s4: "Valve should delay The International"

Apr 28 2020 9 min read

s4: "Valve should delay The International" ⚡⚡⚡ Esports news, analytics, reviews on WePlay! The latest news on WePlay!

On April, 1st, Alliance has announced that Gustav "s4" Magnusson has re-joined their roster as the new team's captain. A classic April Fool's joke, some would have thought. But obviously, it wasn't. After being inactive for a couple of months, and even planning to have a bigger gap period, s4 suddenly decided to back his familiar and close organization.

Losing some pubs is always sad, but Gustav told me that they're doing okay at scrims. And who cares about pubs when you have the officials, right? Alliance is fully prepared for WePlay! Pushka League. Before their first game at the tournament, we had a pleasant chat with the team’s captain.

Your birthday is on April, 1st. It's never too late, so cheers. Anyways, does this fact have an effect on your life?

Thank you! [laughs] No, no effects. I mean, it's just one day out of 365 days in a year, right? When I was a kid, there were no people like bullies around, so we just had April's fools jokes and fun.

Is April Fool's popular in Sweden?

I think it's kind of popular everywhere. Now when I'm a grown-up, I don’t participate, but when I was a kid I would love that stuff.

Alliance announced you rejoining on April 1st. Was that a coincidence?

No, it's not a coincidence. We were going to announce it anyway during these days, but we wanted to do it on the first anyway since it’s my birthday. So it's kind of just a fun thing. People will think about like, is he actually joining or not? And then people will talk about it. But I think most people realized if I was joining or not. I think people understood.

It's been three and a half years since you left Alliance. What did you miss most?

Actually, the thing I missed the most was leading the team, like using my ideas about Dota. And I used to do that back in the days with Alliance and it was really fun even though it didn't go so well, the second part of Alliance I mean. I had a good time and that's what I missed about being in Alliance.

What were you doing while you were inactive in EG?

After TI, I was pretty much taking a break. I was still with EG, so that's why I didn't go and join another team right away. I wanted to go play with some team after, but then I decided not to. And then I took a break. My initial plan was to take a break until next year. So even now, I wasn't planning to play even, but the Coronavirus thing started and I didn't have anything to do. I can't travel, so why not play some Dota, you know. And I actually find a lot of interest in Dota lately too.

You've said that you like Primitive Technology on YouTube.

Yeah [laughs]. You know, where they're in the woods and they make stuff.

Have you ever tried something from it?

No. No, but I like the idea of it, it's like there's something in it, going out in nature and just like, can I enjoy it? Survive on your own. I want to do that at some point in my life.

I mean, I don't watch much YouTube. Usually, I watch it when I'm about to go to bed, like just lie down, you know, sometimes I watch bulldog videos and stuff. And I watch Twitch a lot. Also when I watch Dota late at night, I fall asleep easily. And I watch a lot of games on Twitch, I'm a big nerd when it comes to games.


A couple of years ago, you mentioned Burning as a colossal Dota 2 player. Do you follow Chinese Dota much?

China's Dota is what inspired me the most throughout the years in Dota. So yeah, I do follow up Chinese Dota a lot. Back when before we won TI, I was watching a lot of Chinese Dota and learning from them, taking good things from them and trying to improve the bad things to do. But they do a lot of good stuff. So now I have a lot of respect for them.

What do you think of its current state?

It's really hard to say right now because we're not having LANs, right? So it's like the old days and Dota. There wasn't that much like West versus China happening. Eventually, when we were going to meet each other at some LAN later down the road, it was kind of interesting to see which region was actually strong. And I mean, back in the day China was really strong, stronger than the West. So with all this happening, it could be a good thing, you know, for China, if they are not influenced too much by the West LANs and stuff. But it might be good or it might be bad.

Do you know that they've launched their own league?

Yeah, they've had a lot of inhouse leagues in China actually because I think their pubs are…  problematic. You know, people can hire “actors” in their pubs if you know what that is. Then you get free MMR and stuff — a big problem in China. I don't know if it's fixed now, but it used to be a serious problem a year ago. So inhouse leagues are really good for them, I guess.

‘Actors’ are high-MMR Dota 2 players in the Chinese region who will either win or lose games depending on whether they will get paid by people they meet in pubs. This problem was quite huge back in 2019. You can read more about them here.

A fascinating world of Chinese Dota — Digging deep into the Celestial Empire

You've said once that Dendi is one of the most influential people in Dota history. What do you think about his B8?

I'm rooting for him because he's playing captain role from mid, I used to do that back in the days and I'm still doing it now but from the offline. It's not the easiest thing to do because you need to focus on your game out so that it's doable. Moreover, he's running his own organization, so. I remember watching the video he made. It's really good, I enjoyed it.

