Pinkman: Interview With the Rising Indian Dota Star

Vignesh Raghuram

22nd, Oct, 2017
Shahbaz “Pinkman” Hussain of Aggressive 5 spoke with us a few days after the team’s runner-up finish in the ESL India Premiership - Fall Season Finale against Signify. The man has been the breakout star of this year in my opinion. In this interview, we had a small chat about the Indian Dota 2 scene, his goals and a few other topics you may find interesting.

Gfreak: Hi Pinkman, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. We would like to congratulate you and your team on your triumph in Dew Arena 2.0 and Runner-up finish in the Fall Season Finale. First of all, can you please introduce yourself to those who don’t know you.

Pinkman: Hi. My name is Shahbaz aka Pinkman and I play position 4 for team Aggressive 5. I'm doing this for the first time so bear with me :)

Gfreak: Can you tell us a little about how you began your career in Dota 2, and how you ended up in Aggressive 5?

Pinkman: I first started playing with my brother, we had a team and would compete in the regular LAN tournaments, then I joined inF which later became Roar esports with which I won IESC, after IESC the team split up and I got an offer from Aggressive 5.
Pinkman's run at IESC 2016 was a major turning point in his career 

Gfreak: Your team has risen through the ranks and have been dominating the Indian circuit alongside Signify over the last three months? How did this sudden run of form begin?

Pinkman: When we started out with this team, it didn't really go according to plan we placed bottom 2 or something in our first LAN and then we decided to change roles with Padling going to mid and Negi as the carry and that's when things started to fall into place and we started doing well

Gfreak: Your roster has a lot of competitive experience: PasoLL and A35 have been around a while now. How has their experience helped you so far?

Pinkman: Yes, of course, their experience has helped us a lot especially Padling who is new to the scene

Gfreak: Speaking of Padling, I've actually played with him before (admittedly in low-level tournaments). He was always a bit trollish in the past. Has he changed? What’s the team atmosphere like?
Pinkman: The team atmosphere is chill and no he's not the same, we actually take our games very seriously so no trolling and stuff like that

Gfreak: What about practice? How often do you scrim and how long are your sessions?

Pinkman: We haven't scrimmed for a long time now, we just played 2 games before dew and haven't scrimmed since but we started to scrim now and are preparing for the Taiwan Excellence cup, our scrim sessions are usually 3 hours long.

Gfreak: So when something you think will be good or has been good in scrims doesn’t work out onstage, what happens? How do you approach it? Also, what is the primary difference between practice and the stage?

Pinkman: Practice or stage, there is not much difference. It is just that you have more pressure on you on the main stage whereas in practice you can be more relaxed, in case of strategies if something works good in scrims and not on the main stage that means we made a lot of mistakes in executing that strategy on stage.

We take the loss in a positive way and learn from our mistakes and hope to do better the next time.

Gfreak: You've played a lot of games over the course of this month. Was there anything that really surprised you in your games at The Dew Arena/ The Fall Season Finale?

Pinkman: yea we've played a lot of games and that has helped us a lot to grow as a team, Team Buriza surprised us at the dew arena finals, they played well and we went into that tournament unprepared which could have cost us the first place as for the fall season finale signify switched up their roles/strategy which we were not expecting and that cost us the finals.
Pinkman along with Aggressive 5 recently won their first ever LAN title at the Dew Arena 2.0

Gfreak: Let us talk about what I consider to be 'The Play of the Tournament', your Aegis snatch. What was going through your mind at that point? And was it an Individual decision or a Team decision to go for the Roshan steal.

Pinkman: We were in a dire situation and were behind in the game and we spotted them doing Roshan, in my mind I thought if they get that Aegis we would probably end up losing the game in the next 5 minutes, and then A35 told me to go for it and I went in and got the Aegis.

Gfreak: Yes, A35's experience on the Clockwerk must have surely helped. Since he is leaving the team, you will be replacing him with Milky. Are their playstyles different? Will we see a change in the playstyle of the team as a whole?

Pinkman: Yes their playstyles are quite different but I don't think you will be seeing a drastic change in the playstyle of the team as a whole. The fall season finale was our last tournament with A35.

Gfreak: How do you guys handle drafting? Is it one person or a number of people contributing?

Pinkman: We draft as a team but its mostly me and PasolL taking the final decision on whats good for us

Gfreak: What players do you look up to? 

Pinkman: I look up to Sumail cause of what he's achieved at such a young age and Artour(Arteezy) cuz he's so hardworking

Gfreak: So what are your goals for the rest of the season? 

Pinkman: Our goal has always been the same since we made this team, to be the best in India and take it further from there, We'll hopefully be participating in TE cup, Playtonia LAN finals and probably ESL in December.

Personally, I want to hit 7k MMR and just try to be better than I was yesterday as a player and as a person.

Gfreak: Do you watch Game of Thrones?

Pinkman: Who doesn’t? xD

Gfreak: So I am gonna give you something similar to match the following. You are gonna have to match a few Indian teams with a few Game of Thrones houses
Teams Houses
Signify Starks
Team Buriza Lannisters
ROG Titans Targaryans
Aggressive 5 Boltons


Signify are Lannisters because of the money and Bacha’s(Crowley's) resemblance with Tyrion.

ROG Titans are Boltons for sure and I think you know why ;)

Aggressive 5 are Targaryans for obvious reasons. Danny  :)

and that leaves us with Buriza as Starks

Gfreak: Finally, What does Pinkman do when he isn’t playing Dota?

Pinkman: Watch a lot of Anime, Play football with my mates and go out for movies once in a while.

Gfreak: That's all from our end Pinkman. Thank you so much for your time! Do you have any Shoutouts you'd like to add here?

Pinkman: Shoutout to our manager Arrow and Meteor Media


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