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Fluffnstuff: 'As my teammates trust me, I trust them."

Posted by Dexter "kurtcos" F at 13 February 2012 03:38
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United States FIRE's Fluffnstuff

From a team that popped out of virtually nowhere, Fire now stands as the top ranked team on GosuGamers (see). Representing the team today is Fire's Brian "Fluffnstuff" Lee, the man who rode his team to incredible victories over teams such as Absolute Legends, M5 and EG.


Prodota's Morf-designer is back with his latest piece on the American captain - find out what he has to say below.



Up Close and Personal...

Hi, Fluffnstuff. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

I would imagine my teammates would describe me as someone who's tough but fair.

-"My name is Brian Lee and I'm 19 years old. I have curly hair, hence my nickname! I'm a very timid and reserved person outside of DotA. However, in DotA, I am a very confident person in dealing with leadership and I like to make sure things go my way. I would imagine my teammates would describe me as someone who's tough but fair."

Are you working or studying somewhere? What are your plans in this direction?
-"I am currently taking time off from school to put the majority of my efforts into playing DotA. It was something that I had always dreamt of doing when I was a younger fanboy in High School. I intend to return back to school once I find the balance between pain and pleasure."

Only a special kind of girl could understand the dedication DotA demands.

What about romance - do you have the time for girlfriends outside of DotA?
-"*laughs* I'm still single. My old girlfriend actually used to nag me a lot about my relentless gaming schedule. I think that it would be nice to have a girlfriend, but only a special kind of girl could understand the dedication DotA demands."

Do you lead a healthy lifestyle? Are you a sportsman and do you follow some sports on TV?
-"I try my best to attempt a healthy lifestyle, but it's so hard when all I want to do is play DotA. I was never really interested in any sports. One ESport I really enjoy watching, however, revolves around the fighting game community (SF4AE, UMVC3)."

Interesting. And have you tried to play that game professionally?
-"No, I've never actually even played the games! I was just bored some months ago and stumbled upon two very popular streams (leveluplive and Teamspooky). I found the community to be hilarious and very enthusiastic about their competition. I was instantly hooked."

Once I started playing DotA, I couldn't play any other game for more than a couple of weeks.

What do you think would be your main hobby if there was no Dota 2?
-"If there were no Dota 2, then I would probably be playing a DotA clone of some kind. Once I started playing DotA, I couldn't play any other game for more than a couple of weeks. Perhaps I'd be more involved in school and social life."


Can you describe your plans for the next few years, or perhaps you subscribe to the 2012 doomsday phenomenon?
-"I don't believe in 2012, but if that were the case then I'd say I'm doing the right thing in taking time to pursue my dreams. I can't really say what I plan on doing in the next few years, except for that I will be going to school and playing competitive DotA. I'd prefer to take my time and figure out what is important to me the most."


DotA - the Big Picture...

Hannah Montana vs Beastmaster

Tell us the history of your DotA nickname. Is it “Fluffnstuff” only because of your hair color? Did you have other nicknames in the past?

My friends called me Fluffy in school and most still do today.

-"FLUFFNSTUFF was actually my very first nickname from 5 years ago. I created it on battle.net US West when I was just recruited to play DotA by my friends. My friends called me Fluffy in school and most still do today.


The only nicknames I spoofed on in the past would be "SELENA_GOMEZ". I created it sort of as a joke for my teammate HANNAH_MONTANA, whom I've been playing with since the very start."

Have you played DotA 6.73? And what do you know about new heroes such as Legion Commander?
-"I've looked at it and gone into practice games to test the new heroes. Honestly, I have no idea what to make of them except that Legion Commander is very powerful. I really like the changes and I think that Icefrog made great decisions.

Instead of nerfing the "imbalanced" heroes, we are given more options. A lot of the time heroes just fall out from small or significant nerfs. This way more and more heroes are viable."

The only complaint that comes to mind at this point is only being able to type once during pauses.

Do you want to see some improvements in Dota 2?
-"I'm not really one to suggest improvements towards the game itself, I think that the game gets better and better with each new patch. The only complaint that comes to mind at this point is only being able to type once during pauses."


