EG.Arteezy: We knew we were going to become the new Evil Geniuses' team
Artour 'Arteezy' Babaev, the youngest Dota 2 prodigy gracing the North American continent, has been in the lime-light ever since his win at MLG Columbus with Cloud 9 (former Speed Gaming). His splendid performace at MLG earned him an invitation to form a team with Clinton 'Fear' Loomis at Evil Geniuses, with whom he went on to win their first title in ESP Shock Therapy Cup.
In an exclusive interivew with GosuGamers' David 'dragonccc' Wang, the talented youngster discusses about the formation of the new Evil Geniuses Dota 2 team, their plans on attending major tournaments, discussion of the meta-game and his favourite hero in Dota 2. He also sheds light on the viability on Ember Spirit and Drow Ranger in the competitive meta - amongst various other topics such as The International 4 qualifiers, etc.
Hi artour, thanks for accepting the interview, How is life treating you after winning MLG?
Hey, what's up? Life is going great! I've only spent $1000 of the prize I received haha...
Before EG sponsored your team, why was the name SADBOYS used as your team tag?
We already knew we were going to become the new Evil Geniuses' team but we didn't want to announce it right away so we figured we must play under a random team name and that is how SAD BOYS was born. I pitched the idea randomly because we are all big fans of Yung Lean and Sad Boys and fortunately my team approved.
Did your team have any other sponsorship offers, and why was EG chosen in particular? Or was EG the obvious choice from the beginning?
We did receive other sponsorship offers but ever since the teams creation we were 100% going to become EG, no matter what other organizations offered us.
EG has been on a 19 games winning streak, including winning ESP Shock Therapy Cup. How do you rate your team's performance? Also how long do you think you can keep the streak going?
Unfortunately, we lost our first game under the Evil Geniuses offiical sponsor... but I think we are playing okay as of now. I feel like individually we are performing well but as a team we have some moments where we just don't communicate. This is more of an experience thing and I believe it will be fixed as time goes on.
What are your scrimming sessions like?
Well... most of our scrims usually end up with me feeding mid because I'm not looking at the map at all and then the other lanes owning and somehow carrying me through the game to victory.
Are there any conflicts between your school and team schedules? How do you cope with balancing school work and Dota at the same time?
My school schedule is pretty compatiable with the common dota schedule due to a small selection of courses. However, there are times where I have to reschedule certain tests which is why sometimes I'm unable to meet 3pm pst matches.
Most of your teammates live in the EG teamhouse. Are there any chances that you might join them as well? If so, when?
We will most likely bootcamp prior to big lans in summer or during school breaks but as of now I have no intention of living in the teamhouse for an extended period of time during school, atleast.
Now lets talk about you. You are the youngest player to grace the NA scene. Is there any bossing around on you in the team, considering your relatively young age compared to theirs?
Haha, of course. I am a diligent dota player and will listen to anything my team has to say! I have my moments where I just YOLO mode but.. those are rare.
Who approached you to join EG in the first place? Did you recieve offers to join other teams? Also, what can you bring to the table at EG?
Alexander Garfield messaged me about a potential new roster months before the origination of SAD BOYS and we just casually spoke about it. Mostly, he wanted to know if I was able to commit because I am still in high school and other related things. I'll be honest,I received many team offers but most of them I would have to sacrifice an important thing in my life which I didn't want to do.
Will we see you transitioning to less farm oriented mids?
Depending on the metagame and other stuff like that I will adapt and play whatever is necessary. Currently, I feel like farmer mids are more rewarding and also stronger.
You seem to hold Drow Ranger in high regard. Will she be picked more often?
I do think Drow Ranger is a strong hero but it is a very situational pick. We did practice it often and realized its pros and cons, so next time we draft it; I will not feed.
Ember Spirit was added to CM and was picked by your team recently. What niche does the hero bring to the table and will he be seen more frequently in future games?
My team thinks he is overpowered, but I honestly think he is overrated. He surely is a strong hero, don't get me wrong but there are counters. He is able to traverse the map very effectively and apply a lot of pressure at all points of the game.
Is there any hero that you think is currently undiscovered by teams at the moment?
Team EG will reveal some at Texas :)
Now moving on to the topic of tournaments, do your team have any plans for the upcoming Starladder Season 9 NA qualifiers and Monster Invitational to be held in Texas?
We plan on winning every game.
MLG Anaheim is also coming up soon, do you think you can add another MLG title to your name?
I'm going to wear my scarf and bring my manpurse to this LAN as well so I will win, definitely.
What are your thoughts on the recent rumors on the qualifers for The International 4?
I understand where Valve is coming from with it, to me it doesn't matter much because the best NA team will be invited and the teams that don't get invited will prove themselves in the qualifer. As of right now, I feel like there are two candidates for that TI invite spot; TL and EG so if one of us don't get invited the other will prove themselves through the qualifer.
Would you like to travel to China to participate for a LAN event?
I do not like China and it's environment, personally. However, Team EG will attend if there are tournies at an appropriate time.
As a professional player about to legitimately begin his career in esports, how would you recommend others to do the same?
Keep involving yourself in the competitive scene by marking yourself as an active ringer/LFT and eventually you will land yourself a great opportunity to ring for a team or get scouted for an experienced team.
Which team do you feel is currently the strongest in China right now?
I honestly don't watch all the teams so I don't have an educated opinion but just from what I'm hearing DK remains the strongest.
Now on to some off topic questions, who is your favourite hero? Do you have some tips that a general player are not aware of for that hero?
My favorite hero right now is Naga Siren. I just love playing her in ranked mm because it usually secures an easy win if I need it. It is also competitively viable which gives me incentive to win ranked MM games.. haha. The hero is acutally fairly easy to play but hard to master. You just need to keep playing her and you will notice certain aspects of the hero that you didn't notice before! That is all I can say about her.. :)
Do you watch anime with EE Sama?
I beg him sometimes... it isn't enough. He is a solo man :(
We reach the end of our interview. Is there anything you would like to say to your sponsors and fans?
Thanks GosuGamers for this interview! Shoutout to my sponsors Monster Energy, HyperX, Razer,Astro Gaming, CYBERPOWERPC, ZAM Network, Design by Humans, NeedforSEAT USA and BenQ. Also special shoutout to the fans supporting us!!!
Rotator image credits: Justin Blau, NeoDota