Madara on the Kiev Major: 'Personally I don't really care about the format I just wanna play good Dota and win'

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Dennis Gonzales / Ad Finem

Omar "Madara" Dabasas is the carry for Ad Finem, the Greek team that came from behind to place second at The Boston Major, earning a legion of fans along the way. That performance was enough to secure them an invite to the Kiev Major despite disappointing performances in the winter season. Madara spoke to theScore esports about his team, the Kiev Major and European Dota.

How did you react upon hearing Ad Finem was invited to the Kiev Major?

We were all in discord and during picking phase for our scrim, then the invite comes out and everyone started shouting their lungs out and started going insane for a minute. I have no idea how Spartan managed to draft that game

Did you think you would receive an invite?

I knew we would get invited because according to history every Top 2 in Major/TI with no roster changes gets invited to the next one so it wasn't really a surprise to me. Of course I had some doubts since our performance after the Major was awful, but I guess our placement on the previous Major overrides everything.

Ad Finem surprised many with their second place finish at The Boston Major. Looking back, how do you feel about your performance?

For our first Major tournament I feel very proud of my team and myself for getting second place, but I also feel bad that we lost and didn't get first place.

What did you do following The Boston Major?

I took a break for two weeks to sort some stuff out, relax and see some relatives. After one week I was actually so bored I needed Dota in my blood again!

Has anything changed for you since the Major?

I started working out more in the mornings. It helps me to stay more focused and energized for the rest of the day other than that nothing really just practicing all day long.

Since Boston, Ad Finem has so far competed in two qualifiers and Elimination Mode 3.0. What do you think of your performance?

Our performance was terrible it’s a number of things as to why, first of all I think we took a longer break than we should. One week is enough in my opinion.

Secondly we didn't find our comfort zone in our practice, everything wasn't clicking that well from plays and synergy to strategies. The last reason is we under performed individually and it cost us a lot of games.

What does a typical day in your life look like? Does the team practice together regularly?

Working out in the mornings and then just play Dota all day, but sometimes going out with friends to have some fun is refreshing. We practice six days per week for around five to six hours per day as a team.

How would you describe each of your teammates?

Alright I'm gonna describe each of them with one word:

Maybe Next Time - old

SsaSpartan - positive

ThuG - funny

SkyLark - emotional

Which European teams are you watching out for? Are there any that stand out above the rest for you?

Definitely OG stands out above every other team in Europe, then it's Liquid. Secret and B)ears that look really strong too. Europe feels super stacked, but that’s a good thing to have because you get better practice and more competition which is what I like the most.

Is there any team in the world right now that you are impressed by?

Team OG. Their teamplay, synergy and execution is just so good and consistent. They play good Dota and it's always very fun to play against them and watch their games. They are the best team in the world at the moment in my opinion.

The Kiev Major will continue the single-elimination format that was used at Boston. What do you think of the format?

Personally I don't really care about the format I just wanna play good Dota and win, but this format might be better for us because we perform better under pressure so thinking we don't have a second chance might be helping.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions!

Thank you for the interview. Shoutout to my sponsors gg.bet, epulze and dombai, and to my teammates. They are a bunch of monkeys but... gotta love those monkeys.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

PENTA Sports acquire Ad Finem staff, rookie German roster

by 3d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Penta Sports

PENTA Sports are branching into Dota 2 with the acquisition of Greek Dota 2 organization Ad Finem, signing the German based team Going In to the team in the process, the organization announced Wednesday.

"We are proud to announce the acquisition of 'Ad Finem eSports,'" PENTA said in a statement. "We hope we can show all the fans of Ad Finem that PENTA Sports is going to invest substantially in the Dota 2 Scene. We also want to give a warm welcome to Alex Mavroudis, Nikos Fotinakis and Marios Papasarantos who have built up Ad Finem from zero to hero. They are going to help grow our new Dota 2 team and assist in integrating Dota 2 as a second main title alongside CS:GO at PENTA Sports."

Ad Finem have been without a Dota 2 squad since March 6, when the team's roster decided not to renew their contracts with the organization. ex-Ad Finem is best known for their spectacular run at The Boston Major where the team placed second, and have since received an invite to The Kiev Major in April.

PENTA Sports Dota 2 roster is now as follows:

  • Mathis “Jabbz” Friesel
  • Jamal “Blazemon” Sohail
  • Dino “dnz” Šavuk
  • Max “Mikey” Barke
  • Oliver “Skiter” Lepko

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Ad Finem's Dota 2 team leaves organization

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Thumbnail image courtesy of Dennis Gonzales / Ad Finem

Ad Finem's Dota 2 team has left the organization, just a few days after the team was invited to The Kiev Major.

Ad Finem came to prominence with a spectacular run at The Boston Major that saw the team place second among a crowded field, losing to OG 3-1 in the Grand Finals. The team has performed poorly since then, failing to qualify for either the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 or StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3, but secured an invite to the upcoming Kiev Major regardless.

Though the roster has left the organization, Wykrhm Reddy confirmed that the team would retain their invite to the Major so long as they do not change their roster.

Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos, the team's support, said that the roster decided not to renew their contracts with Ad Finem.

Ad Finem's roster at the time it left the organization is as follows:

  • Omar "Madara" Dabasas
  • Dimitris "ThuG" Plivouris
  • Kharis "SkyLark" Zafeiriou
  • Verros "Maybe Next Time" Apostolos
  • Giorgos "SsaSpartan" Giannakopoulos

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Green Bay Packers LB Blake Martinez reveals the 4 NFL players he would form a Dota 2 team with, how Dota has helped him with football

by 1d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Dylan Buell / Getty Images Sport / Getty

On any given Sunday, Blake Martinez can be found tackling ball carriers at the frozen tundra known as Lambeau Field. But in his spare time, the Stanford alumnus turned Green Bay Packers linebacker likes to kick back and relax by streaming Dota 2 matches for charity.

