Black^ Interview and Community Q&A
Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier's first foray into professional Dota was as a frequent standin for various Western teams. He then joined mousesports in May 2012. Since then, he has managed to build up a reputation as one of the strongest and most reliable carries in the West. In fact, he maintained the highest average GPM of all Western carries for a very long time. Further, that he maintained this position despite the tumultuous roster changes that mouz has endured is as a true testament to his ability and perseverance.
We had the privilege of talking to Black^ about his team, his thoughts on being invited to the TI3 qualifiers, and the Dota scene in general. But there's more! We will have him here on TL to take part in a Community Q&A on Friday, May 10 10:00pm UTC (GMT+00:00). Post your questions in this thread, and he will get to as many of them as he can!
Hello Black^, thank you for accepting this interview. Would you like to introduce yourself?
Sure thing. Hello everyone my name is Dominik Reitmeier. I am 19 years old and currently playing DotA 2 in team mousesports.
First off, congratulations on being invited to the TI3 qualifiers! How did your team react when you found out, and what are you doing to prepare for them?
Thanks! We were very relieved when we heard that Valve decided to invite us into the qualifiers, because this year there were many possible contenders. Preparation wise we are practicing as much as possible as well as analyzing the teams we are gonna to play against.
How well do you think mousesports will do in the qualifiers? What other Western teams do you think have the best chances of qualifying for TI3?
Hmm... good question. I can't judge the teams that had roster changes, because I haven't seen them in action yet. Most people think that EG as well as mouz are the favorites for this tournament, but I personally think every team can beat every team in this one, so it's gonna be a close call. But I obviously hope we can make it all the way haha.
You recently added SyndereN to your roster. What do you think he will add to your team?
We added SyndereN because we believe he can bring us what we always needed since Kuroky's departure: A well drafting/leading captain.
And before adding SyndereN, you found qojqva. How did that happen?
I'm not too sure myself to be honest. I was the person least involved in that change. I believe Fata asked him to tryout for us and he accepted. Shortly after, we realized he has very high potential and asked him to join our team.
You are called the best Western carry by some. What kind of practice have you had to achieve so much?
I feel very honored when people think of me that way. What I did to achieve that "level" and what I do to maintain it is practice at least 10 hour every day in either practice wars, matchmaking or simply playing single player mode to get every timing right. A good side effect of that is that it actually greatly improves your mechanics with most heroes too.
When talking about carries, people often use the phrase 'finding farm.' What are your thoughts on that? How much of a role does the individual carry player play in this versus the role of the team?
Finding farm is usually the phrase people use, when the carry is under heavy pressure but still manages to find considerable farm. It depends on the game and the strategy. For example, in 4-protect-1, the carry usually has all the space in the world to farm up. When you play a 2 or 3 core strategy, like iG does, it's a lot harder for the carry to find farm, because you will usually be under a lot of pressure and you'll have to join a lot of fights.
What about the role of a carry versus the rest of the team in general?
I think it's a give and take between all the roles. In the early game especially the mid hero and the support heroes play the biggest role, as they control the gameflow and they set the tone of a game, which gives them a lot of responsibility. When it comes to mid or lategame that responsibility shifts over to the carry player, and even a little mistake can cost you a game. In my opinion there is no "easy" role. Every role has its hard part and every role has a timing window in every game where they bear the most responsibility.
What are your thoughts on the current Dota 2 metagame, particularly surrounding carry choices, since that's the role you're most familiar with?
Hmm... The current metagame is push oriented, which sometimes leads to some stalemate situations. Usually one team has a big carry and the other team tries to finish the game before he gets out of control. The team that has the most success in the world, iG, plays a different style though. They usually pick 2 or 3 core heroes as opposed to one, core heroes that can fight really early e.g Naix, Nightstalker etc. That style however is a lot harder to play. But it gives great benefits if you manage to pull it off successfully (2 or 3 farmed heroes instead of 1)! Personally I don't like the metagame that much cause I am mostly stuck on Gyrocopter and Naix, especially since it's really hard to pick an Antimage or Phantom Lancer versus a heavy push oriented lineup.
