Wednesday, December 4, 2013

7ckingMad slams Midas Gaming

[continues directly from part one]

GIH: Ok, since we are talking about Gold and Exp, I have to ask you about Midas Gaming. While this trend continues to dominate much of the discussion about the current metagame, your team only bought 1 Midas throughout the whole of MLG [which was you, playing Veno, in the semi-finals vs Speed Gaming]. To me, this suggests a deliberate decision not to buy into the trend. Why is that?

7ckingMadThis trend is really bad. We will only get Midas when needed. I can assure you that, at the moment, 90% of the midases bought makes NO sense. I was very disappointed by several top teams, seeing them getting midas. They panicked after MLG. I'm glad Na`Vi realized what was going on, and maybe sat down and talk this out. They came back and approached the DreamLeague final without that midas obsession, and destroyed Fnatic. This midas is just a trend, it's really bad, and will give us and other teams that do not commit to it a lot of free wins. Sometimes midas can be really good, and game-changer, but only sometimes. My biggest disappointment was DK...I have so much respect for this team and the players in it, it always felt like they were one step ahead of everyone. If you look at their first game against Speed Gaming in the final...I dont know, you can end the game, and instead of that, you get 5 midas and throw away all the advantage you have. It's a matter of time before it disappears, anti-midas players just have to prove everybody wrong by crushing games when they face 3-4 midas. Seriously I really encourage teams to get midas, when they lose, when they win, it's a great item. GREEDISGOOD

GIH: Hahaha. Thanks for this response. I think this is the first professional player I've heard vocalize views so obviously critical of the trend. Most people seem to still be trying to work out what it's all about or figuring out whether or not they want to do it. To me, it is probably a good item to buy more often than people used to buy it before this trend started but certainly less often than they are buying it now. So even if the trend dies down, perhaps Dota will have grown for it anyway?

7ckingMadFor sure, it's a really good thing that it happened. And it gives crucial information about who really follows the meta-game, and who does not. Even if you know the other pro players, you're actually never sure of what's going on backstage, and how confident they actually are with their picks/plays. Seeing some teams completely change their mindset and starting to get 5 midas every game with any style of picks is actually a crucial information. It's sometimes very disappointing for the fanboy that I am, but well, life is hard they say.

GIH: Haha, life is hard, game is hard, everything is hard! I wasn't even thinking about how it's useful to you in analyzing teams. I mostly meant that sometimes it takes something being exaggerated in Dota for people to realize its strength before it was being exaggerated. But your insight is very interesting here, and perhaps the more obvious point. It definitely is a useful aid in analyzing the way other teams are thinking.

Speaking of what others are thinking, another thing that Bulba said recently - at Dreamhack - was that Radiant, and especially their offlane, is much stronger at the moment than Dire. Would you agree with this?

7ckingMadAgain, I'm really against saying that the game is unbalanced. The game is totally balanced, and honestly I am always impressed by how perfect the applied changes are, every time. It's amazing, really. Radiant is really strong for the laning phase, I definitely agree. But on the other hand, how many games are won only because Dire has the Roshan advantage? At the end of the day it's the same. Both sides are even in my opinion, although I personally prefer Radiant!

GIH: So you prefer Radiant but probably not as much as Bulba thinks everyone should. But lets try measure how strong your preference is here. You've written elsewhere about the advantage of first pick and how since 6.78 first pick has been far more valuable than second pick, because first pick also gets last pick. My question then is what do you value more between first pick and Radiant?

7ckingMadHard to depends of the team you face. I can't really get into much details on that one - don't want to reveal too much about our approach :P. It's really situational. What I can say is that there is nothing really clear on that topic, we don't generally prefer Radiant, Dire, Firstpick or Secondpick, it always depends!

GIH: Okay, I understand. And that answer on its own is already quite informative. 

Now for something slightly different. In an interview at MLG, when asked about DK's performance on day one, you mentioned that they had out-drafted their opponents. You noted specifically their game against Liquid as an example. A lot of discussion about drafting is often very abstract and I think it might be useful to be able to have a concrete example for analysis here.

In this game, DK had ES, Timbersaw, Pugna, Visage and TA. Liquid had Viper, Furion, Cm, Puck and Venge. Could you please explain briefly why you believe this particular draft so obviously favours DK?

7ckingMadIf I recall correctly, they lastpicked Pugna. I think that Pugna + Shaker can almost 2vs5 Liquid's lineup. When they push in, and they have huge pushing potential with Pugna, Liquid just can not stop them. If they run into Pugna's ward + fissure + timber's burst etc, they will melt. It is impossible for Liquid to take a 5vs5 fight, even with a strong advantage. The ward and the long range burst will just destroy their line-up.

