One of Southeast Asia's most recognizable Dota 2 players, Carlo "Kuku" Palad has certainly had an interesting couple of weeks. Alongside his team Geek Fam, he managed to qualify for the upcoming ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major, without dropping a single series in the SEA Qualifiers.
In an exclusive interview with AFK Gaming, Kuku spoke about the qualifiers, why he decided to leave TNC Predator to join Geek Fam while also providing his opinion about whether Dota 2 is harder than League of Legends, among other things.
Q. Congrats on Qualifying for the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major. How did you feel after making it to your first major of this season?
Kuku: I felt very happy when we won the major slot for the ESL One Los Angeles 2020 Major. I can finally go back and play in a major again.
Q. What are your expectations for this Major? What is your goal?
Kuku: I'm expecting to place at least among the Top 6, but our goal is to gain more DPC points so we want to secure a top 4 finish.
Q. Who do you want to play against the most in this Major? Why?
Kuku: I want to play Team Secret and OG at this major, so that we will get to know our strengths as a team, and learn from them. I also think we're lacking some experience at the big stages so it will help our team if we face them.
Q. In the qualifiers, you only dropped a single game to Fnatic? Did you expect your team to be that strong?
Kuku: Our results on scrims were good, but not so clean. So we didn't expect anything at all and did not put pressure on ourselves, which made us play so well. When we played the qualifiers, we became better and we started learning more from each other.
Q. Great. So how is the VISA battle going? Any difficulties due to Coronavirus?
Kuku: Only two players (Whitemon and Karl) need VISAs, because Xepher, Raven and I played at the first Minor, at The Summit 11 in California. We are hoping they can get the U.S.A VISA as soon as possible because it's affecting our practice.
Q. Can you give us your thoughts on TNC Predator’s performance in the Major/Minor Qualifiers? Why do you think they failed to perform in qualifiers?
Kuku: I have no idea. Maybe they are relaxing because they secured a TI slot already.
Q. What made you decide to leave TNC and join Geek Fam when the season started?
Kuku: I wanted to play on another team to start the new season. I felt bad with what I've done in the past, and I felt bad that I have affected some of my teammates in the past, which is when Geek Fam approached me and asked if I wanted to play on their team. I probably would not have joined them if they didn’t have Raven in the roster.
Q. How comfortable are you with Raven? You’ve known each other since you were kids.
Kuku: I think we gucci, ahaha! We are comfortable playing in the same team and helping each other on what we are lacking.
Q. What is your favourite part about this Geek Fam team?
Kuku: Maybe that they trust me to lead all the way. The feeling that someone trusts in you is great.
Q. Let’s move on to some lighter questions. You're boot camping in Malaysia if I am not wrong, What is your favourite food there?
Kuku: Yeah, we are boot camping in Malaysia. My favourite food here is the cheesy beef from a Japanese restaurant because I can't enjoy spicy foods (food in Malaysia is kinda spicy like Nasi Lemak chicken) haha.
Q. We noticed some videos on Geek Fam's page. Other than your manager Yamyam, who is the best basketball player on the team?
Kuku: I think Raven Durant is the one.
Q. You’ve visited a lot of countries over the many years as a Dota player. Which country do you want to visit again?
Kuku: I want to go to Singapore again. Because when I was there, we were playing in a tournament. I don't like to have fun outside when I am competing. But when I go there with my wife and my kid, I want to explore and try some fun activities.
Q. We know you've answered this before on a previous interview. But, is Dota 2 harder than League of Legends
Kuku: Hahaha I’m just a little biased, so I think that Dota 2 is harder than LOL for sure. One of the reasons is that in Dota 2 you have buyback so you have the comeback mechanics. In League of Legends, if you lose one team fight near your base, you will lose the game. So yeah Dota 2 is harder than League of Legends.
Q. Have you ever thought about retirement? And what you want to do afterwards?
Kuku: Yeah, if I start playing bad, maybe. Right now, I think I can take up streaming or coaching if I retire as a pro player. Regardless, I am still going to be involved in Dota 2.
Q. Finally, do you want to say anything to your fans?
Kuku: Keep supporting me and my team #KFC.
Disclaimer: This interview has been edited for Grammar and Clarity