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Photo: Epicenter

By Anand ‘Warhog’ Tapadia
Special to VPEsports

Complexity Gaming has seen a lot of changes in the past few months, but the one thing that has been constant for them is their position 4 support, Zakari ‘Zfreek’ Freedman. VPEsports caught up with Zfreek in Mumbai, where the team has traveled for ESL One Mumbai and had a conversation regarding the meta, the upcoming hero Mars, balancing Io and his brother Kyle amongst other things.

Hello Zfreek! How’s it going? How are you liking India?

I like it here.

Do you think it’s too hot?

I haven’t gone outside a lot, but it is warm here.

Have you tried the food?

The hotel food is delicious. I eat a little bit more spice than the others I’m travelling with, so I found it likable a bit more. I haven’t gotten out of the hotel, but it looks dangerous out there!

You should try out some of the street food if you have the stomach for it…

I can tell you that I do not.

Haha! Coming to Dota 2, how does the current meta feel to you? It’s quite different as compared to the TI8 meta we had half a year ago…

I think the meta is pretty healthy right now. There are a lot of heroes that are viable. The current meta is based more around your playstyle than being based around certain heroes being broken, which is always good for the game. There are a lot more options right now than previous years. There is no Troll-Sniper in every game!

The current meta is based more around your playstyle than being based around certain heroes being broken

You’re a position 4 player and we saw that roaming supports were pushed out of the game in the lead up to The International 2018. Do you think they are making a comeback now?

I think they already have made a comeback. It has a lot to do with how lanes play out. You can’t roam if your lane needs you to stay there. That’s why we are seeing a lot of backlining at this event; the offlaner just goes behind the enemy tower. But one the whole, I believe roaming supports are making a strong comeback.

I believe roaming supports are making a strong comeback

You being a Wisp player, what do you think needs to be balanced with the hero for it to be brought back to Captain’s Mode?

I liked the hero the way it was before they started changing things around. Tether had a duration, you had to control the Spirits actively. It made the hero a lot more fun and balanced, because then you couldn’t just pick Io and win. You had to try. Now it’s kind of a joke, where you heal people when you’re at full health. Certain items seem to strong on the hero right now. They’re trying everything, I don’t know what you need to do at this point. They should revert Io to the way it was and make Relocate a longer cooldown.

Coming to the latest hero to come to Dota 2..what are your thoughts on Mars?

Get it out of my game.

Get Mars out of my game

Do you play it in pubs?

No. I play against it all the time. It doesn’t really make sense. Every time Valve adds a hero to the game, they decide it should have multiple disables and strangely enough they start nerfing them over and over and over again. Hopefully Mars gets a few nerfs. You shouldn’t be not able to auto attack inside of Arena of Blood. That doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Well, that is the general consensus, that the hero is overpowered. What are your thoughts on this years DPC system? Do you like the Majors and Minors system better than last year and that there is a schedule to follow?

Having the schedule is definitely a bonus I think. Some of the third party tournaments, the qualifier schedule can get messed up…

Like it happed with ESL One Mumbai…

Yeah qualifiers get overlapped occasionally with those of DPC events and any time they conflict, DPC has to be given the priority. There isn’t a whole lot of downtime, but at least there is a schedule.

Who do you think are the favorites to win here in Mumbai?

I don’t know who I would support to win but I think Mineski looks good right now.

You had a rough group stage, losing to TNC and Na’Vi. What happened there?

During the first series against TNC, we had a slight disadvantage because we had been travelling for three days straight and got there the night before our game. But we didn’t play well, so it doesn’t matter. Na’Vi is a stronger team than most people give them credit for and we weren’t really ready for what our plan was, so we kind of got destroyed.

Na’Vi is a stronger team than most people give them credit for

Any tips for the Indian team Signify? Individually, they are all great players with good ranks in the SEA leaderboards. But while playing together, things just don’t click too well…

Overall, they play well together. I liked watching them because they have the killer instinct, as they say. They are willing to go fight and do things. Hopefully, they don’t lose that mentality. All they need to do is keep playing together, keep working on it and it’ll work out.

Any thoughts on the recent debate that SEA deserves a third slot at Majors and not NA?

Any region will think they deserve more slots than the other regions. At the end of the day, Valve will take a decision based on results. So if NA has more slots than SEA, I’ll say because the NA teams are doing better.

You’ve played with your brother Kyle for a good chunk of your career, since your Heroes of Newarth days. How is it playing without him? Do guys still discuss Dota and do you miss not playing with him?

I still talk with him regularly. Not as much about Dota as family. I see him at events which is where we talk about Dota.

Family always first. What do you like to outside of Dota 2, Zfreek?

I like playing other games, either video games or sports. Started to play Ping Pong here, because they have a table. Doing a lot of that lately.

Any shoutouts?

Just to India. All the fans who came out here, they were great. Thanks for having us!

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