EHOME’s 71 to DK as coach?

Former manager of EHOME, the behind-the-scenes force during EHOME’s legendary run in 2010, 71, was seen at G-League with BurNIng and the rest of DK recently. Rumors are that he’s joined DK as their new coach, or has plans to do so… In the recent DK player bios, both LaNm and BurNIng listed their EHOME manager 71 as the most influential person in their careers. And in a recent Weibo post from 71, he himself included BurNIng and LaNm as amongst his best players. The respect is certainly there.

71 with DK at G-League…

Furthermore, in a recent Weibo post, 71 said “Hey, nice to meet you”, a cryptic message that could be suggesting that he has re-united with an old friend. In the responses, one fan asked if he had joined DK, and 71 responded with a “;-]” winky smiley face. Another fan said to him, “71, please bring us another glorious dynasty,” and 71 responded, “I will!”

DK has quietly re-assembled three of EHOME’s best ever players; if this rumor of the former EHOME manager and coach joining proves to be true, is this the missing piece that DK has been looking for all along?

Follow DOTALAND for instant updates: twitter.com/Dotaland

The Team DK Files

The Team DK Files

Learn more about Team DK, circa December 2013.

Name: BurNIng

Naming Anti-mage has been most important for me

Birthdate: Feb 16, 1988
Nationality: China
Height: 180cm
Weight: 68kg
Clothing size: XL
Favorite star: Leonardo DiCaprio
Games played in past: Warcraft 3
Biggest esports career achievement: Getting Anti-mage name
Most important person in esports career: 71 (former manager of EHOME)
Mouse: Ttesports Saphira
Headset: (I can’t find the set I was given)
Keyboard: Ttesports Poseidon – Brown MX switches
Mousepad: Ttesports Dasher
Single?: No
Favorite Dota version: 6.78
Favorite Dota item: Battlefury
Hero you most like seeing on your team in pubs: Heroes with crowd control abilities
Hero you most hate seeing on your team in pubs: Bloodseeker, Weaver, Meepo
Hero you most like seeing on opposite team in pubs: Meepo
Hero you most hate seeing on opposite team in pubs:
Most important person in life: Mom
Dream career when little: Scientist
Current goals: Play well professionally
Plans for after retirement: Work in a more ‘free’ (flexible) career
Biggest challenge/opposition in the future: Self
Most important gaming gear: Mouse
Favorite keyboard switch type: As long as it’s mechanical then it’s okay
What happens if girlfriend calls while you’re playing Dota: Don’t answer (she understands)
What do you do if your pro career causes a lack of time to spend with family: Make more phone calls
What kind of girl do you like:
Would you play games with girls?: Refuse
Do you like your new uniforms?: They look better than the old ones
Who’s funniest in the team?: iceiceice

Name: Mushi

Most hate iceiceice playing Invoker

Birthdate: Nov 27, 1990
Nationality: Malaysia
Height: (Forgot)
Weight: (Never measured)
Clothing size: XL
Favorite star: Lots
Favorite athlete: Lee Chong Wei (Malaysian star top-ranked badminton player)
Biggest esports career achievement: The matches I’ve won
Most important person in esports career: A lot
Mouse: Ttesports Saphira
Headset: Ttesports Isura
Keyboard: Ttesports G-1 – Brown switches
Mousepad: Ttesports Dasher
Single?: Yes
How did you spend Singles Day?: Training
Favorite Dota version: 6.78
Favorite Dota item: Blink dagger
Hero you most like seeing on your team in pubs: Chen
Hero you most hate seeing on your team in pubs: (iceiceice’s) Invoker
Most important person in life: Family
Dream career when little: None
Current ambitions: Take my whole family and emigrate to Australia
Plans for after retirement: Do investments. Not in esports
Biggest challenge/opposition in the future: None
Most hated thing: Losing matches
Most hated esports thing: Losing matches
Most important gaming gear: All are very important
Favorite keyboard switch type: Red MX switches
What happens if girlfriend calls while you’re playing Dota: Don’t answer
What do you do if your pro career causes a lack of time to spend with family: Have family watch me play televised matches
What kind of girl do you like: Good personality
Would you play games with girls?: If they’re friends then yes
Do you like your new uniforms?: Not bad
Who’s funniest in the team?: iceiceice

