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?”

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

DK manager Farseer response to rOtk situation, more change to come – with rOtk response

Update: rOtk has responded:

“I won’t say much else, but thank you for your understanding. You can talk about rules, and emotion and personal relations, I can’t accept any of this. If it were you, how would you respond? Oh, also, ACE is supposed to be for the good of the clubs, and the players. What about the previous agreement that any decisions would be made with players as well? No matter how you cut it, I’m a player representative as selected by the clubs and players themselves, so next time there’s something like this, remember to call me. We began amicably together, let’s end this pleasantly. Farewell, friend.”

Source: http://t.qq.com/p/t/225376063977812

After rOtk posted, then deleted an emotional response to his leaving of DK, DK’s manager Farseer posts his own response… xB is rOtk below. This is quite insightful, into many facets of the Chinese scene and ACE, and also confirms that DK is not done making changes.

Regarding what has happened today, let me make an explanation here. First, what xB has described is largely true, but contains some of his own emotions within. The reasoning for his response and the way he responded, I’m sure we can all understand. Here I want to do my best to objectively explain everything to everyone, and at the same time, I hope xB can see it.

When ACE was first formed, a major goal was to resolve the very serious problems at the time of clubs poaching players from each other, clubs suddenly disbanding, and clubs freely firing players. The clubs came to a set of agreements between each other, for players to transfer between clubs, the clubs involved must agree via discussion. Privately contacting players (AKA tapping up players, in football/soccer terminology) was forbidden. If a club decides a player is no longer needed, the club must still continue to pay the player according to their contract. If a club suddenly disbands or lacks the ability to pay salaries, then the player is entitled to continue being paid from the deposits that the clubs paid to ACE in the beginning, all the way until the player finds a new team. In here, there is content that relates to what happened to xB.

The decision to replace xB was made by the club, but the decision does not equal a voiding of the contract. Upon learning the news, xB’s emotions were affected. In my communications with him, we mainly addressed a few main points. First, the club respects his opinion, and allows him to reach out to other clubs in order to find his next home. Once he has confirmed a new club, then DK will handle the transfer details, fees, etc. Secondly, if xB does not find another club suitable, then DK will continue to pay him his salary according to his contract terms, till the contract ends. After hearing these things, what xB had to say was, “If the club wants to replace me, I have nothing to say, but if the club wants to use me to make money, then that is too naive.” This was the last I heard from xB, and afterwards, I saw what he had posted online.

Here, I want to tell xB why the club does not directly void your contract with the club. During this break, practically every club will face realignment and change, so what has happened to xB, will be happening at other clubs as well, it cannot be avoided. “We can, due to our personal relationships, allow xB to just go free, but other clubs may not allow their players to leave in the same manner, and ultimately if we did this, then it can make things difficult for other teams, as well as tread on a grey area with regards to regulations.” Whether you believe it or not, these were the words spoken by the boss earlier, and thus our hope is to play things by the rules. As for how we address your transfer with other clubs, perhaps it will be down to the fee, or some other conditions — these are all up to the clubs to determine. I can understand the unwillingness to accept that you still need to earn money for the club even after the club has decided they don’t need you, but this kind of transfer system is one that the clubs agreed upon collectively. Regardless of what kind of agreement the two clubs might make, these kinds of things don’t relate to players’ rights. Put simply, xB cannot lose out in this type of transfer, and we have already allowed xB to select his next club for himself, so where is this talk of the club taking advantage of players coming from? According to your logic, then it should be one club taking advantage of another, so if that is true, then why would the clubs agree to such a thing? Could the clubs truly need these comparatively small sums of money to stay afloat?

People online are now flaming the club, saying we’re shady, that we’re threatening to let players rot on the bench. In these past few years, which club has actually done such a thing in maliciously hanging a player out to dry without letting them play, can someone please tell me? IG and ch, their situation was ch no longer wishing to play competitively and so he faded out, iG continued paying him to the end of his contract, on this point, many other clubs that have since contacted ch can all confirm. People online are also saying that players should add a condition into their contracts, one that guarantees them a certain amount of games to compete in, otherwise the contract is null and void. I want to ask, in what sport exists such a contract? NBA? Football/soccer? Every sport has those players that barely get to play at all, those substitute players. Do you really think that clubs have eaten too much shit, and think it would be fun to spend a bunch of money paying people to sit around and not compete? Should it be that we just allow players to have this condition, and so when a player no longer wants to play with a team, they just miss a few matches and thus their contract is void? What kind of contract allows you to just up and leave before the contract is over? Or is it that you’ve all had no experience with contracts?

