20Q 20A: Black^
Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier is our 20-20 candidate this week. Often regarded as one of the most consistent, if not the most consistent carry outside of China, he has been a part of the Western Dota scene for years now. More importantly he recently followed his dream of playing on the mainland by signing with LGD.int.
He recently left for China, and is currently living and training at the LGD team house. As one of the top carries in the world, he has played the game at the highest level, and this is your opportunity to learn from him. Go for it, TL!
Black^ now plays in the same arena as his hero, BurNing.
Want to ask something? We'll do it for you. Just post your question in this thread. Our editors will pick the 20 best questions from this thread and Black^ will answer them, after which the answers will be slotted in below.
Ask away, TL!
- How are you going to eat currywurst and doner kebabs in China? Are you going to miss them more than German food? [Burns]I did not really eat a lot of Currywurst or Kebabs in general so I do not really miss them. There is no German food that I really miss. Chinese food is really, really good and I like it a lot :D
- I know you feel incredibly strongly about your fan base. Now that you are taking such a large step onto an even bigger stage in China does it help knowing so many people are rooting for you and do you have anything to say to anyone who expects great things from you while you are in China? [OmniEulogy]It definitely helps to know that so many people support me, without all my followers and fans I might have quit a long time ago. To everyone that still supports me, I want to thank you all and I want you to know that I will try my very best to not disappoint anyone. Our team is fairly new though so our games might be very shaky...I cant promise that we will win all our games, the only thing that I can promise is that I will give my very best in every match and that I will continue practicing a lot so that I can one day rival Burning ^_^
- Do you have to learn Chinese during your training in China? [StrayWolf]I dont have to learn it, but I really, really want to learn it. I really like the Chinese culture and their language is fun to speak. It is a really hard language though so I am keen on seeing how far I can get learning Chinese.
- Do you believe your mechanics (last-hitting etc) is on par, below or greater than Chinese carries? If not what do you wish to improve that can only be found by training in China? [Leeoku]I would say my mechanics are on par with most players in the scene, as thats my biggest strength as a player. Of course there are many players who are also better than me mechanic wise, Mushi, BurNIng to name a few. I think what makes training in China unique, at least for a foreign team, is that you bond a friendship within your team much easier than in the west, because everything is unknown and you need to help one another to make it through everything. That's also the reason why Alliance won TI3 in my opinion, they're not simply a strong team, but they're friends more than anything. Other than that Chinese teams take EVERY practice match very seriously, which makes it easier to practice certain strategies, in Europe most teams would just screw around in practice matches and not really take them seriously. And lastly, I can get the POV of the eastern players and mix them up with the POV of the western players.
- What is the biggest thing you didn't expect about your time in China so far? What’s the attitude in China regarding the newly formed teams? Which teams do you feel have gotten stronger or weaker this offseason? [tpmraven]The first thing I didn't expect was that the Chinese traffic is really weird. They drive over red lights like it's meant to be that way and as a passenger you have to be really careful to not get overrun :D. The attitude in China generally is really serious, every newly formed team is practicing a lot and after every practice session people will analyze their replays to pinpoint mistakes and ultimately fix them. DK and IG are definitely the winners of the big reshuffle that happened in China, they are 2 really scary teams and if you're not careful then they will just snowball out of control within the first 10 minutes of the game and leave you little chance to comeback. I haven't really seen much of the other Chinese teams yet in official games so I cant really comment on them, VG, Rstars and Tongfu seem to be really strong though.
- One of my favorite games of all time had you on the losing end (Mouz vs. TeamLiquid, Divine Rapier Gyro comeback). Looking back on that game, what would you have done differently with regards to item choice on your PL to secure the victory? Corollary to that, is the best final item for PL an additional Heart, a Skadi or a Daedalus? [Caladbolg]Looking back at that game, it wasn't my item choice that lost us the game, but rather our decision-making as a whole. Instead of split-pushing we would try to force push against a Tinker and a Divine Rapier Gyrocopter...if we just split-pushed all 3 lanes there is no way they could have defended that. Regarding my item choice in that game, I went for MKB as last item so i could kill the gyrocopter, which was an okayish choice, but in hindsight, with what I previously stated, it would have been better to just get a second heart and split-push all 3 sides. As to which item I think is best on the last slot, its either MKB an additional Heart or a Daedalus , depending on the situation. Like if the PL is really far ahead and can get a Daedalus without the enemies having a Butterfly its the best DPS item overall. If your goal is to just push the base then another Heart is definitely the best. MKB if you have to straight up fight their carry in teamfights, as your illusions and hero wont miss hits anymore.
- What is your analysis on Mouz's run at TI3? How is China's beer? [nojok]Mouz's run at TI3 was really really bad... I think it was all nerves though. We were afraid for some reason, didn't play the style with which we had so much success in Europe at all. We tried to adapt to the other teams instead of playing what we practiced all the time. It was the first really big LAN for 3 of our players. And well... there is not really much more to say about that haha. The other teams were just much more prepared than us and they well deserved everything they achieved, as we deserved losing for not practicing enough. Concerning China's beer, I wouldn't know cause I never actually drank a beer in my life before.
- Will the change from playing against European to Chinese teams affect how you will play your role? If so then how? [crayolalax]Generally, the way I play my role depends on how the team wants to play. With Mouz it was more like a 4 protect 1 style, whereas with LGD.int were trying to be more aggressive. The Chinese metagame is all about fighting right now, which is also the reason why Elder Titan is valued so much as a first pick right now. There are several ways to go about this, either you can avoid team fighting and try to pick single heroes off the map, or you can pick a team fighting lineup yourself and clash with them whenever they want to push a tower. We haven't really found out what works best for us yet so I can't fully answer this question.