Name: LaNm

Dislike MMY playing mahjong

Birthdate: Dec 25, 1989
Nationality: China
Height: 181cm
Weight: 55kg
Clothing size: L
Favorite athlete: Li Na (Chinese star tennis player)
Favorite Dota hero: Pudge
Games played in past: Warcraft 3
Most important thing in esports: Winning titles
Most important person in esports career: 71 (former EHOME manager)
Mouse: Ttesports Saphira
Headset: Ttesports Isura
Keyboard: Ttesports Meka G-Unit White version
Mousepad: Ttesports Conkor
Single?: No
Favorite Dota version: 6.78
Favorite Dota item: Mask of Madness
Hero you most like seeing on your team in pubs: Heroes with crowd control
Hero you most hate seeing on your team in pubs: Invoker, Shadow Fiend
Hero you most like seeing on opposite team in pubs: Crystal Maiden
Most important person in life: Grandma, Mom
Dream career when little: Scientist
Current goals: Achieve good results and prove myself
Plans for after retirement: Be a coach
Biggest challenge/opposition in the future: Self, mentality is very important
Most hated thing: MMY playing mahjong, iceiceice being with his girlfriend (because both are very annoying things)
Most hated esports thing: Being unable to find that tempo in a competitive game
Most important gaming gear: Feel like they’re all similarly important
Favorite keyboard switch type: Black MX switches
What happens if girlfriend calls while you’re playing Dota: Don’t answer if during pratice
What do you do if practice leaves you no time to spend with girlfriend?: Don’t care
Would you play games with girls?: If I know them, yes
Do you like your new uniforms?: That white area on the chest…
Who’s funniest in the team?: ice

Name: iceiceice

Don’t like girls that play games

Birthdate: June 17, 1990
Nationality: Singapore
Height: 191.5cm
Weight: 75kg
Clothing size: XXL
Favorite athlete: Messi
Favorite Dota hero: Invoker
Games played in past: Starcraft 2, Warcraft 3, LoL (participated in WCG before)
Mouse: Ttesports Saphira
Headset: Don’t use
Keyboard: Ttesports G-1 – Brown switches
Mousepad: Ttesports Conkor
Single?: No
Favorite Dota version: The earliest version
Favorite Dota item: Support heroes
Hero you most like seeing on your team in pubs: Anti-mage
Hero you most hate seeing on your team in pubs: Anti-mage
Hero you most like seeing on opposite team in pubs: Anti-mage
Hero you most hate seeing on opposite team in pubs: Anti-mage
Most important person in life: Girlfriend
Dream career when little: Aviator
Current goals: Travel around the world
Plans for after retirement: Make money, commentate/cast, stream, stock market
Biggest challenge/opposition in the future: Self
Most hated thing: No toilet paper whilst in the bathroom, talking behind others’ backs
Most hated esports thing: Coming to bother me when I’m really busy
Most important gaming gear: Keyboard
Favorite keyboard switch type: Red MX switches
What happens if girlfriend calls while you’re playing Dota: Don’t answer
What do you do if practice leaves you no time to spend with family: Practices are more priority
What kind of girl do you like: Don’t like girls that play games, don’t like unfaithful girls
Would you play games with girls?: Depends on mood
Do you like your new uniforms?: It would look better if it was leather
Who’s funniest in the team?: Myself

Name: MMY

The white area on our new uniforms looks like a bra

Birthdate: Sep 10, 1989
Nationality: China
Height: 182cm
Weight: 80kg
Clothing size: XL
Favorite Dota hero: Wisp
Games played in past: Zhensan, Warcraft 3
Mouse: Ttesports Saphira
Headset: Ttesports Isura
Keyboard: Ttesports G-1
Mousepad: Ttesports Dasher
Single?: Yes
How did you spend Singles Day: Played Dota
Favorite Dota version: 6.78
Favorite Dota item: Magic Stick
Hero you most like seeing on your team in pubs: Crystal Maiden
Hero you most hate seeing on your team in pubs: Anti-mage
Hero you most like seeing on opposite team in pubs: Crystal Maiden
Hero you most hate seeing on opposite team in pubs: Anti-mage
Dream career when little: Scientist
Plans for after retirement: Haven’t thought about this before
Biggest challenge/opposition in the future: Alliance, NaVi
Most hated thing: Playing mahjong
Most important gaming gear: Mouse
What happens if girlfriend calls while you’re playing Dota: Don’t answer
What do you do if practice leaves you no time to spend with family: Call home
What kind of girl do you like: Cute (moe) girls
Would you play games with girls?: Refuse
Do you like your new uniforms?: The white area on the uniform looks like a bra
Who’s funniest in the team?: iceiceice

Source: http://dota.uuu9.com/zt/teamdk/

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:

“不出圣剑怎么对得起我们的粉丝”
“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 Speed.int 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.

