By Anand ‘Warhog’ Tapadia
Special to VPEsports
Mineski is one of the top Dota 2 teams in Southeast Asia. But of late, they have gone through a rocky patch. After a few changes in personel, it seems like the Filipino outfit is back on track. Making a small pitstop in Mumbai before heading off to Paris for the next Major, Mineski are trying to claim their first trophy of the season at ESL One Mumbai. VPEsports caught up with their offlaner, Damien ‘kpii’ Chok to talk about the meta and season in general.
Hello kpii. Congratulations on making it to the upper bracket here. How are you feeling? Is this your first time coming to Mumbai?
Thank you! It’s actually my second time coming here; we were here for Dreamhack in December 2018. It’s pretty much the same as last time.
What are your thoughts on the current meta?
I feel like it’s a fun meta. There are a lot of different heroes being played. Trilanes have been coming back, so it isn’t just dual lanes every game. Sometimes we even see jungling being used on a hero like Enigma. The patch is quite flexible, which makes it fun to play as well as to watch.
Do you like the offlane right now? The TI8 offlane meta was more about picking lane winning heroes, but now, the traditional offlane heroes are coming back…
The offlane, just like the meta, is flexible right now. At times, there are dual lanes for both sides and you can crush the opposition carry. Sometimes the enemy has a trilane in their safelane which makes it a completely different scenario.
Talking about offlane, what are your thoughts on the new hero Mars? Seems like an offlaner in the making…
I do not like the hero at all. I don’t like to play Mars or play against Mars. He’s just a stupid, low-skilled hero…
Mars is just a stupid, low-skilled hero
Interesting thought! Moving on, let’s talk about this years DPC system with the five Majors and Minors. Do you think it is better than last year?
I think the one thing that I would change is the qualifiers for the Majors. There should be direct invites to Majors based on performances in the previous Major. Teams like Virtus Pro and Team Secret playing qualifiers every time seems like a bit stupid, to be honest. There is always the issue of slots. I’m going to be biased because I’m from Southeast Asia, but I believe SEA deserves more than two slots for a Major.
SEA deserves more than two slots for a Major
Interesting that you say that. I have a question regarding the same topic coming up later. Apart from Mineski, who do you think is a contender for winning ESL One Mumbai?
In this tournament, Keen Gaming and TNC are probably our biggest competitors. And Na’Vi, of course. They have made it to the Upper Bracket final.
Circling back to the slots issue, do you think Valve needs to look into it and fix it? There have been claims that SEA definitely deserves it more than NA…
At the end of the day, I don’t think Valve is all about getting the top 16 teams in the world at a Major. For competitors like us, it might seem unfair. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s fine.
For the past few years, you were playing with a Chinese team. How does the switch to SEA feel like, especially the pubs? Is there a level of difference in playing?
Regarding the skill level, there isn’t much difference. In the Chinese pubs, there is more communication. And in SEA, all the pubs are All Pick while in China they are Random Draft.
What you like doing outside of Dota 2, kpii?
I like playing other games like CS:GO. I really liked World of Warchraft a long time ago. Besides that, I like watching Netflix and listening to music!
Anything particular you are looking to do in Mumbai before you leave?
Not really. For us players, it’s all about the games. Maybe after we get either eliminated or we win, we’ll think about it.
Shoutout to my team and our sponsors.