twice about waiting to go smoke until after the game had ended. Haha. Either way, the Chinese teams in general seemed pretty loose and relaxed, joking amongst each other, chatting about the games going on and other things. It was cool to see the players in a more casual environment.

In the afternoon, with the group stages finished, there were Valve tours scheduled. A group of 13 of us got stuck in the elevator going up for nearly an hour. Amongst us were Black and Synderen from Mouz. Both of them can be pretty funny. The PC Games reporter that was stuck with us in there was also a funny dude. I think they contributed to keeping morale high in there. It took an hour of rising temperatures in the elevator, and a call to the fire department after the original elevator tech never showed up, for us to finally escape. When we ended the Valve tour, Synderen and I both, on two separate occasions, actually joked to one of the Valve people that “some of the guys got stuck in another elevator”, which brought a momentary look of shock and worry. Sorry to the Valve lady, it was probably not the best joke to make again given the earlier events.

Stuck in the elevator

They did give us some extra stuff in our goodie bags at the end of the tour. It was probably worth getting stuck in the elevator. I won’t bother posting pictures from Valve offices because, well, I didn’t bother taking any, and other people have posted plenty of pictures already anyway.

All in all, the group stage at Westin Bellevue was quite an intimate, low-key kind of event. Players would just sit and hang out in the lounge with the games on screen for hours on end. Food would come and go, Valve admins would come in and shout for the next team up, the team that just finished would come back in and sit down and grab some food and drinks… It would be such a huge contrast to the high pressure, high energy atmosphere at Benaroya Hall and the elimination stages.

This was part 1 of “The International 3 from my view”. Stay tuned for part 2, describing thoughts and events from the elimination stages at Benaroya Hall, in the next few days!

TongFu team interview after their DSL win

Congrats to TongFu for taking champions in this season of the Dota 2 Super League. First off, we’d like to ask the three of you with tears streaming down your faces, what brought those tears about?
Sydm: For me, to see them win made me very happy. To watch them grow step by step, and finally win this title, the feeling is that for me, to give so much to this game and finally see some results in helping them become champions here, it’s a very joyous thing. We all love each other, and the win is a collective achievement.
Mu: Tears of joy; this has been my very first champion in a large event, and I hope that this is a new beginning for me. I will work even harder down the line.
Hao: I’m the same as Mu, really, hadn’t achieved a title at a large event in a very long while. To play together for such a long period of time and finally win a title, the tears falling are tears of happiness.

KingJ, you had a chat with Nekomata before the match, what was that about?
KingJ: His mom had said that it would be DK and TongFu in the finals here, with TongFu to take the title. At the time, I had hopes for this as well, but didn’t think that it would really come true like it has.

Before the match, there was an EHOME reunion. As an old EHOME veteran, did this awaken your desire to become champion today?
KingJ: It was a very emotional moment, but to be able to win against old teammates, current opponents… I’m still happy about it.

How do you all rate your coach, sydm?
KingJ: Coach has helped us improve on our focus and analysis, the effects have been great.
Banana: We wouldn’t have this title without our coach!
Mu: He is a legit coach.
Hao: He fully deserves to be recognized as a great coach!
Sansheng: Coach has helped us focus better, and become more disciplined, thus allowing ourselves to overcome our own challenges.

In the match-deciding Game 3, you guys picked Naga Siren and Razor. This was something we had seen from Zenith before, were you guys borrowing the strategy from them?
Hao: I think a lot of people had tried this before in practice, and we will make sure to prepare more strategies for TI3.

Banana has just had his 26th birthday, how will you guys celebrate tonight?
Banana: We’ll go celebrate by having a fun team dinner.

What do you think of Hao’s recent performances?
Banana: He’s becoming more and more steady and reliable all while maintaining his fierce and aggressive style, and he should be considered a top tier carry now.

Use your home dialect and say something to your fans?
Banana: Thank you for all your support (in the Henan dialect)

Your team had just lost previously to DK in the Alienware Cup, what adjustments did you make for this?
Mu: We lost yesterday, then we spent a lot of time discussing together. We felt that the loss had something to do with our own performances and form, our drafting, as well as our execution. But we also felt that the DSL match would be much more important, and so after our discussions, our drafting for the DSL finals was improved, but of course most importantly, we played much better.

How would you rate your opponents in the DSL finals, DK?
Mu: I think DK failed to perform to their own standards today, and their picks entirely fell into the traps we had set.

