Interview with EHOME.820

General Terrence “MrBlue” Wong
EHOME captain and strategist 820 recently down for an interview with SGamer where he answered questions about retirement, Chinese DotA monopoly and the struggles his team endured during SMM.

EHOME celebrates after winning SMM 2010

Congratulations on winning SMM 2010. How do you feel now?
-"I'm feeling great, and touched. This victory did not come easily, I have to thank 71 and everyone else for their joint effort as well as our fans for their support."

71 was keeping an unusually low profile before SMM. What was the team thinking before SMM?
-"We were aiming for a top 3 finish. The skill difference between top teams are very small, so we really have to put in a lot of work if we want to come out on top. Winning this SMM is not only a test of skill but also a test of luck. I've told my team, we can't be missing either of the two factors if we want to win SMM. Fortunately, Lady Luck was on our side for the duration of the tournament."

...our loss to Nirvana.CN was a helpful one
What were your thoughts on EHOME's defeat by Nirvana.CN in the group stages? Alot of your fans are suggesting that EHOME lost that game on purpose.
-"I want to make things clear, we did not lose that game on purpose. However, we did learn a lot of valuable lessons from the mistakes we made during that game."

So you had no intention of giving away the first place finish in your group to Nirvana then?

That is to say, EHOME was performing at full capacity during that game?
-"We lost that game due to a poor B/P phase. Our lanes were constantly pressured, but we did learn from these mistakes, and studied our opponents strategies and tactics more carefully, and from then onwards, we modified our own strategy. That is why I said that our loss to Nirvana was a helpful one."

According to 71, you came up with several new lineups after that game, including the Tinker pick later on. Was that a result of losing that game?
-"We have always included Tinker in our lineup during scrims. But LGD doesn't scrim with us too often, so they have no idea about it. We did not come up with anything on the spot, but rather changed the picks to suit the situation at hand without affecting our overall strategy. The only time where we did improvise was the Sniper/Alchemist pick in the grand finals. It has been a long time since we played that way."

But the inclusion of Sniper in EHOME's strategy is clearly more advanced than most other teams. For example using Sniper to push towers was one of your more well-known strategies.
-"That is true. Dai (X!) plays a very good Sniper, and he plays with confidence. But this also led to us being labelled as turtles."

Everyone thinks that we like to turtle up but tend to overlook our teamwork and team cohesion
So what do you have to say to that?
-"Everyone thinks that we like to turtle up and farm. But they tend to overlook our teamwork and team cohesion. A lot of times, we were forced to turtle in a disadvantaged game. Look at our games against LGD and Nirvana. We had the advantage at early game, lost momentum and made some silly mistake during mid game, then we turtled up before coming back and winning the late game. There are some things that are beyond our control, afterall we are playing to win. I hope our fans can understand that."

This SMM, what was the greatest challenge or difficulty that you had to face?
-"The greatest challenge lies in overcoming myself. Otherwise, external factors include the long playdays, more than 12 hours per day for two days. It was a test of stamina, endurance, and morale. But we made it through in the end, so all in all it was fine. On average, we had 5 to 6 hours of sleep time per day."

Did the lack of sleep hinder your performance?
-"A little, here and there. We did make a lot of unexplainable and unforgivable mistakes this tournament."

Did the team meet up and discuss these mistakes after the games?
-"Of course we did. We always gather up for debrief after a game, regardless win or lose."

That's a good habit to have. Now regarding this picture here:

How do you explain this?
-"It's just a misunderstanding. Really. Don't think too much about it."

Who is that girl? She's sitting on your thighs, we demand an explanation.
-"She's part of the Nirvana.CN crew. We are on good terms, but not in any relationship."

I'm worried that DotA in China will end up like Starcraft in Korea.
Back to DOTA. As you know, none of the Chinese teams dropped a single game against a non-Chinese one. What are your thoughts on this?
-"Happy and worried. I'm pretty happy that Chinese DotA and how strong it has become. But I'm worried that DotA in China will end up like Starcraft in Korea. It'll be bad if China teams achieve a monopoly in DotA, no one else will play the game anymore.

Good point there. Looks like progamers are just as concerned about the scene as casual observers like us. Now let's talk about 6.69, have you considered including Druid in your lineups? Do you think there are any other heroes with potential to shine in this version?
-"Syllabear was one of the surprise picks that we had prepared for WDC, but we didn't have a chance to use this pick. We do have a complete lineup centered on Syallbear, but we don't see it as firstpick material like most of the other teams. That is why we didn't use Syllabear at all this SMM, didn't see a need to waste a firstpick on it. On the other hand, pushing heroes like Dirge and Pandaren are all viable picks for this version."

Thank you for that detailed explanation. What about Drow? She used to be, along with Medusa, one of the two strongest Carries in the game. But no one picks her these days. Is it a result of games being generally faster-paced?
-"The pace of games has picked up in the new version, but picks are still predominantly determined by the opposing lineup. For example, when facing a fast push lineup, Drow is obviously less appealing of a pick compared to Medusa.

Because of survivability?
-"Definitely a factor, as well as Medusa's ability to defend towers."

How viable is a fastpush lineup in this version of DotA?
-"Too unstable. Making a comeback against a fastup lineup is not difficult even with a rax down."

Any hero, in particular, that your team have in mind that can perform multiple roles?
-"Necrolic and Tinker."

What about Pandaren?
-"He can fit into a semipush lineup, has the ability to get on the opponent's high ground, and it's all very dependent on farm difference."

One question that everyone is concerned about. Are you and 357 really going to retire from pro DotA?
-"357 will continue playing for EHOME next year. He is also getting married soon, so let's all congratulate him. As for me, I have not made a decision yet, I'll take some time to think about it now since SMM is over and give my fans an answer as soon as I sort things out."

Congratulation to 357! May he live happily ever after. Forumerd on Sgamer have already totalled up EHOME's total tournament winnings to more than 500 000RMB. You're easily making a 6 digit salary right?
-"I can't answer this question."

Any special bonus from the management as reward for EHOME's stellar performance this year?
-"Nope, no bonuses."

He (357) is the foundation of our team
As captain of the team, can you give a brief assessment of your teammate's performance this SMM?
-"Burning (AAA)- A very stable carry. He is the most consistent player in the team throughout this SMM. He's thoughts during games are very clear, and we had to rely on his stable performance to win alot of games where we were initially at a disadvantage. Our 4+1 strategy worked. Burning is worthy of our trust, and we are good enough to back him up.

Dai (X!)- His game was up to standard, and committed very few mistakes. The MVP of this tournament is either him or Burning, I haven't decided which one.

KingJ- Playing superbly as usual, one of the best Necrolics in China. Thanks to his Necrolic, we won most of our trilanes. Also, he's the only player, to date, to have won 2 SMMs in a row. Keeps a very low profile, but everyone will remember him.

357- The all-rounder. He's the foundation of our team. Even if I go on a dying spree, he will always be there to do the warding in my place. A very reliable teammate to have.

820- That's me. Didn't perform so well. That's all I have to say."

Any last shoutouts?
-"Thank you to Sgamer for the interview, shoutout to our sponsors Gigabyte, Steelseries, Intel, Nvidia, 99 Gaming Platform, as well as to our fans, we are couldn't have done it without your support. Thank you all!"

*Credits to user xiahou for translating the interview.

SGamer - Source(Chinese)