The Chinese scene is the busiest one when it comes to online tournaments. Even before the COVID – 19 pandemic crisis the region had an abundance of online leagues and online tournaments, hence they were the first to adapt to the new situation.
When the Dota Pro Circuit got suspended and all other regions seemed to be waiting for Valve to bring a first solution, in China, eight of the top teams joined efforts and brought a large online league format where the entire scene had the chance to keep a daily competitive routine. CDA China DOTA2 Professional League started on March 23 with a total of 22 teams entering the battle. Later on, Mars Media re-ignited the DPL circuit and merged with the CDA League for a larger online event. The first season of DPL-CDA Professional League started on April 20 with three qualifier stages to give a chance to as many teams as possible to enter the main event.
With the first week of the competition done and dusted, Mars TV sat down with Team Aster’s Song “Sccc” Chun and Pan “Fade” Yi to talk about their recent challenges and how the pandemic impacts their life.
Right before lockdowns were imposed worldwide, Aster were the last team to win a DPC tournament, the StarLadder ImbaTV Minor and were set to participate in the ESL One LA Major.
Unfortunately, the crisis caught them in Kiev, Ukraine and after a long hustle to get back home and weeks of self-quarantines, all their players, except for Sccc who had a different flight route, were placed by the Chinese government into a special quarantine center.
MarsTV talked to Fade and Sccc about how they spent the time in quarantine, what kind of pressure brings an online tournament and future plans. The below translation is provided by Blair Zheng and has been slightly edited for better reading. The full interview, in Chinese, can be found here.
You guys won a Minor not long ago, and Sccc played a lot of position 1 heroes, so a lot of followers say that Sccc has a much larger hero pool. How did you train yourself?
Sccc: I didn’t go through any special training. I played solo mid in the past and now I am used to play a lot of position 1 heroes.
Fade, are you under a lot of pressure now?
Fade: No, not at all. I’m actually happy. Sccc plays so well, and we just need to be carried. It’s like when playing, the rest of us just need to lie down and say “pog”.
Sccc: He’s being sarcastic! (laughs)
When you returned home [from the Minor] you were first under quarantine in your training base, but later you were requested to be put under concentrated quarantine. However, Sccc wasn’t on the same flight with you guys, so he wasn’t requested. How did you guys feel at the time?
Fade: One day at that time, the staff at the Shanghai disease control & prevention center called us, and I was the one who picked up the call. I broke down when I heard the news. And I thought, “No, I’m not going,” because on one hand, I thought concentrated quarantine might be a bit risky and there might be suspected cases there, while on the other, we weren’t able to continue training. I felt a bit down at the time. However, fortunately, Sccc wasn’t requested. He was lucky.
Did your family call you often during the concentrated quarantine?
Fade: They just told me to cooperate, and not to cause a scene (laughs).
How did you feel when you were back from the quarantine, did you feel “liberated”?
Fade: Well, not really, because the quarantine felt fine, and I just needed to cooperate with them.
Let’s talk about the game. After patch 7.0, many big changes were made to Dota 2, and a lot of players say that they can’t take them. So as pro players, do you prefer radical changes or minor changes?
Sccc: I prefer the former because if it didn’t change or only changed bit by bit, players might get bored. Which one do you prefer, Fade?
Fade: I agree, but for ordinary players, they may think they don’t get the game anymore. Actually, we are all the same. At first, when I see some changes, I’m thinking, “I need to make a career change. I can’t do this anymore; it’s too difficult.” However, when you actually get to play it again, you realize that the changes are not as radical as you thought. Also, Valve will continue making changes to the game, so big changes are definitely better than small ones.
Talking about “career change”, have you ever thought about what you are going to do if you quit the pro scene?
Fade: Farming, I guess.
Farming? Do you even have a piece of land at home?
Fade: I have land in Animal Crossing. I’m happy.
What about you, Sccc?
Sccc: I’ll return to the army and protect the country!
Do you watch games from other regions? Is there a difference in playstyle between Chinese teams and teams from other regions?
Sccc: Yes, we do. Seems there’s less fight in their games, compared to the games between Chinese teams.
You are playing in the DPL-CDA Professional League, so which team do you think are likely to win this tournament?
Sccc: It’s hard to say; feels like any team can win. If I have to choose, then PSG.LGD.
When we interviewed Vici Gaming, they also named PSG.LGD.
Fade: In this case, I’ll say Vici Gaming.