What are the biggest differences between Western and Eastern carry players? Are there any particular Eastern carries that you try to emulate? I believe you mentioned BurNing in a recent interview for the G-1 League.
The difference between Eastern and Western carry players is mostly the decision making, which is almost perfect in the Eastern scene (BurNing, Sylar, Zhou) and pretty flawed in the Western scene. My personal favorite is BurNing, so I watch him a lot and adapt myself a lot to his playstyle, simply because I think he is the best player so I can learn the most from him.
Before we close this interview, would you like to give any shoutouts?
Shoutouts to all our fans and supporters and our sponsors BenQ, GeiL, Razer and Thortech! And a special thanks to you for interviewing me ^_^.
Thank you very much for your time, Black^, and we look forward to having you on our community Q&A. All the best in the upcoming TI3 Western qualifiers!
Black^ Community Q&A
Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier has kindly accepted our invitation to be here on Team Liquid! He will be in this thread on Friday, May 10 10:00pm UTC (GMT+00:00) and will answer as many questions as he can. All you have to do is post your questions below. After the event is over, all of his answers will be linked below for ease of access.
- What's the best unknown carry in the current metagame? What are the biggest decision making flaws that Western carries suffer from?
- What rank did you reach while practicing SC2?
- Are you happy with the current balance of Dota 2? Do you talk to Icefrog about balance changes?
- Have you talked to Alex- since he left mouz? Are you on good terms?
- What do you think about people calling mouz black+4? Will paS come back to his 3rd role or stay in support? How is synderen doing as captain?
- Have you ever gotten bored of carrying?
- Why are you so badass<3?
- Are your creeps worth more gold or do more creeps spawn for you?
- What makes burning different from other top class carries in your eyes?
- Let's say you win the wildcard and LGD wins their qualifier, which Asian team out of VG, Rattlesnakes or Rising Stars would you want to face?
- How did you come up with your name? Also, auto attack on or off?
- Why isn't Riki picked in competitive Dota anymore? Also, what is, in your opinion, the worst hero in Dota?
- Who is your "Guilty Pleasure" hero, the one that you absolutely love playing but don't get to as often as you would like?
- What is Anti-Mage to you?
- If you weren't the hard carry, what else would you like to play?
- Which previous teams did you enjoy a lot? Also which players?
- When people once wanted to make you a twitter fan page, you responded "what fans?" Have you gotten more confident since then?
- There was a period when you were THE stand-in for the whole EU scene. What was that like for you, when everyone was glad to have your assitance, yet you were still teamless for a very long time?
- What went through your mind when Sing denied you, despite your pleas not to be denied?
- If you were presented with an opportunity to train and live in China (much like LGD.int), would you go for it?
- Which in your opinion are the 3 most important balance steps Valve has to tackle next?
- Ever since Mouz added Synderen, how does your team deal with the communication problem? If there is any.
- What is your opinion of the German Dota scene?
- Do you miss playing heroes like Sand King that do not have to farm much after core items?
- Where do you think Icefrog will take the game in 6.78? Where do you want to take it? What are your thoughts on Medusa and Windrunner?
- Who makes most of the calls within the team? What is your second favourite game and game genre? What are your thoughts of the mouz team at TI2 (SingSing, Bamboe, 1437, ComeWithMe and Kuroky)?
- What girls do you like?
- What keeps you playing after all these years?
- What is your opinion on Phantom Lancer? Do you like playing him? Where do you think he fits among carries in the current meta? Do you think he will be changed in the next patch?
- If you could pick anyone to stand in for you as carry, who would it be? Do you agree with the sentiment that people consider you to be the best carry in EU?
- What hero that hasn't been added to dota 2 yet are you most looking forward to?
- At one point there were rumors that you considered switching to SC2. Is that still a possibility? Or something you may eventually want to do?
- Why is Anti-Mage your favourite hero? What do you think about meeting your idol again at TI3? What heroes do you want buffed and nerfed in the next patch?
- What is your favourite food and icecream? Have you learned any life lessons from Dota? What subject would you study in school if not for Dota?