Can you talk a bit about the key points in each of the three games played, or share with us when you felt you had each game won?
Hao: The first game was determined from the drafting and lane setups that they would be at a disadvantage, and indeed they basically lost in laning phase, and we had a clean win. The second game with me on Anti-Mage, I got two kills and was very fat, while my teammates held the ship steady to give me more room to farm, but the win was probably secured later on when I had fully built out my items on Anti-Mage. In the third game, they attempted to counter us by changing their laning up, but it didn’t end up affecting us at all. Our supports rotated, and we ended up getting an advantage later in laning. The drafts meant that we had stronger teamfights, and when we took Roshan, that’s when we could had the title in sight.

For Coach Sydm, you had not been highly rated as a player, yet you’ve seen great success and recognition now as a coach. What was the transition like? And how exactly are you going about helping your team and players?
Sydm: I hadn’t ever considered becoming a coach before this, and it was a bit of a coincidence or fate that brought me to TongFu. It was decided after I chatted with Hao, and I felt that becoming a coach meant I wouldn’t have to waste all the time I’d put in before. I wanted to dedicate myself to helping them, and I made them improve on their living habits, so they could focus completely on training and competing. And as an observer, I’m able to see many things that they might not be able to see clearly in-game, as well as be there to smooth over any potential conflicts. After all this hard work, seeing them able to win this title, I feel it’s all been very worthwhile.

Banana, as an older player, what have you done to ensure that you continue to play at a high level, even improving over your previous self?
Banana: Because I want to win titles!

What hopes do you have for your TI3 adventure?
Sansheng: The DSL title is just a beginning for us, and as long as we don’t get overconfident with ourselves, I feel that we can achieve even greater things at TI3.

Predictions for TI3 results?
Sansheng: Before this, we wanted to strive for a top 3 finish. After this, I think we’ll want to make sure we get top 3, and strive for top 2. We won’t talk about being champions at TI3 because we don’t want to put that kind of pressure on ourselves.

Can you all share you takeaways from this DSL win?
KingJ: To be able go the whole distance is a reward in itself.
Banana: We were able to do well in terms of teamwork and execution.
Mu: The biggest takeaway is to be able to win the title.
Hao: What Banana said, an achievement in teamwork with new teammates.
Sansheng: The biggest reward is that we proved ourselves, and increased our own confidence.

Say something to fans to cap off this interview.
TongFu: Thank you to all for your support, and thank you to our sponsor TongFu Porridge for their unrelenting sponsorship.

 

Chinese pros respond to LGD ‘tactical pause’ against NaVi

A selection of responses from some iG, LGD, and TongFu people regarding the Alienware Cup ‘tactical pause’ incident between LGD.cn and NaVi…

Ferrari_430 responds to DD:

DD: We were at an internet cafe. When I dropped, sydm (TongFu coach), along with Hao, were both behind me. This fight was very much in our favor; when the pause happened, Magnus had already gotten 4 with his second ult. Those who get it, get it.

Ferrari_430’s reply: Got it got it got it :thumbs up:

Yao’s explanation:

Yao: Today we weren’t at our team base, we were in Shanghai for a photoshoot, and so we played the match from an internet cafe. The computers had some issues, there had already been problems earlier, and then at the team fight DD completely crashed. We couldn’t possibly play the game out for 80 minutes, and then give it up by playing 4v5.

Sylar explains:

Sylar: At that moment, Magnus had gotten Shadow Fiend in an ult and had Skewered him in; our communications at the time involved Rubick saying that he had Dragon Knight’s stun. As he went to use the stun, his computer stopped responding, otherwise Shadow Fiend would’ve been instantly picked off at that time. Instead, Rubick sat there for nearly three seconds doing nothing before we actually hit pause.

Ruru is sad:

Ruru: It’s been five years now and I’ve always said to myself to be strong to the end. But this world does not see my hard work. The only thing I get is insults and a lack of understanding.

Hao and Mu to the rescue:

Hao: DD’s computer indeed had problems, LGD had that fight in the bag easily

Mu: Nothing to do with any pause; NaVi had no chance in that last fight!

xiao8 is just happy they won:

xiao8: Fuck yeah, finally got revenge for TI2!

DSL interview with TongFu.Hao: We will look to counter DK’s style

SGamer did an interview with TongFu’s Hao, focusing on their upcoming Dota 2 Super League Finals showdown with DK…

SGamer: Thank you for doing this interview with us. You’re just about to partake in the DSL Finals now, what is your team’s form like recently?
TongFu.Hao: Our current form is pretty good, because in practice in the past few days we’ve been performing quite ideally. There’s still time before the Finals though, so what actually happens on the day is still uncertain.

SG: Have your practices been the same as usual, or have you undergone specific routines to prepare?
Hao: Our recent practices have mostly been the same as usual, we’ve been focusing on training up on a wider variety of heroes and styles, so we can have them as options to use in the match.

SG: Have you found any particular style to counter DK’s renowned ‘turtle’ strategy?
Hao: Eh, we’ve done some analysis into styles that may be able to counter, but we’ll have to wait until the actual match to see if they actually work out.

