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“In seeing the last DPC season, I would say that SA is better than NA.” – Chilling on DPC Winter Tour, Regional Finals and the Future of SA

Chilling discusses the previous season and the regional finals more in depth with us in the second part of our interview with the South American Caster.

This interview was conducted and transcribed by Pedro Romero, Community Writer for esports.com.

In the second part of the interview with Chilling, he discusses how the Winter Tour transpired in South America, his thoughts on the recent Regional Finals, who were the best players within that time, and the next tour which will start in a few months’ time.

Video – The longest Dota 2 Match in history



The DPC Winter Tour in review

It is through that journey to TI that teams are gaining points within the DPC to qualify and have a chance towards gaining that incredible amount of money for themselves. Talking about the region competitively speaking, you already have a pretty good idea over who the major competitors were during the Winter Tour. That said, which team has been the biggest surprise of the season?

I would definitely say APU King of Kings, which is a team that has a Peruvian player Benny (Benny Cervantes). They qualified for the regional finance while also making upsets all along this first season. They have shown great Dota. Additionally, I would say Thunder Awaken was also a big surprise because they acquired the ex-No Ping guys and Pakazs (Christian Casanova) has really taken off. This young carry kid has blown up completely here. He had a promising display in the second season of the previous DPC. The same could also be said for Lumiere (Edward Guillen). They were really topping the charts.

Nevertheless, Thunder Awaken has really completely taken over the South American region. They’ve shown great Dota and great team play. I didn’t expect how solid they were playing. They were really stomping games and clearly showed they were one step ahead of the rest of the teams. They would usually be closer to Beastcoast and Infamous, but this time, there were really superior.

On the other side, I was surprised by Infamous. They didn’t have a good start. They lost to Thunder and Hokori, but after their winter break, I saw a massive change when they hired a coach in FalcoStyle (Huester Valenzuela), who’s one of the most recognizable coaches in the region, and they started winning with him. They started playing completely different and it was great seeing that. It’s not just me talking about Infamous though. I’m talking about South American teams in general. I think their weaknesses are mostly in drafting and having different strategies as in hero pool sometimes. Nevertheless, I will say it’s mostly on drafting as the biggest issue. For example in the last TI, you saw that drafting had a lot to do and having people like Falco coming back into the scene is great to see.

You faintly mentioned one specifical team that I actually wanted to talk more about, but many people have definitely paid attention to their performance during this season, for better or worse. Of course, I’m talking about Beastcoast. Of all the teams within the region, they’re the most recognizable given that it’s the same team that pulled off that impressive Top 8 run at TI9. Since Beastcoast finished Top 16 in TI10, how have you seen their progression from then throughout the Winter Tour?

I didn’t mention them in the last question because they have really underperformed a lot during the season. They have shown issues in their gameplay. They haven’t been as strong as we were used to seeing them. What can I say? I have my theories as to why they are not performing well. I don’t know if streaming has something to do with it, but they have been underperforming. The fans were not happy. The audience is really passionate but the team have shown some issues with some of their players regarding their performance. They played great at TI but they’re not the same right now. From TI, I don’t think they have improved. They are kind of stuck or getting a little bit worse and the other teams are improving a lot.

I was about to ask about that. Was it more about Beastcoast underperforming and the other team like overtaking them as a result? Or was it more of the rest of the field collectively improving and them being left behind?

A little bit of both, you know? The thing is Beastcoast lost their series versus SG and SG was the last placed team of the league. They lost that match where they had to win, sort of like how Barcelona beats Getafe every day, every week and something like that. Not to mention they also lost versus Thunder and Infamous, teams that BC would usually best. But this time, it didn’t happen, you know?

From that, we move to the DPC Regional Finals which happened roughly a week ago for all of the regions including SA. I’d like to know your perspective on how that went down.

Regional Finals were insane, Infamous beating Thunder Predator on the lower bracket finals was a surprise, merit of the team and coach FalcoStyle for a good strategy for the series, that lose led to team problems and some drama for Thunder Awaken, Oscar, the offlaner, left the team in a dramatic way.

The game for the finals was Beastcoast vs Infamous. Beastcoast prepared a lot better for the regional finals by including 2 analysts/coaches, Valqui and Raykill, which in addition to Stinger, received the help it was needed for preparation and strategy. They ended up stomping 3-0 Infamous and a well deserved win for them! Unfortunately, their offlaner and soft support player left in a dramatic fashion too. Hope teams can stick together and work through their problems because all of them are good players.

About the other regions we covered, from WEU, Gladiators a team that came from DIV 2 became champions, we knew that preparation for the series for Liquid was done mainly by 3 minds: Jabz, Zai and Insania, versus Gladiator’s coach ImmortalFaith, David beated Goliath in this one! and a big shoutout to Timado and TSM for winning a hard battle versus Evil Geniuses on a 5 game series. By far the most intense final of all the regions!

Moving back to SA, the two teams that were relegated from Div. I during the Winter Tour were No Ping and SG Esports. They will be replaced by Balrogs and Infinity Esports. How do you think both will fare next season since they will be in Div. I?

I’m gonna make my biased Peruvian comment. We have a DPC filled with Peruvian teams except for APU. Well, Infinity were clearly the favorites of Division II. There were players that had prior Div. I experience and played in Tier-1 SA tournaments in the offseason and they will perform pretty well. With Infinity especially, I really expected them to be a surprise. They have a very solid team. I really like all of their players. Unfortunately, their hard carry just left a couple days ago which was Parker (David Chote), one of the best promising players we have. He left for I would say unknown reasons. I think he has spoken about it in a stream but I haven’t personally watched his commentary on why he left.