Follow DOTALAND on Twitter for instant updates: http://twitter.com/Dotaland

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.

Faith

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

Fenrir

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

iceiceice

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”

Xtt

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………..”

Follow DOTALAND on Twitter for instant updates and more: https://twitter.com/Dotaland

UUU9’s Players Pantheon interview series: DK.BurNIng

Pretty cool interview of BurNIng from a few days ago, part of a “Players Pantheon” series from UUU9.com…

BurNIng at a glance:

Name: Xu Zhilei
ID: BurNIng
Birthdate: Feb 16, 1988
Horoscope: Aquarius
Hometown: Tongling, Anhui Province
Nicknames: B-god, Xu-lardar, Xu-Nessaj, Prof Xu
Past teams: 7L, KS.cn, CH, EHOME
Fav heroes: Weaver, Anti-mage
Fav actor: Wentworth Earl Miller
Fav band: Linkin Park
Fav movie: Batman

UUU9: Hello, today we have the honor of interviewing DK’s BurNIng. Say hi to everyone first.
DK.BurNIng:
Hello everyone, I am DK’s captain BurNIng.

UUU9: For WPC this time, DK has come from Yunnan all the way to Shanghai. Anything that has needed getting used to for your team?
BurNIng:
Only a little bit when we first arrived in Shanghai. We first just checked into a random convenience hotel. And then the training facilities provided here had limits on time, we could only train until 9pm whereas our normal routine would be until 2-3am. But now all these things have been resolved.

UUU9: Oh. Regarding the recently concluded Starladder season, NaVi won 3-2 over Alliance. Did you guys follow this tournament at all, what did you think of the two teams?
BurNIng:
I watched the entire tournament live via streams. The two teams felt very close in terms of ability, NaVi gave me the feeling that they spent a lot of time in analyzing Alliance. Their playstyle and drafts were very focused on countering Alliance, so they were able to take the win.

UUU9: If you guys were to face them in a match, what chances do DK have to win?
BurNIng:
At the moment I think maybe 30-40% chance. But with further improvements from practice, our chances will rise.

UUU9: Let’s talk about your new teammates. Iceiceice always gives people the feeling of a jokester, does he have a serious side in real life?
BurNIng:
When he first came to DK, my impression from him was that he is a player that truly loves Dota. He’s very hard working, we started off when he first came by playing lots of pubs and watching lots of replays.

UUU9: How do you guys normally address him? Cousin (iceiceice once joked that it was his cousin playing for him in a particularly feed-worthy game)? iceiceice?
BurNIng:
Usually either ‘cousin’ or ‘ice’.

UUU9: LaNm and iceiceice often show off their affection for each other publicly, what is their relationship?
BurNIng:
They are just normal teammates O_O… It’s just iceiceice’s love for being flamboyant on camera, I think.

UUU9: In your eyes, what kind of player is Mushi?
BurNIng:
The impression that Mushi gives me is dedicated and humble, and has a great thirst for winning. I think he’s a very good person.

UUU9: DK’s recent form has been excellent, and we’ve heard that you guys have been hard at work training daily. Some fans have suggested that you guys reaching such heights right now might mean that you peak too early and drop in bigger engagements, what do you think?
BurNIng:
I feel that form is something that you maintain, you don’t really suddently lose all your form in one day. Form is the result of training and practice, so as long as we can continue on with our effectiveness in training, form is not a problem.

UUU9: All of DK can be considered veteran players, what is your secret to keeping your performances going?
BurNIng:
There isn’t really a secret, it’s just staying interested and dedicated.

UUU9: In recent matches, Elder Titan has been either picked or banned almost always. Can B-god share with us some thoughts on this hero’s strengths and weaknesses?
BurNIng:
This hero can be said to be the hottest hero in this version (6.78). His main feature his powerful teamfights, as well as his ability to defend towers. He’s good offlane as well as solo mid, has strong laning, doesn’t lose 1v1, and can get a lot of farm for himself in a 1v3 as well. I feel he’s just a very strong hero.

