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Vici Gaming’s Zhou “Yang” Haiyang, Major finalist and Champion of the last tournament of the year, ONE Esports Invitational Singapore, along with Du “Monet” Peng, who is expected to play on the first Minor of 2020 with RNG, sat down with VPGame for an in depth conversation about the new patch, which seems to give a hard time to a lot of the players.

Yang and Monet give their take on the new heroes, how they should be played, if they are ready for Captain’s Mode, what items should be prioritized, how to deal with the Outpost, the neutral drops, all these and even a bit more in the interview below.

Translation provided by Blair Zheng  


What do you think about the design of Void Spirit, which position do you think he’s suitable for?

Yang: Since Void Spirit is a new hero, I haven’t played it yet. But from the matches I’ve watched, I think he’s suitable for position 2 and position 4, because although he doesn’t deal much damage, he can easily disrupt team fights. He should be further nerfed if he is to be included in the Captains Draft.

Monet: I think this hero is suitable for both position 2 and position 3. For now, it seems that both items and gaining levels are important to him. Once he reaches a certain level with some key items, he’s able to show his potential. He’s very slippery.

What’s your take on Void Spirit’s itemization?

Yang: If you are going for a magic damage build, I think Eul’s is a must. If you’re going for a physical damage build, you can choose Mjollnir and Desolator. Anyway, I think this hero works better with a magic damage build.

Monet: Veil of Discord and Boots of Travel are good choices. Then purchase Radiance for him in mid-late game to increase his damage and split-push potential. Playing him is kind of like playing Ember Spirit with magic damage build.

How do you think Void Spirit will be played in Captains Draft in the future?

Yang: I think he can be played as position 4, as a support, because he doesn’t deal much damage, but he is strong in control and disrupting. I won’t play him as position 3 in matches.


Monet: After the Major series ends, Void Spirit should be added to Captains Draft. I think this hero will be fun to watch.

Which heroes do you think work best with Void Spirit and which ones are a counter to him?

Yang: I think he works well with tank heroes at position 3. Damage dealers also work well with Void Spirit, too. You can just play him as an ordinary position 4 hero.

Monet: I think heroes with silence are his direct counters.

Do you think Void Spirit can be played as position 1, will you practice this hero?

Monet: I will practice him of course. It’s good to have another signature hero and it’s also helpful for drafting.

What’s your take on the Snapfire design?

Yang: I think she’s well-designed. She’s kind of like the starting heroes of Dota 2. In contrast with Void Spirit, who is a bit too slippery and flashy, Snapfire is very solid. So, I think she’s suitable for position 5.

Monet: Her ability Lil’Shredder is very powerful. For example, as position 1 I usually come across this hero in the laning phase. In the early game, just with a Blight Stone and this ability, she can deal over 200 damage on me, even when I’m playing a high armor hero. In mid game, Snapfire works well with Mars/Disruptor. Overlapped, Disruptor’s Kinetic Field and Snapfire’s ult, deal great damage, and heroes hit by this combo are basically dead. Now, I think she’s a nuker in the early-mid game stage.

What’s your advice on Snapfire’s itemization?

Yang: I’d build position 5 items, team items, for her. Support items like Mekansm is suitable for her.

Monet: I think she’s suitable for position 3 and position 4. In early game, Phase Boots or Arcane Boots are suitable for her. Later, you can build Eul’s. Meanwhile, I’ve seen others making Mjollnir and Skull Basher for her, and both seem to be very powerful on her.


How do you feel about the courier changes in the new patch?

Yang: I’ll start with courier’s ability to use items at level 25. I think it’s flashy and a bit unrealistic, because in this patch, games have a faster tempo than before, so we may not even have the chance to experience the change. But I think it’s quite good for each player to have their own courier. Toxic players like us just prefer to have our own courier, it feels good.

Monet: After the changes were made, I’ve been using couriers more frequently on the safe lane. Before, as a carry, I hardly used courier at around 2 or 3 minutes of the game. The position 5 would usually bring some items for me. Now we can get items and supplies through couriers very frequently. But there’s a risk on the safe lane, position 4 of the enemy team may kill the couriers before they reach us, so we need to be careful when having items delivered. 

How do the Outposts influence the match?

Yang: I think they mean a new opportunity for both teams. For example, in the past, at 10 or 15-minute mark, we fought for the bounty runes, but now we can plan around the Outposts for attack or defense. Gaining control over the Outposts can double the winning situation for a team or get them better control over a game.

Monet: I think it is a big change. For professional players, the Outposts are strategically important in matches. Every 10 minutes they provide XP for each player, so if you gain control over 2 Outposts, then the enemy team will not receive the granted XP.

How do you see the change of the spawning location of the bounty runes?

Yang: We don’t really focus on the bounty runes in the river now, outposts are our new main target.

Monet: The game starts differently. Now usually three of us head together for the bounty runes on a lane, so this way we can end up with 2 bounty runes at least. If the enemies want to fight for them as well, then we’ll definitely get kills.

How are the neutral item drops influencing the match?

Yang: I think it’s a nice change, but it’s still a bit too random, because you can’t really control what items you get. So, considering the competitiveness of the game, I think the randomness of neutral item drops should be limited to a controllable range.

Faced with such a huge update, how do you adjust yourself and adapt to it?

Yang: Actually, the professional players are in the same situation with ordinary players: the more we play and the more we watch some matches, the more we learn more about it. My understanding is that the patch makes the game faster than before, and we may not even enter the late stage. Also, now it is more fun to play support.

Monet: We need to read the update log thoroughly while practicing.

What’s Vici Gaming’s goal for the Leipzig Major?

Yang: To have fun! Our goal right now is to finish top 6 at least.

Vici Gaming have basically secured a spot at TI10 already. Why do you choose to compete at the Leipzig Major during the Spring Festival?

Yang: Actually, we’ve decided to skip a Major before. Since we chose to play at the Leipzig Major, we’ll pass for the next one.

What’s RNG’s expectations for the Bukovel Minor?

Monet: We don’t have a thorough understanding of the patch still, so this time our aim is to learn more. Of course we’d be happy if we achieve good results in this Minor.


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