Despite being one of the favourites to take ESL One Mumbai and getting off to a 4-0 start in the Group Stages, Team Team couldn’t quite take the cake at the playoffs.
We spoke to Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao about what this means for his team going into the Disneyland Major and all things Dota with a touch of anime thrown into the mix.
Gfreak: Hi Envy, Welcome to Mumbai. You had a fantastic run in the Group Stages but unfortunately, you lost 2 series in a row in the playoffs. So has that affected Team Morale?
Gfreak: How? How has it affected it?
EternaLEnVy: I can’t talk about it.
Okay then let’s talk about something you would like to talk about: Anime. What do you want to happen in the upcoming My Hero Academia manga chapters?
EternaLEnVy: The latest fight, the main character fights the muscle guy right? And he didn’t use his brain. I don’t like that. Because in the previous fights, he uses his brain and those fights are way more epic. Like when he fights the ice guy or whatever, he always uses that. Like the pure epic fights, they’re not getting em.
Gfreak: What’s your favourite arc in MHA?
EternaLEnVy: It was the ice-fire guy vs the main character.
Gfreak: So let's talk about Dota now. Do you think any strategies or heroes are being underrated?
You can’t reveal it?
EternaLEnVy: No. I never do.
Gfreak: So you’ve attended five TIs so far, but you haven’t won one yet. Has your passion declined, ever so slightly? Or are you getting even more passionate or desperate to win a TI.
EternaLEnVy: The passion has definitely declined. It’s more wavy than before. Like before, there were no waves.
It doesn’t really decline. You just know more about the game. You know more about people. So before you don’t know shit. So you just like assume that you just get better and win everything. Like fuck it.
But once you get better you realize that there’s a lot more like teamwork oriented stuff. It’s about the right fit and the right synergy and things get annoying. You can choose to ignore it, but eventually, you give in.
Gfreak: Has that played a part in you moving from team to team this season?
EternaLEnVy: I mean this season it's a combination of me switching to 5 and how the Valve format works. 16 teams in the Major and 8 teams at the Minor, so basically every good team will get into these tournaments. So a lot of teams just disband.
Whereas before and all the previous years, only like 8 teams or 12 teams get into a major for the most part. So everyone does not get in, and everyone disbands.
Gfreak: Only four teams got points, back then, as well.
EternaLEnVy: Yeah, so one way or another you are going to get into a top team. In this year, what ends happening is that all the top teams will stick, most of the time. It’s really hard to find an angle to approach these teams.
And also my results have been pretty mediocre. You’re gonna end up switching teams or whatever.
Gfreak: Do you prefer the older DPC format then?
EternaLEnVy: I’d prefer this format if there was no money. I feel like they just reduced the amount of tournaments and I don’t like the format in terms of like qualifiers. I think the fact that you have qualifiers right after the major is ridiculous.
Gfreak: Is it because it doesn’t give teams enough time to reshuffle or figure out new ways to play the game?
Gfreak: Do you miss playing in SEA?
EternaLEnVy: Yeah, sometimes.
Gfreak: What exactly do you miss about it?
EternaLEnVy: Their pubs are way better than NA pubs.
Gfreak: SEA People never give up.
EternaLEnVy: That’s kinda true, that’s true.
Gfreak: So how do you deal with criticism from Reddit or even Pro players?
EternaLEnVy: I mean at first, I would read everything. I felt like, it was just my job to read everything. But my job is to ignore it.
Because it doesn’t really help and even if we try to ignore it, one way or the other it will get to your head and it’s pretty useless. I don’t think it is ever useful. So it’s a waste of time. Even if it doesn’t affect you, it’s just a waste of time.
Before I wouldn’t read anything about me that’s good. I thought it was not cool. Now I read it because it makes you feel good, there’s nothing wrong with it.
Gfreak: You’ve played 3 roles this season, so which role do you hate playing the most?
EternaLEnVy: I mean, I don’t hate any of the roles but for Pubs I hate position 5.
Gfreak: So how much Dota do you play each day?
EternaLEnVy: It depends on the team I play on. Generally, if I am doing really well in tournaments, I can play a lot. When I am on teams like this right now, it’s a lot more strategy based. So I take a lot of time to just look into my teammates. Looking into the meta.
I don’t play that much of Dota now.
Gfreak: Which competitive team or player is the hardest to draft against, these days?
EternaLEnVy: I mean I haven’t played against any top teams in a long time, but I would say it is LGD from looking at their drafts. I don’t understand them.
Gfreak: What don’t you like about Dota these days? What would you like to change?
EternaLEnVy: I think the pub experience is really poorly created. I think there are two things.
The first thing is when people disconnect from the game, I think they should auto-abandon the game in like 10 minutes, but in the pause. When people disconnect at the beginning of the game and you pause, you don’t know when they’re gonna comeback ever. It’s good manners to keep it paused, but at the same time you just never know when they’re never coming back, it’s so frustrating.
I personally think that if 5 people want to forfeit the game, they should let it happen. I don’t like these games where it’s full of cancer and everyone hates each other and no one wants to play. But they’re kinda forced to play.
Gfreak: What are your expectations for the next 3 months heading into TI9?
EternaLEnVy: I expect to do pretty well this Major.
Gfreak: What do you feel about TI9 in China?
EternaLEnVy: I don’t like it… I don’t know, I think it’s fine, I think it can be a good thing. Right now, there’s just too much drama. There are too many problems, too many VISA problems, too many country problems. Just way too many annoying problems.
Gfreak: Can you elaborate on that?
EternaLEnVy: I mean there’s the Kuku incident, there’s a bunch of weird drama. I don’t know, it just doesn’t feel safe.
Gfreak: So let’s talk about India now. What has been your favourite part and least favourite part about India so far?
EternaLEnVy: My least favourite part about India… I was kinda sad when I saw the slums. It seems like a lot of people… they just looked really poor and it was eye-opening. It was just sad.
The happy part? The fans were pretty hype. The crowd wasn’t that huge here, but you can still feel them.
Gfreak: Have you tried any Indian food?
EternaLEnVy: I mean everything is Indian food right at the hotel.
Gfreak: Which is your favourite?
EternaLEnVy: I didn’t go to a restaurant. I just eat what’s there.
Sayan: Do you have anything to say to the Indian fans?
EternaLEnVy: The Indian fans are crazy and cool, I haven’t felt that much support in a long time actually.
Sayan: This is one of the biggest events in India so far, what do you think is the difference between this and any other ESL event?
EternaLEnVy: Yeah, I think the crowd here is way more happy. They’re way more hyped. They just love Dota.
Sayan: For all the Dota players in school right now, who want to go pro, do you have any words for them?
EternaLEnVy: Yeah, you should probably stay in school unless your school is way too difficult. Because like in some schools like engineering, you probably do not have that much time pursue pro Dota.
But generally speaking, you should have a few hours to play Dota. If you don’t reach Immortal playing a few hours a day, you are never gonna go pro. If you are a truly talented Dota player, you are gonna go Immortal only playing a few hours a day.