Capitalist Interview: “ I hope Secret doesn’t get invited to TI6 “
The interview was conducted by Edmund "Llama_lord" Munday at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines, during day two of the Manila Major playoffs
Hey Capitalist, how are you?
I’m good thank you, it’s been a relatively short day for me; I did like first bo3 series and now I’m free so I’m super good.
How have you enjoyed the main event so far, what do you think of it?
I’m enjoying it quite a bit; there have obviously been some tech issues but that’s pretty much natural.
Yeah, it’s like some kind of curse of the Majors.
I think it’s more like curse of running live events in general for eSports. I don’t think people really understand, whenever they talk about laziness and that sort of things. I don’t know, people are treating Majors like E-Leagues and stuff like that. Don’t get me wrong, E-League is amazing for CS GO but people have to remember that that’s a studio built event. For such big live events the time frame is much smaller to solve everything and I think the small number of tech problem this Major has had so far it’s a very good sign for production.
Yeah absolutely, the production here is at an amazing level. What do you think about the Filipino Dota scene?
Something separates Fnatic and MVP Phoenix from the rest of the teams
I think it’s a lot of fun. I particularly liked being here for ESL One Manila just because of the exposure to the fan’s passion for the game. But as far as it goes for the South-East Asian Dota in general, and I’m not going to limit it only on Filipino Dota just because it’s not the strongest right now, but as I said SEA as a whole, it has potential at the top end. Fnatic for example, has huge potential to reach top eight at The International, but other than that I think that they still need strong captains, or I’m not sure what it is that they still lack at this moment because I don’t hang out with the players that much, but it does feel that something is missing. Something separates Fnatic and MVP Phoenix from the rest of the teams. For me, I can only imagine is the really experienced and strong captains.
Alright I have a few questions about you personally, firstly what got you into gaming in general?
Mmm… let’s see. I’m an only child so I started playing video games for a really long time because that was my way of entertaining myself, I think I started around Halo 2. This was where I got my taste for competitive games, like being able to play online on xbox live was the first thing I had ever done. So, I played that a lot and I actually was pretty good at it. That really thrilled me and soon after, I started to play PC games. I started off with Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos then the Frozen Throne came out so I jumped to that; I got exposed to custom games almost immediately and then I started play Dota.
How did you make the step forward to professional gaming?
With Dota 1 I started to play a bit more competitively. As time passed on, I went from playing with my friends and my five-stack to actually doing a tryout for teams and stuff. I got into some lower level teams and did some things that helped me to learn about Dota in ways that I never did before. Back in Dota 1 when you were only playing with your friends you would have no idea how or what the higher level was like unless you’d go search for it; and I didn’t do that, I wasn’t watching replays or anything like this at the time. So, at that point I got picked up by a team based only on my potential, but I kinda had overall bad ideas about a lot of things. I learned only then that Enigma doesn’t build Helm of the Dominator and stuff like that. Man, I still remember that.. . we had a scrim .. [he pauses to nostalgically laugh]
Ok, so back then we had in-house trial days. We had eight tryouts with two captains, one for each team of course. We were supposed to play four of five games at the end of which, captains will make their choice for a player. And they ended up picking me. I still remember the conversation at the end of those games: the captain's name was Jordan and he came to me saying “yeah we all like you but one last thing: why do you build Helm of the Dominator on Enigma?” and I was like ah I really like the stats and you know.. it worked for me and all those sort of things and they said, ‘’alright will teach you out how to play Dota”.
Fair enough, it obviously helped you to make the next step
Yeah, it truly did. I got into the team, I worked a lot and from there on we got to play with a bunch of other people and it worked really well for us but then I went to military service. As I came back, Heroes of Newerth just came out, half of my team was already in that game, the other half was MIA and I never got to play HON competitively so this is when I start to get into casting.
Coming back to the present, where do you see Dota going in terms of the game itself and also the competitive aspect?
CS :GO is very fun and easy to watch and we are not in that position with Dota but we do have an advantage
I think Dota right now is not in the greatest place in the world because, as far as eSports are going, we are making a transition from being this niche internet sort of thing to actually going for mainstream. But the problem is that Dota requires very large time investment to understand and become a pro. Dota is much more difficult and this is why I don’t think we are in the greatest position for mainstream, unlike for example CS:GO.
CS:GO is very fun and easy to watch and again, we are not in that position with Dota but we do have an advantage which is the very large player pool and the game is very healthy in that regard. I truly believe that Dota 2 will remain healthy because of that reason alone. Our game is very solid, very strong while there are LOL and CS:GO that have very independent structures. Well, League is obviously something entirely different. The main idea is that anyone can learn those games really quickly and the community can grow extremely fast.
Speaking of audience and eSports in general, and with me being involved quite heavily with the Starcraft scene in the past, I have to bring up the Korean scene which is unbelievably structured. So, my question is; Do you think the way that Valve is taking a more hands-on approach with the scene with the Majors is a good thing, do we need more structure?
I think we will see a lot of bumps in the road, like the new ESL WESA organization. We will see those sorts of things more. People will try to create some sort of structure and there will be some issues and backlashes but I think that the way Valve is getting a bit hands on with the Majors and also opening the door for third parties, will bring a natural development. Third party organizers will have to start working together. We already had a bit of an oversaturation with tournaments at some point in time and then the Majors came in and everything got so crowded. In that regard, I think some sort of coordination between the third parties is expected to happen to try and create unique tournaments.
I mean, EPICENTER really showed that you don’t have to be a Major to be an amazing tournament. Obviously, with that production they're kinda shooting to be a Major but you don’t really have to be that to become a unique and amazingly good tournament. And I think it’s expected to see collaboration and less of that Wild West approach that we had last year and two years ago.
I guess also having a better prize pool structure is what makes the Korean scene more viable because you are not only looking at that big pay-packet of money from TI. You have smaller tournaments across the year that you can attend to have a financial stability.
Qualifiers are really important for the tier two, tier three teams and are always filled up with them
Yes, absolutely, especially with a lot of high tier teams that we have now, avoiding all other tournaments. There will be a natural progression; Team Liquid, for example, will probably start taking a step back from certain tournaments, they will become directly invited at LAN events, they will play less and less qualifiers and in that regard that opens the door for other teams.
Qualifiers are really important for the tier two, tier three teams and are always filled up with them. Look at the European scene which, by the way, is amazing. We played with Veggies at the ESL One Manila open qualifiers I believe and we were looking at the bracket. We never had a game without a strong tier two team. There is always a Kaipi or something like that on the way, so the EU scene is incredibly stacked.
Absolutely, it really is; and that opens for up for my last question. What is your prediction for TI6 in terms of invites?
I hope Secret doesn’t get invited, but this will make Veggies life really hard at open qualifiers if let’s say EG and Secret decide to make roster changes.
Apart from that, everyone who is top eight here, at Manila Major should get invited; when it comes to 9 to 12 standings area it will maybe depend on some of the tournaments they’ll play after this Major.
Awesome. Thanks for your time today Cap, I really appreciate it.