Cyborgmatt: 'I was happy to see iG take the final'

Posted by Mukul "zicomo" Shinde 2 years, 13 weeks ago
A day away from his blog's anniversary, GosuGamers recently interviewed Matthew "Cyborgmatt" Bailey. On this interview, he talks about the foundations of his work, his love for the game and his plans for the future.

Cyborgmatt has been doing the patch update analysis of Dota2, and also has a personal blog where he breaks down and analyse the latest Dota 2 updates that Valve releases. He also uses the blog to release guides and tutorials on other miscellaneous technical topics such as getting the Dota 2 assets working in Valve’s Source Filmmaker tool, etc.

Hello Cyborgmatt! Thanks for accepting the interview. Can you tell us how did you make your connection with Dota 2?

No problem, thanks for invitation! Hi GosuGamers. Before Valve made the announcement that they would be working on Dota 2, I had already been playing the original DotA on and off for a number of years with friends. etc.

My connection with Dota 2 came purely from being a fan of the original version of DotA and even more so as a fan of Valve. I had always been a huge follower of Valve ever since the release of Half-Life 1. So you can imagine how I felt when Valve made their announcement about Dota 2, it was a nice feeling.

You are well known in the community for the weekly Dota 2 update analysis. How did you start with this unique work on Dota 2? Also, can you tell us about the process that you go through while doing the update analysis?

The backstory behind the blog is that in the early stages of Dota 2’s development, it became very clear to me after a bit of snooping that there was a lot going on behind the scenes in these frequent patches. More often than not the official changelogs for the patches were missing a number of additions that Valve had forgotten to mention (or just didn’t want to mention). So what would happen is that every time [that there is a new patch], the patch notes are posted up on Dota 2’s subreddit (/r/Dota2).

I would analyse the patch, jump in the comments section and post a big chunk on text detailing the other additions and hidden goodies that were not mentioned in the notes. From my very first comment, it was clear that people were enjoying the insight I was providing and from there it moved from the comment section on a Reddit post to multiple submissions to the subreddit (which started to look like spam with the amount of submissions I made) which then led me to the decision of moving it to a dedicated blog and ever since then things have just been getting bigger and bigger.

Being friends with many popular figures of the scene, how closely do you follow the competitive scene? And which is your favorite tournament so far expect the International 2? Why?

When I have some spare time, I follow the competitive scene pretty closely. The beauty of Dota 2 is that it is just as great as a spectator sport as it is to play it. As for my favorite tournament outside of the International, it easily has to be the current G-League tournament - we are only part of the way through the tournament and we have already had a number of amazing games, maybe even some of the best games of 2012. The quality of Dota you see in those games is amazing, when a team can play and make as little as to no mistakes in the entire game it’s bloody impressive.

When a team can play and make as little as to no mistakes in the entire game, it’s bloody impressive.

As you enjoy watching Dota 2, what is your favorite team? And who is your favorite player, and why?

I split my favorite teams up between the regions: so for Asia I root for Orange, Europe it is Na’Vi and for the US I root for the Team Liquid guys. I struggle to pick an all-out favourite but if you had a gun to my head it would have to be Na’Vi.

When it comes to a favorite player, I tend to look at it as more than just how they play but I also see what they do for the community and how they represent themselves to the community and for that reason it would most likely have to be Puppey.

While spectating a competitive, scene which caster do you enjoy the most and why?

The caster question is another tough one, but as of recent you cannot beat the quality of casting that LD is pumping out for BeyondTheSummit. LD, Godz, Winter and Fear have done a great job covering the recent G-League tournament and I'm really looking forward to see where BTS goes as an organisation.

The reason why is purely just because of the quality of his casting, his great tone of voice and in-depth knowledge of Dota. When you listen to LD and Winter casting together you get plenty of entertainment and a real feeling that the casters are excited/enjoying what they are doing. (Not to mention Winter’s ability to see into the future).

LD is my favourite due to his great tone of voice and in-depth knowledge of Dota.

You have attended The International 2. What was your expectation at that event?

Photo Source: Cyborgmatt
After Valve had revealed which teams had been invited to The International 2, I remember that a large part of the community was upset and disgruntled at the fact that the majority of the invited teams were from Asia. This was understandable as most of the western community at that stage had only been watching the European Dota 2 tournaments and had not really experienced much of the other scenes.

Personally I wasn’t surprised at the list of teams, those of you that followed the Dota Asia scene know that they take their Dota very seriously and The International 2 helped prove that. Although I was cheering for Na’Vi at TI2 (after Mouz got knocked out), it was clear that the amount of training and hours the Eastern teams had put into Dota 2 was much more than their counter parts and was really the communities (and players) first wake-up call to what a dominate force the Chinese teams were.

