Stinger: "I bought my own PC only in 2016, and I have played Dota since 2009" Exclusive
Beastcoast captain Steven "StingeR" Vargas Mamani spoke to our journalist Polina Mashina at 4D Esports Lima Major 2023. They discussed region specifics, their chances at the event, and talked about Hector "K1" Rodriguez's and SA carries' playstyles.
— SA Dota showed a lot of progress last year. Why is the region so strong now?
— I think our region was strong for a couple of last years because there was new blood, and new players were coming with a lot of enthusiasm to play better. And the support from the organizations helps as well. Five years ago, they didn't pay more than $200. But with time, resources, and the first teams going to compete in Europe or China, they made the scene grow. For the last two years, we made strong teams because the best players decided to play together.
— What differentiates South America from other regions? There's an opinion that you have more aggressive Dota. What do you think, and do you agree with that?
— Yeah, we play pretty aggressively. Sometimes we want to fight before our strongest moments, before the timings. Because we see the opportunity and we take it fast. Sometimes, in SA we fight a lot and push to the fights very fast.
— I heard you have fiber optics, which allow you to play with Europe with low ping. Two years ago there were not many SA players on EU servers and now there are a lot of them, what has changed?
— I think we still play with lag in Europe. We play with 160 ms ping. I don't play in Europe.
— I'm asking because I saw a lot of SA players in pubs from your region. They play with this ping, right?
— Some of them play with this ping, or they are from Brazil. You have less ping there, like 120-110 ms. It's more playable. But from Peru, for me, it's a lot of lag.
— Does your team play scrims with Europeans during the season?
— During the season, no. We scrim with NA teams. I know Evil Geniuses play scrims with European teams. But they are in Brazil. In Lima, no.
— What are the strong sides of SA Dota teams?
— I think our carries are really good. They farm really fast, faster than other regions. In my team, K1 would rather farm than go to fight early until he has his items to survive a teamfight. When he can, he goes to a fight. So, even if we lose, he can survive after killing 2-3 heroes. He is still growing and getting more items than the enemy carry. In the late game, we win because of that if we have a good hero.
— What's your results at scrims this Major? Do you have high win rate or not?
— They were good. We draw all the scrims [laughs]. Yeah, we've been lazy sometimes in scrims, maybe that's why. But we are playing good, I think. And we can 2-0 the next series.
— What are the problems you may've noticed during these games, and what are you working on?
— We're working on prioritizing some heroes. Maybe we need to fix teamfights. I don't think we play them clean enough, so sometimes we lose because of it. And that's it.
— What players from your region do you watch, and who do you admire?
— I used to do that 3-4 years ago. Then I realized, several times, when I watched replays, that I was doing the same or maybe better in some cases. Even with Wolves [2015, 2017], I started doing a lot of things first. So I stopped watching replays. I do it sometimes because I don't play too many heroes throughout the season. That's why I watch replays from TORONTOTOKYO or Solo. Just to know how they lane with these heroes that I don't pick in my region. After that, I can compare it with my idea of how to play a hero and decide how to do it the best.
— Do you watch only Eastern European players?
— Chinese players, as well. He changed his name, but, Innocence [y`]. He changed it to Why You Smile, or something like that.
— Do you think that the home arena and fans' support will help you to perform better here? Or does it cause more responsibility or fear? Like, you need to win because they are your fans?
— During the group stage, I don't feel the pressure. In the arena, I don't know yet. Maybe, it will be like you said. We could be inspired or have pressure to win because they will be sad if we lose. So I don't know yet, because it is the first time.
— Are you happy about the tournament in Lima?
— Yeah, I'm happy because I can feel for my whole friends who play Dota. For the first time, some of them can go to the Major and have that really good feeling, the energy of the arena with all the teams. I hope this event goes well, and we'll have more of them from Valve. Maybe, in Brazil, I don't know, but in South America.
— Which SA city would you like to see an event in? Maybe Rio?
— Yeah, some place in Brazil.
— Fan support here is huge. There are a lot of fans. Because Dota is dying in most regions, like Europe or NA. But in South America and Eastern Europe, it's still popular. Why do you think it's happening?
— I think kids here in Lima or Peru, they play in cabinas (LAN-cafes). There's a lot of them here. They can go to these places and play for half an hour or an hour. Maybe Dota is popular here because they don't have PCs at home.
— Did you play in such places?
— Yeah, I didn't have a PC until I won one qualifier and went to an international event. After that, I bought my PC. I did it in 2016, and I have played Dota since 2009.
— Maybe it's because South America isn't rich, just like the majority of Eastern Europe, and people look for ways to earn money. And they can see your example of being successful by playing Dota.
— Yeah, it could be. They can make a career from that. And it's fun. You have fun, you have money.
After two days in Lima, beastcoast has 3 draws in bo2s. They share 5-6th place in their group. Evil Geniuses, in another group, have 2 draws and 1 loss, currently in the elimination zone. 4D Esports Lima Major 2023 takes place in Peru from February 24 to March 5, with 18 teams attending. The prize pool of the event is $500,000.