Yeik "MidOne" Nai Zheng, Team Secrets midlaner, talks about some of the secrets to his success.
Thanks for taking the time to do an interview with us, how are you feeling now that you’ve achieved Top 4 at the Hamburg Major, the first Major of the new Dota Pro Circuit and what do you think of your chances of winning the whole tournament?
Yeah, uh, 33%.
Yes, that’s what my instincts say.
Pretty good, so what are the factors for this? What is the 66% for why you don’t think you will win the whole tournament?
Hahaha, strategy wise, I think we don’t have the tools to answer everything yet. We’re also still in the process of becoming a real team, being good teammates and I think that all contributes to the 66%.
Is there also a role played by the previous two Minors where your results were decent but weren’t extraordinary, maybe resulting in a lack of confidence? Or was it perhaps more of a learning experience for the team?
Yeah it was definitely a learning experience because we lost in some tournaments. We had some internal issues between all the teammates and we weren’t really a team yet, during the Minors.
So what do you think changed between the Minors and Hamburg where, now, you have achieved Top 4 already and you’re looking really good?
We changed a lot. Losing two Minors is actually huge for us because it kinda made us explode. Each of us, we spoke up more and now we’re more like a team, we get along really well with each other. Strategy wise, we listen to each and we create our strats together and everyone has their own input. I feel that we’re getting better too and we can play better so we have better strats now.
So better team cohesion?
Yeah, after two losses, I would say it’s really huge.
Alright, so right now, in your team, you lost KheZu and MP after TI, who were replaced by Ace and FATA-. The first thing we wanted to talk about regarding this was FATA-, you played mid against him at TI6. So how do you think he’s doing in his transition from the midlane to the offlane?
I think it’s the same as s4 right? He was a mid player and he transitioned into the offlane and won two Majors. For sure, there must be something behind it. I think FATA- can be a very good offlaner. In my personal opinion, I would say that FATA- can be better than s4 on the offlane, I think he has a wider hero pool and the way he thinks about the game, the offlane suits him the best right now and he can be very good.
We’ve noticed that for FATA-, you like to pick three heroes for him in particular; Furion, Underlord, and Puck. Usually first phasing Furion/Puck and second phasing Underlord. What is it about these heroes that FATA- is almost always playing one of these three heroes?
I mean, Furion is normal right? Like Liquid won TI with Furion, right? So Furion is on top of that, I think every offlaner should be playing this hero but some of the offlaners might not be able to play this hero but it’s fine anyway. Puck, I think he likes to play Puck so we can always pick Puck for him. He always used to play Puck in Liquid and it’s an offlane hero; and Underlord is a very strong offlane hero too. He’s a bitch and you can just go push out lanes and you don’t care, that’s what he should be doing. Those are all the heroes he wants to play anyway so we pick it for him.
Do you feel that while you think Underlord is very strong, for example in Game 2 vs Newbee yesterday, you 4th picked Underlord and he got a really bad lane matchup against Ursa. Was that taken into consideration at all during the draft?
I think we had a pretty bad draft that game. We ended up with Legion Commander and Underlord who are both bad against Ursa in lane. It’s not just in lane but we basically just screwed up our draft. Underlord is still a good hero, as you can see, later on, he still does a lot of stuff and he can actually kill Ursa without even touching the Ursa. He’s just a very good hero I think, he gives a lot of stuff to the team.
So more on the draft, I think every team respects your Ember Spirit and always bans it in the 2nd phase. Will we be seeing any first pick Ember Spirit before the tournament ends?
We might actually do it in the first phase because Newbee first phased Ember against us, right? If you don’t have the correct answer or strategy to play against Ember, it’s actually very hard because he’s still very strong, until now.
Another thing, you got Ace during the roster shuffle. He’s a very skilled and versatile player and he’s been in the scene for a very long time but this probably the first time he’s been on a real top tier team. Recently, we’ve been seeing a variation in Secret’s draft where, before, with MP, the team always played around you and sacked MP’s lane whereas now you have this seemingly balanced dynamic with Ace where he sometimes plays stuff like Brood, Meepo, or Timbersaw and the team plays around him. Do you think that works to your team’s advantages?
Yeah, definitely, I think so. Sometimes I don’t wanna be the hard carry, I wanna play something else where I can just do stuff around the map so that the other person can farm and carry us. I think it’s good and we always swap our heroes so that sometimes I can go safelane and he can go mid and I think it’s a very good advantage for us right now. I think it’s very hard for our opponents to know what we’re doing.
Valve said that they’re releasing the patch after Hamburg so is there anything you’re looking forward to? Like if there’s anything you want out of it? For example, as an Invoker player, do you think he could use some buffs or nerfs?
No, I think right now, Invoker is fine and he shouldn’t be buffed or nerfed. He’s actually balanced right now and the more he gets nerfed, he just becomes a shit hero and I wouldn’t want to play him anymore. If he gets buffed then he just becomes too strong and I will play him all the time because he has like ten spells, right? So he should just stay there, just stay right there.
What about buffs and nerfs to maybe other heroes like we talked to No[o]ne earlier and he said Earthshaker should be nerfed. What about you? Maybe some other heroes in the current meta that you would like to see nerfed?
Let me think, I would say KOTL. KOTL or Furion, I think Earthshaker is still fine, maybe nerf some of his spells but I’m not sure. I’m only sure you should nerf KOTL or Furion, they’re the most annoying heroes to me right now.
About the tournament, your semi-final opponent hasn’t been decided yet, so is there any specific team that you want to face? Or maybe you think that Liquid will just roll over the competition into the semi-final?
I hope to play against Liquid because it will be a rematch. We lost to them at TI and then they went on to win TI so I wanna play against Liquid.
Alright, so, last question, do you go back to Malaysia often? And what do you miss most about Malaysia?
I go back every month for 5 days and I miss the food I guess. Yeah, definitely the food.
Well, thank you for taking the time to talk to us and we wish you good luck for the rest of the tournament.
Interviewers: 2009, ShiaoPi