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Report: MSSA Dota 2 National Team Trials

Last Saturday our local top Dota2 teams gathered to battle it out in the MSSA National Team Trials. It was the final championship before the National Team will be selected that will represent South Africa in the test match against Romania. Bravado Gaming walked away as the winning team on Saturday, I caught up with the Dota2 team captain, Anthony "scant" Hodgson for feedback.     

Nat Trials.jpg

From left to right: Dylan 'Radox' Probyn, Wesley 'oDu' Rose, Anthony 'scant' Hodgson, Justin 'Smke' Probyn

How did you find the skill level of the top SA teams?

The turnout at the event was unfortunately quite low. Only 5 teams competed at National Trials. A lot of the top teams in SA aren't based in Gauteng and couldn't afford transport. Meanwhile, some others did not qualify online and, given the dates of the qualifiers and trials, weren't able to qualify regionally.

In terms of skill level, of those who did attend there was quite a range, really. The event was a round robin with 5 teams. We won all 4 of our matches, I believe Energy won 3, ROCC won 2, Rain won 1, and St John's won 0. Honestly I think that roughly describes what the skill level was like. We had one very formidable opponent, one quite formidable opponent, a straightforward match and a walk in the park. Since bvd, eN and ROCC all attended, and bvd and eN both used subs from IM.Bashers, the so-called 'top four' were all represented in one way or another. So at it's toughest, the skill level was about as tough as it gets.  

What were the highlights of the event for Bravado Gaming?

A standout moment for me would be in our match vs Energy when they made one last-ditch attempt at winning, picking up a rapier and going for an all-in push. At this point we had the gold to backup facing them head-on, with the security that our important heroes could buy out if things went south. However, our Antimage, Dylan "Radox" Probyn was able to get off a very good ultimate on one of the supports, in the process hitting their Phantom Lancer very hard with the Area of Effect (aoe) damage - and the fight just about began and ended right there.  

MSSA.jpg

The MSSA received a lot of criticism over its structure. How did you experience the National Trials?

Round Robin was used at the trials. The structure of the tournament might improve in future by having best of three matches instead of best of one match. Of course, this would require more time.  

How will Bravado Gaming prepare, should you be selected for the test match against Romania?

Well, technically, we've not yet been selected to represent South Africa. But under the presumption that the team we attended trials with will get SA colours and compete versus Romania, the first step will be working out who will play. This is because we had a player from IM.Bashers playing with us in place of our fifth, who had an exam on Saturday. What this means is that 1 of the Bravado players cannot compete for the SA team, even as a reserve. Once the selection process is finalized, I believe we will have to pick reserves.

Following this, between the four of us bvd guys, our fifth at the event - Wazeer 'Waz_maC' Kamdar - and the 2 reserves, we will probably try to work out which 5 are likely to play versus Romania, once we know the exact date of the test match. Once this is all finalized we can begin to train. Of course, since the team will consist of 4 Bravado players regardless of what happens, bvd's continued training regime will serve the dual purpose of training us for the test match/es too.

Bravado Gaming.jpg  

Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to Andreas Hadjipaschali and all the guys at Bravado who organized our flights accommodation and transport for the weekend and who continue to provide excellent support and a good competitive environment for everyone at Bravado. Also, special thanks must be given to our sponsors, Alienware and Intel.  

I also caught up with the president of the MSSA, Colin Webster, for his take on the National Trials.

Is the MSSA happy with the turn out of teams for the National Trials?

The MSSA is more than happy with the turnout. The top teams were present and the commitment to the Trials by the gamers was admirable. There is no doubt that this was the hardest Dota 2 event in the country, and every team that participated played their hearts out.  

Are there any areas where the MSSA can improve on for the next tournament?

There are always areas where any event can be improved upon. So it is with Trials. But, especially for Dota 2, the Trials will become more-and-more of a fixture on the annual calendar of events, which will give gamers the opportunity to prepare for the Trials through a yearlong process. While the 2013 Trials may have been played at short notice, through a number of unfortunate events, next year will see everybody better prepared.  

Colin.jpg

What are your expectations for the test match?

The Test Match will tax the South African Team to the core! It will be a case of no quarter given, and none received. However, I am confident in that the team will perform to the best of its ability and will do us all proud.  

The team though, is not yet selected, as the MSSA is following due process, being:  

  1. Ratification by the Selection Committee and the Management Board
  2. The Team Captain then advises the Management Board of the two reserves
  3. Documentation is then sent to the Protea Colours Board
  4. Only when approval is received from the Protea Colours Board can the Official Award Ceremony and the official announcement of the team be done.  

Any shoutouts from the MSSA?

Thus special thanks must be extended to all who participated, to all the MSSA officials, to all the clubs that ensured their participation, and to all the sponsors (MWEB and AMD), that made the event happen.  

MSSA: Twitter | Facebook / Bravado Gaming: Twitter | Facebook | Website

(All photos courtesy of Bravado Gaming, view the full album here.

Closing thoughts

There were some (not so unfounded) complaints about the National Trials. We want to therefore thank each team that took each problem and worked it out in order to attend. Your effort is appreciated.  

We also want to thank the MSSA for its continued efforts to improve its structure and competitions. Lastly we want to thank AMD as co-sponsor for the event.  

Next up for Dota2 South Africa is the selection of the National Team and the test match against Romania.  Keep an eye on GameZone for an update on the match schedule and team selection.

Han’s Twitter | Blog / MWEB Gamezone Twitter | Facebook

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Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and not MWEB Connect (Pty) Ltd

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