Sandata 1v1’s: An Interview with Adam “343” Shah on Execration, Fnatic and Valve’s New Substitution Rule
eSports by INQUIRER.net’s contributor John Paolo “Sandata” Bago spoke with Adam “343” Shah Hussein, who was recently revealed as Execration’s substitute player. 343 will substitute in for Rafael “Rapy” Sicat Palo for the Boston Major.
Thanks to Valve’s new substitution rule, this year’s Fall Major looks like it’s going to get some last minute plot twists.
Paolo “Sandata” Bago: Congratulations on making it on Execration for the Boston Major, 343! Can you talk to us how it feels to be back in the Majors?
Adam “343” Shah: All this happened so suddenly. It feels weird, although I’m happy to be playing in the majors , especially alongside one of my ex-teammates, Dj.
PSB: Let’s talk about that: You’ll be reunited with Dj, except this time, you’re the foreigner in the team. How do you think you’ll do this time around?
343: Execration is a pretty strong team. Dj and Kimo brings a lot of experience to the somewhat young bloods on the team. It’s hard to explain but I have a lot of confidence in them.
PSB: It’s interesting to me and I guess to fans of SEA how you’ve sort of become “The Answer” ; the person teams call to fix a chemistry problem. You filled a similar role last year for Fnatic. Can you comment on that? Why do you think you’re the one teams turn to?
343: Fnatic approaching me probably came down a lot to luck. In terms of skill I was nowhere near the other four, but I guess I’m a player who has good communication and is actively speaking on the team, and so they put their trust in me – which I am truly grateful for.
In Execration’s case, I think it’s just because I’m an experienced player and Dj knows what kind of person I am, hence the risk of things not working out would be very small.
PSB: What are your thoughts on the new substitution rule? It looks like teams can now “fix” roster problems after the lock as long as players agree.
343: I think it’s very prone to abuse for organizations. I hope Valve changes it.
PSB: How so? How would you change it up in time for the Spring Major?
343: I’m not too sure, maybe valve wants to take an approach similar to sports teams.
PSB: Does that mean it’s about time for Dota teams to have more than five members right from the start?
That would be difficult as the subs do not play an active role in the team.
PSB: This time around, you’ll be subbing in for Rapy, Execration’s young offlaner. Will you be filling in a similar role you filled with Fnatic in the 4/5 support or will we see you in the offllane as well?
343: I will most definitely be playing a support role. We will have a meeting when i get to the Philippines to talk about how we want to approach the game and that will decide whether I will play the 4 or the 5.
PSB: So definitely not offlane and you don’t know exactly who’s going to play the role yet. Do we get to see another 1-2 combination support play from you and Dj? Can you describe what made the two of you “work” the last time you played together?
343: I wouldn’t say there’s no chance of that happening, I believe it (our success) was both of our personalities matching up well. It was really easy to talk to one another. Mushi was always pushing us to do more and that played a big part too.
PSB: Speaking of Mushi, it was pretty surprising that you left Fnatic given your successes last year. Is this something you can talk about? What happened in the aftermath of TI?
343: My time in Fnatic was very exhausting. I wasn’t used to being away for so long and dedicating so much to Dota. I knew that Mushi wants his teammates to give their 100%, and I felt that there was no point staying because I couldn’t promise that at the time and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I spoke to him and he understood how I felt. All in all I just wanted a break I guess.
PSB: That’s a very self-aware answer. I remember talking to you at Manila Major and you would always be careful if I asked you who you’d think will win in a match. Now that you’ve had time off, do you think your time in Fnatic has boosted your confidence at least?
343: Yes it has. I’m very confident in my understanding of the game right now. Everything seems much easier to analyze. What honestly excites me is that there is still so much to learn.
PSB: Alright, last few questions Adam: A lot of Fnatic’s successes post Shanghai Major were attributed to your drafting. Will you be drafting for Execration this time around? Would you like to?
343: Personally, I feel like I have a better picture of things when I’m not the one clicking the buttons. I believe not enough credit was given to the players post-Shanghai.
I merely had stable drafts, hence better results because we outperformed the other teams. At the end of the day, a draft is done by the team as a whole and the drafter is only clicking the buttons.
I would prefer if someone else did it, although I’d step up if it is needed of me.
PSB: Last question Adam: Boston Major, you’ll be bootcamping in the Philippines. Do you think you’ll be staying long in Execration? Are you open to staying with a Philippine team in the future as a full tenured player?
343: I’m open to playing in any region, as long as the atmosphere of the team is good. They (Execration) only picked me up to play till Boston ends, so everything past that point is a mystery right now.
PSB: Thank you for the time Adam, and good luck to you and your team for Boston! Good luck at WESG as well!
343: Thank you!
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