UUU9: Foreign players like to alternate second and third skills, while Chinese players prefer alternating the first and second skills, which do you think is better?
BurNIng:
Originally the Chinese style was first and second skills alternating, but recently under a European influence, Chinese players have been going for the second and third skills as well. I feel it’s not bad, but requires more crowd-control from teammates. The aura is really very imba.

UUU9: In the recent DK vs HGT WPC-ACE match, iceiceice’s level 5 ET never got a level of Stomp, and he ended up getting killed over and over, what did you think of this?
BurNIng:
I think he was a bit careless. Leveling Stomp or not makes no difference, getting caught meant death regardless.

UUU9: Apart from WPC-ACE, we have G-League, D2L, MLG all starting or about to come, does DK have any big goals set for winning these?
BurNIng:
Our goal is of course to win these titles, and we will continue working in training to keep our form going.

UUU9: What do you think of the two newcomer teams in WPC-ACE League — HGT and TongFu 2nd team? What advice would you share with them?
BurNIng:
Their ability is quite decent, but there’s still some space between them and professional teams. I’ve watched a few of their replays, and HGT has even taken a win over a pro team. They do pretty well in early game, but towards mid and late game they have a lack of experience. Every professional player undergoes a similar process. Without experience in these situations, they don’t know what to do with an advantage and end up losing. So they need more practice and experience before they’ll be able to see some results.

UUU9: In DK’s games, you guys sometimes move your farm priority down a bit. Has this taken some adjusting to for you?
BurNIng:
In forming this team, I’d already established this for myself, if I took this new team and tried to play the same way as before then the results might be even worse than before, so I decided that I should play a bit more aggressively and offensively. Share farm and resources a bit more evenly, not just focus everything on my own hero. This was the way to making the breakthrough, and from current results it would seem that it’s going decently.

UUU9: In the past it was always BurNIng plus 4 protectors. Ever since Mushi and iceiceice joined, your team’s style has changed, so how would you describe your current system?
BurNIng:
Our system now is basically: Attack, overwhelm, multi-core.

UUU9: Watching you in the past there was always the feeling that your play was very steady and reliable. Nowadays, it would seem that you’ve gotten more ‘floaty’, what do you think?
BurNIng:
I think this has a lot to do with the hero I’m on, and I’ve also been trying to make adjustments myself. I don’t think it’s ‘floaty’, more that it’s type of change.

UUU9: How do you think resources should be shared to supports?
BurNIng:
Usually it would depend on the hero. If I don’t need farm or levels that much at a certain time, then I let supports get some to catch up on core items and levels, and then I return to lane afterwards.

UUU9: In WPC-ACE, DK has yet to taste defeat. Many people are guessing at which team will be the one to break your streak, so who do you think is the hardest team for you to face?
BurNIng:
Many teams are very strong. VG fought us very hard and it was very close before we made a comeback, iG against us was also a comeback for us. There isn’t as large of a gap between Chinese team as some may think, a lot of things are down to form and execution.

UUU9: Outside of training, what things do you like to do?
BurNIng:
Watch some movies, listen to music. I still prefer to stay at home more.

UUU9: When was the last time you visited back home?
BurNIng:
After TI3 I went home for a half month break.

UUU9: Now with training and competitions all packed in your schedule, it must be pretty tiring, how many days each month do you have to spend with your girlfriend?
BurNIng:
It’s hard to even get a few games of pubs with her every week, much less have time to meet up. Sometimes I feel sorry to her.

UUU9: We saw on weibo your profession of love towards her, so surely she can understand you. Alright, thank you to BurNIng for this interview with us, and we hope DK can continue achieving good results in the future. Anything to say to fans?
BurNIng:
Hi UUU9 fans, I am DK’s BurNIng, I want to thank all our fans for their support of DK, and for following DK’s matches. We will strive to continue working hard, and play well in every game and bring exciting performances to repay you all.

Source: http://dota.uuu9.com/zsd/burning/

Chinese Social Summary: Oct 10 — 16, 2013

Link to previous issue (Oct 1-9)

Helping you cyber-stalk your favorite based-in-China Dota 2 pros and personalities, DOTALAND brings a random, semi-curated selection of posts from various publicly-accessed Weibo accounts over the past few days. What are people eating, doing, saying?

This is a new thing and I make no guarantees of: quality, consistency, or overall usefulness. Is this cool, want more, is it weird, useless? Let DOTALAND know: twitter.com/Dotaland

Sorted by player name, alphabetically. Begins with link, followed by translation of post text. Presence of pictures will be noted if available.