I heard LoL is very popular in your country nowadays. Do you think that Dota 2 will be able to replace it in USA? Have you ever considered switching to LoL?
-"LoL is extremely popular here. Some of the biggest streams peak around 15k viewers a day... I really hope that Dota 2 supersedes LoL. I think that DotA has a very good chance at appealing to the audiences. Valve must implement something to keep newer players around. I'm sure if anyone can figure it out, it would be Valve.

I've played LoL for about 2 months waiting for Dota 2. I think that it is a very different game and comparing them is not that easy. I really understand how they appeal so greatly to casual players. I got into it for a couple weeks and got Platinum ranking (top .2%). However, they really didn't reward the players that well in my opinion. I would never try to play serious LoL after returning to DotA."

One of our forum users wonder why you pick Dark Seer so frequently?

Dark Seer's wall, most of all, catches a lot of teams off guard and it's a great tool for pushing or for teamfights.

-"Dark Seer was something that we had played around with prior to the tournament. We didn't really have a plan for it or an exact strategy. However, as the Infused tournament progressed we realized how well Dark Seer fit our strategy. He really just became a favored pick during the tournament because of the success we've experienced. We think that his wall, most of all, catches a lot of teams off guard and it's a great tool for pushing/teamfights."


A user also mentioned that Skeleton King perfectly matches your play style and asks if you are going to use other unusual picks (for example, Bloodseeker)?
-"Yes, we really like Skeleton King. I was formulating our strategy even before knowing of his 6.73 buff. As far as Bloodseeker goes, I think that it would be much harder to implement that hero into one of our lineups. He doesn't really offer much to the laning phase, although I've seen Artstyle pull off a lane with him (Bloodseeker/Zeus/Crystal Maiden trilane).

Although it'd be great to pick up new and unique heroes to the metagame, we need to find stability first.

Although it would be great to pick up new and unique heroes to the metagame, we need to find stability first. I really saw great potential in Skeleton King, he makes such a huge impact on the game fast. Bloodseeker would require some thought, to say the least."

What are you favorite heroes in Dota 2? And which heroes do you hate the most? Are you waiting for some hero to be added from DotA?
-"My favorite heroes in DotA 2 are Chen, Furion and Ancient Apparition competitively. As far as pubbing goes, I love to play Priestess of the Moon and Tinker. I really dislike playing against Anti-Mage, Venomancer, Dark Seer, and Invoker.

In DotA , I dislike playing against Lycanthrope and Syllabear. These heroes always require a great deal of attention to overcome. I just think they are very powerful heroes overall, especially if you're playing a pub. I'm really waiting for Templar Assassin to come into DotA 2. She's such a fun and powerful hero in my eyes. I also look forward to playing Shadow Demon in Dota 2."

Who is you favorite player in DotA and Dota 2?

My favorite player in DotA is LongDD of the chinese team DK. I always knew he had great potential.

-"My favorite player in DotA is LongDD of the chinese team DK. I always knew he had great potential, watching him years ago in his lesser known teams. I remember fondly analyzing and watching his replays so that I could practice in pubs. I really think he and I are alike in some ways. I think we may have similar tempers and aggression. The fact that we both play the same type of roles for our teams is even better.

I understand, as a support player and captain, that being on such a role requires great focus and understanding. Typically this role takes on the responsibilities of leadership and direction within a team.

In Dota 2, my favorite player has to be none other than my own teammate `TC`. We met in the early stages of the beta. I immediately noticed how strong of a player he was, and I had to recruit him. `TC` hardly makes mistakes and you can always rely on him to be impactful. His performances are always solid and his input in team discussion is very useful.

I really think the players on my team are my favorites, overall. They all bring great dynamics and I'm happy that they can put up with me."

Your team fights and metagame deserve a separate discussion. So the question is – do you have a captain who has complete control or do all players decide what to do in game?

I think that it's necessary for a captain to make the final decision, right or wrong.

-"Most of the leadership, in-game, is initiated and finalized by me. I think that it's necessary for a captain to make the final decision, right or wrong. Thankfully, my team trusts me in making decisions. Every player in the team make their decisions and provide input, but as far as major decisions go I make the final call. As my teammates trust me, I trust them.


A lot of times I respect my team's opinions, taking their judgement over mine. My second-in-command, ixmike88, synergizes with me very well. He catches all the information that I can't possibly keep track of. His feedback really impacts the direction that we take in each game."

What region in your opinion will dominate the Dota 2 scene this year – European, American or Asian?

