Hello and welcome back to the Kaameel Chicktay DOTA Blog! Today I am joined by Mr Brandon “Syipres” Addison from HIVE gaming.
Support/Position 5 and Team Owner
Warlock, Enigma, Oracle
KC: Thank you for joining me Brandon
Brandon: I’m happy to be here 😀
KC: Let’s head straight into it then! What got you started in this freight train of a game called DotA?
Brandon: I started dabbling into it in about 2008 when I saw my brother’s friends playing it, But I only really started playing in 2011. The story of how I started is quite funny actually! I used to be an actor and a mate of mine was playing the game back stage! And I was like I’ve seen that game before! Mind you this was War3 DotA 1 days. But yeah I invited this same friend over to my house for a LAN and that’s how a whole friends group kind of started and we all got into DotA..
KC: That is a unique story as I’ve ever heard when it comes to DotA beginnings!
So, how did you make your transition to competitive DotA ?
Brandon: Dota 2 as a game is very competitive by nature. So when I found out there’s a local league (back in the Do Gaming League days) I called up all my friends and it was a very natural move for us. Then it just kind of progressed from there.
KC: If I’m not mistaken you are the full shabang! Captain, owner and player for HIVE is that correct?
Brandon: Yeah Basically 😀
KC: Are you guys veterans in the prem scene? What’s the short and sweet history of HIVE?
Brandon: Well I wouldn’t call us veterans of the prem scene, We’ve only been in prem since this year, although we have been around the scene for quite awhile. We only really started making proper head way sometime last year when we decided to take things a little more seriously.
KC: I’ve been checking out the HIVE gaming social media posts and to me it seems like you guys aren’t your run of the mill dota team (a Positive thing). Do you guys have any plans to grow the HIVE brand? Maybe take on a CSGO team and become a full MGO?
Brandon: So the plan is to bring in a CSGO team, maybe some other platforms as well to help build HIVE as an MGO. However we are taking it quite slowly right now. My primary focus for the moment is our Dota 2 team. I’m basically solely running HIVE and just don’t have the means to support another team right now. I think a mistake a lot of SA MGOs make is that they bring in all these teams to try increase the popularity of their MGOs but without offering much support. Which is kinda like a team with a fancy sticker next to their name, With the exceptions of course being some of the Masters teams and Sinister5 and Goliath Gaming.
KC: It’s not too often I get the chance to talk with people involved in the prem scene so I am going to hit you up with some hard hitting questions here.
What do you think is the biggest difference between the prem teams and the top 6 teams in Masters is, where does the gap come from?
Brandon: Hmmm tough one, I can’t say I know where that gap comes from but I will say that I think it’s closing quite rapidly with the progress that teams like Mythic and Sinister5 are making. Sinister5 beat Bravado the other day! Though both Sinister5 and Mythic are still quite a way off the top 4-5 teams in masters I still think the gap is closing quickly especially with the amount of masters players joining prem teams, Which in turn creates a better spread of talent.
KC: What are you and your team doing to bridge that gap at the top levels of South African DotA?
Brandon: At the moment a lot of our players have been busy with exams and stuff so our practice was put to a little halt. But in normal circumstances we aim to practice as a team 3-5 times a week and our practice mostly consists of us playing Captain’s mode ranked and high level scrims. We don’t really like scrimming against teams that are worse than us. And NEVER play SA pubs as a team. We like EU ranked a lot because of the sheer variety. Things are completely different from 1 game to the next, which is good.
KC: On the topic of talent, is there anyone ONE player in the prem division that stands out to you? Maybe the next star player?
Brandon: To answer that question let me give you some insight into the prem scene. The prem scene is very erratic, It’s not like masters where there’s a consistent trend of how teams perform. A good example would be my own team HIVE, In the second leg of the league, we finished 3rd tieing with 1st and 2nd place but then in the next leg we were fighting relegation, then finally in the 4th leg we were stable again. My point here is that teams in the prem division teams are just that – erratic.
Same goes for the players. So it’s really hard for me to pinpoint anyone stand out star. Although with a touch of bias I’d like to say my teammates Jeric, Snoops, and Malinky despite lacking experience of top level dota do show promise.
KC: So what you’re saying is yourself and Stunt are really weighing the team down? Kappa
Brandon: You asked about ‘potential’, not established players 😉
KC: I did!!
What are some of the changes you’d like to see in the Dota 2 scene or SA esports as a whole?
Brandon: Well I don’t particularly like the way the masters is run, or rather I dislike the format where the 9 masters slots are pre given to teams that have signed contracts. I understand why it’s done like that but the thing that gets to me is that there’s no qualifiers. I don’t know of any other leagues in the world that are run like that and it also creates the situation where teams like Bravado and Sinister5 are sitting on the sidelines while being really strong and teams like Ventus and DC that have been struggling are still there. Although those are issues, I feel we not in too bad of a shape now with other companies like Orena and Mega 8 getting involved because we’re not a all eggs in one basket scene anymore. And that is great!
KC: Thank you Brandon for taking time out to chat with me. Any last words for this interview?
Brandon: Shoutout to my boys at HIVE Gaming
Connect with Brandon on social media pages