Interview with pinksheep* from PMS Asterisk
Arguably the most popular female DotA team in the world, PMS* will be present at ESTC from next Thursday to compete for the third year in a row. Speaking up on behalf of the Singaporean team is player Dawn "pinksheep*" Yang.
What is PMS's roster for ESTC and what are the roles of each player?
-"Our current main five are PMS furryfish*, PMS yan*, PMS kimchi*, PMS msjovial and myself, PMS pinksheep* - furryfish and kimchi are on support, yan and jovial are on semi-carries and I'm playing hard carry."
What has been happening recently for PMS?
-"We just got picked up by Razer, launched a new set of wallpapers for 2011 and we're currently in the process of revamping our website (teamasterisk.sg). In addition to that, we're also part of the thought leadership forum in Singapore, called Be The Change. We've also been invited to a gaming party to beta test Diablo 3 this coming Saturday.
Just on a side note: we're fighting for the Singapore government to recognise eSports at the Be The Change forum. Ah yes, and we have a manager on board."
There'll be another Chinese female team Eve at ESTC. How much do you know about them? Are you looking forward to playing against them?
-"If I am not mistaken - we played against Mint from Eve before when we went to the Iron Ladies tournament in Shanghai last January. I'm not sure what handle she's using now, but she was easily one of the strongest back then.
And yes we're looking forward to playing against them - it'd be interesting to see if they will adopt the strategies that China guy teams usually deploy."
Yes, the top Chinese have decided to give this tourmanent a pass. In your opinion, which of the participating teams will be your strongest opponent at ESTC? Why?
-"It's a bit hard to say. Malaysian teams have always been quite strong in the region but lately you see teams like Mski and Trust surprising everyone at tournaments like The International.
I'd put my money on MuFc and possibly the USA/EU team - having come such a long way I'm sure they'll fight tooth and nail to place first."
Will you be making your trip to Thailand with the MYM guys? What is your team's relationship with the players?
-"We're not sure if AEON and/or MYM are taking the same flights as us - we haven't checked, but they might be. Last year, we met some of the old Scythe members on the plane.
Well most of us are friends and we do play together in mixed teams pretty often."
I have to ask, what's your itenary like for ESTC? Are you planning any shopping sprees?
-"Haha. Good one. We've mapped out day one purely for shopping. We're landing early - about noon time on Wednesday - and then it's straight to lunch and Platinum mall.
furryfish, msjovial and myself will be flying with near-empty bags - well, just pyjamas and we're intending to buy all our clothes there."
It's your third year participating in this event, right? (Yup.) How do you feel? What's the biggest change personally for you and the team since your first year?
-"I think one of the biggest challenges for DotA teams is the instability of the roster. Fortunately we've been quite blessed and at least for the past year we've only had one change (w4ndeRz* to msjovial*). When a new player comes on board, team dynamics will always change and it puts quite a lot of stress on the rest of us.
Personally I've been having a bit of a struggle managing both competitive gaming, my career and my personal life. Especially this year - I've been put on a few big projects at work and the stress has been quite overwhelming. It has definitely impacted my performance in the team."
What are your goals for the event this time?
-"We intend to play our best and have a blast - it looks to be one of the last few tournaments for DotA 1. Dota 2 might be a whole different ball game - which means training again nearly from scratch!"
Talking about Dota 2, what are your thoughts? Do you think it will attract more female gamers?
-"Gaming has been picking up amongst girls. And even though there aren't many female DotA teams out there, we do know an increasing number of girls who play the game.
But for DotA 2, I think the uptake will be a lot more gradual - firstly because it's paid to play, which increases the barriers of entry. And secondly DotA isn't a game that's as easy to pick up as say, L4D."
Yeah. But I don't suppose blowing the head of a zombie will appeal as much to female gamers.
-"Well! I think it matters less how the zombie looks than hitting them. I honestly think the success of L4D is the ease at which people manage to hit targets (without having to try very hard).
To a casual gamer - a kill is a shot of adrenalin. So there."
Does that also apply to you too as a female gamer ("a kill is a shot of adrenalin"), or do you find our excitement from playing DotA somewhere else?
-"Oh I always enjoy going in for the kill. That's why my team put me on carry. But I must agree that friends add a lot more fun to the game - especially when it's a game that I've been playing for nearly five years."
Lastly, are there any other LAN competitions you're looking to attend this year? Like you said, it may be the last DotA 1 tournament you'll ever go to.
-"SMM would be the other tournament that we should be attending."
I'm sure Tobi is dying to see you and the girls. Is there anything you would like to say to him?
-"Are you sure? We meet him all the time at tournaments and stuff - plus he comments on our Facebook posts pretty frequently! (And vice versa.)
Nowhere in the world's too far with Facebook. Maybe you should ask him if he's sick of seeing us."
I will. Any shoutouts?
-"Well to my lovely teammates <3, my DotA friends (you know who you are) and all our fans at ESTC: we can't wait to meet you guys!"