Christopher: Hi Jack, your here at TI this year as a translator. How has your experience been and what have you been doing? Have you got a chance to work with Valve before?
KBBQ: I have had a good time so far, but I haven’t gotten a chance to stop and smell the roses as much as I would want to. As a translator I help with the teams, casters, and production for the Chinese side. There are also a bunch of random duties such as the hall of heroes or where ever help is needed with language barriers. As usual it has been a lot of fun and have been able to meet a lot of people. I have been with Valve for the past three majors.
Christopher: Asian Dota teams has been rampant this tournament. Five out of the eight teams are either Chinese or South East Asian. How do you feel about Wings, MVP, and the rise of SEA?
KBBQ: I think SEA has been overlooked for awhile. They have been a little bit slow making their transition from Dota 1 to Dota 2. There is a lot of talent growing in the scene even though there has been various hurdles that the region had to get over. Additionally many players have been able to step up into leadership opportunities and so it has been nice to see them grow.
As far as Chinese Dota goes it has always been strong, albeit being in little bit of a lull lately. The newer teams like Wings should be able to make up for that and really carry a new generation of Chinese Dota forward.
Christopher: Ehome has been very solid this tournament though they haven’t really put up any results this year aside from MarsTV Winter with a different line up. What are your thoughts on IceIceIce on position 1 and the inclusion of Fenrir?
KBBQ: Iceiceice has been doing great as a carry. A lot of the heroes in this patch fit him. He has been playing many illusion based heroes such as Naga and Terrorblade. Ehome has also been running him on the Timbersaw in the safelane who he has been playing extremely well. Beyond his hero selections he has been very comfortable in the role. Usually when teams makes a last minute role switch it takes some time to adjust, but I think it has been working out for them so far. Ehome has shown they have a lot of flexibility and have been a bit surprising coming out of the qualifiers and wildcard. I also believe the other teams don’t have a read on them. They haven’t been playing a lot of games so there isn’t much footage or information to prepare for them.
Christopher: A lot of the Asian teams have been repping the support Kunkka, Batrider, and Ogre Magi. What are your thoughts on how the TI6 meta has developed since Starladder or the Summit?
KBBQ: To be honest I haven’t been able to watch as many games as I want to. For awhile after Manila you saw a bunch of meaty cores in the meta. Recently there has been a resurgence in push strategies such as the Drow or the jungling heroes that Na’Vi has shown so successfully. You see a lot of in between strategies now. Teams don’t necessarily play to win within a certain timing window and have much more flexibility in their picks.
Christopher: Previously you have done work with DotaFM, Defense of the Patience, and even produced some of your own content on your blog 26andstupid. Are you still working with them and what can we expect from you post TI?
KBBQ: As much as I would like to blog, I haven’t been able to because I have been so busy and have not been home since Manila. I don’t think DotaFM really runs anymore but the Defense of the Patience podcast was something that I thought was fun and is something that is missing from the scene. I am not sure to what extent I will be getting back into that but when I finally get back home I will get some rest and assess what options I have.
Christopher: Is there anything you want to say to the readers?
KBBQ: I really appreciate all of the opportunities that I have had. I feel honored to even be considered for interviews. I hope I can keep contributing unique content you can’t get else where. Whether it is sharing the Chinese scene to western audiences or getting in depth interviews. It has been a lot of fun finding those places that people care about for this game.
Chrisopher: Thank you for your time and consideration.