At ESL One Hamburg, Shiaopi sat down with Team Aster's mid player, Dstones for an interview.
Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview. Since you are the “new blood” on team Aster. What was your reaction when you received the invitation to join?
It was a complicated feeling. On one hand I never played with such strong teammates so I was quite excited but I was also worried if I could live up to the expectations.
So you felt under special pressure from the beginning?
But considering your outstanding performance in the groups, one could barely see that. Do you think you excel under pressure?
I’m not that sure. But I think the noise-cancelling earphones really help. I have difficulties concentrating with a noisy environment. But in quiet closed spaces I can fully focus and immerse myself in the game.
Speaking of noisy environments. Have you seen the Arena already?
Are you not worried that you might be affected by the crowd and the noise of a LAN?
I think I can probably handle it.
Since this is your first big event. Do you look forward to the big stage? Have you made special preparations to combat nervousness?
This tournament is very much preparation and practice for the Major, so I actually did not think too much about it beforehand. Our form coming to Hamburg was actually pretty bad. So our aim was to recover our strength and I did not think about all that.
We also talked to Sylar earlier and he also mentioned that you were in bad form. Could you elaborate on the issues the team was facing?
There were many reasons. First of all every teams form always fluctuates. There is always a honeymoon-period of a new team, like for us we qualified for the Major and ESL One. Afterwards there will be a bit of a downturn and we faced exactly that.
Secondly at least for me personally I also thought a lot about how to get better in our honeymoon-period. Mastering this game is really hard and I think I learned a lot during this time, but it was difficult to digest all the new information and it ended in me having very little sleep and being sleep-deprived every night. Which also resulted in me playing badly. But before we came to Hamburg I slept soundly for two nights. So my current form is really good.
Is this your first trip to Europe?
I have been to the UK as an exchange student before.
So you are quite used to Europe then? Do you miss anything specifically from China here in Germany?
Not really. But there was a friend from Germany who said he wanted to come to Hamburg but he did not show up. He was one of two very good friends I made playing Dota in the UK. One returned to China and the other one is in Germany. Before we came here, he kept saying, that he will surely come. But now that we are here he said: “Sorry, something came up so I got busy and cannot attend.” He just left me out to dry like that.
That is very unfortunate indeed. So is there anything that stands out to you in Germany? Or do you think European countries don’t differ much from another?
I think the water tastes great here.
Back to the Group stages. You played a lot of Invoker during the matches. Invoker is quite a difficult hero to master. What do you think is the most important thing to keep in mind for playing a good invoker.
I think having a strong grasp on the current situation is the most important thing. Knowing your abilities and limits at each given time, knowing which spells to invoke at which time.
Team Aster has picked a lot of Invoker, what are the factors that make him that popular for your team?
Nothing special really. Maybe as a counter to Brood, but not really. We just like Invoker in a lot of situations.
Seeing you play Invoker we have noticed, that is already level 19 on Dota Plus.
Oh sorry, but yeah you really like Invoker so while playing it on ranked how does the experience differ in China and here? Especially since the Chinese regions prefers Random Draft to the Western All Pick.
There is a huge difference for sure. In China I get recognized and they usually leave mid for me. But coming here, I load in and within one second midlane and safelane get claimed. I type in “can I play mid?” but everyone ignores me and just picks mid so I don’t know what to do. They don’t even roll for the mid, they just pick it without any words and I am left with picking up the leftovers.
Does the atmosphere while playing differ much?
The European region really loves to complain. I don’t know why. Sometimes you lose games it does not mean much. But there are some annoying types while playing ranked. Some who just give up halfway and don’t want to play anymore. Almost always there is then another teammate, who flames him and says in all-chat: “Even guys like that make it to the leaderboards.” and then complains about his team. I really think that’s just grumbling and complaining for the sake of it.
So Leaderboards does not differ too much from us casual players of the trench in attitude?
Yeah, I don’t know, they really need to find more confidence.
Thank you very much for this interview.