I strongly believe their attention to detail, optimization of strategy, and most importantly, their dedication to practice will push the Chinese to the top.

-"I think it may be too early to tell. I can guess that it will be a mix of European and Americans early on in the year. I think more European teams will be in the top 5/10 than American teams. I believe that Asian teams, specifically the Chinese, may be the wildcard thrown into the deck. I don't believe that those players (Chinese teams) possess any supernatural talent or any untouchable techniques. I strongly believe that their attention to detail, optimization of strategy, and (most importantly) their dedication to practice will push them to the top.

As long as Americans and Europeans realize that we need to take it to the next level, as far as training goes, then we can compete with the most prestigious names."


Fighting Fire with Fire...


I don’t mean to offend, but your team seems to have came out of nowhere. Who are your teammates? Where have they played? And do you have any achievements in the past (maybe in American scene)?
-"The core team consisting of myself, Hannah_montana, and Jeyo were all on a team one to two years ago. We were on a team called Final Style, later sponsored by MainLine Gaming. At that time we had almost broken into the competitive scene. Here are the games that brought us a lot of attention (Game 1, Game 2).

We had 2-0'd MCiTY in the CM Storm competition. At that time we were undefeated in CAL, CM Storm, and Cevo tournaments. However, our leader was no longer able to play competitive DotA and we quickly lost our motivation. Our team dissolved and we all moved on to different teams and games (such as HoN).

We mostly played in the small "DotA CW Room 1" in Garena. I think, for the most part, our teammates haven't really achieved anything in DotA. We may have won some SECS competitions here and there but that was literally the only competition available (volunteer-run and without prizes). All of our teammates have been playing DotA for more than five years, very much so under the radar. I've been playing with HANNAH_MONTANA throughout my whole DotA journey. I consider him as a brother nowadays.

I know that there are two Canadians in the roster. How and when did you meet your teammates for the first time?

We quickly jumped on the revival of our team when Dota 2 invigorated the whole community.

-"Jeyo and `TC` are our Canadian teammates. Like I mentioned earlier, Hannah had always been with me since the very beginning. Jeyo and ixmike88 were two players that we had met on the Garena Client. Both of them were also involved with Nadota.com, the only site where the Garena-based North Americans could have a forum. We met `TC` in the early stages of the beta. I talked about it earlier, so not much more needs to be said.

I mentioned that our team had dissolved in the past, but we quickly jumped on the revival of our team when Dota 2 invigorated the whole community.

Why did you decide to call the team 'Fire'?
-"In HoN we wanted to create a clan tag. Most of them had been taken, whereby we were restricted to only 4 letters. We couldn't really decide upon any name because a lot of them were just silly. I prefer to represent a team or clan with all seriousness, so I declined the majority of the suggestions.

It was Jeyo who had actually said, "How about Fight Fire with Fire". As a kid my favourite element had always been fire and my favorite color was red. Being the biased captain that I am, I knew then and there that I wanted that tag."

In a recent interview, you mentioned that you would search for sponsors. Have you actually received some proposals from famous organizations? Do you think that representing some organisation is an advantage in game?
-"We cannot disclose any information regarding specific sponsors and names. I can say that we've been busy in sorting through various proposals. I don't know if representing a tag is an advantage in game, but I think it can certainly be a factor.

We have collectively agreed to wait for the right sponsor that sees eye-to-eye with us to come along.

We're not in any rush to find a sponsor. We have all collectively agreed to wait for the right sponsor that sees eye-to-eye with us to come along. At this point I'd like to plug in our team email: [email protected]. For any information regarding FIRE, feel free to contact our manager at that address."



Describe you training process. How much do you play as a team and separately? And who are your usual opponents during trainings?

I really envy the European scene and how active it is, when it comes to scrimming.

-"Our training process is hampered by some unrelenting schedules this semester. We start in the evening, but very little teams are able to scrim during our times. Otherwise we'd be able to play for 6-8 hours each day. Our teammates usually play NADL (the premier North American inhouse league) or pubs with friends while we aren't all present. I really envy the European scene and how active it is, when it comes to scrimming.

So on the weekdays we practice against teams like It's Gosu whenever possible. Most of our downtime is filled with analyzing DotA replays or discussing new tactics or strategies. Since the times we can actually scrim intensely are so few and far between, we really have to be prepared with tactics to practice.

