posted by Sun_Tzu,
Following their victory at The International 2013 Western Qualifiers, a new star player stood out on the de mousesports team, with the ability to throw his team on his back and carry them to victory when called upon. This player is none other than the young, talented offlaner by the name of de Max 'qojqva' Broecker, and in honour of his great performances we sat down to talk to him about his team, his role and their evolution during their time together.

qojqva in the foreground along with his team at RaidCall EMS One Spring.
Photo courtesy of ESL.

Hello qojqva and thanks for taking the time to do this interview with us! First off, would you mind telling our readers a bit about yourself?

I'm 17 years old, living in Germany and still going to school. I used to meet friends and play sports regularly, but at the moment my focus is entirely on Dota. I constantly try to improve because I think you can't ever be good enough.

Your nickname is one which has caused a fair amount of distress among poor casters trying to pronounce it. Is there some backstory to it? And how is it actually supposed to be pronounced?

qojqva is probably pronounced something like "koi-kwa". There's no backstory to my nickname. I was tired of my old nickname, because it was childish and I simply didn't like it. So I just blindly typed 6 random letters and it turned out to be qojqva! I felt the name was kinda weird but still ended up taking it.

What was the old nickname?

pro1like, doesn't make sense I know. :D

How did you start playing Dota? Were you always an offlaner or was there something that endeared the role to you?

My brother played a lot of Dota 1 and introduced me to the game. At that time I mainly played wc3 funmaps, but quickly started to play only dota. I played the mid role in dota 1, then carry role in dota 2 in teams such as kaipi and other rather unknown teams. I ended up playing offlane because the other roles didn't fully suit me. I've really enjoyed playing offlane so far, although it is quite frustrating when you really don't get any levels and the hero you play can't jungle. :D

You joined mouz as Kuroky left, but you've played with paS and FATA before that. How did you three end up playing together originally?

We played together in Kaipi at some point, but I left to join a team with some friends if I remember correctly. Kaipi wasn't a serious team back then anyway and I left with no one being mad or hating me for it.

How do you think syndereN has changed your teams approach to the game, and how is he fitting in with the team?

I don't think synderen has changed our approach that much, with him we can finally play the aggressive style we always wanted to play. He is mostly leading ingame and makes a lot of calls where to move though. He's fitting well in the team, everyone gets along great with him.

During the International 3 Western Qualifiers, the team made some drastic changes in how you play, towards a more active style. As part of this process, more emphasis was put on you as well as FATA to help control the early game, which seems to have been highly beneficial to you as a player. How do you feel about the added responsibility and attention you're getting?

I like aggressive lineups which require a lot of teamwork to be fully effective. You can get back in the game as an offlaner in such lineups even when u don't get any farm in the first 5 to 10 minutes, just by getting or assisting in a few kills instead of trying to stay back and get exp while the carry farms.

It also seems at times as if your team is using Black's fame as a carry player that can farm out of control in order to distract your opponents, by giving him lanes such as the Lone Druid vs. Razor up against dd.Dota that may be difficult and relying on him to flash farm his way back into the game, not unlike what LighTofHeaveN used to do as an offlaner in Na`Vi. Is there any truth to this impression?

In that game against dd.dota we just didn't lane correctly, since Razor can't stand against 3 heros at an offlane. We should've put our trilane bottom and jungled with naix, then roamed the map later on when Lone Druid is farmed enough to stand vs Razor on the lane. We could've also pushed 1 or 2 towers, since Razor is not that good in counter-pushing apart from lvl 1 Plasma Field.

The old mouz lineup together at EMS One.
Left to right: Paisy, paS, Alex, Black^, FATA-, qojqva.
Photo courtesy of mouz.Paisy

There has been some concern that the playstyle you guys displayed during the qualifiers, although highly effective and impressive, is fairly reliant on a few core heroes. Is this a permanent direction change you guys are exploring, or just another strategy that you can make use of to complement an otherwise fairly slow paced style of play?

I believe that our play style relies on a few heroes, such as an offensive trilane with naix. There are not many other heroes who are that strong in all stages of the game. While Naix is not the best carry, he functions perfectly in a dual or tri core strategy and is really hard to gank, which makes him perfect for an offensive trilane. We most likely won't be going back to a slow paced style of play, since we always wanted to play aggressive and dictate the game-flow ourselves. Time will tell though.

Do you think cultivating this kind of range of styles will be useful for you going up against the Asian teams at the International? Which style would you feel more comfortable with when playing against them?

I would feel most comfortable with an aggressive style of play. When you only react to your opponent then you'll lose at some point and Asian teams are very experienced in doing unexpected smoke ganks. By playing aggressively and trying smoke ganks on your own, you don't let them do whatever they want.

Do you or your team have anything special planned as part of your preparation for the International?

We have tried some heroes and strategies out, but nothing specific yet. We'll have a long bootcamp before TI3 to do such things and improve as a team in general.

And on a bit less serious note, how would you describe your teammates in your own words?

Black - Hard-working, constantly trying to improve.
paS - Rather quiet yet funny.
FATA- - Troll.
syndereN - Serious most of the time, dies at places where u think what the fuck is he doing there :D

Any final words or shoutouts?

Shoutout to mouz, all our fans and all of our sponsors GeIL, BenQ, Razer & Thortech.