Photo: ESL/Patrick Strack
If you missed yesterday's incredible day of Dota, here are the two games you should watch before the next round begins: EG vs. Vici Gaming game one, and Secret vs. Fnatic game two. In both cases, though in different senses, these games were made special by a support player gone rogue. In the case of the latter you have a wildly entertaining Techies performance by KuroKy. In the former, you have Aui_2000's extraordinary run as a 'support' Naga Siren who finished the game at the top of the net worth leaderboard.
Afterwards, I caught up with EG captain Peter 'PPD' Dager about the team's resurgent return to form.
I wouldn't say that you had the roughest time in the seeding bracket, but I imagine it was rougher than you hoped. Was that just a bad first day and now you've managed to move on?
There were a lot of problems with the seeding bracket and it's mostly just a case of where it was. It wasn't actually a LAN. There wasn't really soundproof headsets, there were headsets but they didn't have any white noise playing so basically you could hear everything your opponents were saying and if you were in one of the rooms you could hear the casters talking about the other game that was going on in the other room.
The Chinese players are super loud, they're always yelling because they don't use TeamSpeak or Mumble or anything. They just yell. Their yelling is coming through our mics and going into our ears through our TeamSpeak and it was just... frustrating, to say the least. That being said, we lost to IG twice and they played really well. We made some mistakes but we learned a lot. It made us more prepared for this event so I'm glad I was there.
This may sound like a stupid question, but based solely on today: what position does Aui play?
It depends on the game! Sometimes he looks more like a one than a four. Generally he's the second support, the four position, generally I buy most of the wards unless I've run out of gold and I'm too poor. I say "Aui, please buy me a ward" and he's like "...alright...".
Out of his 27k net worth. Was that something you knew you could get away with in these games because of the Io, or was it something more general about breaking down that division between positions?
It's always an option when you've got Naga. She's able to farm a lot in that situation as a support. We didn't really want the game to go in that direction, it just did.
You're not going to say no, though, right?
Yeah. After too many mistakes in the early game we just said "right, there's no way we can fight them head on, let's just split the map, dodge teamfights, spread them out." Fighting five on five just wasn't going to work out for us.
That second game felt so much stronger. I wonder about the influence that momentum actually has on teams. Was that a momentum thing, was it a case of now knowing Vici's weaknesses? What made that happen so much more convincingly?
It's very difficult for me to say whether a team is tilting a little bit or not, but game one was very frustrating and I could understand if they were upset with the loss. They did really well in the early game and it looked like it was going in their favour and then we just slowed the game down and it had to be frustrating for them to deal with because that playstyle is always a little bit obnoxious.
Game two, I think we had a bit better of a draft. They went with a different style for their Wisp, they went Wisp-Tiny and I'm not even sure that's Hao's best hero. I don't think he plays it amazingly well and we got really good picks against it: Winter Wyvern's very exceptional.
I was surprised you got that, actually.
Yeah. And Fear was able to do what he wanted to do in game one on Clinkz which was go to their jungle and make kills happen on their supports.
I guess people associate Fear with a farming style, a more passive style. Is this, like, a side of him that occasionally you can just let off the chain?
Yeah, he plays Clinkz really well and the way he played in game two is, like, how the hero is meant to be played. He uses his ult, eats that big creep and he's got 1800 HP at eight minutes. You get in there and go fight and he's so, so strong.
As a drafter, it must be a huge benefit to you that you have players that can switch between roles that well, or play the same role very differently to what other teams might expect.
The more options you have, the more advantageous it is. Fear is one of the best carries out there because I never have to worry about him being able to play a hero. It's like... "oh, this hero could be good hero or maybe this hero." Then we go, "what's the best hero for this game" and I have full confidence that Clinton will be able to play that hero to its full potential.
You're playing VP tomorrow. Any thoughts, ahead of it?
I haven't thought about it too much. Just relaxing and watching the games that are going on today. But, they're one of the scariest teams at this tournament at least for us. We do much better against the Chinese and I'd much rather be facing up against IG. Maybe not Secret, but I think VP will be a good challenge for us.
They've had an extraordinary run so far.
Yeah, they haven't lost a game yet. That being said I think we can beat them, I don't think they're at any untouchable status. Hoping for some good games and I think we can win out.
Thanks for your time.