A lot of people mentioned your unique commentary style during WeSave! Charity Play. You don't talk much, but your deep game understanding is quite remarkable as well as the fact that you can note some tactics and situations and you know how the game goes. Did you like casting?

Yeah. Something I've been thinking about for the past few years when it comes to casting Dota, is that sometimes Dota doesn't have those insights that pros are used to in games. So if some pro watches a stream, they can get bored instantly because the casters are not providing really important information about the game. I'm not talking about all the time, but I just feel like it's something Dota has been lacking for a long time when it comes to casting. I don't know how it is in the CIS because I've seen a lot of ex-pro players actually casting there. I don't understand Russian but it'd be interesting to hear.

In the CIS, lots of casters are more esports-experienced in Dota and they can highlight some tactical and in-game stuff, the insights, you know. While in Europe and America, people are more like showmen, it seems.

Yeah, I understand. I mean, for the masses it's good. They will enjoy it more. But yeah, we need to have people that have a bit of both. It's also for some people who watch all that to learn. There are people playing their pubs and then they're going to watch some pro teams and maybe if you listen to some good commentators, you can learn some stuff from them. Could be good for a bit lower MMR players. 

You've said that you were thinking about casting so do you think that you can become one after you resign?

I don't think I would do something like that full time, but I would definitely, if I got some opportunity, try it out a bit. We’ll see where it goes.

By the way, there have been a lot of resignings for the past few days.

Yeah, PPD and now Universe. It’s sad. They could have more to show, but yeah, it's their decision. A lot of people are also a bit sad because of the Coronavirus. Sitting at home. I'm trying to stay positive though and it's helping me even though Dota is very toxic, thinking positive [chuckles].


What do you think about Dota tournaments being transferred online? 

I actually love it because in the past it was kind of like this, the old, old Dota, when it started becoming a big game. There was a lot of online and it built so much hype before LAN tournaments, and when they came, it was super hype, for the players and for the viewers. So I'm actually a big fan of not having LANs constantly, you know. It's also cool because for the past one or two years I've not been able to scrim from home, from my own home computer. Mostly I've been away at some bootcamps playing with my team and for a change, it's good to sit at home and play for me.

Do you like the idea of three majors and leagues that Valve has introduced to us?

I don't know how it's going to be. I mean, regional leagues mean that you're going to have to play every week with your team. So, in that case, you might have to live with them every week.

Do you believe that we will have The International this year?

I saw a week ago that Germany banned, you know, concerts and big stuff until August. I feel like it's not looking too hot. It's going to be in Sweden, but right now Sweden is not taking it that seriously. But I believe that soon it's going to start closing down and it's probably not going to happen. I'll be surprised if it does.

What should Valve do?

In my opinion, they should delay it and put it on different dates. Like delay it by half a year, put it in January or February. TI doesn't have to be in August, right?

Gustav "s4" Magnusson

I think Dota is not reliant on TI though, and that's what the community should prove now. The teams don't need TI, it's still going to be good. We're going to still have good games.

What should have a good captain, but in your opinion?

A captain should be able to take responsibility. I think that's the most important thing about a captain or a leader. That's the captain, as a leader. If you don't take responsibility, then your team will lose trust in you and that can be damaging you because if people stop listening to you, then you're not a leader anymore. So taking responsibility is very key.

What do you think of WePlay! Pushka League?

You know, as a player I don't really look at brackets when I play, I just play, I take each game. That's my philosophy. Even at a big tournament. I might not know the brackets, you know, I might know who we're playing next, but I don't know more than that. I don't know the points. I don't know anything. So I choose not to think too much about that. Most of the games though.

Is that your way to surpass pressure?

Yes. And remain focused on the current task. I believe so.

Why did you pick fng as pos5 for WePlay! Pushka League?

We chose him because this guy has made a lot of good teams look good, and Loda recommended him as well. It was something we thought about before actually deciding on it.

Speaking about the CIS, eight years ago you were playing for Team Empire for two months. Do you remember anything?

That was a while ago, still, I remember a little bit. It was pretty short, one of my first days when I switched from HoN and I was really not that good about Dota. I was good at clicking spells at that point, but I was not good at how to actually play Dota, the strategies and stuff. I was playing with Roman “Scandal” Sadotenkov and a few others. Roman invited me there. We played a lot of pubs and he also played HoN for a bit, so I knew him.

Thank you, Gustav! It was a pleasure.

Thank you too! The last thing I wanted to say is that I hope to actually have some good games this tournament and want to show everyone that we can do better than we did in the last one. I feel like we are a pretty strong team right now, so, watch it!


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