Sheever interview @ WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020.
Source: https://www.cybersport.ru/dota-2/interviews/sheever-esli-menya-nazovut-strashnoi-sukoi-ya-ne-budu-reagirovat-a-prodolzhu-zanimatsya-lyubimym-delom - (10.01.20) (by Cybersport.ru)
Jorien "Sheever" van der Heijden, the host of english coverage team at WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020, talked to Cybersport.ru about the difficulties of her job, the situation with female casters in English and Russian streaming studios and the ever dwindling player base of Dota 2.
— This isn’t your first WePlay! event. Do you like their theme with costumes or do you prefer working like in other tournaments?
— This is my second WePlay event. The first was the Valentine Madness, which is the first time I had to constantly wear a costume. It was quite fun. All tournament organizers are different. I like it, since if everyone was doing the same thing, it wouldn’t be as fun.
— We see you on almost every event, do you get tired from it all? Do you sometimes feel like declining some tournaments?
— Sometimes, if the flight is too long and the tournament is on only for a few days, I think about skipping it. But I am in a very favorable position, since I’m not being invited alone, me and ODPixel go together. Many other talents leave their families at home when going to an event, so sometimes it makes them sad. I travel together with Owen and I love it. Sometimes we don’t have that much free time between events, like after this one I will only have 4-5 days before flying to Stockholm [for the Major]. After which I will probably take a vacation for a month (laughs). Thanks to this balance I still love travelling. Yeah, on one hand it’s a bit saddening, but it brings me joy.
— Which event was the most difficult for you?
— Events could be difficult for different reasons. For example. The International 2019, when the Chinese stream was the main one. It was a real challenge for us, since usually the English stream is the lead and we control the process: “Hey, greet the teams.”, and everyone paid attention to them. But TI9 was lead by the Chinese production, so we had to wait for them to finish speaking or point attention to some important moment. It wasn’t easy. So every event was hard in one way or the other, all had their special challenges. I think that at the start of my career, things were more difficult than now. But I can’t say: “Yes, this one event was really the hardest.”
— I want to talk about the Russian streams. We have two situations I don’t really understand. On one hand, we in CIS have a few female casters: Mila, Eiritel and Autodestruction...
— Yes, I know them.
— They all get quite a lot of negative feedback and personal hate. On the other hand, English streaming studio has only you and I didn’t really see any negativity towards you. Why does the English studio have only one girl, although the western community is more tolerant?
— I would divide this question on a few parts. Firstly, I was getting a lot of negative comments towards me, especially in the beginning of my career, and it was really difficult. But you know, even if someone calls me an “ugly bitch”, I won’t react and will continue doing what I love. But I can only say that now, at the start of my career, everything was different.
It’s possible this is about cultural differences, I don’t know. You have more female casters, but they are less well accepted… We also do have Moxxi, she does a really great job. I can’t speak for her, but I think she gets less hate than in the Russian community. Why is it the case, I can’t say, if I knew we would have solved this problem already (laughs). I think things will get fixed with time.
When I was sick, many people who faced cancer in their lives started acting towards me with sympathy. In the face of that my personal haters got a bit quieter, since they realized that most people would defend me. So this somewhat helped me in the long run. I realise that my reputation could get hit after these words, but that is the case.
— Let’s talk about the ever decreasing Dota 2 player base. What are your thoughts? Do you have any ideas on how to fix it?
— Dota 2 is a very difficult game. Right now “battle royale” games like Apex Legends, Fortnite and PUBG are winning in popularity. Young players that enter gaming would rather play Fortnite than Dota 2, simply because they will learn about Fortnite earlier. Maybe after that they would notice League of Legends and only after that Dota 2. I think that it’s Valve’s job to continue enticing new players. But Valve was never super active in regard of marketing, outside of TI. I hope they will start doing this, create a new player tutorial for example and start a good marketing campaign, make awesome cinematics, especially now, when we see that many tournament organizers do that well.
— There was a recent argument about which game is more complicated: League of Legends or Dota 2. What do you think?
— I played LoL for a bit, but didn’t reach a high level, so it’s hard for me to say. Yes, these games are of one genre, but they are very different. The laning stage for example. There are completely different creep mechanics, enemy zoning and so on. Personally, I think that Dota has more layers after all, more elements, more choice, more player options. Dota has a bigger map than LoL. Plus, Dota has more variety both individually and team-wise. But again, that’s just my opinion.
— I do understands that casters should be neutral, but still, do you have a team you support the most?
— I like Team Secret. It started in 2015. It’s more fun to follow esports when you have only one favorite team. You live through all their victories and defeats. If you walked through their defeats, then their every victory will be ever so more important as opposed to cheering for teams that only win. I picked my team in 2015, and it is Team Secret.