Turn off Focus Mode [x]
Turn off Focus Mode [x]
BRAX TALKS DOTA:
"Leagues like the ADL are quite crucial to solidifying the semi-pro scene."
While those outside of the Americas may not focus on it much, ADL S2 is currently under way, and has a lot of up and coming North and South American teams playing! Braxton "Brax" Paulson's team, the North American Rejects are one of the most stacked lineups in the league so far. Featuring himself, 1437, Korok, Fogged, Sneyking and Dismek, they certainly have the starpower to make it to the playoffs.
In this ADL coverage piece, we sit down with Brax to ask him what he's been up to, and what plans he has for the future. What does he think of the NA scene at the moment? What are his predictions for TI4? He answers all, below!
Hi, Brax! We haven’t spoken in a while. How are things? What have you been up to since you got back to the US?
I returned from China at a very inopportune time; most major tournaments were already midway through, and my list of potential teammates was very short. I was also pretty low on morale-- forfeiting matches and dropping out of matches is always pretty disheartening, but to do so because of a very easily avoided visa issue is just depressing. (PJ was asked to renew his visa a month or two in advance, but due to the ease of visa renewal, it was only addressed a couple of days prior to expiration. However, a new law had been passed that made it impossible to renew foreign visas in the country of visitation, so PJ had to go back to Sweden to renew his Visa, and didn’t make it back.) Because of those factors, I decided to take a break for a few months and catch up with my family and friends.
How is NAR doing over all? Have you found your groove as a team yet? What specific areas are you guys focusing on as you play the ADL?
As a team, we are steadily improving. As for myself, our strengths and weaknesses are becoming more and more apparent. As we play ADL and more tournaments I really want to focus on our team’s communication and idea of how we would like to play the game.
What do you make of the ADL and the games you have played so far? How important to the scene are lower-tier tournaments like the ADL?
Leagues like the ADL are quite crucial to solidifying the semi-pro scene. Lower-tier tournaments give upcoming teams a chance to prove themselves and hopefully branch out into more events.
Was it difficult to adapt to the NA scene after being in China for so long, or did you manage OK? What are the primary differences you see between NA and China in terms of their competitive scenes?
I wouldn’t describe it as difficult. I would say it’s just different. Teams in China don’t have as many matches as teams in EU/NA and they scrim for over 8 hours a day. Teams here are often playing multiple matches a day. The Chinese scene prefers long leagues and model their system after the NBA.
If Chinese Dota could learn one thing from NA Dota, what would it be? If the North American scene could learn one thing from the Chinese scene, what would that be?
Honestly, both scenes can learn some things from each other. The Chinese take a different approach to greedy picks and usually try to punish them through pushing and taking early objectives, while the Western scene sometimes prefers to out greed the enemy by picking certain heroes that are stronger later on in the game.
The NA scene has seen somewhat of a resurgence in the last few months, with teams like EG and Cloud 9 headlining. Which North American teams will make it to TI4 (either through invite or via the qualifiers)?
EG will definitely get an invite, and I expect them to do very well. They’ve shown how strong and creative they are with their picks. Cloud 9 is ⅖ north american but they should also receive a direct invite. If there are two american slots then Liquid will also most likely get an invite as well, and if not then they shouldn’t have much of a problem making it through the qualifier.
How do you think the top NA teams will do overall at TI4? Be bold. Make some predictions!
EG Top 4.
Which amateur / semi-pro players from North America should we look out for in the season to come? Who are some of the continent’s best kept secrets?
Both Arteezy and to a lesser extent MSS have made big entrances into the competitive scene. At the moment playing on a good team is mostly based on who you know. If you don’t know the right people then it’s harder to find somebody willing to give you a chance to prove yourself. I’m not too familiar with the upcoming players since I’ve been out of the American scene for quite some time.
Did you watch the Starladder S9 LAN Finals? What did you think of the event?
Starladder had great games and many teams played well. MVP showed signs of life and would have been able to take games off the others teams if they prevented a few mistakes. They favored Silencer over other popular supports but had some trouble executing global silence in crucial team fights.
Finally, the big question: how do you beat Team DK?
You practice hard! DK were slow to adapt to 6.79, but now they seem to be playing well. In one particular game in Starladder, they played very sloppy. However, they managed to still pull ahead against Alliance. Alliance had a very strong push lineup with strong late game. However, they were forced into a Bounty Hunter pick due to a lack of available heroes, and as a result Alliance was unable to close out the game after taking favorable engagements.