On the weekends we try to play as early as possible to make it during peak European hours. During this time we are able to play almost 10-12 games in a row on average. We practice prospective heroes during our inhouse games and pubs as well. Sometimes you might see me touching up on my Chen, my most played hero, to keep form.

I try different techniques and I can say that with four years of Chen experience and practice I always find something new and interesting. I suggest that other players understand that practice is the most important aspect of playing competitive."

The Bat Rider - infamously auto-banned or picked in the Chinese DotA scene. Players may want to watch DK.Rotk play his amazing Bat Rider.

Do you think that public games can be a form of training?
-"I think a pub game can become a form of inspiration in terms of hero synergy, item builds, or laning situations. I don't really agree with practicing full lineups or whatnot, but definitely practicing heroes you are not exactly perfect at will definitely improve your game. I think that expanding your inventory of strong heroes through pubbing will make anyone an asset to a team.

Of course, it is ideal to watch a professional player first and then emulate them. For example, the Bat Rider - infamously auto-banned or picked in the Chinese DotA scene. Players may want to watch DK.Rotk play his amazing Bat Rider."

Our user are shocked to find out that ixmike88 has 1,610 hours in Dota 2 and hannah_montana - 1,407 hours. Are they some kind of robots? Tell us when you received your keys so we can understand their average daily time spent in Dota 2.

DotA 2 has been the most anticipated game of our lifetimes and we are so grateful.

-"We received our keys very early on in the beta. More specifically, a month or so after the International. We play a lot because we literally make it a priority for ourselves. ixmike88 had the beta extremely early on. DotA 2 has been the most anticipated game of our lifetimes and we are so grateful to be a part of the beta.

What is your motivation for playing the game so much? Is it all about the prize money, your fans or playing for fun?
-"We are all motivated by the desire to compete. I think that most DotA players play because they love the game and if they had the chance they would play at the highest level. We've been playing like it's a job, without any pay. Of course it's not a very viable life choice, but I hope that DotA 2 will bring a competitive scene comparable to Starcraft 2.

A one million dollar prize pool tournament during the beta, aka The International, gave me a lot of faith. I, personally, play because it is something that I feel passionate about."

Do you goof around while playing competitive games, or are you serious all the time? (For example, painting something ugly on the minimap while picking.)

I demand seriousness of my team and I really don't have any tolerance for screwing around in-game.

-"We are always joking during practice and the picking phase. As soon as the actual game commences we go into an extremely serious state. I demand this of my team and I really don't have any tolerance for screwing around in-game. We joke the same way any other team would. I often tease my teammates and they retort very sarcastically. However, if you've ever met me, you'll find that I'm very serious."

Do you have any special lines of encouragement that you use to raise your team's morale?
-"I would like to tell my team that there will, in fact, be times when all the chips are down and things aren't going according to plan. I would like our fans to understand that this fluctuation is necessary in competitive DotA. We all know what the sacrifices may be and what is expected of us. Continuing to practice hard and to never feel content is the key.

We're more than a team - we're friends first and foremost. Nothing should ever get in our way. I think we got a decent taste of what's out there, so let's keep our eyes on the prize.

How long have you been experimenting with picks before discovering your current strategy that helped you to beat top European teams so easily?

I built the team solely on exploiting the style of Chen that I like to impose on my opponents.

-"It only took about one week of testing to finalize its place in our strategy books. From then on, we just refined it. My teammates were reluctant about my ideas, but I've shown them the light. I built the team solely on exploiting the style of Chen that I like to impose on my opponents. The heroes that felt most optimal fell into place as we practised."

What are your goals for FIRE for 2012? And what LANs are you planning to attend?
-"Our goals are to perform at the highest level that we can and maintain it as long as possible. We hope to get a strong sponsor by the time the second International takes place. That is our ultimate goal for 2012.

I plan to practice vigorously and try to make it to all big LANS with my teammates."

If you are beaten badly on some major LAN event, will you stop playing Dota 2?
-"No, of course not. I think that there is no way to maintain the highest level of play right now. I think a lot of teams can beat each other and it isn't something to be ashamed of. I look at it as more motivation to practice harder and adapt. We've already run into some roadbumps, with Dignitas and AL banning and picking according to our style. Obviously, when a team reaches certain levels other teams will watch and analyze.