I can’t really speak much more now. I don’t want to, for the sake of affection, emotion, and relations, end this with emotions. As rumors have guessed, DK’s changes are not over yet. Right now there isn’t a clear end in sight that we can share with everyone, but I can say that the so-called ‘dream team’ rumored doesn’t have much to do with our reality.

I don’t know whether this road we’re taking is right or wrong, but the cost DK will be paying is truly enormous. No matter what, you guys are our brothers. You once were, you will still remain so. Let us meet again on the battlefield.

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

Sylar’s reaction to rOtk’s statement reveals a bit more of his own situation…?

Source: http://t.qq.com/p/t/289558083799071

rOtk posted on his own QQ Weibo a response to being taken off of the DK roster. In response to this, someone posted, “The first one” (essentially saying that this is the start of the official changes within Chinese Dota).

Sylar then responds to this person, “You’re wrong, I was the first one. I was put in the same position [as rOtk]”

This all comes in the midst of rumors amongst fans that Sylar was to join DK soon… the plot thickens?

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rOtk statement on leaving DK

Source: t.qq.com/p/t/36949106934325 (now deleted)

rOtk, now-former 3 position player for DK, has released a fiery, personal, statement on his departure from DK…

Update: rOtk has since deleted the original, and posted a new post saying “Let the tears flow a bit more. Take care. For my next stop, I will still give everything! TI4, my fate is in my own hands.”

Everyone’s well wishes to me have been received. Yet for me, somehow I ended up learning the actual news slower than some fans on SGamer, haha.

Today it’s being officially announced, I’m being taken off the DK roster. Thank you to DK for their support and over the past. As for the reasoning, I don’t even know myself. In preparing for TI3, I feel that I did my utmost. In the everyday leadup to the event, I did everything I was supposed to, and I then went further and did even more. Watched replays, analyzed strategies to a relative degree of clarity. As for performances at TI3, I wasn’t the weakest in the team. So me being replaced can only be described as confusing.

When I first came to DK two years ago, at that time one of iG’s squads’ (iG.Y) xiaoT had at the same time invited me to join him at iG, offering 40000 RMB as a transfer bonus for me. This was a lot at the time. I chose DK in the end, and made not a single penny from the choice.

Today I received a message from the club, and upon hearing it I was taken with shock. The contents within roughly: If you want to keep playing professionally, if another club wants you, then they must pay a transfer fee to DK. If they don’t pay, then you just stay with DK. DK will continue paying you, but that’s it. When I heard this, I exploded in laughter. You want to kick me, but you also want to hold onto me so you can make some money before I go???? “Why don’t you come to my house?? I’ll take care of you, pay you, and you stay put and don’t go anywhere.” (sarcasm)

Sorry, please go easy on this poor bastard. I’m really not worth any money.

And then, talk of contracts. Haha, when I first came to DK, it was because I trusted DK. When I first signed my contract with DK, none of us really paid attention to the details within, we all roughly listened to what you guys explained to us, and when we felt there weren’t any issues, we just signed up. This was a representation of the trust. I originally believed that I would retire with DK, but it would seem that today, I have been too fucking naive all along. As a person, I’m like that. I never leave myself any paths of retreat, I would never go chat with other people while I’m still at DK, exploring options and looking for a move for myself. Speaking honestly, when I received the news that I had been removed from the team, at that moment, there was no other place I could go. Not because I literally cannot go, but because I do not want to go. I had rejected all others.

I can only tell you, I will absolutely continue playing professionally, I will not give up. As for the contract you spoke of? I truly do not believe that contracts hold the kind of life-ruining power that you’ve suggested. And even if so, then I can say that only a pig will sign it; maybe I am one myself?

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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!

DK.rOtK talks DSL and ECL, and hopes for TI3: “All for TI3 and BurNIng!”

Replays.net: Hello xB, welcome to this interview with Replays.net. DK quite nearly didn’t manage to make it to the ECL matches this time, can you explain to us what happened?
DK.rOtK_xB:
Following DSL, the feeling was that we lacked the drive to win championships, and so for a few days we soaked in an atmosphere of disappointment and demotivation. After that, the club’s boss called out to us to gather back at our Yunnan base, where we held a team meeting in which we all reiterated our collective desires to win. We all felt that with so little time before TI3, we should do this for ourselves, and go out there and try our best once again. So with that understanding, in the end we managed to set aside all other obligations in order to participate in ECL.

RN: In the DSL you guys lost, where do you think you lost?
rOtK_xB:
Our in-game performances and pre-match preparations were both inadequate, and our mentality wasn’t in the right place either. In the offline environment, execution and performance is very key.

