+SSG+Electron takes the time to Speak to Captain Anthony ‘Scant’ Hodgson of Bravado Gaming. Asking him about the DGC 2013, His plans for DGC 2014, The Current Meta after the 6.79 Patch and also some tactics which they as a team use.
Q: Do you mind telling us more about yourself, Your gaming history with Bravado Gaming and experience?
A: I’m 25 years old, I work for UCT’s Philosophy Department as a tutor [and occasionally do some other part-time work] so as to support my attempts at a career in gaming. My passion is playing Dota 2 but I try to get involved in various ways, doing the occasional casting and writing MY BLOG. I’ve been playing for Bravado Gaming since the start of 2012 and have had an excellent relationship with them all the way through. Bravado is an incredibly supportive organization and does wonders for us, given the context within which the industry exists in in South Africa.
Q: You are a well known player in the community if not the best drafting player in South Africa. How did the changes of 6.79 change your drafting and how did you keep up with the latest changes, picks and bans after the patch?
A: I watch a lot of pro matches, analyze replays, analyze the patch itself, discuss it with teammates and friends. Basically, I spend a lot of my time thinking about Dota. The 6.79 patch made the game a lot less passive but, to a large extent, I had always like picking aggressively anyway. I would say my picks have only changed in terms of priorities. The most sought after heroes are slightly different now and, beyond them, I usually prioritize supports at the start of the draft rather than cores.
Q: What would you say are the biggest changes affecting teams after the 6.79 patch?
A: The metagame is extremely open at the moment. Nobody in the world has figured out a ‘best way to play this version’. What this means is that teams are required to adapt their mindset to each particular draft, instead of being able to get used to a mindset that works in most drafts. A lot of teams struggle to do this.
Q: When playing at the DGC we saw some really interesting bans/picks that worked really well for you and your team, can you tell us how the process works with your team regarding how they should practice heroes? Do you discuss the picks and latest meta with your team so they know what to play or do you guys all watch replays together to know what you will be drafting in future games?
A: Our preparation for DGC was a bit of a mess. At various points in time we were missing various players and many people were busy with exams, including one player who could not even attend for that reason. A few weeks before DGC I did suggest a short list of heroes that each player focus on and that I’d prioritize picking for them. However, one of our main strategies that we ended up using during the event was designed only during the tournament [Chen + Abaddon + Weaver etc.].
Q: Recently you guys have teamed up with players from Energy E Sports to take on some international teams. How did that go and how was it like playing with another top Tear team that you guys have clashed against many times?
A: We have all been playing together a lot – this is partially because teams are considering roster changes but mostly just because everyone took a break after DGC so people played with whoever was around. That said, most of the top SA players are friends with each other so it’s not really a new thing to play together. I get on well with pretty much all the Energy guys and have a good time playing with them.
Q: Is there a rivalry between you guys and Energy When you play with/against each other?
A: There’s definitely a rivalry between our two sides when we play against each other. We both definitely see one another as the main competition, locally speaking. Often we are each other’s only competition, locally, to be honest. Because of this, we are two teams looking to take our game further than just SA which, almost by implication, suggests that we’d expect to be winning the local stuff. The result is that neither of our teams likes to lose any local matches, especially versus one another
Q: I have noticed when going online you are Spectating a International Game most of the time. Is that how you get up to date with all the latest Drafts or is there some reading and forums that you also use as guidance?
A: I definitely don’t use any kind of forums to inform my drafting. Like I said above, it’s a combination of watching pro games/replays, fooling around experimenting in pubs, analyzing, brainstorming and discussing.
Q: With DGC behind us and only starting in a few months what do you keep youself busy with these days? Do you still play as much with your team? Or are you already preparing for next years DGL?
A: At the moment, my focus in terms of Dota 2 is finalizing our roster for next year and working to strengthen it. In terms of competitions, as alluded to above, our goals are a bit higher than DGC (Not that we won’t continue to compete locally – we will). We enter every European Cup we can and are constantly aiming to achieve better results in those.
Q: Being in the best competitive clan in South Africa is there any other games that you play with your fellow mates on a competitive level?
A: I don’t play any other games that Bravado supports at a competitive level. I am a highly competitive Magic the Gathering player and have recently begun to play Hearthstone a bit. That said, it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to juggle both competitive Dota 2 and another competitive game properly. So yeah, when I’m at my PC, it’s pretty much always about Dota2. Also, the crossover within our clan is mostly the other direction – All the fps guys seem to play Dota2, but most of the Dota2 guys don’t play FPS games much 😛
Q: Who is your favourite international Team, Player and can you state for what reason they are your favourite?
A: Team: DK – Because finally there is an Allstar team that doesn’t have any stars I dislike.
Player: EternalEnvy – Because I feel like I relate to the way he thinks. Everything he writes about the game, and many of the decisions he makes in the game or answers he offers in interviews just really make sense to me.
Q: To all the people reading that wants to improve their game and wants to follow you do you have any blogs/twitter accounts that they can follow or streams?
A: As said above, my Dota 2 blog is @ MY BLOG. I have a Twitter account but I’ve basically never used it. I hope to be able to start streaming sometime in the future but, as of yet, I have never been able to consistently do so with the PC/internet I’ve had.
SSG Thanks Anthony ‘Scant’ Hodgson for his time to speak with us and will be looking forward to his team’s performance in the Do Gaming League 2014.