Xiao8: 'The invitees are all well deserved'
Ning 'Xiao8' Zhang is in quite the spotlight recently, participating in a dating show to get the girl of his dreams and also the fact that LGD.cn received an invitation to The International 3. Gosugamers caught up with the captain of LGD.cn on his thoughts about the TI3 invites and what we can expect in his bo5 battle against Zhao Jie.
Hello Xiao8. Congratulations on getting invited to TI3. How are you feeling right now?
Very happy and excited about TI3.
I think LGD.cn was probably one of the few teams who did not find out about their invite prior to the announcement. Who first told you about the news?
Icefrog. Icefrog told me after the first wave of invites were sent out.
Describe the atmosphere in the gaming house when the news came about. I think the announcement came pretty late in China too. Were any of the guys sleeping already?
Everyone was asleep, I was the only one awake. It was maybe 2 or 3 am. I let them sleep because it's way too late to wake them up.
So what do you think of all the invitees for this year’s TI3? Do you think there are any other teams who deserve it more?
I think the invitees for this year are all well deserved, and I am sure Valve took consideration before making these decisions. There are still many strong teams in China, like TongFu and the two RS’s (Rising Stars and Rattlesnake). Hopefully they will come on top in the East Qualifier.
So the main aim is still The International 3. Do you think this year will still be another Asian domination? How do you think you guys will fare in your current condition?
I think this year every team has a fair chance, because of some changes in the game versions. Placing is hard to predict right now. It really depends on training and performance in tournaments in the coming months.
What do you think about the performance of Alliance and Liquid? A lot of people on our forums are saying they are the "special" ones. Care to elaborate what have you analyzed about them?
I haven't gotten the chance to analyze the two teams, but they seem pretty strong.
What are your thoughts about more and more European teams coming to China for bootcamp? Some people said that if the Europeans want to play seriously, they can do it in Europe and don't have to fly all the way to China. What do you think about that?
European and American teams are coming to China because they want to study the Chinese playstyles and experience how we train. After all, China's esports environment is very good and perhaps the best in the world when it comes to professionalism.
Do you think the west have what it takes to give the Chinese a good challenge this time at G-1 League?
I notice that the Chinese teams do not really participate much in small to medium sized online tournaments while SEA teams basically participate in everything. Why is that? Do you think participating in more will be detrimental to the team?
I don't know. There isn't any tournament; it's not that we don't want to participate.
What about SEA tournaments? We see teams like Rising Stars and Rattlesnake joining a lot of small tournaments like GEST.
Some tournaments don't contact us, so us players, don't know what's going on. If there are tournaments, we can definitely consider taking part.
However, teams like Alliance and MUFC join so many tournaments and they almost play official matches everyday. Do you think that is good for the team's conditioning or do you think proper training time is better?
I believe a combination of official matches and scrims, is the best way to improve the team overall. I personally think if there are decent tournaments, then participating in it is good for the team in terms of experience and to see our strengths and weaknesses.
How do you think the Dota 2 Super League will change the competitive scene in China? Some people are saying it will stop teams from participating in smaller tournaments because there are participation prizes. What do you think?
This tournament is definitely priority for all Chinese teams. We want to participate in professional tournaments, place well, and treat it as training for Seattle. I don't really pay attention to other things other than the game itself.
Recently you have also been in a dating show. How did that came about? Did you asked to be invited to the show or did they come to you?
I took initiation and asked for it.
They didn't explain it very well in the show but how did you first get to know Zhao Jie?
I met her at a game convention. She was a model there.
Ever since then she was a big fan of LGD? How long have you known her?
It has been about 2 years now. Back then she didn’t play Dota yet.
We have not seen the apparent third part of the show, tell us what can the fans expect from it? Is it a bo5?
It’ll end in the next episode, so stay tuned this Friday! (Editors note: The show will air at 10pm SGT tomorrow. The Youtube videos are expected to be released on Saturday. We will share the video on our Facebook page whenever it's made available)
Alright thanks for the interview xiao8. Would you like to say anything to all your fans supporting you on your pursuit of Zhao Jie?
Thank you for the continuous support. I LOVE YOU GUYS! Also a big shoutout to our sponsors Taobao Gaming, Razer, Kingston and LGD.