DD, Faith, and rOtk

Talk about NaVi vs Alliance:

rOtk: “Awaiting the big NaVi Alliance clash is akin to waiting for the World Cup Final. Are there any fellow fans eagerly anticipating this with me, I’ve got snacks and seating ready and waiting!”
Faith: “NaVi braindead fanboy reporting in!”
rOtk: “NaVi is great for a reason! I feel that in the third game, Alliance should not have let Batrider through, they would’ve had much stronger push and gank.”
Faith: “Felt that S4’s Storm was a bit weak, if his Storm was on Dendi’s level then things would’ve been closer”
DD: “You’re not talking down on my S4?”

ddc

Dislikes the season: “Hated winter is almost here again ~annoying~”

ddc, with Zhou’s response

Looking for a way: “Asking for ways to win pubs!! No matter how I play, I lose.”
Zhou’s response: “I’ll queue with you, steady wins!”

Faith

Offlane advice for rOtk: “You could learn Bulldog’s Clockwerk using flares to block neutral spawns”

IceFrog

New addition to his family (with pics): “Today I got a puppy! What should we name him?”

iceiceice

His idol (with pic): “My idol.”

LaNm

Team composition: “Every team needs a fatty!”

rOtk

Noob: “It’s a disaster! Lost seven straight after the break, how to stop? Too noob, too noob, looks like we’re not suited for going on break :|”

Sansheng

Caught DD (with pics): “Each time caught is 200” (Last week, DD said that anyone finding him eating late at night is entitled to 200 RMB)

 

Social China Summary: Oct 1-9, 2013

Helping you cyber-stalk your favorite based-in-China Dota 2 pros and personalities, DOTALAND brings a random, semi-curated selection of posts from various publicly-accessed Weibo accounts over the past few days. What are people eating, doing, saying?

This is a new thing and I make no guarantees of: quality, consistency, or overall usefulness. Is this cool, want more, is it weird, useless? Let DOTALAND know: twitter.com/Dotaland

Sorted by player name, alphabetically. Begins with link, followed by translation of post text. Presence of pictures will be noted if available.

ChuaN

What he’s been up to (pics within) — “Holidays are over, thank you to this group of brothers. Now it’s time to gather my pathetic self back together, and take big steps towards my dream!”

DD

No eating late at night — “Whoever catches me eating late at night again, I will pay 200 RMB each time! Please supervise me”

LaNm

Pickup basketball — “Anyone for basketball around 10 in the morning? Usually one to two hours, Mushi and I are looking for a group.” (DD responded saying he’d play football/soccer, KingJ said ping pong, rOtk said it’s far while someone else said that rOtk is bad at basketball anyway, but they agreed that they should organize a game together sometime)

#Dedication — In response to someone asking if he’d do more commentating: “I’m dedicating my all to my professional competitive career, no plans to split my focus. Will only consider commentating again after I retire.”

LongDD

As a commentator 1 — “Commentating is so much fun, hope that I can gradually overcome nerves, and be like I am when streaming on YY, at ease.”

As a commentator 2 — “Going home tomorrow. Thank you WPC for giving me this opportunity to learn and show myself. WPC is great, I hope to have the chance to come back again in the future.”

Mushi

After DK vs iG (DK 2-0 iG) — “Thank you everyone for your well wishes, in the end we held! I still did not do my best, so I must work hard to analyze!”

rOtk

First commentary experience — After commentating DK vs iG: “I speak what I see. I definitely had no intentions of purposely speaking ill of DK, it was simply that I’m not a great commentator. I will improve in the future. I was truly trying to objectively analyze the two teams’ styles — DK tends towards farming, iG tends towards fighting, and thus I felt that DK would face high pressure. But congrats to DK.”

Sansheng

Quitting smoking — “I want to quit smoking!! Please everyone supervise me!!” (Zhou’s response to Sansheng, not the most encouraging: “If you are able to quit smoking, then I can quit eating!”)

Sylar

Pub problems (with pic) — “Today’s results have been unbelievable (literal translation: sky-shattering in a bad way)!” (spoiler: pros aren’t immune to loss streaks either)

xiao8

Bad habit for a commentator to have — “It’s about time to fix that habit of using profanity”

YYF

After DK vs iG (DK 2-0 iG) — “Due to a serious mistake on my part, we lost today. I’ve never hated myself as much. For my performances today, I can only use four words to describe: I’m so damn noob!”

