r1sk: We have to play phase 3 with stand-ins
Chains Stack, a SEA mix team led by David 'r1sk' Arnous has been the talks of many especially after toppling both For.Love and Rising Stars in the second phase of G-1 League. Gosugamers pulled r1sk aside for an interview about Chains Stack and how far does he think his team will go in G-1 League.
Hey David. It’s been a long while since we have heard from you. How are you doing?
Hi all, I'm doing quite well thanks.
After the disbandment of N9, you have moved on to be a part of this team called Chains Stack. How did this team come to be?
Most of my former teammates didn't want to continue anymore so I just started spamming pubs. I added many people to friends and some added me during this period. After a while I met Chains who were actually asked to join N9 after 'The Asia'. He wasn't able to play due to time contraints with his army obligations. I pubbed alot with Chains and his group asked me to play a Gosucup with them. We didn't do all that well because we were a team of like 4 farmers. I then decided to make my team, choosing players that I pubbed a lot with and I ended up with the four we have currently.
Why the name Chains stack?
During many of our pubs, people would refer to our group as "The Chains Stack", and when someone abandons at the start we called it "The Chains Effect". So I found this really amusing and decided to register our team under the name Chains Stack since I couldn't think of anything else at the time.
We also noticed that the team members in Chains Stack are from different nationalities. Have you lost faith in creating a team within Oceania?
Apart from my friends Alex (blackshatan) and Darcy (Godot), I do not believe there is any player that has the skill, dedication and attitude to compete at such a high level. This may change in the future and I certainly hope it does. Although Australian server is a great thing for our casual Dota players, I believe ultimately, they may hinder development of up and coming talent since Australian teams will not be exposing themselves to the strategies and teamplay of strong Asian teams.
What do you think about Oceanic teams like RILIMIN?
RILIMIN I believe, would be near the top of Oceania dota at the moment. I think there are a couple of other Australian teams that could challenge them on the Australian server but the quality of play is not that high. The good news is that RILIMIN is improving after every tournament they participate in and they are really active. Actually I think they are only team in Oceania training against teams from Asia at the moment so that's a bonus for them. I wish them the best.
With that said, is it difficult scrimming with such high ping while your teammates are playing in virtually no delay on SEA server?
Well I've been playing with delay since I received my beta key so I am used to it I guess. I try to never play solo mid as that is the one place where my ping disadvantage can really hurt my play. I am glad though that I am no longer playing on US East. The ping there is a bit too high and out of my comfort zone.
Since Chains Stack isn’t really a sponsored team, you guys must have difficulties juggling real life commitments and such frequent gaming schedule. How do you guys cope with it?
We have HUGE trouble juggling training and our real life commitments. Two of our players are students, they are the lucky ones I guess. I work but it is manageable. The big issue is two of our players are from Singapore and have compulsory Army commitments. This takes massive amounts of their time and we rarely have five on at the same time for training. This means 85% of the time we play pubs with whoever we have online, team matchmaking or scrim with 1 or 2 stand-ins. Conditions aren't ideal but we really enjoy playing with each other, so all we can do is try our best.
We understand that some of the players might not be around for the phase 3 of the G-1 qualifiers. Do you mind explaining more about that?
Yeah, unfortunately LEGENDARY has a holiday coming up at the end of this week for approximately 5 days and JoHnNy has school commitments for a week (also starting next week). So we may have to play phase 3 matches with stand-ins but it really isn't the fault of our two players. There are so many matches to be played that this was bound to happen for a non-pro team.
You guys took a lot of people by surprise of late taking down two Chinese teams, For.Love and Rising Stars in phase two of the G-1 Asia qualifiers. How does it feel upsetting the strong favourites coming into the qualifiers?
It feels fantastic. The whole team is surprised at the level of play that we've been able to sustain. Everyone must remember though that both FL and Rstars have had recent roster changes and I am sure that they will grow stronger as time goes by. I guess we are a bit lucky that we got to go up against the more unstable teams from China.
What do you think is the team’s strong point right now and what can you work to improve on?
I think the strongest point is the pure skill of my teammates. Both the support players have been rock solid in individual play in all our G-1 games. Johnny, although targeted in mid by most of our opponents has also performed at a high level and Chains is a solid carry player. The obvious weakness is experience. These players (with the exception of Minerva - currently also playing for Joenet) are literally fresh out of pubs and it has been a challenge to change their play to suit a more disciplined teamplay style. We also need to develop a greater number of strategies but we lack the training time to do so.
Do you think you guys would be able to pull it off against other more stable Chinese teams like LGD.cn and Invictus Gaming?
Anything is possible with the right draft I guess. All I know is that even with the right draft our play would have to be close to flawless to beat such giants. We will always go into any game with a winning mentality.
What do you think about the format of G-1 qualifiers in general?
Also for teams, progressing from "Phase 1" to "Phase 2" and then to "Phase 3" is really cool. You start off fighting teams that are on a similar footing to yourself and then move on a tier in Phase 2. Now in Phase 3 we have to verse the absolute best of Asia which is scary. The format is really exciting. Every game is meaningful and I think the admins have done a great job in keeping matches running on schedule.
What do you think of your group?
Well iG is iG, best team in the world. They have five playmakers which includes YYF - arguably the only player in the world that doesn't make mistakes. DK has Burning, he can single handedly win games and his teammates are obviously no push over either. Zenith (who are the favourite to win over Neolution) have ridiculous amounts of individual skill and are quite experienced - a deadly combo. If Neolution beats Zenith then we cannot underestimate them either. Overall a seriously tough group and to come top 2 would be something incredible.
We wish you all the best for G-1 David. Any last shoutout?
Thanks for interviewing me. Huge thanks to my teammates for playing these tournaments with me. Shoutout to the wider Page 1 Chains Stack SEA tryhard community - iHEO, OverDrive, Rodgeee., Ehwahh, Kyo, Lakuci, Snowie, iObviouslyAmMe, KSKSKS, MLG22 and KiSe. And thanks of course, to our fans for all the support.