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Interview with [coL]Jah'

By Asway - 7th August 2011 - 10:46 AM

GR: Hello Jah'! I appreciate you taking the time to do this interview with us. Why don’t we start off with an introduction. Who is Jah?

Jah: I am a 21 year old college student from Hawaii and I've been playing hon since early beta. I've played on various teams since the start of the Heroes of Newerth competitive scene including TeL & ICE. Currently I play for Complexity Gaming(coL).

GR: DWI has been a well-known team on the scene for quite a while, but in recent times you haven't been able to secure yourself a number 1 spot in a tournament lately. You guys recently got picked up by compLexity, how did you get said sponsorship? Why didn't you guys look for sponsorships in the past?

Jah: Our team has been approached by quite a few sponsors in the past, but most of them really didn't meet up to our standard of what we wanted from a sponsor. However, when we were approached by Complexity Gaming who got pointed our way by [S2]Detonatr and [S2]Johnnyutah, we were more than eager to get things underway. They were friendly and straightforward with us and laid out a contract that was mutually beneficial which we were quick to accept. We had all recognized coL from their old Counter-Strike team and we all were excited to join such a prestigious organization.

GR: Right now, what team do you feel is your biggest challenge and why?

Jah: The biggest challenge to coL is coL, we are our greatest adversary. I know that as individuals we all have the skill level to beat any team on the scene right now. We as a team just need to figure out how to take the five individuals on the team and form them into one. Building a team is like building a house, if a house has a bedroom, a living room, and a dining room, but no bathroom, the house isn't truly complete. Just like a house, if a team is missing just one part it won't function how it should. Our potential has yet to be fully reached as the transition of our new roster takes time but once it blossoms, I feel that we will be dominant like no team before us.

GR: Is there any hero that you feel is undervalued? A hero that you feel is strong but just doesn’t fit into this meta game?

Jah: One hero that I feel is undervalued but is very powerful is Moraxus. The hero, while fairly hard to play, is an excellent tank and can be extremely powerful in the mid-game. Another hero that I feel is strong but doesn't work well in the current metagame is Magebane, who, despite being an extremely powerful carry, works very poorly against the push type lineups that are so prevalent.

GR: Heroes of Newerth just went F2P, with the same model as League of Legends. How do you feel about this? Are you for or against the switch?

Jah: I am glad that Heroes of Newerth transferred to a free 2 play business model, because it should attract more players, which will create a larger competitive scene, more teams, and more tournaments which I feel will be great for the game in the long run. I however am a little displeased at the suddenness of the transfer which may have blindsided recent purchasers of the game.

GR: In game two of your match versus sGty, you guys decided to run a Voodoo, Myrm and Armadon trilane. What was the reasoning behind this trilane? Do you see Armadon as a mid game carry or was it just to stop their push?

Jah: Recently we have been experimenting with quite a number of different heroes such as Gladiator & Armadon and we picked the hero as a mini-counter to the push style lineup that SGty ran in the first game. Armadon is a strong mid game semi-carry tank which can be the robust head of a defensive lineup, we however didn't run our lineup the way we wanted to and I think that was the flaw in our strategy.

GR: A lot of teams have been running a Keeper of the Forest in their lineup and from what I can tell, the hero seems very dominate. Do you feel as though the hero is overpowered? Or are teams just not use to this push type strategy?

Jah: Keeper of the Forest is definitely an overpowered hero and is expected to be nerfed soon after a significant amount of complaints from competitors. The Keeper's minions are just too robust and the fact that Keeper can get up to 10 of them at level 7 is just ridiculous.

GR: Teams like Fnatic and sGty like to run push strategies. Normally when they do this, they pick either Keeper of the Forest or Tempest, why don’t they pick Ophelia? Is the hero just not as powerful as Tempest and Keeper?

Jah: First of all Ophelia is difficult to play in comparison to Keeper of the Forest & Tempest, and her creeps are not instantaneously replenishable like Keeper's trees & Tempest's creeps. If Ophelia loses all her creeps, it can effectively stop the push until she goes to the jungle to grab new creeps. However, she is still a good hero & I wouldn't be surprised to see either team running her in the absence of Tempest/Keeper of the Forest.

IPB Image

[coL]Jah` - DYA 2010

Yup I play with my arms fully extended in both directions, I also use arrow keys to move my map around and numpad for items so my hand goes back and forth from one side of the keyboard to the other.



GR: For the most part, its really hard to get into the competitive scene, its really all about who you know. For teams or players who are looking to get into the scene, is there any word of advice you’d like to give them?

Jah: It is fairly difficult to get into the competitive scene, but I will say that if you or your team is truly good, you will get noticed. The best way to improve is to not mindlessly play game after game all day long, but to go over your replays as a team (or by yourself) see what you could have done better and what things should have done differently. If you are not sure about what your doing wrong but you or your team is always losing games, think about getting a coach. Many professional Heroes of Newerth players do coaching and it really can make a difference if your team is serious about getting competitive. Also, do not form a team with players you do not like or do not enjoy playing with. This is the most common mistake I see among teams, they sacrifice friendship for skill and in the long run it doesn't work out. You need to make sure that you are friends with the people your playing with for your team to truly succeed.

GR: You’ve been playing Heroes of Newerth for a long time now, out of all the games you’ve played, have you ever seen a player that has struck you as good? Someone who actually might have potential but just doesn’t have what it needs to break through?

Jah: When I am playing Team MatchMaking, I do occasionally come across players that might have what it takes to make it, but most of them have attitude problems. The biggest barrier to improving is oneself. A lot of the players I meet in TMM that might have potential already think that they know everything and the only reason why they are not on one of the best teams is because they are cursed. If you want to become the best you need to be humble, take advice, acknowledge that not you nor anyone is flawless and that everyone has room for improvement.

GR: There’s still a lot of speculation behind Heroes of Newerth being at both MLG and NASL. Do you feel as though if these two events actually happen, will they “save” Heroes of Newerth? Do you feel as though it would be a smart decision by MLG and NASL to add Heroes of Newerth to their game list?

Jah:I do believe that alot more people will start playing Heroes of Newerth now that it is free 2 play. What I think will really give it the boost it needs to sustain the DotA 2 fallout is major tournaments that match up to the prizes/publicity as the Sc2/DotA2 tournaments. Most importantly S2Games really needs to get its act together as far as balancing heroes, making bug fixes, & getting more feedback on their hero concepts.

At the moment most competitive players are very unhappy with the direction S2Games is taking in regards to their development of the game, if DotA2 turns out to just be simply a better game due to poor development. It won't matter how many tournaments there are. However, I do think NASL/MLG are making the right move by adding Heroes of Newerth. Heroes of Newerth is overall a great competitive game, its just has some kinks it needs to work out.


GR: Fragster recently interviewed Akka about his upcoming match versus FnaticMSI. In a best of three series, who do you feel has the upper hand? Who do you think is going to win?

Jah: From what I know about the two teams, I would predict that FnaticMSI will come out victorious, mainly because I believe that Fnatic has better overall strategy and in the current metagame hero strategy is the most important thing a team can have. However, OK might have something up their sleeves we will just have to wait and see, should be a good match up.

GR: Well Jah, thank you for the interview, best of luck to you and your team in any upcoming tournaments you play in.

Jah: I'd also like to give a shoutout to compLexity Gaming, Creative Sound Blaster, PNY, Origin and Qpad.