ZSMJ

Gift from Zhou (it’s an awesome Medusa figurine, pic within) — “How’s this Medusa from Zhou-god?”

WPC-ACE 2013’s “Esports Life Series”: Half an hour with Team DK

In this, Team DK fields questions about their careers, life goals, and more. Interaction with fans in the live audience, funny and candid moments, all within this half hour production from WPC-ACE 2013. View in full on Youtube for best effect!

Follow DOTALAND for instant updates: http://twitter.com/Dotaland

Summary of the 2013 Chinese shuffle – as of Sept 5

For everyone trying to keep track at home, but are having trouble… here’s a rough collection of the main newsworthy events in 2013’s Chinese shuffle and relevant source links. From top to bottom, the order goes from the most recent to the earliest. Items that are mostly at the moment unsourced rumors will be in italics.

– LGD confirms RStars.xiaotuji as their new carry, Sylar to RisingStars

This rounds out LGD’s lineup once more, and the situation bears similarity to when LGD first brought Sylar on — xiaotuji is another promising relatively new player to the scene. Can LGD repeat history and become dominant once again? Sylar on the other hand replaces xiaotuji in RisingStars — can Rstars continue their upward trajectory?

– DK announces new all-star lineup

BurNIng remains as carry, Mushi joins as solo mid, iceiceice as offlaner, with Dai/MMY and LaNm on support — this is said to be the role specification of the new star-studded DK lineup. On a sidenote, DK’s manager Farseer would like to state that the so-called ‘dream team’ that had been rumored earlier is not actually DK: “it has nothing to do with us, please don’t call us the dream team.”

– XDD and xiaotuji of RisingStars both leave, said to be joining ‘top teams’

The Rstars owner talks about both of them leaving. The big rumor regarding xiaotuji is that he is LGD’s new carry player.

– Zhou rumored to be changing his mind on going to TongFu

Zhou publicly flames Efeng, part of the management at iG, for “being two-faced, your words are worth nothing”. Speculation is that this is referring to the fact that prior to Zhou leaving iG and going to TongFu, he was promised that iG would not try to recruit other TongFu members away, but after Zhou left, iG made one or more approaches for TongFu player(s). TongFu’s manager Cuzn looks to be meeting these new developments with a mixture of surprise and dismay.

– Zhou leaves iG, joins TongFu, while Hao goes to iG

Zhou leaves iG, Hao comes to iG. The two players essentially switch places on their respective teams. Additionally, some sort of ‘strategic partnership’ has been formed between the two clubs as a result of this transaction. It is also said that KingJ and Mu are both leaving TongFu, and possibly Banana too. The split of Hao and Mu is a saddening one.

– rOtk and Super to VG, ZSMJ and CTY out of VG

ROtk and Super quickly find a new home with VG. At the same time, ZSMJ and CTY are said to have left VG, with VG stating that they made every effort to get ZSMJ to stay, whether as a coach or otherwise. ZSMJ himself has said that he will continue playing… but not with VG, apparently.

– Kabu (and LaNm) leave RattleSnake

Kabu reveals that he’s left RattleSnake. In his farewell post on Weibo, he tagged Luo, Icy, and Sag, but not LaNm, indirectly further confirming the latter also no longer being part of RSnake, something that had been rumored since after TI3. LaNm would go on to join DK.

– Mushi leaves Orange, eye on China

Mushi announces that he’s left Orange, with his goal being none other than China. He would go on to join DK.

– LGD statement on Sylar situation

LGD attempts to address the beyond-awkward situation with their now-former carry, but Sylar responds in his own way (his responses have since been deleted), basically refuting their claims and refusing to reconsider.

– DK statement on rOtk situation

DK’s manager Farseer tries to clear the air regarding the huge changes that left only BurNIng in the team. ROtk seems to be understanding, and ultimately caps off a bittersweet ending by wishing everyone well

– rOtk kicked from DK, unwillingly; Super and others out too

In which rOtk outlines why he felt unfairly treated, in a fiery, empassioned statement. The rest of the DK players seem to be just as shocked, and respond in their own individual ways. A few days later, DK confirms that only BurNIng remains in their roster. MMY would return to DK as a member afterwards.

– Sylar leaves LGD.cn of his own accord

“I’ve left the team,” with this statement, LGD is short a carry player, and what a carry Sylar was for the team.

Follow DOTALAND on Twitter for instant updates: twitter.com/Dotaland

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!