Welcome back to the Kaameel Chicktay DOTA blog. Today I’m joined by Alex “F3arbender” Burger and Cameron “Gerald” Solomon from Sinister5! The Sinister5 team are in herculean form at the moment being the Number 1 Prem team in the DGL, Qualifying for the MTN Mega8 Winter Cup with 3-1 record and sweeping the Bravado boys 2- 0 in the Amber Showdown! So naturally we want to get to know a little bit more about Sinister5.
KC: When and how did you guys form the team?
Alex: The Sinister5 Dota2 team was started late 2016 when I left Flipside Tactics after having been approached by friends of mine to help get the Sinister5 MGO off of its feet and try make a name for itself in the coming year. The team’s lineup changed a lot over the months with players coming in and out on a regular basis, seeing some success with good friends of mine – 27 and Aspire – as we went all the way from ladder to Prem division. After differences in opinions and commitments amongst players however we were left with the uphill battle of recruiting two new players. I started scouting out possible players that could suit our team and ended up convincing Traxion and Gerald to leave both Ventus and DC respectively to form our current lineup.
KC: Late 2016! Wow. That’s quite a sharp rise to the point of knocking on the door of top 8! So what does Sin5 do that differentiates them from the rest of the teams that seem to be on the cusp of breaking into the top tiers of SA eSports. What makes Sin5 special?
Alex: Firstly, we have a great management team behind the organization with passion even surpassing that of the players at times, with their support to all the players reaching very great heights consistently which fosters a strong sense of family that allows us to both celebrate our victories and work through our defeats. Secondly, we have a very great coach that puts as much time in as possible to ensure that we are on top form both individually and team-wise which really helps to bring out the best performance we can possibly give. Lastly, we are very committed to becoming as good as we can possibly be by putting as much time in as we can humanly manage.
KC: What do you guys do for team practice and how many hours do you spend practicing as a team?
Cameron: I’d say we practice around 5 hours a day on weekdays and a bit more on weekends.
We do a lot of solo ranked, usually playing around 7 games a day. We also try scrim different teams to try out different drafts. With the new patch and meta changing we’ve just been playing party games to see what works with what.
KC: What are your personal goals and what are the goals for the Sinister5 Dota 2 team going forward?
Alex: My personal goal and that of the Sinister5 Dota2 Team is to one day be the very best team in South Africa no matter how much hard work and time it will take to achieve. #TheDreamIsReal.
KC: Wish you all the best on that. Do you guys have a star player?
Cameron: Going to have to go with our mid player, F3arBender. When game gets hard he usually the one cleaning up our shit.
KC: No comment from Alex 😉
KC: What are your biggest frustrations in SA eSports scene?
Cameron: I think SA Dota is in a good spot. There are other factors that indirectly affect SA Dota however, things like the internet in the country, the broken servers, the players not getting good exposure, the lack of exposure for eSports itself in this country. Smaller tournaments not having good infrastructure, not having large enough prize money to make the LANs worth it, not being able to accommodate teams. It’s also quite difficult to tell what’s official and what’s not. Usually you just hear about things through other players, there aren’t many SA eSports “news” channels.
KC: What are some things that you would you like to see happen in the world of SA eSports in the near future?
Alex: I would like to see consistent investments coming from major companies into the SA eSports scene to allow continual growth where full-time gaming in SA might even become a feasible option for players and in so-doing release the older generation of SA’s citizens from the stigma against gaming and eSports.
KC: Yes Indeed. Hopefully in the future we will see that stigma fade away. In terms of your competition, which are some of Sin5’s rival teams? Who do you guys fear the most and which team is your guys favourite team to beat?
Alex: Haha I think it goes without saying that our biggest rival is Mythic Gaming as they have joined us on our journey climbing the ranks from ladder to the top of Prem as the year progressed having faced off on a number of occasions, huge respect to them and their common goal of becoming the best in SA. Of the teams in South Africa I would say the team we fear the most is Energy eSports, their recent lineup change has really brought forth massive success for them and I believe they have what it takes to beat even White Rabbit Gaming on a good day.
KC: What do you guys think about the new 7.06 patch?
Cameron: I think it’s amazing patch. Unfortunately it hurts our style a little bit, but we’re working around it. I think a lot of teams and players are affected by massive patches like this. The patch opens up windows for more heroes to be played in different roles, also brings back the mighty Sven!
KC: This weekend 8 of the top SA Dota teams go into battle in the DGL (VS Gaming) Masters Cup. What are your guys predictions going into the master’s cup this weekend?
1st place: White Rabbit Gaming
Alex: The dominant force in South Africa at the moment so of course first place
2nd place: Energy eSports
Alex: Their performances lately show that they are definitely in the top2 of sa dota
Cameron: Super stable looking team. We’ve scrimmed against them a few times and they know how to play the map very well.
3rd place: xTc Gaming
Alex: think xTc definitely has what it takes to be third with powerhouse players like Depi and Adastam
4th place: Aperture Gaming better known as APG
5th place: exDee
Cameron: Could possibly make 4th if they get Puck. PogChamp
6th place, Mythic Gaming.
7th place: Pulse
8th place: Veneration better known as VnR.
Cameron: Not too sure about the bottom 3, haven’t really followed much of their Dota from anything besides Mega8 qualifiers.
KC: Thank you guys so much for doing this interview! Any last things you guys would like to share with the DotA world?
Cameron: Guess I would like to finish by saying good luck to all the teams this weekend at the Masters LAN. We’ll be watching!
KC: Sadly I won’t be casting 🙁 this weekend. Sinister5 is certainly a team to keep on your radar and they definitely have my support! Best of luck to them. I look forward to watching more of their games and hopefully casting some of them too.