For some reason, I got a lot of flack for it in SEA, which I was very surprised about because I’ve been doing it forever. My teammates actually don’t mind; neither does the enemy. The enemy doesn’t care that I’m throwing, my team doesn’t care that I’m throwing, but for some reason all the fans care. Which is ****ed up because all the people that matter in-game don’t care. It’s these little annoyances that make pubs so difficult to take.
This is why scrimming is a lot more important in SEA and than NA or Europe. One benefit is that the scrimmers try harder in SEA. They’re more disciplined and competitive.
Finally, there’s the team, which is probably the most difficult adjustment to make. I didn’t really know what we had to adjust or what we had to do until I physically joined the team. Once I did, I realized where the team was at and I always learn some things from my teammates, and I have to teach them a lot too.
There are a lot of things to think about, of course. There are some things that move along smoothly, but there are some things that move along instantly that it’s impossible not to be surprised. You can teach one concept to three players and one guy will pick it up and be better than you within a week. He will actually learn the concept and be better than you at it, at least in certain areas. Then there’s one who will not understand the concept at all, even though they’re playing the same game. They take a month or two to get it, or they might not get it at all. That’s how difficult it is to improve a specific part, and then you have to adjust differently to various things. Different personalities, different strengths and weaknesses, different drafts. It’s actually so hard. I could write a book about it, how to adjust a team.
That is why I wanted to play with Pie. We just have a mutual respect for each other as players, and it’s easy for me to talk to him. He has a natural intuition for the game, and that allows me to talk to him about my ideas — and he’ll actually understand them. He will even understand in a way where he can disagree with me and find a way to make sense. A lot of the time, when I talk to someone about ideas, they don’t really understand what I’m saying or at least they kind of do, but not really. It’s really important to have someone around like that, where I can talk to him about Dota and he’ll understand.
Another reason is that the most success we’ve had is with each other. We have never found success when we are not with each other, actually. There was one time when I won DreamHack, but other than that, every success I’ve had, every tournament I’ve ever won, or every good result I’ve ever had, is with Pie.
However, we started off super bad this time. We were losing every qualifier to shitty teams. I mean, at that point they were shitty, but they have gotten a lot better since then. We were losing to teams like WG.Unity and Happy Feet back then, but they’ve since had a bunch of roster changes and have really improved. We’ve also improved and we’re now coming 2nd or 3rd in qualifiers — which is still not where we want to be. It’s been a big adjustment.
As the captain of Fnatic, there’s a few things I can do. We talk one-on-one, and talk as a team. Personally, I look at their past and figure out what kind of player they are, and what heroes they like to play. I talk to my teammates a lot, and we discuss our games because I consider myself really good at watching replays. I can understand why people do things or why people shouldn’t do things based on a replay. I can analyze what we should have done instead, and teach my teammates about how I understand the game. So far my teammates agree with me. This is because my mid game and late game understanding is extremely good. Mostly, the late game is about movement and I will say that this is probably my best quality. Another thing is I have a really good understanding of item builds. I generally understand what items to go for in any situation. I think these are my best qualities as a captain.
I know that a lot of people have this misconception about me as a high risk player, but that’s not true. The way I talk to my team, I always say we should go for the lower risk play. I think the best example is whenever I buy a Rapier. For me, buying the Rapier is actually lower risk than not buying the Rapier in the games where I decide to buy it. Let me explain.
I think the most famous Rapier game I’ve had was the game against EG. I had 2 Rapiers and 2 Battlefuries as Ember Spirit. In that game, we were down a rax in 20 minutes, and I was getting one shot by every hero. If Axe calls me, I’m dead. If Wyvern touches me, I’m dead. If there’s Shadow Shaman, I’m dead. If I get darkness and feared, I’m dead. I had no vision, it’s dark everywhere because of Night Stalker’s ultimate, and we had no summons so we could never really scout. And if I die once, the game is over.
So, for me, the only way to win the game is if I die zero times. And if I’m going to die zero times, then I might as well buy a Rapier. That’s my thought process — the only reason I’m buying Rapiers is because the only way to win is to not die.
I looked at it another way as well: if I die, could I still win? If I die without the Rapier, I will still lose. But if I die with the Rapier, I can still win because I can put a spirit on my Rapier, right where I die, instantly buy back and pick up my Rapiers. That gives a chance for me to have two lives with my Rapiers.
These are the things I think about when I play. I actually think I have the lowest winrate with the Rapier by far, of any player. Everyone who has bought it has above 50% winrate because they only buy it when the game’s basically over. When they’re actually winning. But for me, I only buy it when I’m about to lose and it’s my best chance to win. I’m not the sort of player who will get a Rapier when I think I can win without it. The lowest risk play is the one with the highest chance of winning, and sometimes it’s the unlikeliest option.
To a lot of people, me joining Fnatic was that unlikeliest option, but I don’t consider it a risky decision. Moving to SEA has been difficult, but I joined Fnatic because it gives me the best chance of winning. We’re focused on the late game — The International — and I have Pie, Abed, Ohaiyo and DJ with me.
Hopefully, I won’t have to buy a Rapier.