When Prodota Gaming registered and won against a field of open qualifier teams for the regional qualifiers of the Boston Major, the reaction to their victory was significantly different than one might expect.
Prodota Gaming, you see, won the first North American Open qualifier and will now compete in the North American Regional Qualifier, despite being a European team.
No, they are not a stack of European players who traveled and live in North America. Prodota Gaming literally played at a 150+ ping disadvantage to go through the “softer” North American Open Qualifier.
Teams and players traveling to different regions to compete is nothing new in professional Dota 2. Valve and FACEIT (who runs the qualifiers) have no set rules on who can join the various qualifiers, a technicality that Ylli “garter” Ramadani is well aware of.
In their heels, other teams such as Kaipi, composed of familiar names such as b0ne7, sexybamboe and SingSing even tried their luck in North America.
In past interviews, garter and Prodota Gaming have maintained that their decision to compete in North America is not on legal but a calculated risk on their part. On the eve of their Regional qualifier campaign, garter talked to us about their decision to play in North America, the state of competition in that region and his answer to critics of their move.
First of all, congratulations on winning the first NA Open. How did you find the competition? Was it harder/easier than you expected?
Hello and thank you. Competition was pretty okay. We’re expecting things to get harder and harder from now on.
Did you expect it to be challenging? Which teams were you afraid to go up against?
Some games were harder than others for sure and I don’t know if we played as best as possible from game one to the end. We don’t really know the region or the players specifically for the most part so we just did what we would normally do right from the beginning: try our best in every game.
Let’s talk about your final against Veggie. They were one of the teams who were pretty popular coming in. Any insights you can tell me about their strength? Did you expect to win 3-0?
I mean we know those guys as casters and ex-pro-players and we know full well that they know the game well but we also know they lack the mechanical skills because they don’t practice as much as we do. We were pretty confident that we could 3-0 them.
Alright time for the big questions: Let’s talk about the qualifiers. In past interviews with Dotablast you talked about the imbalance between EU and NA qualifiers. Can you go deeper on this? How would you change the system? Would you prefer separate qualifiers for EU and CIS and more slots?
The main problem is the amount of competitors EU/CIS has. For example in NA you have five good teams that are invited to the regional qualifier and maybe one or two good teams that are in the open.
Meanwhile in the EU/CIS regions you have about 20 Tier 2 teams that don’t get invited and you have a mix of high Tier 2 and Tier 1 teams invited to closed qualifiers so there is something needed to be done for sure. Either give EU/CIS more spots or make a LAN event or something that makes it more interesting for EU/CIS players to enjoy competing in this qualifier.
Otherwise people who get bored or tired of this will drop; they’ll either not compete or start going to LANs in any way possible to them.
Why do you think there are more EU/CIS tier 2 teams and less in NA? Is it a matter of player and team talent? is it valve itself?
I mean this is a bigger discussion because it also goes into economy issues. For example: if you get paid 500$ to 2000$ salary in NA then you can’t really live with that money so you need more money to be able to play competitive without worrying about a second job.
I don’t think it has to do much with lack of talented players because I’m sure there are talented players in every region its just a matter of dedication and being able to play the game without barriers stopping you from this commitment (like salary,school, living with parents etc).
Why do you think you had a better chance of winning a qualifier in NA? Is it just the number of teams?
Mainly, yes. Bo1 are scary and if you are playing 20 teams who are close to your level then there’s higher chances you will lose 1 of the 20 games. Whereas in NA you have like two teams to worry about dropping games against them so the amount of pressure is much lower. It’s just easier to compete.
But now that you’re in the closed qualifiers, is there any team you’re worried about? How do you think you guys will manage playing from EU ping?
We are not worried for sure. Yes we are not underestimating any of the teams. We have previously scrimmed NP and I personally played against COL and FDL too. I think I know for sure have what it takes to take any team down.
This doesn’t get us worried because in the end this is what competition is all about. About the ping, I don’t know how we’ll do but sometimes our internet is bad by itself and with the ping it could be deadly but overall i think we’ll be ok.
What do you say to the people saying that it’s unfair that an EU team won NA?
Build a wall :p
Is there a weakest region right now for dota? What’s the strongest region?
There’s no weak region. There is a region with higher or lower competition (example: NA has lower competition). I don’t know if EU or China has a stronger region since I haven’t been following China as closely preparing for the qualifiers.
If there’s one thing you want people to watch out for your games, what would you say that is?
Watch out for Pingvin OD!
Prodota Gaming’s matches begin with a match against Infamous at 19:00 CEST