Interview with GGnet GoDZ
Tue 9th Oct 2012 - 6:21pm
Recently I have came into contact with David 'GoDZ' Parker, who works as a caster for GosuGamers. GoDZ talks to us about his life in E-sports a long with a quick breakdown of 6.75 patch!
Hey GoDZ thanks for taking this interview with Dignitas! So how long have you been playing dota for now?
GoDZ: I started playing my first games of DotA about 6-7 years ago when my friends/teammates from Footman Frenzy (wc3 custom map) convinced me to give the game a try.
What are some of your hobbies either growing up or right now outside of dota?
GoDZ: There's an outside of Dota!?!? Growing up I was quite athletic, or maybe just my parents wanted me to be (I'm also very tall). I was quite good at playing basketball, soccer, and especially tennis. For a while I was training 4 days a week, playing matches on 2 days, with only one day without tennis while living in Singapore.
I think I had ideas of my mind about "going pro", but I spent too much spare time on the computer, rather than bulking up at the gym (later I got some injuries because of this). I'm happy that I found a life within e-sports, especially since I probably wasn't good enough to play professional tennis.
How long have you been casting for? What made you want to pick it up?
GoDZ: When I moved back to Australia as a fairly estabilished and competent DotA player, I was somewhat annoyed by the lack of a scene in Australia - there was tournaments here and there and some decent competitive teams, but no real "interest". I reguarly played the SECs tournaments which MadMortigan casted and loved watching him when our team got knocked out (we made a few finals).
I had this idea I could start casting the few tournaments that the Australian scene did run, started off with just the 30-100 viewers who were mostly players from other teams, and grew from there when GosuGamers accepted me to cast for them, casting whatever European teams I could as well.
At the international you were with Nebula Bruno and 2GD talking and analyzing after each game, did you enjoy doing it? What was your international experience like in general?
GoDZ: I definitely enjoyed it - but it had a weird feeling to it - it was my job to provide the best quality insight into the games and teams, as well provide a certain atmosphere and amount of entertainment to the viewers, when sometimes I felt the desire to just sit back with a drink and watch and enjoy the game for what it was.
I had to watch the games differently because of my role there - not to enjoy them, but to break them down and look for interesting points to discuss. Don't get me wrong, The International experience was amazing - I learned a lot from the process, from James especially, and also about myself! It's not easy having three straight 16 hour days, where you have to be constantly sharp and analytical. I think my job was one of the hardest ones there.
If Valve offered you the same job next year do you think that you would take it?
Who were you mostly rooting for at the international? Who are some of your current favorite teams?
GoDZ: I was most rooting for N9 at the International. Those guys went through so much to earn their spot to compete there; having to almost always play against teams on double their pings, having to play games at the worst hours, and having various real life issues because of these things made me proud to just see them there competing. They had a good shot at top 8 but didn't execute on the day, but shit happens.
After them, I was really rooting for CoL, Orange, and most of the Chinese (especially LGD). CoL and Orange are just a bunch of really nice guys, Winter is probably my favorite person who was at TI-2, while Fluff and xiao8 were my favorite captains. As far as favorite players go - YYF was my first real DotA "role model" as a player and led me to a true appreciation of the Chinese Dota scene - I'll cheer for any team he represents.
So as far as I know I haven't seen you cast the new gosu league yet, are you planning on casting some of the later games or are you not participating in casting the league?
GoDZ: Hmm, I'm not sure if I'll be casting this season's GosuLeague unfortunately - I'd love to be able to cast some of these games, as a large portion of my following/fans are Asia based, and I love bridging the gap between the two regions. Showing Asian viewers the European teams and playstyles, and vice-versa. I think that's the one thing that needs to improve in the scene - there's a lot of media coverage and support for most European teams even tier2-3 ones, while people only recognize the top 3 teams from SEA and a few from China, when there are so many more.
Why do you think that is? Why do you think there is so much more coverage of the european and NA dota scenes as opposed to the asian or SEA ones?
GoDZ: As far as the streaming aspect of that, it's very cultural. For a western audience, English is a universal language, and also it's a big TV-culture as well, especially in the US (regardless of what time or tournament I'm streaming - I always seem to have mostly American viewers, except when its Filipino teams/tournaments). It's not a very popular or common thing to watch streams in SEA.
In SEA there is a big LAN-culture, players all compete and just play leisurely at their local LAN with friends, and they don't go there to watch streams. When at home they spend time with family, so there isn't really space for watching streams.
As far as the other coverage and awareness of the Asian dota scene, I think it comes down to various failings of the community (including myself at times). I work as hard as I can to try promote teams people may not know if I feel they deserve it. Recently in the GEST DotA tournament a Cambodian team, SVR_eS, from a qualifier caused some major upsets. This tournament features 22 or so invited teams, and 2 qualifier teams who I normally assume will just get stomped (and they usually do).
I was upset with myself and also the community for failing this team and not giving them the recognition they deserved, so I really worked to learn more about them, interview them, and help them grow. Language barriers and the various small isolated scenes in SEA make it hard to really connect everyone like you see in the European/NA scene.
So i’m sure you’ve seen the new 6.75 patch, what was the number one thing that most shocked you about the patch? Also was there anything that you particularly disagreed with from the patch?
GoDZ: Nothing was a major shock to me really - I talk with IceFrog a bit about suggested changes regarding balance issues, and we even sometimes bounce around ideas. I think we are on a similar page when it comes to balance changes because I like most of the adjustments changes. I was probably most shocked with the change to Treant's living armor skill.
I think what I most disagree with is the overall approach that is sometimes taken to make certain heroes viable - I feel some heroes (Bloodseeker, Razer, Alchemist, Slark, and others) in theory should NEVER be viable in a competitive game because of their skill sets. Some skillsets do not suit competitive Dota play; they may make good pub stompers, or even just make pubs more interesting without being pub stompers, but they don't fit a role in competitive play.
However, some of these heroes are attempted to be made viable by over-buffing their ability 'numbers', so it gets to a point where a hero who should not be picked because of his skillset, becomes a top pick because of how strong those skills were made if that makes sense. To use an extreme example - imagine if Rupture did 500dmg for every 100 units you moved - it'd be stupidly imbalanced despite the fact rupture is not a good spell for competitive DotA nor are any of bloodseeker's other spells really.
With all that said, as long as never see another retardedly imbalanced Pit Lord in the -cm pool I'm a happy camper.
So what are you working on for the most part at the moment? What are some of your plans for dota in the near future?
GoDZ: The main thing I'm working on at the moment is actually travelling! I'll be heading to Thailand and Philippines in just 2 weeks for various DotA and Dota 2 related events - most significantly PGF on Oct 27-28 - all thanks to Gigabyte! In December, the SMM DotA Grand Finals is on which I hope to cast, since all DotA casters have mostly gone to Dota 2 except for me, and I'm the only caster who properly follows the SEA/China scene - so I'd be upset if I don't get to cast this tournament.
My plans for the future involve getting more directly involved with the teams and community - I want to see Dota 2 be a huge e-sports within the Asian scene - China is already dominating the game, but I want to see more teams grow in SEA and even Europe/Americas, and a more established competitions system, and finally a site or community which helps really see the teams grow and make the entire Dota 2 "world" more connected as cheesy as that sounds. Maybe I'll find that community soon!
Ok cool Godz thanks again for the interview, is there any shout outs you'd like to do?
GoDZ: Mostly to the people who helped me or allowed me to grow to where I am today - my parents and sisters for supporting me in what I do, Danny from Gigabyte for having full trust in me, and the other casters and community members who I work with every day to improve the quality of the content I produce.