The idea that some weeks ago our team couldn't win a SECS tournament to being ranked #1 on Gosugamers.net is unreal.

It isn't likely that one team can hold onto the top forever. However, the idea that some weeks ago our team couldn't win a SECS tournament to being ranked #1 on Gosugamers.net is unreal (see). I believe that we can derive a lot of inspiration from our recent victories. The achievements serve as evidence that we have what it takes to play at a high level. I can't imagine something that imminent to be taken so harshly. The best teams can not only get up, but stay up."



On their Fiery Strategies...

Why are you ignoring trilanes tactics? Is it because your team lacks experience running trilanes?
-"There are a couple reasons why we prefer to avoid trilanes. Looking to the very popular Chinese DotA scene, observers will notice a lack of trilanes. This is due to the nerfs to experience and gold gains implemented in version 6.70. I won't really go into the mechanics of it.

Long story short, trilanes will lose out on a lot of very precious resources (gold/experience) in the laning phase. Dual lanes usually come out ahead in most situations, provided they aren't dominated. In the current metagame where early game is extremely important, these laning advantages must be taken.

Having multiple lane setups gives the game a lot of flavor, as opposed to the times where trilanes were always expected.

Trilanes are still viable, but they require a much more practiced team. There are a lot of intricacies that are involved with playing multiple scenarios in the trilane. Our team is very capable of such maneuvers, but there is a lot of risk involved in failure. Trilanes have, now, become much more of an option rather than a requirement. I think that having multiple lane setups gives the game a lot of flavor, as opposed to the times where trilanes were always expected."

Do you think that Enchantress is a good replacement for Chen or does he totally change the play style and metagame? I am asking because I notice Enchantress being completely ignored by most teams.
-"Chen can never be replaced, his utilities to the team are invaluable. Enchantress, to me, feels like a much more advantage-based hero. You need quicker movements, due to timed-life, and sometimes it can backfire. An example of this would be grabbing two level 5 creeps and using the smoke of deceit. It is never a guarantee that you will have those creeps during your gank.

Whereas Chen will always have the patience to perform methodical ganks and pushes. You see some teams, most notably CLG (former xP), utilizing Enchantress as a pseudo-counter to Chen. I have noticed that they love to humilate Chen players at their own game with aggressive lineups. It should be noted that they have had a large amount of success with such a tactic.

I feel like Enchantress can only replace Chen in certain regards (such as Mekansm). Enchantress is, however, a much more preferred jungler as opposed to an Enigma to me. Her influence ramps up much faster in regards to ganking and pushing."

Shadow Shaman is very popular nowadays. Do you think it’s because of the current small hero pool or are there other reasons behind that?

Without the ability to trap heroes, Shadow Shaman would not be as highly regarded as he is today.

-"Shadow Shaman in Dota 2 has a great animation and usually feels like a suitable mid hero. Of course, the push metagame only makes him much more worthwhile. I think he's a great hero in general. It also appears that ward trapping is much easier to do in Dota 2 than DotA. Being able to ward trap opponents almost guarantees the demise of certain heroes.


`TC`, our mid player, thinks that without the ability to trap heroes, Shadow Shaman would not be as highly regarded as he is today."

I noticed a very thorough approach to support play from you. With that said, I want to ask if you have developed some universal support style that perfectly fits your strategies or is it your personal intuition?
-"My style of support is mostly intuition-based. There are many core principles and tactics I constantly think about in games, however. I have tried many variations of support styles, but I've chosen to stick to my own. I've looked at many professional players and studied them closely.

My style of support is mostly intuition-based. iG.Faith and DK.Longdd are my main inspirations.

iG.Faith and DK.Longdd from China are my main inspirations. The main problem with looking to Chinese DotA is that they have much more reserved tactics. They ward only in the most optimal positions and sometimes they don't even ward at all. Chinese players don't place that much of an emphasis on countering vision unless their lineup is suited to it.

I, however, believe in map dominance at all stages of the game. The faster that we can control important areas of the map, the better. I mostly rely on my own support fundamentals when approaching competitive games with my team. I always trust my feelings when I think something is amiss or weird. I try to act according to the flow of the game, which is hard to explain. It mainly comes down to experience and knowledge of timings.

