Now for a casual observer he isn’t so strange. But for someone who has followed the Dota scene for a long time you’d know that he isn’t just an “artist”. Wyk’s claim to fame is not just his content. It’s also the speed at which he delivers it. He is almost always the first guy to announce new stuff. His posts are more like announcements. Basically it’s safe to say that Wykrhm Reddy is the the unofficial spokesperson for Valve. And boy am I glad that it’s not anyone else. His content is fresh, well designed and nicely articulated. It’s always exciting to see a Wyk post because you know it’s gonna be something good.
So who is Wykrhm Reddy? Many people have called him many things over the years – an artist, a Valve employee, a Dota evangelist and my personal favorite, Icefrog.
We spoke to Wykrhm about Dota, TI,Warcraft, Counter Strike and more …
Name : Vikram Reddy
Age : 28
IGN : Wykrhm
How long back did you start playing Dota? Which patch was it?
The first time I played was back in 2003 if I recall correctly. Patch -- well I cannot exactly remember but it was before All-Stars. Might have been 5.xx. This was before Ice. Actually maybe not even 5. I remember even older maps. Just can't remember which one I played first. Really long time ago.
But before Icefrog for sure?
Yeah. Ice's first dispatch was in 2005. And I had played Dota for a good while before that.
So what sort of games did you dabble with before Dota?
Warcraft obviously. I'm a huge fan of the lore. MMORPG's. Back when I was a kid, the consoles - SEGA and etc. Owned every PlayStation. So a ton of games. I'm just a gamer in general. Anything and everything that's good.
Since you're such a big fan of the lore, what are your thoughts on the Warcraft movie?
Well my feelings are biased. I liked it overall. Looking forward to the sequels .. if they make them which I think they are.
Solo or chill and 5 man? Which do you prefer?
5 man is always a lot more fun. I used to play with a bunch of friends back in gaming cafes in the early days.So we used to have all nighters almost every week where around 10-15 of us would just gather and play Dota on LAN all night.
What do you think about the growth of CS GO?
Honestly, I knew the game would be huge even before it was released. The first few years things did not go that great. But that's only because of the background it had to deal with. The CS community was deep in love with 1.6 and then came along Source that split it .. and to move away from that and create a product that unites the community was gonna be a challenge. CS:GO had the potential and I knew it won't happen right away but it would. So I am not really surprised. It was only a matter of time. Counter Strike has always been massively popular. CS:GO will take that much further.
Right. Do you think that Overwatch is the next big thing in eSports?
It seems everyone is in love with it. Blizzard knows how to make games. Good games. I believe they'll do the right thing with Overwatch as they've done with most of their games. As for Overwatch being an esport -- Sure. Why not? It offers a competitive scene and if done right, it can grow to be really popular. It is different, it is fun. And hopefully it adds to the ever growing esports industry.
What do think about betting of hats? Or betting items in general
Not into it personally. People enjoy it. I can see the attraction. I think it's okay as long as it doesn't go too far. And by too far, I mean where it starts developing a form where it messes with the fairness of the sport at hand. As long as the fairness and integrity of play is retained, I think betting can stay. The day it takes a step in that direction, it has to go.
The Dota community has matured over the years. What would you like to see more of from the community to take this game to greater heights?
A more refined structure overall --- from the developers to organizers to players to media to community. Right now things are quite fruitful for some but the rest struggle. I hope to see a balance where anyone and everyone -- If they put in the hard work -- would have options to gain a sustainable job / career in the Dota world. I feel that will remove the burden of finances and let people push productivity to newer levels and eventually boost the game and the community around it.
So basically we are talking about people who help the community grow other than the pro players ie the talent, the personalities, the journalists, the content creators, production team?
Yes. More or less. Organziations and players can also improve but that's another topic entirely.
Your take on Valve’s roster lock system and the current structure of the Dota season.
While things can still be improved, it is definitely a step in the right direction. This year has shown that. The top performing teams at the Majors have been those that have stuck to the same roster since TI. That is something to be noted. While it is definitely not a large enough sample size to make assumptions, roster stability did definitely contribute a little to that. And roster lock -- I want to believe at least indirectly provides an incentive for teams to stick together -- in the hope for an invite. And in that process they grow together as a team. There are some issues .. but like I said, definitely a step in the right direction. Things always need to be tinkered and refined as new problems and issues arise.
Where do you think India stands on the global scene?
Getting there. And that's something I would not have said before. But things have changed over the past few months. With recent performances from teams like Beyond Infinity, I want to believe that the scene here is on the right track and as time goes by will slowly make a standing mark in the SEA scene and eventually global.
Despite being a very popular Dota personality we know so less about you. Is this by design or accidental? If it is the former, how hard a task is that?
Design I'd say. I like to keep my private life -- well private. So as far as the public image goes, I mainly keep it to things I deal with and a little more by extension.It has worked for me all these years.
Maybe if someday I decide to be a personal blogger / vlogger, I'll open the doors to the other side.
That’d be a popular blog!! What are your predictions for the Wildcard?
It'll be a rough fight -- right now I'd say EHOME and Escape. But stats always lie at Majors and TI. So it could be anyone’s game. I'm just hoping for great Dota as always.
How do you work with the community when most of the community works in timezone very different from ours(India)?
Well people say I never sleep. So maybe it’s that.
The most entertaining twitter handle.
Yeah of course!
Haha. Thank you but I thought Empire Twitter guy had that bagged. Really hard to answer. Guess it is Team Empire.
Whats your opinion on SirActionSlacks?
Best thing that has happened to the Dota community since when it happened. And I mean it. He brings life to an event.
Your favorite Dota 2 moment? As a spectator of course.
Alliance bait with Roshan at Dreamhack. No one has ever done that in the history of Dota.
Whose content would you say you enjoy the most? Could be a website or a YouTube channel. Don't pick reddit please.
Slacks, Fwosh, Merlini, DotaFX and a bunch of other SFM artists.Wait. Also Moose and his documentaries.
Favorite TV show currently
Game of Thrones
You have seen the game change, adapt and develop over the years. Which hero does Wyk have a soft spot for?
Okay prize pool prediction for TI6?
More than TI5.
Favorite in game hat?
Backstroke! -- Tidehunter swim taunt.
Okay. So if you'd have to spend an entire day with a Dota personality/player who would it be and why?
Moose I guess -- We're really good friends. We do similar kind of work. We have a lot of common interests.
Would be fun.
This is Moose Zimmerman?
Yes. Moritz Zimmerman. We'll tag along Slacks for the memes.
Okay. Who is the one true Dota 2 memelord ... you or Slacks?
I'm a Memelord? I dunno what you talking about. :D
Hahaa. What about the gifs you keep uploading. Those count
Me. I am the memelord. Fuck Slacks. MY PRECIOUSS!!
10 puppy sized Puppeys or 1 Puppey sized puppy?
10 Puppy Sized Puppeys. Ez.
Are you still a moderator for r/Dota 2?
Yea but I don't really mod. I'm just on the team to look cute.
Wait. To make you look cute, or them?
Everyone. Why not? This world could do with more cuteness.
I have to ask this and I’m sorry for doing it but are you Icefrog?
Hahaha. I was wondering when you'd ask this. What is Ice, May Always Leap.
A big thank you to Wykrhm Reddy for taking time off his busy schedule to speak to us. We wish him all the best in all his future endeavors and are extremely greatful for having been given this opportunity to do an interview with Wyk. Keep them posts coming, we love your content!
Follow Wykrhm over on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/wykrhmreddy
And on Twitter : https://twitter.com/wykrhm