Leet sits down with DeMoN, aka Jimmy Ho, from Evil Geniuses' pro Dota 2 team to discuss their current winning form in the RaidCall Dota 2 league, coping with difficult games and the potential for esports to go mainstream.
Jimmy also reveals his favourite match of all time and what's next for Evil Geniuses. Oh, and baked potatoes.
Name: Jimmy Ho, aka DeMoN
Team: Evil Geniuses
Headset: SteelSeries Siberia V2 Frost Blue
Keyboard: SteelSeries 6GV2 Red Switch
Mouse: SteelSeries Sensei [Raw] Rubber
Essential tournament food: Baked Potatoes from Papa's in Denmark
Could you introduce yourself? What's your role within Evil Geniuses?
Hello, my name is Jimmy Ho, otherwise known as DeMoN. My main role within the team is often to run what's known as the 'suicide lane'. I also occasionally switch to solo mid and support, depending on the role my team needs me to play.
You guys have just notched up six wins in six games so far in the RaidCall Dota 2 league - congrats! Did you expect to get off to such a flying start?
Thank you! We honestly didn't expect to have such a strong start, despite how confident we are going into all of our matches. I feel we walked into each match with the right mindset and belief that we can win every game. Unfortunately, it doesn't always pan out the way we were hoping.
The community likes to poke fun at our occasional losses over Twitter with the hashtag #EGThrows. Once we're able to overcome these in-game issues, I can see us winning many championships in the future.
What are your expectations for the remainder of the current league? How far can you go?
We honestly expect to take first place. This would be our first major win with our new roster and I believe we have what it takes to achieve this. We've already secured our spot in the playoffs, so now it all comes down to our performance during the D2L finals weekend.
Why start up the RaidCall Dota 2 league? How is RaidCall involved?
It's obvious that Dota 2 is one of the fastest growing esports. I think RaidCall is making a very smart choice investing in the game. If recent stream numbers are any indication of where this game is headed, I believe it has a bright future.
It's also important that the top teams have a place where they can compete against each other for great prizes. Best of all, the fans get the opportunity to watch free, high quality Dota 2 matches almost daily. It's a win-win!
What are your ambitions for the league in the future?
I personally love the format of D2L and wish other leagues would follow suit. It's tough to explain exactly why I enjoy it, but for me, it just has a different feel compared to other tournaments. I hope to be able to compete in every season of the D2L until I retire from gaming, which hopefully won't be for a long time.
Tell us a bit about Evil Geniuses - what sets you apart from other teams?
Like I mentioned in an earlier response, we're an extremely confident team. While some teams struggle with the mental aspect of the game or don't have strong chemistry, I believe we've got great chemistry. I strongly believe we're one of the best teams in the world. We just need to work on our overall consistency a bit.
What tournament or event are you most looking forward to next?
I would have to say the offline finals of the G-1 League in China. Due to their passion for Dota 2, I would love to experience the atmosphere at that event. I expect them to go big at their first tournament. Aside from that, I would have to say The International 3 - I can't wait for that event either!
You currently don't have a League of Legends team. Is this something you're considering?
I am sure EG's management has considered potentially signing a League of Legends team, but it obviously hasn't happened yet. There's likely a good reason, as their management team is very intelligent and experienced. Maybe it's due to the fact that their Dota 2 team is amazing and there's no reason to sign another MOBA team.
What do you think about Riot Games' Brandon Beck saying esports will become an Olympic event? Do you agree with this?
I honestly don't know. It's difficult to agree or disagree, but it's certainly possible that esports will become an Olympic event 20-30 years from now. However, it might never happen.
I feel our main goal should be to try to get on television, specifically on mainstream networks like ESPN or CBS. I think we should start there first before we make the jump to the Olympics.
Equally, what do you think about certain pro esports teams forfeiting matches for fun or conspiring? Do you think this will prevent esports from progressing into a more mainstream sport?
Esports will never go mainstream unless teams start taking competition seriously. Teams can't keep forfeiting matches for fun. This makes us look very unprofessional. If you've scheduled a match for a specific time, I believe you owe it to the fans and your opponents to show up.
Frequent forfeits hurt the reputation of not only the teams and players, but also the reputation of the entire tournament. Quality games always bring in more spectators.
When can we expect your first weekly highlight videos to go live?
We're hoping for it to be released very soon. Trust me; it's going to be worth the wait.
What advice would you give to anyone looking to become an esports professional like yourself?
First, you need to choose a role model, either just one person or a few people. Second, you need to aspire to be like them, learning their techniques and striving to improve. Third, you need to remain dedicated and never give up, even when things get frustrating or you’re on a losing streak. These are the three keys that made me what I am today.
Bdiz and Jeyo have just joined your team. How have they settled in so far and what do you make of them?
They're both fitting in very well within the team. Jeyo is one of the fastest rising stars in the world mainly due to his exciting, aggressive play style. He's the type of player we've been missing for a long time. Bdiz excels in being a team player with world class support abilities. His willingness to sacrifice for the overall good of his team has been one of the main reasons for our success. He’s the best American support player I've ever played with.
What's your best way to unwind after a particularly difficult game?
This depends entirely on the situation and whether we win or lose, as my response will be completely different for each. If we win, we just sit back and enjoy the moment. If we lose, we take a deep breath, let out all of our frustrations and stress, get over it, and move on.
There's always time to reflect back on the replay to find out exactly what went wrong, but there's no reason to let your emotions control how you play in your next match.
What's your weirdest or funniest tournament memory?
I would have to say back when I was with MYM and we played against Na'Vi in the Grand Finals for Farm4Fame. Our throne hit ~100 hp and we were able to make a comeback to win the match.
I experienced all kinds of emotions during that match, so it's my most memorable for sure. You can watch the game here:
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would of course like to thank EG's sponsors RaidCall, Intel, SteelSeries, Monster Energy, Kingston HyperX, Beyond Gaming, Sapphire and all the rest!