Interview: Drayich goes Dota 2

Posted by Ulrich "KongoTime" Hanten at 18 November 2011 21:46
In regards to his newest endeavour with GamersLeague, we interviewed Kim 'Drayich' Larsson about the challenge of combining gaming- and family-life, his new team and the switch to Dota 2.

photo credit:

So Dray, after a few switches between DotA and HoN, you now set foot on Dota 2. Would you please shortly summarize your overall experience with the game and it's mechanics so far?
First off to clarify, I didn't switch between DotA and HoN. I stopped playing DotA competitively and at the same time, my friends and I from Malung, the place where I grew up, decided to play some HoN for fun. We "accidently" won the tournament at Dreamhack meaning a world of travel opened up for us - no one would say "no thanks" to this. But now playing Dota 2, I have to say I'm in love.

The team needs more time to really turn out super-powerful, ...
You now play under the banner of GamersLeague with your good friends, Black, Xoy and so on. Could you please recap the timely process of you entering the game until the get-together with the organization.
Well it's not tons of time, that's for sure. I was contacted by 4GL and asked to form a team for them. I directly turned to Hyddae and Xoy who are two people I put a lot of trust in and we have many hours together. With them we discussed and decided to make use of our friends from Germany. The team needs more time to really turn out super-powerful, but we are starting to work on that already. I’m talking about a period of two weeks in total.

I assume that this new engagement will let HoN recede into the distance in your gaming-life. Do you have mixed feelings leaving the game and its community?
Of course. I really like both the game and its community. I don’t see any point in taking sides, I will always respect and speak well of HoN as a game. Perhaps I will do some community-work in HoN in the future a swell. I will be doing some commentating in Swedish for Dreamhack Winter for example.

.... but we are starting to work on that already
In terms of community-work, you have also attempted multiple times to improve the reputation of the community and especially competitive teams through your writings in the past. When you look at the current European clan scene that plays on the highest levels, do you see an improvement throughout the months and years?
I haven’t been in the scene, I`ve only watched it from outside. But it looks like it has improved. The timeloss is gone from the remake of the -apxl system which I’m super-happy that it did happen; I was suggesting a rework of the pick system long back. Also real commentating with good streams makes the scene much more interesting. When it comes to pure manners, I believe there are still kids out there, however hopefully we can wash their mouths as time goes by (*smiles*).

Are there any differences to be made out between HoN and DotA teams, or are those two of a kind.
There is one major difference. The HoN-teams play HoN and the DotA-teams play DotA.

In both game, you and their respective competitive scenes go a long way back. When you think of the past, for example your first Dreamhack, where you had to bring your own computer to play DotA, which now is a negative example; are there any aspects of the good old times that you miss?
Hmm...the times with SK-gaming when we didn’t lose one single map during the Pride tournament wasn’t so bad. Playing versus Zenith at Dreamhack best-of-three which took so much energy, but we finally managed to win. One of my favourite series ever so far. I also somewhat missed the -apxl when sitting on IRC and the channel was crowded. Then the admins moderated it and the pick-sequence started. It was cool, event hough it was a lot of time wasted. (*smiles*)

You said earlier that your team will have a lot of catching up to do and is currently working on it. With family-life and other things taking a good chunk of your time, do you feel worried about the challenge of getting everything together?
Personally, I play a lot and in my experience and I will keep doing that, but as a team you gotta grow together, and that takes time. But with the possibility to get to events the time saved (for the team’s growth) is much less than if you would have to do it all online. Regarding my family-life, I still have kids, now even two of them. However my wife is very understanding and I should be able to combine it!

My son is already awesome at XBOX360, Thai-boxing, football and plays Lego Pirates of the Caribbean on the Laptop.
Beyond following your career in competitive gaming, which I assume your wife and family already do, does anybody from your family take further interest in how the game works mechanically and try to understand the challenges you face in order to beat other teams (drafting, gameplay, etc.)?
My wife follows my interviews. She comments on my language and my ability to answer questions. When it comes to the game it's harder. The games aren't easy to understand. After Dreamhack she said, ‘Me and Lave (my son) screamed every time the blue thing died (Soulstealer), since we knew that was Loda’s hero and that he needed to die alot for you to win the game honey.’ That’s the level of understanding, still I get really emotional when I talk about it. She really gives her effort.

We see many cases of sons following a father’s footstep in professional sports like football/soccer. Do you set it as a goal, that your children would get a comfortable start in competitive gaming through your effort, should they be willing to go that path?
Dude, my son already is awesome at both XBOX360 and plays Lego Pirates of the Caribbean on the Laptop. He is also awesome at Thai-boxing and he plays football. But I don’t plan his future. He can do whatever he wants to do, love whoever he wants and think whatever he wants. As long as he is fair. If he wants to be a pro-gamer, so be it. But I’m not asking for it.

Alright, moving on: joinDOTA's The Defense recently started with a pretty formidable "HoN-squad" EBIN, around TriXi, Rexi and others. How do you think they will fare against the other Dota 2 giants?
They will probably do good.

Have you been following the recent Dota 2 tournaments? If so, what is your opinion on the level of play there. Have teams already found their peak in the game?
Oh god, these kinds of questions are just speculation. I believe the currently smaller hero pool makes the game not complete enough to take these discussions. But in my opinion every team will improve a lot still.

Where do you see the new 4GL in the current spectrum of high-calibre teams? Do you think you will be able to fill in the footsteps of your predecessors?
That’s for the future to tell. But I wouldn’t judge us from the first games since we still are new to each other.

My wife is very understanding and I should be able to combine family and gaming-life!
I hate to ask, since I feel you answered the questions about differences between HoN and DotA a couple of hundred times, but here it comes: What do you feel is different between HoN and Dota 2?
I understand that you have to ask this question, my response however is: Try both games and find out for yourself. Both are nice games!

Thank you. Now that we see you back in the loop of competitive play, will we be able to read your blog and listen to your tribute songs, that graced our ears and minds in the past?
I guess I won’t be able to NOT do anything, however, I don’t know in what way and manner! (*smiles*)

You sang about two DotA players, but no HoN player so far. Is there any reason why that’s the case. Are there not as many characters involved in HoN that would make you consider writing a tribute for them?
In HoN we actually had our own song (available to the right) so singing myself felt like an over-achievement.

Video - TsoG Tribute on youtube