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StarsBoba on the return

By 'KuroSagi1337'
Apr 10, 2012 18:13

ImageSK managed to snap an interview with SB.Archie the leader of "Vietnamese pride": StarsBoba.

Once being a major force in the Asian scene, VN StarsBoba has bitterly seen a sharp decline in performance lately due to roster change and sponsorship instability. Today we are glad to sit down with VN 'Archie' to discuss the future of the team and also their switch to Dota 2, along with the passion that they have for the game.

Thank you for accepting this interview by SK Gaming. Let’s get started with a short introduction, shall we?
Hi, my name is Tran Minh Nhut; most known in-game with the nickname Archie. I’m 20 years old and playing for StarsBoba.

When did you start playing Dota and how long have you been a member of StarsBoba?
I started playing around May, 2008 and I joined StarsBoba on February, 2009. Yeah, it has been more than 3 years for me *smile*

What has been your most remarkable achievement with StarsBoba so far?
It was back in 2010 when we were able to defend the champion title in Singapore. The grand final against was truly unforgettable!
StarsBoba winning ACG 2010 (from left to right: Yuna, Batteu, Soso.On, Yakumo, David21, Archie) - photo's courtesy of

StarsBoba has been quite silent on the competitive scene over the past year and your former captain Soso.On also announced his retirement after TGX2011. What do you have to say about that?
The main problem of the team at that time was that Soso.On was running dry on his passion for Dota so he shifted focus towards his work and personal life. We respected his decision and keep on playing.

After the departure of Soso.On, did StarsBoba have to make any significant change in playstyle?
Despite SoSo.On leaving, we still decided to carry on with what we have done. However, I have to admit that losing him is still a big loss to us, thus some changes will probably be made.

Can you be more specific about these changes?
We will divide the roles between players more concretely. As you can see from our recent games, we rarely played with a hard-carry and it did not really work out for us, so some will have to take this role.

How are the roles divided among all the players?
Jessica: Support
Recca & Yuna: Semi-carry, Carry, Solo
Archie: Ganker, Semi-carry
Batteu: Hard carry
David21: Support, Ganker

The first season of GEST was a success of StarsBoba when the team managed to grab the second prize. However, the second season did not turn out really well for you guys. What was the reason behind this?
This time we did not have enough practice prior to the tournament, due to certain personal obligations. We only trained together for a couple of days before the matches so it was more or less a foreseenable result.

Are you working or studying at the moment? How can you guys manage the time to spare for practicing together?
Yea I am working. For now we can only practice together during weekends.

Now you are playing LoL, Dota and Dota 2 simultanously; how do you compare between these three ARTS games?
I think that each title has its own unique features and gives us different taste for excitement. I haven’t had too much time playing Dota 2 but in the future I think Dota 2 and LoL will take over the esports scene.

What is your impression of Dota 2?
At first I could not get used to the game due to vast differences to the WC3 engine, but after quite a time I start to get addicted to the game, especially with the graphics. However, some heroes need certain tweaks, such as Lion or Kunkka, his animation is kinda funny.

Will we see StarsBoba make a switch to Dota 2 in the near future? Especially when the Asian Dota 2 community is growing rapidly, with Philippine, Malaysian and Singaporean and even Chinese top-teams starting to shift their focus to Dota 2.
Yes we will be there. Watch out for the return of StarsBoba! Dota 2 has rejuvenated our passion and we will deliver the highest level of play *laugh*

Awesome brotherhood is the best teamwork!

StarsBoba could not participate in The International 1 due to visa problems, which was a huge pity to the fans. Do you guys set your aim for the tickets to Seattle this year?
Yea, it’s a shame that we missed TI 1 *sad face* But this year we will be fighting hard for a slot in the tournament of the year!

It was confirmed that the invitation will be sent out based on performance and achievements of the team. Is this a disadvantage that StarsBoba started out a little late in Dota 2?
Disadvantages mean nothing if you really put efforts in what you do. We will take part in as many tournaments as possible and do the best that we can.

Have you participated in any Dota 2 tournament so far, and how was the results?
We signed up for the Moscow 5 Open tournament, but we had to stop at the Round of 4. The tournament was played in Europe servers where all of us had huge ping, so we could not be our true selves there.

What do you think about the strategies that European teams are employing?
Their playstyle has impressed me a lot. Their strategy centers around a gank/push orientation and thus heroes like Chen or Enchantress, who possess a lot of pushing power during early game, are constant picks.

Switching to Dota 2, will StarsBoba carry on the fast-paced and aggressive style that has made your fan-favourite trademark?
Yes, we will be the same StarsBoba that we have always been. That will never change unless we disband or all the fans turn their back on us *smile* We are also working really hard to take our play to the next level since we know that other teams are praticing intensively.

StarsBoba will take part in the upcoming ProDota2 League, going head-to-head with many regional top-tier teams at present namely Absolute Legends, Orange, MUFC, Zenith, MiTH.Trust and also two Chinese powerhouses CLC and DK. What do you think about your opponents and also your chance to win?
All of the teams in this tournament are very strong so this will not be easy for us. We will take every game as a grand final and pour out 1000% of your effort into it. We do not set a firm goal for this tournament but we hope to go as far as possible *smile* Also about Zenith, I think that hyhy and us seem to have something special. We had to watch out for him in Dota 1 and now we still can’t get rid of him in Dota 2 *laugh*

In your opinion, what is your chance of winning versus Zenith?
It’s a fair and square battle, so the chance are 50/50.

Do you regularly watch streams and replays to study your opponents?
Yes we watch as many streams and replays as possible to get some insights about the game and other teams as well.

Which Dota 2 team has impressed you the most so far?
It’s Na`Vi. They are a stable roster and each of them has the ability to make a significant difference in the game. And Dendi’s Butcher is justa pure joy to watch.

Vietnamese Dota Community has always been addressed as one of the most promising however could not attain stable development as seen in other neighboring community such as China, Philippines or Malaysia. What is the cause of this sad fact?
In my opinion, esports as a whole are not widely recognized in Vietnam and thus does not get adequate support. This really holds back the development of the esports community, which includes Dota as well.

By adequate support, did you mean financial sponsorship?
Yes, definitely. StarsBoba have been struggling a lot to find a stable sponsor. Apart from the fact that professional gaming are so socially ignored and generally negatively perceived here; we also have strong real-life obligations and it’s very hard to focus on Dota and still be able to support ourselves. With reliable financial backing, I’m sure that we can compete with the very top teams in the world, including China!
StarsBoba Dota 2 squad. From left to right: Yuki (Manager), Yuna, Jessica, David21, Batteu, Archie

There were sources saying that Neolution had agreed to provide sponsorship for the team. Didn’t this proposal come in reality?
They had some attention towards us, but there was no official agreement signed. I guess they focus more on the Thai scene as their priority. However, hopefully we can collaborate with Neolution one day *smile*

Along with the expansion of the Dota 2 community, some heroes which used to be thrown into oblivion in Dota 1 such as Tiny, Jakiro, Axe or Yurnero has been occasionally picked up by pro teams. What do you think about these changes?
With those forgotton beasts slowly making their returns, Dota 2 matches now give lot more entertainment to enjoy and also new strategies have been created around those heroes.

If you are allowed to pick any four players to complete a Dream Team, who would they be?
If possible I want to bring back the old roster of StarsBoba in 2009, with Soso.On, Hamchoi, Yuna and David21. They are always the dream team for me.

We have reached the end of the interview. Do you have any last shoutouts to all your fans out there?
We would like to send our dearest thank to all our fans out there, who have been with us through all the ups and downs, you guys are the best! We promise to improve in the future and get back to the top!



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