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photo by: StarLadder

Fnatic placed only bottom four at the recently ended MDL Disneyland® Paris Major. The SEA powerhouse team is already qualified for The International 2019, which might had a say in their performance from last week in Paris.

Soon after they were eliminated from the tournament, Fnatic’s offlaner Daryl Koh “iceiceice” Pei Xiang sat down with the Chinese website Maxjia and gave his input on the current state of the game, and on the SEA Dota 2 scene. The interview was conducted and published in Chinese and we are happy to share the English translation of it courtesy of Yuhui Zhu.


Was the lower bracket round 1 being a BO1 partially the reason behind your loss to Keen Gaming?

I don’t think it so. We were simply not prepared enough. We had Visa issues and everyone was feeling a bit too relaxed. We’ve already secured a TI invite, so we only practiced 3 days before the event started. After we arrived in Paris, we practiced for another 2 days and have encountered some small issues here and there. But when it comes to official tournaments, small issues can turn into big problems as other teams were actually trying pretty hard.

Would the result be different if the lower bracket round 1 was a BO3 series?

Maybe we would have a better shot, we underestimated Keen Gaming’s performance in this event.

Do you think Fnatic is the strongest SEA team right now?

In terms of results, yes. In terms of roster, yes. Because there are not that many strong teams in SEA beside us and TNC. Mineski is not stable, but with 71 joining them as a coach, we will see how they’ll perform.

What’s your take on 71 joining Mineski?

71 is a good coach, but it’s difficult for me to work with him because we have different styles.

How do you feel about the current state of SEA Dota right now comparing to other regions?

SEA is alright, both us and TNC are pretty good. Now TNC have the TI-winning coach in their lineup, so I really look forward to their performance. Hopefully, they can beat us in qualifiers or pull out something fun. EU is the strongest region while China comes in second. LGD is pretty strong, VG is alright, but I feel like LGD is stronger.

You mentioned that Mineski is not stable, but they made it to the second round in the Major lower bracket.  Was that because they were in a good shape or was that because their opponents were weaker?

I think opponents being pretty weak was also a reason. After all, Empire were the last place in their group.

Would the return of Ana make a big difference for OG?

Of course. OG will be in a more comfortable place with Ana coming back. But at TI9 they won’t be able to achieve what they did last year. People won’t underestimate them this time.

Are there any problems in this patch you want to see fixed in the future?

Apart from Drow Ranger being a bit too OP, which I believe has been brought up by many other people, not really. We’ve played this patch for 2 Majors and it’s getting boring. So, recently I’ve been playing other games. I hope we can have more new heroes, that would be fun. Also, I hope they can make the game more difficult and complicated, like unreasonably difficult. Because if the game is easy then there will be more people or even kids playing it, like what happened to LOL and Fortnite.

Why would you want this game to be more difficult? It’s not like you will get matched with those kids.

Difficult games have a higher skill cap. But the whole world is getting dumber, so there’s nothing much we can do.

Do you feel pro players nowadays have already reached the skill cap?

Not yet. The overall skill level of Dota 2 players becomes higher and higher every year. Like the TI1 champions might lose miserably today to a team that finished last at TI8.

Then where is the skill ceiling for a player and what are the factors that may affect that?

Talent and motivation. Players like Burning, MMY and Mushi, they can still be competitive, but they simply lost the motivation. When they feel playing Dota is not that fun anymore, they would do other things that are more interesting or more profitable.

You used to play Starcraft, do you think it is the complexity of Starcraft that decides the skill cap of players?

I don’t think Starcraft is any more difficult than Dota2. It’s difficult to compare a solo game to a team game. A Dota 2 team consists of 5 players while in Starcraft the only things that matter are your own talent and your effort. It’s exhausting to improve your skill in Starcraft, but the good thing is that all the effort you’ve put in will pay off.

How do you feel about the current state of the Dota 2 professional scene?

It’s kinda screwed up, teams don’t want to release players. They nurture good players then they sell them for good money. You know what I’m talking about.

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