The finals are nearly in sight! Before we get there, I took the opportunity to sit down with University of British Columbia and got to know them a little better. I spoke with Wei “BigBunTheory” Ye the drafter and mid player, offlaner Kyle “Jellybeanbob” Yau, position 4 support Kevin “Kcy-” Guo, and position 5 support as well as captain Jeremy “Kou” Sit. Yuanrui “Qiu” Qiu was unable to make it since he was out of the country visiting family at the time, but sent his regards.
UBC is the only Canadian representative at this year’s LAN finals and is the defending champions, so you’d think there was a lot of pressure on the team, but they didn’t seem phased at all. When I asked them if they had done a lot of prep for the upcoming games, they all said that they had been too busy with finals and had not played together since they had lost in AVGL some time ago. This interview was conducted on May 8, so I hope the team has made time to scrim and research their upcoming opponents or else they’ll have a quick exit.
One of the many advantages of being the “home team” as it were, is that the Visa process was relatively painless. Only Qiu and Ye are international students, but since they attend a Canadian university, going somewhere else in Canada is not an issue. There’s also the fact that getting around in Canada is extremely easy compared to the US, but let’s not get into politics. While we were talking about Visas, Yau joked, “Wayne’s [Ye] a wanted criminal in America, put too many mids away.” Throughout the course of our interview, I got the feeling that the players knew each other very well and were completely at ease with each other, casually flaming certain heroes or plays they had made in the past.
Despite being unable to practice in recent weeks, UBC still knew a decent bit about their opponents and how they sized up against them. Sit said, “We’ve lost against UConn once, so naturally I hope they lose again Kappa” while Yau added more soberly, “I think UConn is a strong team, although we’ve played against them once. I think with and without knowing players, there should be a mutual respect since chokes can and have happened.” Anyone who has watched any broadcast before can attest to how back and forth the games tend to be.
When I asked if they were surprised at the level of competitiveness the league has reached, all of them expressed how unsurprised they were. Maybe they have become used to how good they are compared to the rest of the competition? What surprised me was Sit’s comment about last season, “I joined the team last year, and I think this year’s standards are miles ahead of last year’s. Maybe we got really lucky last year, and we got an easy route to the victory without having to play strong teams, but if we took the 2016 UBC team into 2017 CSL, I don’t think we would do very well.” Last year’s finals had some of the best Dota 2 I’ve seen in all my time watching the CSL, so this year’s finals should be that much better!
The last thing we talked about was the inevitable patch that will likely be released the day of or day before the finals are played. It seems like the CSL LAN finals are always cursed by some game-changing patch that turns competition on its head, as everyone tries to quickly figure out the game again. Solar Crest is obviously way too strong, but the players were split on what they wanted patched and what they wanted left alone. Support player Sit wanted Crystal Maiden to be left alone, while Yau wanted Legion Commander to be nerfed. Coincidentally, offlane player Yau believes that Poor Man’s Shield is in a good spot and doesn’t require additional nerfing, while his carry player Qiu might have disagreed with that analysis if he was there.
As mentioned in this UBC eSports Association article, Ye will probably quit Dota 2 after this tournament to focus on his family and Yau might not return for next year since several players are graduating. So not only are UBC the only representative for Canada and are returning champions, but this will be the last chance at a championship for most of the team. I hope they can end this season without regrets and show everyone their full potential! Good luck in Toronto UBC! CANADA FIGHTING!!!
Jeremy “Kou” Sit: Shoutout to Cornell, we’ll avenge them
Qiu totally said this: “Get ready to get owned UCD! We’re coming for you!”
Wei “BigBunTheory” Ye: Shoutout to Qiu, fuck u
Kyle “Jellybeanbob” Yau: Shoutout to gym boyz, and jellybeanbob