Statsman Bruno: 'Most of it was improvised on the spot'
Bruno 'Statsman' Carlucci recently sat down with Nail 'Hemmy' Safin from Virtus.Pro to do an interview for the Russian speaking audience. Since not everyone speaks Russian but everyone should get to enjoy the wit and insight of the Statsman, we reprint here the majority of the original English language transcript from the interview. So what are you waiting for? Get to know the Statsman right now!
NAME: Bruno 'Statsman' Carlucci
OCCUPATION: e-Sports Personality, Caster, Developer
Bruno has become a familiar face to many over the course of the past year, even since this former co-head of the dota-academy website was plucked from obscurity and put infront of the cameras at The International 2012, where he stole the show and our hearts.
Bruno has since moved to Sweden, become a regular in all productions by The GD Studio and made his return trip to the analyst panel for this years International.
He's also branching out, having made the trip to the BeyondTheSummit studio in order to cast the Alienware Cup, as well as appearing throughout the next few days alongside Toby 'TobiWan' Dawson at the StarLadder LAN Finals in Kiev.
The interview was conducted by Nail 'Hemmy' Safin originally for VirtusPro.org and outtakes from the original transcript are reprinted here in English with his permission.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Bruno Carlucci, I’m 28 years old, from Argentina. I’m a Dota 2 host and personality, I’m also known in here for some stuff like Dota Academy, the first Dota 2 pro statistics website, the Dota Fantasy League, and the Dota 2 Replay Parser, among other useful analysis tools. I’ve been part of the Analyst desk at The International 2012 and 2013, and hosted/casted many other tournaments and LANs around the world during the last year. I live in Sweden right now, at the GD house (home of the GD studio) with James ‘2gd’ Harding, Draskyl and a few others.
I’m known as a personality of 2 different extremes. On one side, I bring the hard statistics and technical information about Dota 2 that helps people understand the game better and predict who has the better draft or better chances to win the game; on the other side, I try to make things funny, wear colorful clothes and make people laugh.
When did you leave Argentina, and why?
I left Argentina on February 2013 to work with The GD Studio in Stockholm, Sweden. In all honesty, I had been planning to leave the country for one year at that point. As nice as the country is (and believe me, it’s beautiful), I didn’t feel challenged professionally. I built my own software consultancy company, ran it successfully for 3 years and sold it when it became evident that the country’s economic policies didn’t support entrepreneurs. At that point, while I could literally choose to work wherever I wanted, I realized I would hit a professional ceiling very fast, so I decided to leave. Once I had everything set to leave, TI2 happened unexpectedly, and I changed my plans to work on E-Sports for some time, and at the same time keep working on software development while I wasn’t attending events.
Tell us about your education. What did you study, and where?
I have a Masters in Computer Sciences, graduated from the Buenos Aires Institute of Technology (ITBA). After I graduated at 22, I stayed at the university as a professor for 5 more years. Naturally, most of the people who study computer sciences are involved in gaming in one way or another, in fact, one of my friends there introduced me to DOTA a long long time ago.
I also participated in and then helped organize several national programming contests, including several involving automated physical robots. Some of the competitions literally involved robots fighting with each other in a big arena, kind of like DOTA, but in real life, and people had to program the robots to eliminate the opponents and work with each other. It was pretty fun stuff!
"Statistics by themselves won’t win you games, but they can help move the scales 5-10% in your favor!"
Tell us about what you do currently?
I live in Stockholm with the people from The GD Studio. From here we can create cool content and work on different projects. Right now I'm also helping James (2GD) with the development of an esports game called Reborn. We’ll probably be able to tell you more about that in the future!
You said you previously ran a software consultancy business. Could you tell us a bit more about that?
My company did quite amazing stuff, essentially businesses would call us when they had a problem to solve that required developing new software. It could be something mundane or boring like creating an enrollment system for a university, but it also could be amazing stuff like creating from scratch and managing a whole player and training database for a 1st division football club.
The thing we were really good at though was in time critical situations, sometimes businesses needed something done in an unreasonable period of time, or maybe they were working with another company and they bailed before the job was done and didn’t know what to do. In those situations we always got the job done, no matter what. I loved the thrill and the pressure, in that way it was a bit like competitive gaming!