SG: How do you feel about your team’s chances at taking the title here?
Hao: This is hard to say, because after all, DK is an old-school powerhouse team. We can only find out after we’ve played and fought, but if you insist on having me make a guess, then I say it’s 50/50!

SG: Many fans have taken a liking to you due to one of your nicknames being ‘Chopper Hao’; now, if you don’t win the title here, then will you follow through on the whole “if I don’t win then I chop my hand off” thing?
Hao: Uhm… actually, that’s hard to say. Actually, it was a misunderstanding at the time that I said that.

SG: Then let us settle this misunderstanding once and for all by taking a look back at what truly happened then.
Hao: It was like this: at the time, I hadn’t gone professional yet, I was still just another amateur player. I was with friends on a team playing at an offline event in Guangzhou, it was a school league. But at the time, we weren’t actually students, so we got reported to the authorities. The person who reported us also happened to be someone whom we had played against earlier, and we ended up flaming each other on the forums. What I said at the time was that, as long as it was an offline event in Guangzhou, if I failed to win then I’d chop my hand off, yet it ended up being interpreted to apply to all kinds of competitions outside of that, so it really was a bunch of misunderstandings.

SG: If you do win the DSL title, are there any wishes you have in you that you’d be able to fulfill afterwards?Hao: Winning the title itself is my wish, plus, my goals are to win more than just the DSL.

SG: What other goals are there?
Hao: Of course to win more titles and championships, haha.

SG: Nowadays, more and more teams are constructing coaching teams. Your team has sydm (战神7) as coach, how have the results been? Do you feel that having a coach is becoming increasingly important?
Hao: I am absolutely convinced by sydm’s attitude towards his work. Why I say this, because he is very professional and treats his work with the utmost respect. Drafting, every team’s style, he takes notes of everything in a notebook. When we lose, he is always there to remind us, to keep our heads up, that we still have chances, and helps us adjust our mentality and help us analyze why we lost. When we win, he’s always there to remind us, to not get arrogant, to not get loose, to work on staying in winning form. I really do feel that having a coach is pretty important.

SG: You’ve been playing professionally for three or four years now, and been in scores of events, small and large. What do you think about DSL?
Hao: DSL is currently the highest prizepool event in Chinese competitions. Due to official support from Perfect World, it has the broadest reach, and does very well at packaging and presenting the players. Gamefy’s work at producing the event itself has also been very professional. Of course, for me my favorite part is the commentators they have, haha.

SG: Do you like the Chinese voice work for the localized edition?
Hao: The voice work is very decently done. Some will sound very sincere and full of emotion, while others are hilarious. Additionally, the Chinese client has been done to be very user friendly, so I believe that as the Chinese beta grows, many people will come to love it.

SG: Currently, it would seem that most professional teams in Dota 2 consist largely of veteran players who have been around for a while. Newcomers seem to lack opportunities to prove themselves, why do you think that is? Speaking for yourself, do you tend to dislike carrying new players?
Hao: I feel that one cause for this problem is that Dota 2, unlike LoL, is not as easy to get into. Most people at the top are there on the basis of many years of practice and experience. I do indeed dislike having to play with newcomers, I basically don’t do it. The reason I dislike it is simple: I don’t want to waste my time, and it affects my mood.

SG: Older players eventually naturally end up in the end of their careers and choose to retire, so will these things add up and cause overall Chinese Dota 2 competitiveness and ability to decline?
Hao: I feel that right now there hasn’t been much of any decline, but it’s not an easy thing to determine.

SG: Do you think that the current TongFu is the strongest TongFu there’s ever been?
Hao: I don’t think so. Reasons are two-fold: first, we have yet to win anything, so there’s nothing for us to boast about. Second, I feel that our previous roster was rpetty good too, it just lacked a bit of teamwork and trust. After this Final, you will see whether the current TongFu happens to be the one that looks the most like champions, haha.

SG: Okay, then go ahead and say something to cap off this interview!
Hao: There’s a lot I’d like to say, but I haven’t earned the right to say it for now. After we’ve won something, I will say it on stage during the awarding! Lastly, thanks to our sponsors TongFu Porridge!

Source: http://dota2.sgamer.com/news/201307/151354.html

TongFu makes changes

Original: http://dota2.sgamer.com/news/201303/149387.html

LongDD leaves TongFu and is currently at LGD.cn on a trial status. The player he was rumored to replace, LGD.DD, has not however actually left LGD and is merely late joining up with the rest of the team due to needing surgery and recovery time.

The other change in TongFu comes in the form of Yaodao/Veronica, who had previously been rumored to have grown tired of competitive Dota and wished to retire. Now, he’s left TongFu and we’re all left wondering if this is the end for him, or if he’ll continue on elsewhere.

