As part of our on-going series profiling up-and-coming and established eSports teams around the country, we caught up with Energy’s Dota 2 squad eN.eVo to chat about the Telkom Digital Gaming League, problems with consistency and the local gaming scene.
The first thing that is striking about eVo, or at least Jeffrey ‘ImpacKt’ Waller who answered our questions, is that they make playing professional Dota 2 seem exactly like you’d want it would be. When asked to describe the team, the answer was simple:
“Not much to tell, just a bunch of lads keen to play some Dotes.”
We think that’ll resonate with a lot of folks. So much has come with the growth of eSports and the professionalisation of the scene that it is refreshing to be reminded that we all just want to play the games we love.
eVo have long been considered one of the top Dota 2 squads in South Africa and have a proud tournament history to prove it. Last year, they won the Do Gaming League Winter Leg and the Battle for the Thrown, while this year has seen them claim victory at the DGL Pre Season Cup and both of the first two legs of the Digital Gaming League Premier Division.
However, they haven’t always been able to consistently compete against the top teams and ImpacKt has a pretty clear idea about why that might be the case.
“We’re probably known on the scene as one of the most unstable rosters. I think the main reason for that is because we want the chemistry to be good on the team, and it’s hard to find five people that all get along well.
Because we’ve changed players so often it hinders our performance during the transition. Our overall performance jumps up and down while we adjust to the new player. That being said we only ever make changes to improve, and I feel like we are.”
The fact they’ve finished first in their last three competitions is pretty decent evidence he’s right, to be fair.
ImpacKt believes this focus on chemistry makes practicing together easier because everyone gets along, so criticism and advice are taken in the right spirit. Let’s be honest, Dota players are not the best at giving and receiving advice. If you’ve played a pub game, you’ll know what we’re talking about. You’re as likely to get some advice on improving your Dota play as you are to get advice on how to have relations with your mother.
Despite Energy’s relatively lofty position as an MGO in the local scene, they were a surprise omission from the Telkom DGL Masters, which is why their Dota 2 and CS:GO teams have been left to tear up the Premier Division. Hopefully that won’t be the case for too much longer, because as we discovered last week in our chat with Robert ‘iNFy’ Hart, Telkom will be considering new teams for the Masters after this year’s DGL Championship.
“A while back [Energy team manager] Kas ‘CAWA’ Ahmad made an announcement that there was a conflict between the Masters contracts and eN’s sponsor contract. He wanted to join but there wasn’t enough time to resolve the issue.
We are missing out a bit since we don’t get to play any of the top teams during the DGL legs. However there are other non-DGL tournaments where we get to play against them. Overall I don’t think it has hampered us too much, but of course we are looking to become a Masters team in the future.”
While ImpacKt is generally positive about the local eSports scene, his sentiments echo something we saw written on far too many of our school report cards: Shows potential, must try harder. Which is just a nice way of saying we have all the right ingredients, but we need to get our shit together.
“Overall I think the local gaming scene is improving, the number of higher level teams has increased. The tournaments currently are always good, the more the better.
It would be amazing if the tournaments were able to increase in prize pool and frequency to motivate current and new players to practice and get better. I don’t think any SA teams come close to that of top level international teams on any of those factors.
I do think that there are some individuals who have the potential to get there if they had time to put in the required hours.
Most local teams are lacking time to practice and teams to practice against. There are too many other factors (studies, relationships, work, etc) that are more important for most players to be spending between six and eight hours a day, or more, practicing and there are too few teams for everyone to constantly be practicing against each other.
The size of the gaming community needs to increase so that there’s always a team that’s better and available to practice against.”
eVo have begun the third leg of the Telkom DGL Premier League well, beating MDKClouds End 2-0 in their first game to take up a familiar spot near the top of the leaderboard.
Hopefully for eVo, and their Premier League opponents, we’ll be seeing them in the Masters League sooner rather than later.
Energy.eVo are (From left to right in the picture above):
Rynhardt ‘RDK’ de Kock, Jeffrey ‘ImpacKt’ Waller, Donal ‘225’ Quinn, Nash ‘Mikasa’ Dong and Bernhardt ‘SoDa’ Van Heerden.
One last treat before you go. We’ve got a visual aid to show you which heroes the guys from Energy enjoy playing and why. We’re so fancy. Don’t say we never give you anything.