- What do you think about your new teammates and the LGD organization? [LogicIsDead]I always liked the LGD organization, their management is really nice and helpful. Without them I would have no clue what to do in China for example. They really really care about their players. As to my new teammates, we are having a great time here with a lot of laughter. It's usually Pajkatt, Misery and I who do stupid stuff and making others laugh, while xFreedom and Brax are the 2 quiet guys.
- Is there a language barrier between you and the team? If so how do you plan on overcoming it?
[TBone-]No language barrier at all, everyone speaks fluent English. It's not as fluent as our native languages of course, but we can articulate everything to make sure our everyday life is fun ^_^
- Have you met BurNIng in person since you arrived in China? Have you scrimmed against the new DK? If so, what do you think about the new DK team? [jimmydu444]Yea, I have met BurNIng a couple of times and spoke to him about various things. We played vs. the new DK a couple of times and all I can say is they are really really scary. Not only do they have massive amounts of individual skill, but their draft is now completely unpredictable and they can pretty much just run over you with anything. With the right amount of practice I think this team might become one of the strongest teams in Dota 2 history, if not the strongest.
- Thoughts on Medusa? Is any team in China practicing lineups around her? [Noya]Chinese teams are slowly starting to pick up Medusa more yea. Generally, you have to make sure Medusa gets a freefarm lane. If that's ensured then it will become really scary. Once she actually hits her first core item, may it be Manta Style or Linken's Sphere or whatever, it becomes almost impossible to take teamfights. She just stands there like an unkillable rock and you can't teamfight her, because of her new ultimate. It's pretty much a free win if she gets freefarm unless the enemy has a hero that can burn mana efficiently. Anti-Mage or Phantom Lancer would be your best bets in that case. I haven't seen the full potential of the new Medusa yet, only managed to catch a few games with her.
- Would you consider Orb of Venom on Mirana? That’s 12 damage for harass! [Foxhawk]Yea, I have done that before, 12 bonus damage on pretty much every hit adds up really quickly and is well worth the investment. Not only is it good on Mirana but also other range heroes like Furion for example.
- What do you think of the Alliance style of play? Does their combination of Nature Prophet and Io into buyback into Dire Roshan strategy actually break the game? Also, do you think the pure hard carry role is still viable with the current meta shifting to "faster" approaches to the game? [NeuroNiky]The Alliance style of play is really strong, because it's a very stable kind of play and they always have set gameplans. Everything they do on the map has a purpose. I don't think anything really breaks the game, its just a use of strategies and proper mindgames. Of course Dire has a Roshan advantage as long as the outer towers still stand, but Radiant has its own advantages, its much easier for Radiant to go offensive (trilane) for example, because they have the big camp to pull.
Concerning the hard carry question, yea it is still viable. I think in this current version you can literally pick any strategy you want and win with it. All it comes down to is execution as well as having the right gameplan. The current metagame favors heroes that are really strong early on in the game, but that doesn't mean that it is a must have.
- When you start practicing a carry that you haven't been on for a while, what is the first thing that you do? Do you work in single-player to establish last-hitting with those heroes or do you jump into multiplayer games to get a feel for how the hero can play? Also, when you choose farming routes around the map do you generally develop these yourself through practice or do you borrow from other carry players a lot? Which player has the best farming routes in your opinion? [Sn0_Man]When I start playing a new carry hero, the first thing I do is hop into MM games and start getting a feel for the hero. As soon as I learned to master the spells of the hero, I jump into single player games and try to perfect last-hitting as much as possible. Most of my farming routes I came up with myself, but I stole some from BurNIng, CTY and Aui_2000. In my opinion those 3 players are really smart and efficient when it comes to farming.
- You have said that you go practice last-hitting a lot in practice mode. What kind of handicaps (e.g. no item last-hitting) do you set and what heroes do you play? Also do you practice last-hitting against anyone that tries to deny and harass you or just against creeps? [Landwhale]For me, the best last-hit practice generally is just picking SF, buying no items and going on short lane. He has really low damage and not the best attack animation either. If I want to play like in a real game, let's say a 1 on 1 safe-lane vs. off-lane, I will ask a friend of mine to play versus me and practice a lot that way.
- Who is the best carry (Eastern and Western) from TI3 except for BurNIng (obviously BurNIng best carry universe)? Tell us about your three favorite melee and ranged carry heroes. [BurningSera]From the East, after BurNIng, definitely Hao. That guy is crazy good. From the West I would say Loda played the best, made very few mistakes and always managed to be there for his team.
My 3 favorite melee heroes are AM, PL and Naga Siren. I am a really big fan of split-push, because I think it opens up the map the most and also gives you the biggest timing windows to punish enemy heroes. My 3 favorite ranged heroes are Clinkz, Shadow Fiend and Mirana. If any of those heroes get a really good start, they will snowball out of control in no time and just take over the game.
- What is the one hero you wish saw more professional play? [Nosforit]Definitely Clinkz... but it's really hard to play and lane him nowdays, because everyone is much, much smarter now than they were back then.
- If you had to play a role other than carry, which would you prefer and why? [Mafe]My favorite role is the mid solo, you get to play a lot of playmakers that can make a difference in all stages of the game. Midlane is what I used to play before transitioning into the hard carry role and I really enjoyed it a lot. It would probably take a lot of practice to get into a new role now, as I have been playing the carry role for a very long time now and invested a lot of time to improve in that role.
- Have you gotten any better at ping-pong since DreamHack? [fusefuse]When HotBid beat me in the ping-pong tournament, I made it my goal to become much better at the game and I actually played it a lot when I got back home. So I would say I definitely improved a lot :D
Images by: Slepcha
Images by: Slepcha