Other than that, they have Mariano “Papita” Caneda, who has been captain for many years. He has coached TI teams before. Pipi (Jeanpierre Arroyo) is a great guy. We had him in a podcast for ESB. He’s another promising talent. Prada (Sergio Orihuela) was an ex-TA player. He has also been in the scene for a long time. They feel like these guys are just coming back. They took a break and are returning to the place they feel they belong due to how the format works. With Balrogs, they’re the unknown type of team. Sorry for Balrog fans for saying this but they will have to fight for the lives to stay in Div. I because the other teams look really, really strong too.

The current strenght of the major regions

In addition to the first major of the year being canceled, SA teams won’t be able to compete against the rest of the world. It’s an unfortunate thing to face since the region sent three representatives for TI10, which is the largest delegation it has seen in its history. Since that point,how do you think SA compares to the rest of the world? In a ranking of first to last place, where would you place the region right now?

That’s a good question and it’s something that I haven’t put my mind into it, but right now China is the number one most competitive region. Second place is Western Europe. Eastern Europe would have the third place because it has last year’s TI champion. They also have Virtus.Pro. They have shown amazing games. Na’Vi and Monaco have been really strong. Southeast Asia, North America, and South America…

So you would put SEA, NA, and SA together?

Let me think a bit. *silence for 10 seconds* South America and North America finished in TI10 at around the same time. If we talk about the last TI, you’d know SEA saw one of their teams finish in 7-8th place. They had T1 and Fnatic fairly close. But that’s from TI, so in seeing the last DPC season, I would say that SA is better than NA. Surprisingly, regarding that, I got to interview Crit- from Evil Geniuses and we talked about that. He felt more aligned with SA. He enjoyed playing there than in NA. He said he liked playing more with South Americans than with North Americans. I also feel there are more South American players within the Top 100 than ever before compared to NA players. I think NA is going through a new players type of crisis type of thing. There’s this situation of NA having a lack of players. They’re having issues with new players.

You just gave me the headline quote for the article. ‘SA is better than NA’ so thanks for that.

*laughs* Yeah, no problem.

Talking about the players, who have you seen as the best players from the region throughout the Winter Tour?

Without all the joking around, we’ll see in the next mayor who is the best region. The best player for me was Pakazs clearly. He had that average KDA of nine. The DPM was the highest at 753. The XPN was also on top with 782. On last hits per minute, he was the highest in addition to the hero damage and tower damage. His impact was really insane. Not to dissuade the rest of his team who also played great, but I think he performed the best. In mid, it was a big surprise seeing APU’s Mini and also BC’s Chris Luck, who’s now C.Smile.

Chris Luck at TI10 | Image Credits: Valve
Chris Luck at TI10 | Image Credits: Valve

Back to Mini, he has improved a lot. I don’t know what type of training he has discovered but it was like a next level Chris Luck. He was stomping in mid. Even in the bad games, he literally like played the best. Oscar from TA in the offlane, DarkMago was also stomping most of the time. I would like to see him play more heroes in the sense that most bans were focused on Oscar (Oscar Jimenez), which gave him more choices. I would like to see their opponents ban more DarkMago heroes and leave Oscar heroes to see him play something different. I would like to see him play different just for the enjoyment of it. I would like to see it just for the show.

What about your thoughts on the current group of Position 5 players? I say this because it’s the position where you reached Immortal. Who do you view as the best Pos. 5 in the region?

I would say Panda (Jose Hernandez). He was on point with his positioing I also liked this player. I think it was SexyFat of APU King of Kings. His scouting work was insane. The amount of smokes of the vision he gave was amazing. Besides that, as a support player, Matthew (Farith Puente) was also making big plays. He would always win the lane for his off with Oscar. They had this insane chemistry and the rest played like what you would expect.

We will certainly keep an eye on them for next season and beyond. Taking a direction back towards your career, you’ve already contributed so much in so little time behind the scenes for the region, so how would you want SA fans to remember your work?

I don’t think I even know. Since I’m still new within this industry. I don’t think I’m known enough to have made even a tiny impact. I’m not popular at all. I’m still working on that. In this Spanish broadcast type of scene, although we do it in our style and people like it, we put a lot of effort into the production. but how would I like to be remembered? As someone that can make something they’re really passionate about, that in the past was probably a stigma in the past, you know? Things as in being a gamer or being a nerd or being geek type of stuff that you can transition into making your passion if you come from a different way of life. As someone that came here from whichever way of life, it doesn’t matter about your age or your social condition. If you have a dream you can achieve it.

Alright, Chilling. That about wraps up all of my questions for the interview. Do you have any final words you want to add?

Thanks to the Spanish community which has been great with me and giving feedback and constructive criticism that has helped me improve. Also, of course to ESB for all the support and great work. They make me feel like I’m a part of the family. I want to say we’ve had interviews with pro players like Puppey, Kuroky, and Timado which were pretty in-depth.

Chilling interviewing TL's Boxi during the Western Europe DPC | Image Credits: Dreamhack
Chilling interviewing TL’s Boxi during the Western Europe DPC | Image Credits: Dreamhack

We extended beyond the game on these interviews. They would share with us their insights. I don’t know if it’s because we’re from the Spanish broadcast, but they opened up a lot and were really great. So I would invite people to watch those series of interviews we did with players, and see us asking them about their impressions of South America and if they would come to Peru. I would also like fans to watch the ESB Spanish broadcast which we do with a lot of fluff and give us chance. Yeah, I will say that. Give us a chance. Watch us, support us, and tell us what you think.

 

This interview was conducted and transcribed by Pedro Romero, Community Writer for esports.com.

Freelance writer with approximately three years of experience. Worked for numerous outlets including esports.com while covering League of Legends, Valorant, and Dota 2. Currently at Bronze I in NA LoL solo-queue.


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Image Credits: Chilling
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