Rob AJG: "I picked Swim's and Panda's brains this entire time"
Rob AJG: "I picked Swim's and Panda's brains this entire time" ⚡⚡⚡ Esports and gaming news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!
Being a host is not that easy, even for such an experienced person as Robert "RobAJG" Gonzales. He was the leader and the spokesman at WePlay! Dota Underlords Open. We gave him a wonderful hat, so he looked decent throughout the tournament, and then Rob gave us an interview so we can understand what it feels like to host an autochess event, how did he like the game overall and what are his thoughts of Ukraine!
How did you like your stay in Ukraine? What do you think about it this time?
It was excellent! The weather is so much better right now than during the winter. So you never have to worry when you walk outside that you're going to freeze. So, yeah, it's very beautiful, very green. The river [in Kiyv] wasn't completely frozen, so, yeah, everything was wonderful. Loved to be able to come back!
You weren't going sightseeing this time, right?
No, we didn't go sightseeing this time. Really just spent time trying to learn the metagame, and just playing as much as possible. So I had a really good feel for what was going on.
Which member of the talent crew helped you to play and to learn the game the most?
Swim was super helpful. With Swim and Panda basically, I've been able just to pick their brains this entire time, to figure out what are the best strategies, what am I doing wrong. And when I got here, I was Boss 1, and now I'm Boss 5. So, you know, depending on how this night goes, it could be Big Boss! So, the process of four days will have gone from Boss 1 to Big Boss.
What was the thing that surprised you the most about Ukraine this time?
Just how much building has been done in the area. Last time I was here, the mall across the street was not finished. So that's brand new to me. I didn't get to see it very much, but there are so many new buildings in Ukraine. So much new development and I want to be able — next time — to spend here all day where I can just wander around to see anything that's going on.
What do you think about the event overall? Is it everything you'd expected it to be?
It's actually more because I was super concerned because without the heads-up play when somebody can play directly against someone else and not against the ghost, it makes it very hard. That it would be very hard to cast, and it wouldn't be that interesting, but when [Valve] dropped that patch, they've made it so much interesting! The made sure that the metagame is not all Arc Wardens like it was before, which wasn't very fun. And I think it's very, very fresh, it's very balanced, and it makes it an exciting thing to watch: see it mould pretty much round to round what's going on.
Was there a player that didn't make it to the final part that got you intrigued and you would like to follow up with them?
I'm trying to think of the players who didn't make it. I mean, the thing that intrigued me the most... I want to see just how those players come back the next time if we do another one. Or just in other tournaments. If they get discouraged or if they continue and they make it back. Because that's the storyline: "Hey, I was here last time, and I didn't make it to Day 2, the final, but now I'm back". So that's the kind of things I like. The storylines I like to see.
How different do you feel the hosting, Underlords are different from other Dota and Artifact events?
The thing is, for Dota, that there is very much very fast play by play when you do team fights and things like that that are not obviously apparent here. But when it comes to drafting and, across all the games, I think drafting probably is the most interesting part. Now obviously with Underlords, very much of the game is drafting. It's like every round is drafting, but I think at the core, everyone loves that drafting element. In Artifact they love it, in Dota they love it, and then obviously you have to implement it, right? So, just because you get a little bit lucky in the draft, you can still mess up your crew in Uderlords. And the same thing in Dota, the same thing in Artifact. There's plenty of that is available to you, it's not just having a good draft, you have to play it well, you have to position well. And so that makes all of the games, I wouldn't say fairly ease, but as a host, it makes it across the board much more difficult to me.
A characteristic feature of all esports games is that you have one HUD for playing and a tweaked HUD for spectating, for viewers. Do you feel that you would like Valve to add something to the spectator mode?
In a spectator view there just needs to be a place showing the name of a unit you are looking at. Because when you are looking at a unit, they cover up the name, so you're not able to see it. But besides that, I'm very happy with the spectator mode. I think being able to see the shop making things so much better! I mean, the whole patch is just like fixed so many problems that I had with the game! And I think everyone is happy and having a really good time with it.