Interview with PSG.LGD’s xNova: “It is weird to imagine a Major champion having to go through qualifiers”

There is always a special joy talking with PSG.LGD’s position 5 player, Jian Wei ‘xNova’ Yap. Speaking from Malaysia, where he was during the lockdown, he spoke with me about PSG.LGD’s shaky start to the season, the Chinese Dota 2 scene and the current Dota 2 meta amongst other things.

Hello xNova! Thank you for taking the time. How are things in Malaysia during this tough situation?

Malaysia was forced to undergo movement restriction control at first, but things are getting better now. People can go back to work at their office, but the government is still encouraging us to work from home.

Let’s get to Dota 2 straight away. It wasn’t a very good start for PSG.LGD this year. What happened?

We took a long break after TI9, after which we weren’t in our best shape and didn’t train and prepare for the (open) qualifiers for the second Major. Another reason we possibly got knocked out of the Leipzig Major open qualifiers is the big patch (Dota 2 patch 7.23) that was released right before the qualifiers, which we couldn’t adapt to. By the time third Major qualifiers (ESL One LA) came around, there was internal conflict in the team and we were forced to make a roster change out of the blue. Not having a lot of time to practice with the new roster, we lost in the open qualifiers once again.

I guess because of the results, a change was imminent. What made the team think it would be good to move Chalice to the safelane? After all, he is a pretty incredible offlaner…

We were looking into the available player to replace Ame, but the best we could do was find was find Eleven, who is an offlaner. Now come to think of it, Chalice played the position 1 role before switching to offlane, so we decided to give it a try and that seemed to work well for us.

Going back to the qualifiers, do you think there should be direct invites for the top teams?

Definitely! The teams that do well in a Major deserve a direct invite to the next Major. It is extremely weird to imagine a Major champion having to go through the qualifiers for the following Major.

I couldn’t agree more. Coming to China, what do you think about the current Chinese DotA 2 scene? After a bit of a slump, do you think it is getting more competitive?

I think the Chinese scene has always been quite competetive and that’s how it is now as well.

Who do you think are the top three teams in China currently?

I’d say Vici Gaming, RNG and EHOME are the top three teams right now

That’s a bit too modest! What about PSG.LGD?

As I said, the scene is quite competetive and the teams are very close to each other in terms of form and skill. Besides these three and us, CDEC are also looking like a scary team to face.

Let’s come to the current meta. Do you like it?

Not really. I don’t like the concept of status resistance and Heaven’s Halberd is overpowered.

Has the switch from 7.25 to 7.26 made a big difference?

To be honest, I don’t really remember a lot of patch 7.25, so it’s hard to tell *laughs*. But I think this patch has been there for a while now, so I’m expecting something new in the near future.

A few players, including Ceb, said the kill gold is extremely low right now. Any thoughts on that?

Before patch 7.26, the kill streak gold and experience was too high. Since the release of patch 7.26, it is incredicbly low, so there isn’t a lot of benefit in going for early kills, which makes the current meta good for teams that are strong from the mid to late game. It’s not the best patch for teams that like to play aggressively from the very beginning.

That makes sense. How is the position 5 role feel right now? Supports have gotten nerfed in the last few patches. Has the game become more difficult?

I don’t think it has been affected too much. Everything is obviosuly slower, but every patch yields new postion 5 heroes that are strong for that meta, so it doesn’t seem too bad.

What are the heroes you like playing in the current meta?

Keeper of the Light, Grimstroke, Shadow Demon and Enchantress are quite good right now.

Thank you, I will now spam these heroes in the most incorrect way possible. How did you spend time in the lockdown? Played any other games?

I had a lot of scrims and tournaments every day. Sometimes I played Apex Legends or CS:GO to while away time, or maybe a single player game between Dota 2 matches.

The 2020 Battle Pass is set to be released soon! Which arcana would you like to see this year?

One of the four Spirits, I guess. All of them are flashy and hot pick heroes and their arcanas would look amazing.

Thank you so much for your time, xNova! Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to all the front liners and doctors keeping us safe. I hope everyone is following the required safety protocols. Wash your hands and stay safe.