RN: Did this have anything to do with the fact that just the day before, your team had defeated TongFu?
rOtK_xB
: Yeah, we had a bit of overconfidence.

RN: Then what will be your team’s goal in participating in this ECL?
rOtK_xB:
We lost in the DSL, taking second place. In reality, this result is one that we can accept, because after all, the second place result is one that we fought for. We all care about the process, so in our meeting we had agreed that this time at ECL our goal is just to fight it out and do our best, whatever we can achieve as long as we do that, as long as it’s in the top 8, is something we can take.

RN: So your DSL result was certainly not poor, second place. Then why did you say earlier that after this loss, you were all seriously demotivated?
rOtK_xB:
Because, the team didn’t feel united. Everyone focused too much on the result itself, and forgot to actually have the heart to fight for it.

RN: Many people are saying that ECL, being an offline event, is your place to shine. Yet today we didn’t hear you do any trash talking, why not?
rOtK_xB:
I feel that something like trash talking should be done in moderation. The inherent nature of it is to simultaneously raise your own team’s spirits while lowering the other team’s, so keeping it at a reasonable level is enough. It’s been around all along, yet because I was one of the early adopters of this, I got the reputation for being a very aggressive trash talker. Really, over all these years, whenever I do partake, I always keep it to a certain level without going too far. For example if they’ve already called GG, and you’re still shouting and yelling… this is not something that I will ever do.

RN: Well, then will we see your trash talking abilities later on here?
rOtK_xB:
It’ll be contingent upon the atmosphere at that moment. Typically the best times for it are when a game is really close and tight. If one side is really far ahead or behind, there’s not much power behind it, it’s only when the game is back and forth, intense, that its effects are truly seen.

RN: Over the first two days of competition, many viewers and spectators are saying that it is just this kind of offline environment, with no soundproofing between the two teams, that provides for the best trash talking.
rOtK_xB:
I also feel this way. Being able to shout at each other, face to face, that’s what really gets the blood flowing. If you look at other competitive sports, none of them will have any soundproofing; if you’re playing basketball, you aren’t going to have covers over the players’ mouths so they can’t speak. In the end, games aren’t won on the back of shouting at each other.

RN: With TI3 approaching, what goals and thoughts do you have for it?
rOtK_xB:
TI3 is the true challenge for us. It will be time for us to truly show everything we have, and the goal is top 3.

RN: We all know that B-god will be retiring after TI3, how do you and your teammates view this?
rOtK_xB:
Our DSL-related meeting also touched upon this issue. We all understand his decision, because BurNIng is not only respected and admired by all of us, but also the entire scene and other players. So we all agreed, that with TI3 very possibly being B-god’s last tournament, we must strive to leave no regrets for him, for this unmatched teammate.

RN: 820 in a recent interview mentioned that he thought your team’s playing style is relatively stale and predictable, what thoughts do you guys have on strategies for your team?
rOtK_xB:
Before, we had always played 4 protect 1. After doing that for a while, we realized that as long as BurNIng’s farm is impeded significantly and he doesn’t get fat, then we would have no way into the game. So back and forth, we always came back to leaning on the 4 protect 1 heavily, the goal being to make sure that he does get the farm he needs. In reality, 4 protect 1 doesn’t really suit the current versions of the game, so we’ve made complete changes to everything. Because B-god himself might’ve been unfamiliar with having less farm to work with in early game, so the new strategies for our team encountered some early challenges and growing pains. Now, though, BurNIng has said, he can play anything in any style, and if he is needed to go up against heavy pressure, then he will carry the pressure, and thus our team has opened up many new styles, and we’re now able to play almost any style, and willing to play any style.

RN: So this ECL, your team is partaking purely for the purposes of getting more practice?
rOtK_xB:
Yes indeed. For TI3, this time we’re here to thoroughly transition our style.

RN: Then how many different strategies have you guys prepared?
rOtK_xB:
We’ve prepared many different ones. As long as we’ve thought of it, then we dare to use it. Right now we’re very liberal in this, we aren’t like before where we were very conservative in our style. In the past, perhaps we’d think of a strategy or a draft but not go with it because we weren’t completely comfortable or familiar with it, but this time we’re willing to use whatever we come up with!

RN: We wish you good luck, and you have the last word for anything you might want to say to fans.rOtK_xB: After all this time, especially in recent times, I really want to thank all of DK’s fans for their support. Just as one fan said to me: supporting DK is a kind of belief. I really really really thank you and appreciate you all for your support. And of course, also thanks to our sponsors Tt eSports for their long-standing sponsorship. Thank you all.

Source: http://dota2.replays.net/news/page/20130712/1832081.html

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