posted by Sun_Tzu,
The future face of North American Dota - Arteezy
While a lot of people may have heard your name thrown around in recent weeks, you are still a fairly unknown personality in the eyes of the community. Would you like to tell our readers a bit about yourself?
I'm a 16 year old high school student living in Vancouver,BC. I like to maintain a non-serious attitude whenever I do things to keep the mood positive. I throw a lot of MM games on my stream!
How did you come to begin playing Dota? Was there some mentor figure in your early development or did you strike out on your own?
It all started in 6th grade when I was playing Runescape at an internet cafe. I only played games with my friends at the time so as I was playing Runescape my friend opened up Frozen Throne and started talking to me about the game. Being very young I became intrigued very quickly, the thought of controlling units and battling enemies in an intense scenario appealed to me I guess. Fast forward two months and I found the 'custom game' button! I mainly played Footmen Frenzy until one of my best friends irl told me about Dota. I played Dota with my friends everyday after school and eventually my friends got bored of the game. I decided to keep playing and abandon Runescape. During the first international, I started to look for top players to mimic and learn from. Dendi was one of the most influential players in my early dota career as he created a video explaining how to lane with certain heroes. During the second international, I started to watch BuLba exclusively and began exchanging messages with him on steam which led to 1v1s and such. This really helped my development as a mid player.
When did you first realize that you might have some talent for the game? Was there a particular event that stands out, or did you gradually build up your confidence?
After playing a lot of 1v1s with top players such as s4 and bulba, I began to take up inhouse leagues such as C9-DL and more recent IXDL and managed to display consistent top 10 results. I started to feel more and more confident in my play.
Before you ever hit the competitive scene, you became a familiar name to followers of NA Dota through the evangelism of Bulba. How did you meet Bulba and how did you feel about the attention you were getting before ever playing on a professional team?
I met bulba after the second international like I previously mentioned. We just started talking about middle and I told him about my goals to become one of the best mids. He saw my potential I guess and we just started playing together a lot. I really didn't take the attention seriously because I considered it to be a jest. Some of the attention/hype was over exaggerated but I know Bulba meant well in the end.
You've recently joined Kaipi, but we haven't yet heard the story of how this came to be. Who was it that recruited you and how did you meet them? Were you surprised when they came to you with the offer to join the team?
I was recruited by EternaLEnVy. We met in an inhouse league quite a while ago I'd say around July 2012. We fought over the rank one spot in c9dl for weeks and eventually he won. After that we just started playing together in mixes and 1v1s. I was kind of surprised because it is well known that I have a pretty bad schedule due to school. I guess it worked out in the end though.
What has been the biggest surprise for you in entering competitive play? How are you dealing with the transition from being an individually talented player to becoming a part of something bigger than yourself i.e. your team?
The biggest surprise for me so far in competitive dota would be how much europeans complain about having 150+ ping. I'm speaking from personal experience when I say euros will do whatever they can to play on Luxembourg. As far as play goes, It's pretty much the same as any inhouse league except you can acutally trust your teammates! In IXDLs, I often adopt a selfish playstyle, this is necessary in order to win games with weaker players.
Coming up from the North American Dota 2 scene, how do you feel about the field of talent out there? Are other young North American players pushing through as well, or do they have different priorities which may keep them from fullfilling their potential, as has been the case with PowerNet?
While there is potential in North America, it is hard to assemble 4 like-minded individuals with very good schedules. There are a couple of very talented players in IXDL that seem to have a pretty good attitude. The only thing that worries me is the environment in which they play in. Inhouses are very egocentric and often you have people that think too highly of themselves which results in them flaming everyone and ultimately crushing their chance in any good team.
Do you see e-Sports reaching mainstream acceptability during your time playing the game? Do you think you'll one day be able to put "Professional Dota 2 Player" on your CV?
I don't think that is achievable, atleast during my time playing the game. I feel like there needs to be more North American lans for that to even start happening. I'm sure the International brings in more and more unique viewers every year, but we need more!
What is your next goal as an individual? Is there some aspect of your play you want to focus on improving, some idol you want to face and defeat in a competitive game?
After spring break, I stopped 1v1ing. I didn't take it that seriously at first but then I realized it's actually affecting my solo performance quite a bit. I am probably going to be 1v1ing to a great degree this summer. The difference between my 1v1ing in the past and the 1v1s in the future will be the ping. I'll be playing on 230 ping on average instead of 130. I'd really like to seek revenge against Korok! The series against Team Liquid was a really poor showing of skill.
Any message you'd like to send to other talent young players out there hoping to break through?
Don't let American inhouse leagues change your goals and perspective on dota in a negative manner! I'd like to thank joinDOTA for this interview and shoutout to Daniel and Tyson!