GIH: I can see why you'd say that Liquid can't take teamfights with these lineups. Is that enough to say that they are outdrafted, even though they have a Furion? At the time I remember thinking they must surely plan to the control the game via split-push. What would be flawed about this kind of thinking here?

7ckingMadYou're never really outdrafted. Any draft can win in DotA. But in this case I think it's very difficult for them to win this game, it's just way easier for DK, thanks to the draft. Split push is always an option, but against Pugna, it's really hard: Towers go down sooooo fast.

GIH: Right, that makes sense to me. Even though that might be the best way for Liquid to try win, it's still an uphill battle trying to win that way.

The next thing I want to ask you has actually become more relevant since the time that I thought of the question. Bristleback. What's the deal with this hero? bOne7 told me that it's a really strong hero for teams that know how to use it correctly. Here he referred to Empire as an example. Meanwhile, over the past few days, we've seen pretty much every Chinese team picking Bristleback as an offlaner and I believe almost every game a team has had offlane BB they have won. Of course, they might not be winning because of it. That said, given this development in the Chinese metagame, should we expect BB to become a more popular pick in the West soon?

7ckingMadI'm not sure about this. Against teamfight line-ups, he's really strong. But honestly he is very easy to zone out. I think that, situationally, he can be very strong, and allow you to outdraft your opponent. But he will remain a 'surprise' pick in the western scene in my opinion. I mean, he might be picked a lot at one point, but it will just be a trend. That's just my opinion, I'm not sure because I don't think I fully understand the potential of that hero yet.

GIH: Sure, fair enough. Even if you did feel more confident that you understood the hero's potential, it's often not that useful to speculate about these kinds of things and will probably be easier to explain what does or doesn't happen after it does.

My last few questions will have a bit more to do with you and a bit less to do with Dota. Firstly, when did you decide that you wanted to call yourself '7ckingmad'. There must surely be a story behind this!

7ckingMadSure ok :D Well, I don't really remember how that happened. No story behind that I'm afraid.

GIH: Once again, you disappoint my expectations of exciting explanations! Okay then, would you consider yourself to be someone who gets very angry? Do you have a short temper?

7ckingMadNo I never get very angry. I can be very impulsive like everyone else in-game, but I have a quite decent self-control. I'm rather calm actually. I just make sure, with my team mates, that we keep a very high in-game rhythm. It is very important.

GIH: Sure, so no significance to your nickname at all. Damn. Okay, moving on then.

Having been both a player and a captain, which one would you say you prefer and why? Does it depend on the team?

7ckingMadIt does not change anything to my role to be honest. Even when I was not officially captain, I was as much involved in the draft and leading as I am today. I don't think being the only ingame-leader is any good, because it means the 4 others players can't really play for themselves - something has to be wrong. Someone has to make the final call when there are severals, but the rest of the time, every player can do calls, we all play at the same level basically. Right now it's mainly FATA- and me doing those. I'm not the solo in-game captain.

GIH: It seems like this has increasingly become the case in professional Dota 2 teams - having more than one person to fulfil 'captaining duties'. It seems like a good idea to me in general. However, what happens if you and FATA- disagree on something? Say your team needs to make a big call in the heat of battle and you two shout different things on TS. What would happen then?

7ckingMadUsually other players just step up and give their opinion, and it's a team decision. Or you can also decide beforehand what happens in this situation. Better go as 5 for the wrong call, then end up with 2 players doing something, and 3 something else. That's always a disaster.

GIH: Yep, indecision is often worse than everyone agreeing to even the worst decision.

Okay, final question. Tell me a bit more about Here I'm asking two things. Firstly, you wrote a blog post when the team launched discussing how this organization puts emphasis on being 'by the players and for the players'. So I'd like to know if you can offer examples of how this is the case.

Secondly, what are's main goals in terms of Dota 2 for the next 2 months? What does the team hope to achieve during this period?

7ckingMadIt's hard to give fast examples like this. Briefly, the model will always put the players and the community as the center of the structure, unlike what's usually going on.

Our goals for the next two months are simple: keep growing as a team, develop our playstyle and our mechanics, and win everything we can during this time :)

GIH: Okay, understandable. That's enough for now then. Thank you again for agreeing to do this interview! It turned out to be extremely interesting and I'm very grateful for your time. Do you have any shoutouts you would like to make?

7ckingMadThank you for the interview. Shoutout to all the DotA 2 players & watchers! Shoutout to my team, Sigma, kyftherock, Funzii! Shoutout to everyone that supports us! See you soon!

You can follow 7ckingMad on Twitter @ or read his blog @

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1 comment:

  1. Wonderful scenario: great fun to read. The armoured train catches the eye especially.
    RS Gold