Related: Packers LB Blake Martinez: 'I want to speak to our president about sponsoring [an esports] team in the near future'

But Martinez's Dota fandom far exceeds loading into a couple of solo queue games a night. In fact, the young linebacker actively follows the competitive scene and, considering that he named the original No Diggity squad as his favorite professional team coupled with the fact that he participated in and helped cast MoonDuckTV's Kiev Major Qualifier Hub, he's far from a casual.

So naturally, when asked which four NFL players he would draft to his Dota 2 team, it came as no surprise that he picked the reigning Superbowl MVP, one of NFL's most fearsome defensive linemen and two of his Green Bay teammates to play alongside him.

"I would pick Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Mason Crosby, and Ndamukong Suh," he told theScore esports.

"Aaron would be our mid laner and shot caller of the game because of his smarts and skill! Also, he would pick up on Dota quickly. Tom would be the support (Position 4) because his vision is so good we would never get caught out and could make plays as Earth Spirit. Mason would be our position 5 support because he would be able to have a ton of time to strategize since all he does is kick at practice. And Suh would be our beefy offlaner/frontliner like Centaur and Axe that no one could get passed. EZ TI win."

Sure, Dota 2 and football are two very different games, but Martinez does think there are some similarities and even goes as far as to credit Dota with some of his growth as a leader.

"I think the ability to communicate and process a lot of information quickly is the two traits/skills that are extremely similar in both Dota and Football! I think Dota has helped me tremendously in just being a better leader for our defense," he said.

Touching on his rookie season, Martinez said he was encouraged by the way his year turned out — he notched 69 combined tackles to go along with one sack, one interception and four pass deflections — and looks to build on last season as he heads into his sophomore year.

"I think it went really well! It sucked to get injured near the end of the season but excited to grow from my rookie year! The way I want to grow is just seeing formations and plays quicker, stay healthy, get stronger and faster, and improve on the mistakes I made as a rookie and just grow from my experiences."

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Sean Tepper is the Senior Supervising Editor at theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Conrad Janzen on Dota 2's top-heavy scene: 'I would just love to see more tier 2 support'

by 2d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of Valve

Conrad Janzen, former Cloud9 player manager and current Twitch partnerships team member, has a few ideas.

Appearing on theScore esports Podcast Monday, Janzen spoke on everything from why he thinks The International’s prize pool will break its own record (again) this year, to how Valve can improve the Major system.

When asked about whether the prize pool for TI7 would exceed TI6’s massive $20.7 million purse, Janzen said the company behind Dota 2 would find a way to make it happen.

“If I had to bet on Valve, it’s always going to be more and they’re going to figure out some way to do it,” he said.

“Valve is going to figure out ways to steal money from my wallet every year in the best way possible,” he said. “They do a really good job of providing value and that’s the one thing I think Dota does a really good job compared to a lot of other free to play games as well as just games in general."

It's all about making the existing player base happy, he said.

“They provide a lot of value to their hardcore users, to their regular users and there’s always going to be somebody who’s willing to spend even more than I think I do.”

Janzen also commented on the Major system, saying that although it was overall beneficial to the Dota 2 scene, is isn’t not without its shortcomings.

“It is bad in some ways, I think it does hurt third parties,” he said.

“Obviously last year we saw Boston Major take precedence over DreamHack, and that was a very unfortunate case.” One solution, he said, would be to model things more closely on Counter-Strike’s tournament structure.

“Things I would like to see is maybe make the qualifiers more valuable, make them a LAN event very similar to CS:GO, right? Where you have all these teams coming in so it’s truly international,” he told theScore esports Podcast.

“What Valve is going to have to do in this case is take a step forward and be like, ‘This is an important part, we want to grow Dota as a whole.' So, very similar to the CS:GO system where they have a regional qualifier that mostly takes place online, and then they bring all those teams together to a major qualifying tournament,” he said.

Improving the Major structure would help showcase rising Dota talent that, at least right now, is getting lost in the shadows beyond the Majors' spotlight.

“I would just love to see more tier 2 support,” he said. “I think that’s the big thing we’re missing, is these up-and-coming stars are not getting as revealed as they used to be. In-house leagues, these sort of concepts, have disappeared," he said.

“To have a healthy, growing esport, you’re going to have to support those tier 2 players as well with smaller Cups, smaller tournaments.”

Colin McNeil is a supervising editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

EPICENTER's second Dota 2 tournament announced for June 4-11

by 3d ago
Thumbnail image courtesy of EPICENTER

EPICENTER: Moscow returns with its second Dota 2 event, slated to take place June 4-11, the tournament organizer announced on Wednesday.

The event will see 10 teams compete for a $500,000 prize pool, with qualifiers being held in the European, CIS, North American and Chinese regions in a similar format to the first EPICENTER: Moscow event.

EPICENTER: Moscow's group stage will be held on June 4-7, while the playoffs will take place at the VTB Ice Palace on June 9-11.

The event will also host a cosplay tournament with approximately $3,500 on the line.

Further details are expected in the coming weeks, such as qualifier dates and invited teams.Team Liquid are an expected invite since they were the champions of the first EPICENTER event.

RELATED: Team Liquid defeat Newbee, win EPICENTER

While this is the third event dubbed EPICENTER: Moscow, this is only the second Dota 2 event, as the previous event was a CS:GO tournament. That was won by the former Team Diginitas roster now part of North.

Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking Abaddon Slardar Clinkz Medusa Oracle a P90 my Souvenir Negev Discipline Priest Pharah. You can follow him on Twitter.

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