Friday, August 28, 2015


Inhouse leagues are crucial for the growth of any scene. They provide a place for players to hone their skills, be creative, and have fun. A place where pro's and high skill players can play with and against each other competitively. It's been a few months since the FACE-IT league was seeing action but I'm looking forward to it starting back up in September.

For me personally I've always seen inhouse leagues as the premium place to practice. Not only can I practice drafting and strategy without the presence of my entire team but I also can learn from and adapt to the dozens of drafters I find myself against throughout the month. I use the IHL to make some generalizations about what works and what doesn't. League games are incredibly useful during a new patch or when I find myself a bit lost when it comes to understanding the current “meta”.

Take a look at my team, we ALL played in the last iteration of FACEIT and we won the International so obviously we're onto something. Look around at the NA scene, who are the big names of today? Arteezy, Sumail, Universe, PPD, Aui_2000, Fear, Yawar, Bulba, Zai(honorary American), TC, etc. We all play in these IHL's because we want to be better. Of course we have some fun along the way but our spirit for development and progress is what pushes us to keep playing.

If it wasn't for IHL's I don't know if I'd be doing what I'm doing. I joined my first professional HoN team because I was noticed in a IHL and someone saw potential in me. Same thing happened when Zai and I joined EG after TI3 and yet again with Sumail earlier this year. IHL's allow players to take their game to the next level, find competitive games, and maybe even some teammates to compete in this years upcoming Majors.

I'd like to say thanks to FACEIT for once again hosting the league and I look forward to competing this September.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

POST TI5 blog

Okay so this has gone past the point of meaningless drama and in my opinion seems to be defaming me and my teammates character/brand. So I'm going to set things straight with my incredibly biased opinion.

Aui joined our team mid-January after Zai and Arteezy left after a disappointing Summit 2 and Dotapit result. We knew c9 was replacing 2 players for n0tail and misery but we were almost certain it was bone7 being kicked not aui. Originally we planned on trying out both Sumail and Yawar and finding a way to make that work because of how limited our options were. During the "mid-season" shuffle I lobbied around trying to find replacements and NOBODY was willing to give us a chance. They all viewed us as weak, the 'losers' in the shuffle and wanted nothing to do with us. When I was talking to EE he revealed that they were releasing aui not bone . It was destiny he just kinda fell into our lap. Aui and Zai had next to identical play styles and hero pools so it was the obvious choice. Still feel bad about Yawar but he'll be fine, sometimes you wish you could have more than 5 players on a team but such is life. 

Then we won DAC, then we got 2nd at a lot of tournies, lost a MLG, and then we won TI.  

This wasn't super surprising as the best thing about our team is confidence. We practiced hard, studied hard, and prepared ourselves mentally for the challenge of a lifetime. When secret lost to both ehome and vp we knew this was our TI for the taking we just had to do it. 

Were we the best team? That I can't be sure of but the amount of satisfaction you feel from winning a tournament like DAC or TI is truly a unique and overwhelming experience. For all of this I thank my teammates including aui who worked incredibly hard to achieve a goal and dream of all of ours.

So let's talk about Aui's removal. Starting with some simple pro's and con's.
1. Hard worker 
2. Dedicated 
3. Talented 
4. Trustworthy 
5. Malleable 
6. he's just the nicest guy ever 
1. Not an effective communicator
2. Often makes mistakes under high pressure 
3. Creates a stressful environment 

I'll give a bit more info on the cons because let's be honest these are the only things people are going to talk about.

Aui is one of those guys who talks a lot but says very little, if you know anyone like this you'll understand what I'm saying. His ability to communicate effectively just isn't there and even though we worked on it all year long it didn't get much better. A lot of this falls on me for my ability to captain and direct effective coms but it's a lot of work and I wasn't always up for the task. 

If you watch our games you'll see most of them turn into a 4 protect 1, but not to farm our carry. Instead we did this to find farm for Aui and have 4 farmed heroes and 1 underfarmed hero(mine) in the mid to late game. Whether this is how dota is played I'm not sure but we were pretty limited in style.

I'm not going to call out specific plays where maybe Aui's nerves got the best of him and I won't pretend it doesn't happen to all of us but it is something that we all have to work on especially aui because his comfort in game directly correlates to his level of play.

To touch on the stressful environment I don't think I have ever been more stressed out in my life than I had been the past 3 months. Hell I'm still stressed out trying to deal with all of this ridiculous backlash. The way aui handles his communication and his play made every game feel like the hardest game we had ever played. That could be on the rest of us but I have a feeling it isn't. Either way something had to change because no amount of winning was worth the stress I was going through. I would spend hours in my head preparing strategy and going through drafts with Sam only to have aui question our strategy as we sat down at the goddamn stage.

Let's also talk about the WB finals before we move on where Aui turned into the most cancerous player aside from CWM I had ever seen with an 18 MILLION DOLLAR TOURNAMENT LEFT TO PLAY. Honestly show some composure and don't whine on your teammates. We lost, learn from it and move on we've both played enough tournies to know how these things work. We literally went though the same exact thing at DAC. (A cancerous WB Rout from Vici into a following  sweep through the lb and the finals) you learn more about yourself from losing and if you can't keep your composure at TI you're useless to me. Our strategy going into the final day was ppd talk more and aui talk less.

The international is by far the most stressful and most difficult tournament to win. It truly defines the kind of a player you are and it took me a TI to realize I no longer wanted to team with Aui. 

So part two: 
Why Artour and why not kick fear instead?

Artour is a clown but an amazing dota player first and foremost. He generates independent thought, works hard, and is undeniably one of the most dedicated players to the game. Also the way he handles himself just works with our team. Ti4 eg I had the most fun I've ever had with a team and we honestly missed it. This year EG felt so corporate, even though we were friends we weren't REALLY friends. You went to practice or played your matches then you just went your own way. 

Side note: I'm pretty sure every team needs a clown to lighten the mood as dota is an insanely stressful experience. This year we hired in Bulba as our coach/jester. Thanks Sam for giving into to peer pressure drinking too much and still be the first one up in the morning watching replays.

Let's talk about old man Fear. This guys honestly THE MOST VALUABLE dota player out there. He can play any hero, any role, and with a little practice he can fit them into any play style. Also let's note that he basically co-captains the team and directs movement, maintains a positive attitude, and makes sure that I do my job as the captain. I know I have what it takes to lead my team to success but occasionally I need a kick in the ass to actually do it and fear is there to have our backs. He tells me to make decisions and enforce them. Without him I'd be half the captain I am today and THAT is why he is irreplaceable. 

So that's it lets silence a few rumors and move on with our lives.
1. There's no such thing as a surprise kick, I told aui FIRST on skype via text I asked him if he would be more comfortable talking on call and he declined.
2. Sing sing did absolutely not know anything about aui being booted, he may have made an assumption or guessed but cmon no one talks about roster changes till after you get eliminated from TI for good reason. 
3. You actually can't compare this to the niqua thing because he was booted right before to qualifiers and had no opportunity to do something else.

I know I'm an arrogant prick and I accept that but let's not pretend that I don't have my teams best interest at the top of my priorities. Thanks for reading.