With these two departures, TongFu have brought in former For.Love player Banana, and yAobAi, formerly of PanDa, where he’d been embroiled in non-payment of salary issues. These two newcomers have all been teammates of Hao’s in the past, so teamwork should not be a big problem. And just like that, TongFu’s roster is complete once again, and surely their overall ability is worthy of anticipation.

TongFu.Dota:

CuZn (manager)
Hao
MU
SanSheng
Banana
yAobAi

TongFu.Hao pre-WCG interview

Original: http://dota2.replays.net/news/page/20121128/1752976.html

Replays.Net: Hello Hao, welcome! Say hi to your fans.

TongFu.Hao: Hello everyone, I am Hao

RN: This is the first time Dota is on the WCG stage (even though it’s technically just exhibitions), is there any pressure in representing China?

Hao: No pressure, we absolutely will not lose, and even if we lose it will be in the finals to LGD.

RN: Then your goal is?

Hao: Top 2!

RN: Apart from LGD which we’re obviously all very familiar with, there are some other teams from different places such as South Korea, Mongolia, and they are teams that we’re all not very familiar with. When you come up against these unfamiliar teams do you and other Chinese teams anticipate having any problems?

Hao: There should be a bit. Because these teams, we completely lack any knowledge of their style and preferred tactics. What heroes they use, what we should ban or pick, all things that we aren’t very clear on, so we can only rely on our own strongest systems.

RN: Currently most big Chinese teams have moved to training mostly for Dota2, so is there difficulty in finding practice partners for Dota1 now? (Dotaland note: TongFu will be representing China at WCG in Dota1) Do you have specific training for Dota1 right now, how is it going?

Hao: Yes, it’s very difficult, because nowadays there’s no one training Dota1 anymore. So the 5 of us can only run 5-man stacks on ladder to get re-acclimated to the feel of Dota1.

RN: You just brought up ladder, so what are your ladder rankings, what’s your win rate like?

Hao: Rankings are not all the same. Anywhere between 2300-2500… win rate… if all 5 of us are together, 90% or so.

RN: While you frantically prepare for WCG, there is also the G-League Dota2 competition, how do you balance your training focus? On the official TongFu blog posts we often see that you guys order delivery for meals, is this level of training causing any sort of exhaustion? And do you have any events or activities at your base to relax a bit?

Hao: Because we’re just about to go play WCG matches, so these couple days we haven’t trained any Dota2. After we get back from WCG, the plan is to only play Dota2, because we still need to prepare for G-League. About the food, it’s okay, we only get delivery when our house maid is on holiday or after she leaves at night, and it’s not too bad. We all laugh and joke around, in the past we used to play cards. Nowadays we don’t play cards anymore, because we’re all hungry for results to prove ourselves, so this recent period all we’ve been doing everyday is training.

RN: LGD’s ddc cannot compete (WCG nationality rules), will this give you more confidence for your matchup?

Hao: Yes, because ddc is an extremely strong player, I feel that LGD without ddc is the same impact as iG without ChuaN. But KingJ should not be overlooked either, but we still have confidence.

RN: How have TongFu’s new roster additions longdd and Veronica come along? Your form and teamwork, have they met your expectations?

Hao: It’s been alright. A lot better than earlier. As for expectations, still a ways off… but when we built this current roster, the goal was always the next International.

RN: Dota2 China servers are close to arriving. For you, are there any functionalities that Steam currently lacks that you’d like to see?

Hao: None; as long as it’s playable it’s good. We all greatly look forward to China servers, because currently playing on Steam means we have really poor connections. The Shanghai server is un-usable, so we can only use the SEA server in Singapore. If China servers come online, then we can use those, and our training will have higher quality to it…

RN: Big thanks to Ms.Hao for the interview with us, and we wish you success at WCG. At the end, we ask you to use one sentence to describe each of your teammates, and yourself.

Hao: Sansheng: A good man! Veronica: This guy has had a little too many IDs recently. Mu: A very intellectually spirited player. longdd: Very high professionalism. Hao: Trying my best. And at the end, thanks to our sponsor “TongFu Porridge” for their constant support, thank you!

Sgamer TI2 player evaluations: Carry position

Note that this is actually an ‘editor’s choice’ from Sgamer, using an original forum post made by a forum regular. Nonetheless, the actual forum post has had a lot of attention, and it is the post that Sgamer chose to put on their front page for rankings of CHINESE TI2 performances. This first installment is a lengthy evaluation of CHINESE carries at TI2, with other positions to come in the next few days.

(note: I neglected to add that this is focused on Chinese players, hence an overall lack of any foreign players making the list)

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