OGA Dota PIT Minor is quickly approaching its climactic moment and two teams are already in the Upper Bracket finals. Ninjas in Pyjamas is one of them and we took their day off in the event as an opportunity to talk to their captain, Peter “ppd” Dager.
From what TV series he enjoyed the most, to NiP’s run through this Dota Pro Circuit season and how Valve operates as opposed to other publishers, we had a relaxed chat covering a few interesting topics.
Thanks a lot for taking a short break to talk to us, how do you enjoy the beautiful and sunny Split, did you visit a bit?
Oh yeah, I was in downtown, I visited the old city, which is absolutely beautiful, I’m a fan of Game of Thrones, haven’t seen the new episodes yet, but I saw a bit of the site where I think they’ve done a bit of filming in the previous seasons.
Ah damn it, I was thinking you could give us some predictions for episode three.
Haha, no I didn’t have the time to watch it now, will do so after the Major I hope. I was really hooked with the previous season. It’s one of the very few shows that I would watch every week when it came out, rather than binge-watching a season during a long flight. That and Westworld Season 1.
Let’s go to Dota 2 and the competition here, in Split. What is NiP doing in a Minor? I mean, you started the season super promising and I, and most probably many of the Dota 2 fans, wouldn’t have expected you guys to have to go through Minors.
Well, we are playing in the European qualifiers which some say is potentially one of the hardest qualifier. I would say China qualifier is also really, really difficult, a lot of good teams come to the Minors from China. We qualified this season for two Majors and two Minors which isn’t the worse, I think. OG has quite the similar story, if not even worse, Liquid also. It’s a tough region to compete in and all teams have their ups and downs. I guess we’re just a little bit of a down, but we seem to be playing decently well, at least during the playoff portion of this Minor and hopefully we can get first place and pretend like qualifiers never happened.
I’ve talked to BOOM ID last night and I asked them how they feel about this Minor’s format. They say it’s super helpful for a tier two team because they don’t have that many opportunities to play on stage, to play versus good teams and so on. How do you see it from a tier one perspective?
Thanks for calling us tier one, it’s a nice line to hear. I think that the group stage was a little bit redundant. I think that they probably should have done just what most of the other tournaments do; have the group stage determine the playoffs seeding and then just start with like the bottom two teams in the lower bracket, top two teams in the upper. That wouldn’t be so good for us as we finished third in our group, but it is what it is at the end of the day.
Maybe you would have played a little bit different if you had something on the line in the groups?
Maybe. Maybe we would play a little bit different, maybe we would have taken Radiant more than going with the first or second pick. But overall, we learned a lot from those games as we took them pretty seriously, for the most part. Other teams probably learned a lot too, and it’s just a matter of who learned the most and who can apply it to the playoffs.
I saw a lot of people having something to say about these many bo1 rounds in the lower bracket. Some say best-of-ones have no place in Dota and tournaments shouldn’t be allowed to have such a thing. Of course, you are not in those rounds, but how do you feel about the entire lower bracket being a bo1, except for the finals there?
I don’t mind the whole best-of-one thing, to be honest. These teams are in the lower bracket because they lost in the upper bracket and as a result, they still have a chance to be in the tournament. If we would have had like a quicker group stage, we probably would have had time for more games in the playoffs, but I do think that the best of ones are some of the most exciting games to watch. And at the end of the day, that’s all we are really trying to do, to entertain an audience. Hopefully, they will enjoy the games here.
Personally, I’m a fan of these tournaments not being as long as they are. Every tournament I go to is usually a week or 10 days and I kind of feel like if things are be done a little bit more efficiently, we could knock these out in 4 to 5 days.
We are towards the end of the season and we had so many misunderstandings. At this point, it feels like every Major had its share of unpleasant situations. I’m not talking only about the Team Team recent drama, but KL Major with the visa issue, where it was actually NiP forced to go with a stand-in, Chongqing and the TNC-Kuku drama and so on. Every time people point towards Valve and we got the same problem over and over again, lack of communication, no rule-book etc. You are one of the players who are the most vocal when things go south, so please tell us one thing that could be done to help the community and the pro scene in the next season.
You know, it’s always people thinking that Valve is the one responsible for everything, but I do think that Valve gave us all an amazing opportunity to compete in Dota 2 all around the world. I don’t think that Valve is looking into everything as much as other publishers and esports circuits do. They are more hands off, which is a bad and a good thing at the same time. It gives a lot of opportunities for other people to get involved in esports. It’s only the reason why CS:GO and Dota 2 are such interesting games for new companies and corporations to get their start in esports, which is a blooming industry. If you want to start a company in esports you can’t really touch League of Legends or Overwatch or Call of Duty or any of these games that take on this franchise model. They are basically removing the necessity of third party companies and they are just trying to turn it into like one mega-company within themselves.
While in Dota there’s a lot of opportunities and that’s because Valve allows people to have that opportunity it just depends on how you use it. There’s definitely a lot of work to be done to improve the Dota circuit, but I’m sure no matter what it will be done, people will always find reasons to complain.
Final question and let’s go back to this event. Between BOOM ID and Alliance, who are playing right now against each other to join you in the upper bracket finals, which team you hope to play against tomorrow in your series?
I rather play versus Alliance in the finals. We are more familiar with them. BOOM ID is a little bit more of a wild card and I think that their mid player, Mikoto, is really, really good. I would be worried about him tearing us apart with his Outworld Devourer or something.
All right, wish you best of luck through the final days here, at the OGA Dota PIT Minor and thanks for your time.
headline photo courtesy of Ninjas in Pyjamas