Today I have an interview with the carry player from Team Dignitas, Aui_2000. His team is fresh off a 4-0 day in the RaidCall Dota2League with 2-0 victories against Na'Vi and Team Liquid.
Who first introduced you to Dota? How long did it take you to become hooked? When did you decide that you wanted to play professionally? How did you meet the other members of Dignitas?
I was first introduced to DotA by a few highschool friends. They taught me by telling me to go boots first tango every game and calling for solo bot as vengeful spirit. In general, I'm a pretty competitive person as well as a quick learner, so both the depth and gameplay of DotA drew me in. I'd say I was hooked before I even started playing, when I was just watching my friends play, simply because of how complex and fun the game looked. I don't think I ever made a real decision to play professionally--I sort of just wanted to keep playing at a higher and higher level competitively. I guess the closest thing to a decision to play professionally was when we won prodota2, after which I opted to take the minimum amount of courses to register as a fulltime student rather than a more heavy course load.
How long do you plan to play Dota professionally?
It would really depend on the economic viability of doing so. I'd love to say forever, becuase DotA is just fun, but there are always additional factors like money, job security, future goals, etc. With that said, I'm actually already considering taking a semester or two off to play DotA.
Who are some of your favorite heroes to play in and out of matches?
Competitive matches is pretty much whatever will let the team win. I don't really have a personal preference when playing for fun so I just random every game.
With your team being based entirely in North America, do you ever have difficulty with scheduling matches and scrims against European and South-East asian teams?
I guess there's a bit of time conflicts when scheduling matches and scrims, but not really a noticible amount. Pretty much everything can be worked out if both teams are willing to compromise a bit. The only real distance problems are lag issues.
Is that the reason why its more common to see the US and Europe based teams play each other while the teams of South East Asia rarely make an appearance on western broadcasts, just the ping?
Yeah. It's pretty much impossible to showcase proper play when you have anything above 300 ping. Even eu at 250 ping for me is pretty hard to play on. I mean it goes both ways--how often do you see western teams in SEA tournaments.
Thats a fair point. If you had the power to add something to Dota 2, what would it be?
I'm probably not the most creative person out there, so I don't think I'd really be able to design a good new hero. I'd really like to see a really well done tutorial system added into the game.
In the past 4 months we have seen some fairly significant balance changes, including the recently released 6.77. Once the changes of 6.77 are implemented to Dota 2, what are your thoughts on the game's balance.
I overally really like the changes. The tl;dr of the patch was that overly strong heroes got nerfs and overly weak heroes got buffs. I think that this patch also did a really good job of both moving heroes into the realm of viability/toning down some heroes, while not pulling a morphling on any strong heroes/overly buffing anyone. I will say that I'm actually quite scared for when drow/sil/cent come out because they all seem really really strong, but you really have to play heroes in multiple competitive games to get a good grasp on their actual strength.
What is the origin of the name Aui_2000?
Long story short, I was seven years old and my sister made an email. I wanted to copy her but not completely because my 7 year old supersmart brain told me a straight up copy would be really uncool. So I switched and cropped bits of the word Aiur--the name of the protoss homeworld in starcraft. I then added the 2000 because that year was coming up and it was going to be the coolest year ever.
What is your opinion of the way Valve has developed Dota 2 as an E-sport? Do you think it would be better to have smaller tournaments sponsored by Valve throughout the year or is there an attraction to having such a prominent headline event?
I actually love what valve is doing with the DotA2 competitive scene. Valve is actually psuedo sponsoring pretty much every big tournament by use of the ticket system, and in a very sustainable way, which imo is simply amazing.
It's sort of nice as a draw to new players to also just have such a large well done--I've heard of TI2 referred to as the best esport event organization wise on multiple occassions--and it's also just nice to have a big goal to aim towards. There is that problem of teams disbanding/instability/etc following the international, but I'm not entirely convinced that this is completely a causal byproduct of TI--there were a bunch of teams that only stayed together because of TI2. I actually think that viewers who expect a 100% stability rate of teams in a game like DotA are being a bit unresonable. Sometimes shit happens and sometimes a break up is the best option.
Over the next year what are your goals for both yourself and your team?
We want to win.
You mentioned what would cause you to stop playing Dota professionally, but once you stop playing what would you like to do with yourself?
In an ideal world, it'd be really cool to stay within esports, but that's a bit of a pipe dream. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure what I want to do as a career. My original choices going into university were law or teaching.
Thank you very much for your time. Is there anyone you would like to give a shoutout to?
Shoutout to Team Dignitas and our sponsors Intel, Alienware, Scan, Antec, Twitch, Creative, Qpad, Killer, WD, IIyama, Gamerbase HMV, IG and Multiplay.