SG e-sports interview: “Qualifying for a Valve event it’s a dream come true”
Ivan ‘MikuDota’ Novikov, Editor in Chief at Dota2.ru had the entire SG e-sports team sat down with him for a chat. Courtesy of him, we are now able to share with you the English transcript of the interview. The full Russian version can be found here.
Hi guys! First of all, I want to congratulate you once again on your big victory in the Kiev Major qualifiers! Now, that the emotions settled down a bit, how do you feel about this?
c4t: Thank you! It’s a great feeling; we fought a lot for this moment, so we are extremely happy.
4dr: It's really exciting, qualifying for a Valve event it’s a dream come true. We have fought a lot, for many years for this. Can't even find words to describe all the feelings!
Each region in Dota 2 has its own unique play style, how would you describe the South American Dota scene?
SA scene has learnt a lot from the North American teams
c4t: In terms of drafts and game play, most of the SA scene has learnt a lot from the North American teams, but for us in particular, it’s a little bit different. We study everyone and we are trying to adapt the good things we see at others into our strategies. We like to put a lot pressure on our opponents.
Seems like South America as a region has grown a lot in the last period. There is a $50,000 tournament running in Lima, Peru, Beyond the Summit opened a whole Hispanic department, so what’s the next step in the development of the region?
c4t: Our scene will be great only after we will have at least a tier one team to constantly fight on an international level.
Tavo: We hope that our example will be an incentive for other small teams to continue. All the tournaments that started to exist in SA should bring more stability and they are indeed helping the players to have better working conditions and to finally have equal opportunities with the European or NA teams.
KINGRD, you are one of the most experienced players in the region. Do you remember how it all started, how did everything turn into a serious competitive environment?
KINGRD: Yeah, sure I remember! At the beginning we didn't have great support here in Brazil and even now the scene is just starting to grow. The SG e-sports organization brought us exactly what was missing, the appreciation of our work as Dota 2 pro players. It has all grown to the point where we have a spot in the Major for the South America. That’s a big difference now.
Most of the European and CIS Dota 2 fans associate SA-scene with Peru. Did the victory of a Brazilian team come as a surprise to the SA fans?
c4t: Well, our victory was a big surprise for everyone here because the main favorites were Not Today.
4dr: Peru has a bigger scene than Brazil. They have more competitive teams and more fans and followers. I think that’s why the European and CIS fans often associate SA-Dota with Peru. We hope we will change that with our performance at the Major. We also want to become a good example for our Brazilian fellows. We hope that our achievements will inspire more Brazilian players to make the next step and consider a real professional career.
Sadly, the first ever SA qualifiers for a Valve event showed to the esports world some certain level of the unprofessionalism in the scene. Mid-season shuffles despite having the qualifiers already announced, disbands during the qualifiers, contempt towards the opponents, rage quits during the games and so on. What do you think about it as veterans of the SA Dota?
KINGRD: Well, it's very hard. As I said, we have a lot of work still to be done and it’s a lot of space to grow to compete with the European, NA and Asian scenes. Hopefully we will be able to change all those negative views with our Kiev run and show the world that SA has professionalism as well.
In the SA open qualifiers there were three times more teams that in NA and some specialists even noticed higher level of games on average. Is there a rivalry between NA and SA, and who is still in the lead if so?
With the right incentive SA will go big someday
Tavo: Yes, there’s a great rivalry between the regions. But this is healthy, we all improve ourselves from this. We have much to grow here in SA and we can learn a lot from the NA scene. I think we have a lot of potential here in SA, with a lot of good players and teams. With the right incentive SA will go big someday.
KINGRD and Tavo, you guys have been playing together for a long time now, which is a rarity, regardless of the region. Did you ever get bored with each other?
Tavo: We are very much alike, so we get along with each other pretty well, sometimes we fight but you can never get bored of KINGRD man.
At the beginning of the season, you were playing under the Pain Gaming banner, but you changed the organization in November. What’s the story behind the swap?
4dr: I have to thank Pain Gaming a lot for the whole support they showed for me and the other guys during our journey in Dota 2. Without them we might even have stopped playing. Unfortunately, at the end of the year we just didn't come to a deal and changed to SG e-sports. But both organizations are awesome.
In January, at the WESG LAN finals you were already playing as SG e-sports, and you had a really good performance in China. Do you consider your result and the results of the region as a whole a success?
KINGRD: Yes. There’s no doubt that our good performance in China is consequence of a lot of factors. We had awesome support from the SG e-sports organization. They gave us true recognition, a perfect bootcamp and believed in our capacity.
WESG was the first big LAN for your team. Do you remember all the emotions you must have had in China?
c4t: I remember that when we beat some great teams in scrims our confidence started to grow like crazy. When we lost to Alliance I felt really sad, because we could have beaten them but that’s all in the past now.
So, guys now you are going to the Kiev Major. What goal did you set for this one?
Tavo: Get better, stronger, and I’m hoping we finish top 8 in Kiev!
How can you describe your play style in general? How will SG surprise the European and Chinese teams?
c4t: In general we like to put pressure, force a lot of teamfights where they are not comfortable to fight, I don’t know yet how we are going to do it exactly, but we are working on it.
Did the 7.03 or 7.04 patches somehow change your play style? Will we see a completely different SG team at the Kiev Major?
c4t: I don’t think so, will be the same with some upgrades.
hFn: We always train to get better, regardless of the patches.
Can you name the most important changes in this patch, maybe some heroes good to be abused in pubs?
c4t: For me, the biggest changes are Lone Druid and Monkey King. LD is now useless in my opinion and MK is broken, as for pubs, Lina and Alchemist are two good heroes to grind some MMR right now.
Tavo: The experience change is a rather big thing. If you jungle from level 1 now, you can’t get level 2 by doing just one big camp and for some heroes that’s a massive change.
KINGRD and 4dr, you both have over 7000 MMR. Guys, what do you need to win pubs in South America? And, why are Peruvian and Brazilian players more dangerous than Russians?
4dr: Actually, we all play on US servers, there we can find more games with higher MMR average. I think that Russians are dangerous as hell too! You can't underestimate anyone in Dota 2. That’s valuable to us too. Never underestimate!
Back to the Major, what teams would you like to play against? Which team is the strongest opponent for you?
c4t: We would like to play against EG, and the strongest opponent for me would be OG.
The Dota 2 fans were delighted with some crazy happiness reactions coming from Ad Finem when they got into the grand finals of the Boston Major. What should we expect from you in Kiev if you get that far?
c4t: I don’t know man, that’s a moment thing, but if we get to the finals we will probably break the entire stage apart!