GoDz Interview: “South East Asia is where my heart is whenever it comes to Dota.”
We discussed Filipino and SEA Dota, as he is one of the casters to follow the scene from early Dota 1 days, and also went through his background story and thoughts on The International 6 invites.
The interview was conducted by Edmund "Llama_lord" Munday at Mall of Asia Arena in Manila, Philippines.
Hello GoDz how are you on this busy, busy day at Major Manila? How do you find the event so far?
I’m good, I’m having a fun time here and I must say everything is fantastic. The hotel is like a mini resort in some ways, we have huge swimming pools, we have all our meals there, well not now since we moved to the main event, but during the group stages everything was provided. Lunch, dinner, breakfast, midnight snacks. On the days off we had board games parties, really fun hangouts, all happening with really good Dota at the same time so yeah, it’s amazing.
The SEA scene is great and it’s awesome to finally be here and interact with the amazing fans
How did you enjoy the Filipino Dota, or rather the SEA Dota displayed at this event?
Oh, I love the Philippines and South East Asia in general, is where my heart is whenever it comes to Dota. It’s where I started casting so I know the Filipino scene for like six-seven years now and for me it is like a less unique wild factor.
A lot of people a month ago, at ESL One Manila were like “oh my god these fans, this is crazy, every Dota 2 event should be held in Philippines” and I was “doh, this is what I’ve been telling you all for years now”. The first teams I casted, the first teams I met at events were the old Orange eSports who are now Fnatic players and Mineski. I know them, I casted these players since Dota 1 so I can say the SEA scene is great and it’s awesome to finally be here and interact with the amazing fans.
Yes, fans here have been absolutely crazy and the energy from them is unbelievable.
True, and that makes casting really easy. I got to commentate the bo1 of Mineski; unfortunately they lost but every single player name was chanted by fans and look at what happened during the Fnatic game from day two when DJ played Enigma. That was the most hyped game I ever commented.
BuLba was actually the one who inspired me to play more. I wanted to be as good as him.
Let’s talk a bit more about yourself, what got you into gaming and how did you enter the professional Dota 2 scene?
I guess I’m one of the classic stories for commentators. I used to be a player, I was playing at high level in the Australian scene, been in a competitive team for a while, later on I moved to NA and played in house leagues and I got to know some of the players back then. BuLba was actually the one who inspired me to play more. I wanted to be as good as him. After a while I went back to Australia where I competed a bit and then started to run small tournaments and got into the casting area. Once I started to cast I said ok, this is quite fun as well and also doesn’t require you to be the best of the best, it gave me the job security feeling and with time it became really challenging in many ways.
What do you think about Dota as game, what do you think of its position on the market?
There are a lot of MOBA games out there but Dota is very unique and it’s been around for so long which makes it very polished at this point. It reached a very good level of balance between heroes and the two Dire - Radiant map sides, we only have from time to time maybe a hero or two that gets slightly up hill but it’s immediately fixed with nerfs and constant updates. So, Dota, because it’s been here for like 13-14 years, starting with the Warcraft III days, and because Icefrong is working on balancing it for ten years now, it feels really refined. It reached this point where, as we see at this Major, over 90 heroes were already played which makes it extremely dynamic. It’s a game always changing and developing partly because of the patches but also partly because no one ever truly figures out the best way to play it.
With EG and compLexity falling behind I think DC is quite likely to get invited
I know you are very busy today so I’ll move on to my last question; what are your predictions for TI 6 in terms of invites anyone you think should go or shouldn’t?
I think the top eight here at Manila are close to a guaranteed invite because the only tournament after this Major is ESL One Frankfurt and it’s not much time for teams to show up elsewhere.
Assuming there will be the same 10 direct invites to TI, two wild card spots and four qualifier spots, the top eight from here makes a lot of sense to me and for the other two spots I think Digital Chaos has a pretty good chance as they proved to be the best American team right now, which is quite funny. With EG and compLexity falling behind I think DC is quite likely to get the ninth.
compLexity will go to ESL One Frankfurt so they still have a chance to prove themselves. For the tenth team who knows? EG is the returning champion so they still might get an invite regardless of what just happened. All these roster shuffles from yesterday with EG are just speculations so nobody can actually know what’s going happen with them.
Thank you very much for the interview GoDz, really appreciate your time!