What do you think of double-hero hard lanes? Can you have some advantage with such a lane or does owning the other lanes bring better gain? How do you choose a hero(es) for the hard lane?
-"The hard lanes are usually a gamble. Often times, since people are still retaining trilane strategies, people will want to send difficult heroes to kill to hard lanes. Heroes such as Weaver, Winderunner, PotM, or just generally tanky melee heroes like Slardar.

Most teams will compliment the side lane solo heroes with a support hero that can maintain distance and keep them both safe. If the game were to shift in such a way that people stop utilizing trilanes, then the dual lane possibilities would be much different. There would be more options for heroes that lack an escape or survivalibility."

Why don’t you use Lich as a support hero?

In the long run, Lich comes out ahead. But why not dominate now?

-"We just feel as if Lich is too passive. Lich mainly compliments hard carry heroes. I don't like to play Lich and my team doesn't prefer him. His pacing is very slow and steady. In the long run, Lich comes out ahead.

I ask, however, why not dominate now? That is why I prefer heroes that are able to act on their own accord to gank lanes or impose dominance on their lane."


His Opinions on The Scene...

Fire's Jeyo.

Which teams do you consider the best in the world currently?

"Although Na'vi hasn't been showing their greatest potential, I still consider them to be one of the strongest teams.

-"Although Na'vi hasn't been showing their greatest potential, I still consider them to be one of the strongest teams. Aside from them, I think EG, AL, It's Gosu and Dignitas place in the top 5. I haven't really watched DD play all that much, however they are doing very well as of late despite their recent loss."

So you heard about SK's disbandment. What do you think of this team (besides the fact they are a strong team) and why did it happen in your opinion?
-"Yeah, I really liked SK from the start. They have a great roster of players and they showed strong synergy in the past. I can't really say what happened, but I can only assume that the organization and the players didn't see eye-to-eye. I can understand both parties and their concerns. All I can say is that DD is a team worthy of a great sponsor and in time they will find it, I'm sure."

Describe in a few words all of the next European teams: fnatic, mTw, Mousesports, Dignitas.
-"I was really suprised that Fnatic was able to take games off of EG - really impressive. I think that mTw is a strong team that may have lost their focus. I think that mTw needs to find their roots and play their style. Mousesports recently put up a great fight against EG and secured their spot in the top 4 of the DotaReplays Brawl #3, so they have had very strong performances lately. Dignitas is a team that I had always considered to be at the top. They perform very well in tournaments and have the potential to take any event they enter, in my opinion.

Tell us about the last bo3 game against aL at Infused Cup. What were you thinking when picking Bounty Hunter against Dragon Knight in the first game?
-"In the first game, we had actually planned on picking Dragon Knight on our fourth pick. We entered this set very reluctantly because we didn't have any information on AL. AL, however, had plenty of time to review our matches and find their counter. This game went wrong in many ways: draft, laning, and comfortability. They picked and banned out almost all of the heroes we wanted to go for, thus breaking our draft.

As far as Bounty Hunter goes, we only picked that because it was the only viable dps hero left in the pool for us. In the second game we were still on rough ground. We hadn't really picked our own style, but a style that would be able to defend the offensiveness that AL imposed on us. It was a very adaptive game and our lack of aggression came from a lack of experience with this sort of lineup. I think that we had salvaged the game and it showed testament to the fact that we had picked good heroes to combat AL.

Some of our members weren't comfortable on the heroes that game, to say the least. On the third match, we had found our answer. We were really confident in our draft and in our strategy. That game was really smooth for our team and we definitely know what to do versus AL in the future.

The Infused Cup was just a showcase of adaptation.

It was just a showcase of adaptation, as the bo3 with Dignitas was. We had not practised or scrimmed against both teams before the tournament. We also weren't able to prepare as we had to play a monumentous amount of games per day and we had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4 A.M."

The second game seemed very boring for spectators in terms of action. But Synderen (when commenting) suggested that both of your teams were just playing so perfectly that you fought only for key points on map and only when it was very important. So do you think we'll see more "10 kills in 50 minutes" DotA in the future?
-"I don't think it's going to be very common, but an occurrence nonetheless. We had only adapted to that style because of certain flaws that we made and the style that AL plays. AL likes to group up and push, usually mowing down their opponents. The problem with that is that we had very counter initiative heroes.

