William "Blitz" Lee is the head coach for Digital Chaos, who received one of eight invites to the Kiev Major this April alongside teams like OG and Evil Geniuses.
Both before and after the invited were announced, theScore esports spoke to Blitz about the upcoming Major, the state of NA Dota and Vegetable Esports' future.
Of the teams who received an invite, who are DC's biggest competition?
This sounds super PC, but I think all the teams that were invited are insanely good. The team that looked the weakest coming into this tournament knocked us out of the first Major, and so nobody is to be overlooked. These are all fantastic, proven LAN teams, with experience under their belts. For me anyways, this is the most stacked invite list I've seen in a while.
What do you think of Valve's decision to add a South American and CIS Qualifier for the Kiev Major?
I think it's a smart decision. Both regions were at a disadvantage regarding ping, and it helps foster the global feel that a Major or TI should have. Maybe it won't be this one where a South American team is competitive, but having a qualifier for them alone helps speed along the process and it's an attainable goal for the region. Get a team in, have that team learn a lot from the environment, they will take it back and help the scene as a whole grow.
Moving to the Open Qualifiers, what do you think of the 3/5 rule change that prevents teams from competing in a regional qualifier from a region that they aren't from?
I think it's a rule that helps keep the scene where it should be. This is obviously an awkward question since DC doesn't fall under that rule, but I think if it's 3/5 living in that region for an extended period of time it's fine, similar to what happened with me and Zephyr. We had plans to be there for the full year, and as a result qualified for the SEA region. You might see some teams abuse this in the future, but I think the tier one teams or those on the brink will play in their own region anyways.
When the rule change was made, I thought about Vegetable Esports Club, who you played with for the Boston qualifiers. What did you think of Prodota Gaming playing in the NA qualifiers at the time?
Realistically, our team didn't have any expectations. It was pretty funny running into prodota at the end. We didn't think we'd win and we weren't salty at all that they chose to play in the NA quals. They were at a significant disadvantage regarding ping, and they actually wanted to win, for us it's more of a how far can we go, and if we happen to run into these more competitive teams it's entertaining.
Any plans to form the team again for the Kiev qualifiers?
Editor's note: Vegetable Esports Club announced their full lineup after the interview was conducted.
Yeah, we have the core lineup set, we just need to scramble together and see who else is available. Most of the time this is a last minute thing for us, it's not like we practice or anything. The last qual we did we woke up about an hour before and had to wing it to find anyone we could, and somehow ended up in the finals.
What do you think of the NA Dota scene right now? Is it more competitive than it has been in the past?
It's in a really strong place right now. At the last Major, DC, NP, and EG all finished Top 8, with DC and EG getting Top 4 and Complexity doing very well in the groups. On top of that you have new blood such as Wanted and Onyx that can definitely be contenders with some time.
Is EG still the top NA team, or would you say DC has taken that spot?
I think EG is still at that top spot, but hopefully in some time we can make adjustments going forward that put us ahead. It'll be difficult though considering they might be the 1st or 2nd best team in the world.
As coach for DC, what is the team's greatest strength?
The team's greatest strength is the teamwork and the willingness to win. A lot of our success comes from internal motivation, and when you have five guys that want to win at all times, with the type of skill that they have were going to have results.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.