In the end I was happy to see iG take the final, after all where’s the fun in Na’Vi winning it twice in a row. :)

Have you visited the Valve’s office before the International 2?

Before The International 2 ,I was given the privilege of having a sneak peak around the Valve offices. I was able to play some Half-Life 3 before the Shitty Wizard caught me. Spoilers: it’s amazing.

Are you a part of the development team of Valve for Dota 2?

Well it would make putting the blog posts together a lot easier.

How would you rate the progress that Dota 2 has experienced ever since you started your blog in January?

From a development point of view, I think Valve has done a great job over the year. For example, the progress made between the first and second International was huge. Valve managed to release a host of new features, improvements and added a whopping 44 additional heroes to the roster which bearing in mind takes a hell of a lot of work. You’re talking about several months of art, animation, effects work, hours of dialogue writing, recording+processing and then the actual programming required in order to implement the hero. (Which is why we see a number of unreleased heroes in development at once)

From an outside point of view, I think that the progress Dota 2 has made over the last year is also phenomenal. The figures for people playing and watching the game have both gone through the roof. We have a number of new sponsors, teams and almost half a million dollars worth of prize money awarded to teams from tournaments outside of The International and the game isn't even released yet.

From a development point of view, I think Valve has done a great job over the year.

What changes are you looking forward in Dota2 to the most?

2013 is definitely going to be a huge year for Dota 2. I would have to say that the arrival of the open beta is probably what I’m looking forward to the most and that’s simply because I can’t wait to see what kind of numbers Dota 2 manages to attract and achieve.

Although there are still a number of things that Valve are working on before we can get to that stage, one of the most important ones being the upcoming tutorial system which itself is a huge task. But the amount of work Valve are putting into it should hopefully mean that one day we can have a playable tutorial in an action RTS game that is sufficient enough to handle the huge learning curve that this game/genre has. Another being the actual server infrastructure, which is one of the other main reasons why the game isn't open beta yet, being able to handle the huge influx of players without everything setting on fire is pretty important. For example, replays alone generate terabytes worth of data on a daily basis.

Aside from the upcoming tutorial system, we also have a number of other things to look forward to throughout the year, - new heroes, Techies, a Mac (and hopefully Linux) clients, in game guide system and plenty more.

At times, we have seen a big hype of new hero coming up in the update, only to see that the patch only includes gameplay and bug fixes. Of course, this disappoints the community of Dota2. What are your thoughts on those updates?

As disappointing as it may be for the community, the reality of the situation is that (like I mentioned earlier in the interview), the amount of work of a hero requires is much more than a couple of weeks. Behind the scenes there are also a number of extra factors that can add additional delays onto the release of a hero. For example, Medusa - progression has been made on her for a number of months now and a number of people are angry that she hasn't been released yet [from the time of interview], what they don’t see is behind the scenes she has been remade multiple times because Valve were not happy with her visuals and appearance.

Valve is not a company to rush things; any Half-Life fans will back me up on this, so if they feel a remake of a hero is required then it will be done. Honestly this really doesn’t affect the community in any way except delaying the release of a hero for a while, this “need” for a hero every week shouldn’t be the priority, bug fixes, improvements etc should be the communities concern.

Behind the scenes, there are also a number of extra factors that can add additional delays onto the release of a hero

How do you feel being one of the nominees for GosuAwards in the Personality category ?

Honestly, I was honored to be one of nominees in this year’s GosuAwards. I never expected anything like that when I was starting up my blog, it has never been for any awards, money etc. I do it purely on the fact that I enjoy my work, what I do and the process of breaking down each patch and presenting my findings in a easy to read/clean, presentable fashion.

Also being a big fan of Valve, their work and Dota doesn’t hurt too.

Cyborgmatt.com is getting one year old this month. Do you want to spoil some further plans you have with the website? Will it get further functionalities?

The blog officially turns one year old on the 17th of January (time flies when you’re having fun), I’m planning on doing a big giveaway on the anniversary of the site, so be on the lookout for details on that in the near future.

Feature-wise, I’m planning on releasing an updated Dota 2 Movie Makers guide to give the potential Dota Michael Bays out there an updated list of commands and tips for removing all of the Dota 2 UI etc.

Also, I’m going to be helping Bruno out with the launch of something in near future which he has been working on over the past few months. It’s really neat, can’t wait to show you guys what he has been up to.

My livestream will also be moving over to Twitch starting from 2013, I know a lot of people have been requesting that so I'm looking forward to streaming a lot more in 2013.

Any Shoutouts before we wind up this interview?

A big thanks to Gosugamers for having me on board for an interview, I have really enjoyed it.

As for shoutouts, a huge one of course to Valve and the Dota 2 team for all the great work they have and continue to do. Also shoutouts to the Dota Goons, the Dota 2 subreddit and everyone else that enjoys reading my blog. <3

Cyborgmatt in social media

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