I personally think that playing perfectly is more beautiful to watch than a massive amount of kills resulting in no objectives being claimed or lost.

They were right in playing passively as one critical mistake would've ended that game. Whichever team secured the advantage would be able to hold on to it until they had the right items for a push. I think that we did what we needed to do, which was farm the sidelanes and defend with a couple of heroes.

However, we didn't realize that we needed to do that until a couple of defenses later. Had we split push from the start, I think that the game would've ended much earlier. I personally think that playing perfectly is more beautiful to watch than a massive amount of kills resulting in no objectives being claimed or lost.

What can you say about the level of other American organizations: EG and Gosu?
-"I think EG is a very strong team. Of all the teams in the world, they share many similarities with us. Our styles are also similar in certain aspects. The way that we choose to execute our pushes are very different, on the same note.

It's Gosu is a very strong team in North America. They have players who showcase both srong mechanical skill and game sense. I know that they can definitely become a strong contender in the international scene, without a doubt. As long as they stick together and practice hard they will be feared. I have heard that they have a certain lack of leadership, which may be their biggest downfall."


A word about the Russians...

Can you describe the top CIS teams (Na'Vi, M5, DTS) in general? What do you know about their play styles?

Puppey is one of my favorite players! I was inspired by his Chen even before The International.


-"I don't know what kind of style Na'Vi is going for these days. It seems like they are constantly switching between different strategies. I can only say that they have very powerful players on their roster. I feel as if they just need to resume all seriousness about competing and dominate once again.


Puppey is one of my favorite players! I was inspired by his Chen even before the International and I think that he's a smart guy. Every player on that team has such a strong presence.

M5 takes weird to the next level. I watched a lot of their games and scrims before the Infused Cup. They really host a wide variety of picks and strategies. When we played versus them in scrims and in the cup, we found that they really put us on edge. They are constantly pushing and pressuring. A team with less experience could easily get crushed in a matter of minutes. Towers were taken left, right, and center along with interesting pushing heroes. Their style really imposes itself on a team and can break one with a weak spirit.

As far as DTS goes, I haven't seen much of them. I can't really comment on that team.

FIRE loves our Russian fans though, no matter how crazy they are.

Have you met Russian players in Dota 2 matchmaking? Did they ruin your game? Do you think Valve should create a separate server for Russians?
-"No, I've never played with any Russians in matchmaking. *laughs* I don't know if it's justified or not. FIRE loves our Russian fans though, no matter how crazy they are."

What do you know about Russia? I heard many Americans believe that people in Russia are drinking vodka with beards all day long? Is this true? *smiles*
-"I do not know a single thing about Russia. I don't want to say anything that may seem racist, so I'll hold my comments. *laughs*"

And do you like vodka?
-"I don't drink."

You don’t like drinking in general or you've never tried?
-"I've tried; I just don't trust myself being drunk."

Have you heard anything about Prodota.ru? Can you say a few words in Russian for our readers?
-"I don't know any Russian. *frowns*

Our team actually popped Prodota.ru into our google translate and found a lot of amusing posts. We think that they are a very enthusiastic community. We saw a thread of about 3 pages rise to 26 pages in less than two hours!"

One of our forum trolls say that HoN sucks (assuming that you came from HoN) and ArtStyle will beat you hard at the nearest LAN. What would you like to respond to him?

If DotA 2 was scheduled to go beta much earlier, none of us would have even touched HoN.

-"We barely touched HoN, it was just something different and new. The advantages of reconnecting, less delay, and other things made it really fun. I think that if DotA 2 was scheduled to go beta much earlier, none of us would have even touched it. HoN was just a representation of what DotA should've evolved to. I never really cared much for the game or its community.

We would love to play ArtStyle in a LAN situation, but not with any tension. I really don't like having tension in between teams. Matches should be a very sportsman-like event in which both teams show respect and manners to each other."

Thank you for this interview and some really nice answers. Any final words?
-"Thank you, too. Very likely it is the best one I've had so far. I want to give a shoutout to our friends, families, supporters firstly. A special thank you to Dixie. I want to let everyone know that FIRE will be in it for the long-haul. As far as contacting goes, please contact our manger at this email: [email protected]."



Links
Prodota.ru - Original Interview (Part 1)
Prodota.ru - Original Interview (Part 2)
Prodota.ru - Original Interview (Part 3)

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