- What exactly is it that you focus on in single player? What would a typical 'single player training session' involve?
- What are your thoughts on Morphling?
- Which semi-carry is fun, potentially effective, but too risky to pick regularly? Why?
- What do you think about Synderen on support? What are your thoughts of Slark?
- Are there any Western carry players that you watch and learn from? Besides yourself, who do you think is the strongest Western carry?
- Should I vote for you to have the highest GPM in The International 3?
- How is your relationship with Kuroky now that he has left mouz?
- I remember seeing you play under the diamondZ tag. Will you tell us more about your DotA 1 history?
- Create an awesome 5 man team, with these rules: no mouz, no Na`Vi, no iG, and no more than one player from a team.
- What is your favourite colour?
- What is your favourite food from Germany? What about favourite food overall?
- How would you describe each of your teammates in one word? What is your favourite dinosaur?
- Have you met any undiscovered talents in matchmaking?
- What is your mental state like when you are preparing for important or high profile matches like the TI3 qualifiers? Does the extra pressure make you excited or nervous? What do you focus on?
- As we can see from the two pictures, you are extremely evil and also a cuddly teddy-bear. Which of those personalities are emphasised when playing a match?
- What does the team think of its own potential? What goals do you have? What balance changes to which heroes/items would you promote?
- Why did you let another team pick Lone Druid + Lifestealer + Magnus?
- What role do you tend to play in your drafts? How has that changed with Synderen around?
- Who came up with the idea of the support Alchemist?
- How do you manage your extremely tough schedule?
- If you could rearrange the roles of you and your teammates within the team, what would you do?
- G-1 will have an upcoming allstar game where Orange, Alliance and Liquid will face iG, DK and LGD. What would your picks be for each team?
- How did you actually think of your nickname? What's with the ^?
- How do you practice your last hitting? Any tips you can give to players who want to enter into competitive play?
- Any reason you stay away from alcohol?
- What does the 553 mean?
- What is your opinion on the term, "throw"?
- Do you think Medusa will get any playtime before and during The International? Also, what are your thoughts on the following players: H4nni, Kebap, Alex, LevenT?
- Which Western players do you not want to face in a 1v1 lane?
- Which unreleased hero are you anticipating the most in Dota 2?
- How did your professional career take off?
- Do you play any console games? If so, what and why?
- Slark is suddenly being picked up frequently by Liquid, and mouz also picked him for a game earlier today. What does he offer that makes him suddenly attractive?
- Do you think Naix deserves a nerf, or is he only picked because of the current metagame?
- What are your thoughts on Viper, Troll, and Sniper in the hands of someone like yourself?
- How do the Chinese carries practice? What sort of mistakes do you make in a typical game? What heroes are you practicing now?
- What are the biggest sins a carry can make other than the no TP no bkb stuff?
- What do you think is the next flavour of the month carry, mid, and support heroes that are not commonly used now?
- Can you talk to us about the following: the performance of your team, results at the TI3 Western qualifiers, and your life after this is all over?
- Why do pros neglect disassembling their Tranquil boots for Treads?
- Who do you fear in the Western qualifiers for TI3?
- What was it like to meet BurNing? How was his English?
- What was the reason for the Midas TA that you ran earlier today? Any thoughts on Kaipi not getting a TI3 qualifier invite?
- What is your favourite moment as a Dota 2 player so far? What are you looking forward to most with TI3?
- What are your thoughts on Gyrocopter as a carry right now, particularly with regards to Divine Rapier?
- Do you have any plans for streaming?
- Favourite movie, book, TV show, and what upgrade would you want an Aghanim's Scepter to give you in real life?
- What are mouz's weaknesses and strengths, in your opinion?
- How are you so damn good at last hits?
- As one of the few players who have played Pudge on the competitive scene, why isn't he picked as often these days?
- What one hero do you wish was a hard carry that isn't?
- Any plans for mouz to bootcamp and practice before TI3? How has the drafting been different with Synderen on the team?
- What are your thoughts on Sange and Yasha?
Gfx: Hawaiianpig, riptide
Gfx: Hawaiianpig, riptide