Raven is one of the most popular and accomplished Dota 2 players in Southeast Asia. The Filipino superstar recently managed to qualify for the Singapore Major 2021 with some impressive performances in the carry position for Fnatic. We had the opportunity to sit and talk with Marc Polo Luis "Raven" Fausto a few days after the conclusion of the SEA DPC League 2021 S1. We spoke about the upcoming major, Fnatic's performance in the regional leagues, the Dota 2 Anime, and mobile MOBAs, amongst other things.
Interview with Fnatic's Carry Raven
Congrats on Qualifying for the Singapore Major. How did you feel after making it to the first Dota 2 major (LAN event) in over a year?
Raven: Immediately after we qualified for the Major, I did not really feel much but now that some time has passed, I am getting more excited by the day to be able to play on LAN again. I was robbed of my last LAN by the pandemic and I am happy that I will be able to compete in the first Major since the lockdown.
What are your expectations from this major? What is your goal for this event?
Raven: I don’t really have any expectations. I just want to play the event and see how far we can get and what we could improve on. It has been a long time since we got a chance to play with the western teams and that is quite exciting.
What are your thoughts on the format of the DPC majors? Fnatic directly starts off in the playoffs. Do you think teams making it through the Wild Cards and Group Stages might have a better idea of the meta due to the sheer number of games they play?
Raven: There are advantages and disadvantages for both. As an earlier team, they will be able to have hands-on experience of the tournament meta and they will have the chance to build their momentum into the playoffs. They will also be used to the tournament environment and condition compared to the playoffs teams. The playoffs teams’ on the other hand, will be able to scout the meta while hiding their own. But they might get thrown off by the momentum and tournament conditions.
Does Fnatic have an inherent advantage against the rest of the teams in the playoffs, since you can scrim with the Wild Card/Group Stage teams because you guys all reside in SEA?
Raven: Not exactly, all the teams will have to be quarantined for 48 hours when they will have no access to PC unless they source it themselves. All the teams only get practice room access from the third day onwards and that is the only day we could scrim them. However, that day (26th March) is also the day we are scheduled for our swab tests and we will not be able to scrim. The group stage teams will have their practice day on the 28th, which is the day we depart for Singapore.
The only advantage is that we will not suffer any sort of jetlag but that is just normal. When we have to compete in European or American tournaments, we will go into the event with significant jetlag too. We usually arrive 2 days before the event as well.
Who do you want to play against the most in this Major? Why?
Raven: I really want to play against Team Secret. I think that they are the best performing team right now and if we are able to beat them, it will do wonders for our confidence and morale.
In the qualifiers, you only dropped a single game to BOOM Esports. Did you expect your team to be that strong coming into the regional league?
Raven: We do not expect anything from anybody. We just try to play our best Dota. Admittedly, our prep for the match vs Boom wasn’t optimal and we lost as a result. That loss woke us up and since then, we took our prep a lot more seriously.
What are your thoughts on the other two SEA teams who made it to the Major: T1 and Neon? Can they hold their own against Europe and China teams?
Raven: I think people are discounting T1 and Neon Esports. They are a very new team but they are strong and have a very unique style of game. I think they will surprise some teams in the Major and cause some major upset.
Which is your favorite Aghanim’s Shard, why?
Raven: It has gotta be Juggernaut’s. Increase movement speed and he can attack you while he is spinning? Ridiculous!
Do you have a wish list for the next patch?
Raven: I hope Hoodwink will be added to Captains Mode.
What are your thoughts on the Dota 2 Anime? Who do you think will be the Villain? Terrorblade, Invoker, or someone else?
Raven: I like it because it is about the game I love and I would like to understand the lore of Dota a little more. It is very cool that they came up with this idea and I hope they will make even more. I think the villain is going to be Selemene.
In a previous interview we’ve done, Kuku said that you were the best basketball player in Geek Fam. Is it the same case in Fnatic? Or is there some tough competition?
Raven: Unfortunately, I have retired from basketball.
What are your thoughts on mobile MOBA titles like Mobile Legends and Wild Rift?
Raven: Honestly speaking, I do not know much about mobile esports titles because I do not play them. I do know that it is wildly popular here in the Philippines, especially Mobile Legends.
Finally, have you ever thought about retirement? And what you want to do afterward?
Raven: Can’t expect me to think about retirement so quickly after I quit my basketball career.
Do you want to say anything to your fans?
Raven: A very big thank you to all our fans and I hope you continue supporting us!
Raven and Fnatic will be competing in the ONE Esports Singapore Major 2021 which kicks off on March 27th. The team has already secured a berth in the Upper Brackets of the playoffs.