Also, as I briefly mentioned before, one of our long term customers was one of the biggest sports club in Argentina, so we were used to dealing with, for example, football players which, surprisingly, are not too different in personality from pro E-sports players! Our job forced us to interact with players, teams, tournament organizers and player associations, so I think that made it so understanding the E-sports world came naturally to me.
Do you have any plans for the future concerning your work?
I do. I can’t talk about all of them however. I plan to stay within the esports scene for quite a while though in one way or another. There’s a big announcement coming soon with the GD Studio though, probably by the end of the month, so you can stay tuned for that one!
What do you feel are the main differences between TI2 and TI3 from your point of view and generally?
TI2 was amazing because it showed what an E-sports event can look like when you put so much money and effort in it. Everyone was treated spectacularly well by Valve, players, casters, fans… and for me it was amazing because I was confirmed into the show just 2 days before. I would’ve never imagined I would be there, so it felt magical.
TI3 was way more polished and improved in so many ways! The compendium made it really fun to watch, the players were hungrier for glory than ever. It was also harder for me because there are only so many statistics jokes in the world and I think I used them all! Besides with the introduction of in-game statistics, we ran into the risk of forcing statistics for the sake of it, so I had to tone it down and focus for more relaxed fun content instead. All in all, I think we did a good job!
Did you support any team in particular? Were there any letdowns for you?
It’s hard to pick one team, I have friends in many teams and wanted them all to win. I was a bit sad that Winter’s team (MUFC) couldn’t win a single match, and I was also sad that Quantic was eliminated in the wildcard match. Other than that, the only thing I would’ve wanted different is to see a Europe vs. China match in the final. Don’t get me wrong, Na’vi vs Alliance was probably the best Bo5 ever in the history of Dota 2 but there’s something epic about a West vs. East final in the fact that they can almost only happen at a big tournament like TI, while Na’vi vs Alliance can and will happen twice a month.
Sometimes, Bruno hears voices.
Tell us a bit about your costumes and your performances at TI3? Did you prepare anything in advance and can we expect more of the same at future events?
Most of it was improvised on the spot. We work with James so much that the way to keep us entertained is to do jokes without the other one knowing. The only thing I prepared in advance was the crystal ball and hat when I talked to “the voice of Godz”, the rest of the things like the glasses I just got from random people on the same day and used them as I saw fit.
In fact, on the final day, after Alliance won, I made a cheese joke where I took a wheel of cheese from below the table. The idea came to me early during the morning and I started asking people from production where I could buy a wheel of cheese. Fortunately, our lovely and beautiful make-up artist, Krystal, took me to a place where they sold them, so I could use the joke in the end.
Naturally I have more things already prepared for TI4, and some, smaller, stuff for other tournaments in between. People expect me to dress with a new, even crazier, outfit like TI3 for every tournament, but unfortunately that’s a little bit expensive and impossible! The world would run out of crazy suits very very fast! But I always find a way to make people remember one or two funny things every tournament.
How much do you think statistics influence the development of Dota 2 as an e-Sport?
A lot. We do it unconsciously. When you ban Naga because X team plays a really good Naga, you’re using statistics (Specifically that team X has a high winrate with Naga). When you ban X hero because it counters hero Y really bad, you also are using statistics (That hero Y has a high winrate against hero X). The whole idea of using more advanced statistics are to get the same kind of advantages but from things that aren’t too obvious. Let’s say that the star mid player of team X is very good, but he’s not very good playing Dark Seer. Maybe it might be worth it for me to pick TA mid and try to bait him into picking Dark Seer so that even if he has a lane advantage, he’ll be playing a hero he feels less comfortable with. Statistics by themselves won’t win you games, but they can help move the scales 5-10% in your favor!
Who are your favourite team and player from the CIS?
It’s really hard to say anything other than Na’vi for me. I know it seems like the easiest answer, but the Na’vi guys have been super friendly to me since day one, even before I was on camera for the first time, especially Dendi. I had lots of fun drinking with NS at Dreamhack Summer as well and while I didn’t meet Dread in person, he seems to be a very funny guy. I’m afraid I’m not as friendly with most of the CIS players, but that’s something I intend to change in the future. Maybe with the help of some vodka!
Any final words from the Statsman?
A final shoutout. By the time this article is published, I’ll probably be an uncle for the first time, as my sister is about to have a baby. So shoutout to Camila my newborn niece! I’m sorry I can’t be there, but I promise I will go visit soon!