No Logic Gaming have just qualified for the Game Show Studio LAN Finals. ProxyPL managed to catch their newest addition, Omar “Madara” Dabasas, for an interview a few days before that.
They talked about who he is outside of Dota 2, his time at London Conspiracy, why Golden Boys weren’t as successful and the switch from Golden Boys to No Logic Gaming. Madara mentioned the players he looks up to the most and nominated CDEC as “the favorites for this Major”.
ProxyPL: Tell me a little bit about yourself. How old are you? Where are you from? What are you doing outside of Dota 2? Any other hobbies, University or maybe a job?
Madara: I am 19 years old, I am from Greece, and I play Dota full time. Apart from that, I only do the usual stuff, I sometimes go out with friends, family etc.
P: What do you like to do when you’re out with your friends? Go out clubbing or maybe something else?
Madara: It depends on the mood, mostly we just go out for coffee and tell each other about what happened the previous days, that kind of stuff. We go out clubbing sometimes, as well.
Were you a good student back in school? What were your favorite subjects? What did you think you would do before you got into gaming?
Madara: I was actually pretty good, my favorite subject was maths. I thought I would be doing something related to maths for sure, become an accountant or something like that.
Why didn’t you decide to study something related to maths then?
Madara: I actually did, I studied in England for 2 years, about 4 years ago, but I didn’t like it much there and I wanted to become a professional Dota player more than anything, so I decided to play Dota.
I see, speaking of gaming what was the first computer game you’ve played and when was it?
Madara: Damn, that goes back about 10 years ago, all these memories! I was playing Counter Strike 1.6 – I think that’s what it was called back then. We played it all the time with my friends in the net café that we used to go to. Good times!
Ten years! That means you were playing CS when you were 9! Isn’t that a bit under age for that game?
Madara: (laughs) Who even follows those rules?! We were just crazy young boys back then.
Let’s talk Dota! Did you play DotA 1 at all before moving in on Dota 2?
Madara: I played DotA 1 from 6.23, if I remember correctly, when I was around 11-12 years old. I was a noob back then, but I’ve always had the urge to become the best, even at that age. I started playing Dota 2 six months after it was out. It might have been a bit longer than that, because I didn’t want to stop playing DotA 1. At first, I really liked DotA 1 more than Dota 2, but I changed my mind after a while.
Did you play in any teams back in DotA 1?
Madara: No, I was just a kiddo who played the game in Greek channels. I played in some in-houses, but not the best ones. I mostly played with friends. It wasn’t as serious as I perceive Dota 2 now.
I understand. How did the process of becoming one of the top tier players in Dota 2 look like for you? When did you make the decision to go full time?
Madara: I still use the same process: play a lot, don’t let anything hold you down, keep growing, because there is always going to be room for improvement. I’m not one of the top players right now, I have much to learn and improve on. I made the decision to go full time 2 years ago, after I left England and came back to Greece. I just didn’t want do anything else, Dota is my passion.
Do you have any players you look up to? Do you have a role model, in general?
Madara: I look up to Arteezy, SumaiL and all of the CDEC players. To be able to achieve what they have achieved is really wonderful and it gives hopes to every Dota player who wants to make it. Arteezy and SumaiL are the best mechanical and most skilled players in the game right now. Of course I look up to them, but I want to become better than them. I don’t really have a role model. Maybe myself (KappaPride).
Do you work on your mechanics a lot then? How important do you think they are for pro players?
Madara: Yes, I try to work on my mechanics a lot. I believe it’s one of the most important traits a really good player should have. The game is build around mechanics. The better mechanical skills you have, the better player it makes you in general.
Let’s talk a bit about how you burst into the scene and became a recognizable figure in Dota 2. You made your debut with the previous iteration of London Conspiracy – a fully Greek roster that stuck together for a pretty long time and eventually managed to participate in a couple of international LANs. How did that squad come together?
Madara: Me, ReaLaxXx and SsaSpartan were looking for two more players to put together an all-Greek squad. ReaLaxXx met S224J and he invited him to the team, since he was a good player. Then S224J invited Kaiser and we created a squad of five Greek guys who wanted to compete with the best. We were just five boys trying to make it, but we had the urge to succeed no matter what. Everyone was focused to become better in his position and play better as a team.
After a pretty good year together, your team decided to part ways with the London Conspiracy organization and replace SsaSpartan. Why did you guys leave the organization and why did you decide to go on without SsaSpartan?
Madara: We wanted an organization that would give us more, that’s all, so we decided to look for something better. When it comes to SsaSpartan, we felt a change was needed. We had some internal issues, people didn’t want to play together anymore and that kind of stuff, so we decided to change the roster and see how it goes.
Did you have any other offers? At that time, a lot of veteran pros were picking up less experienced players and putting together teams like 5Jungz and Monkey Business.
Madara: Not really, I think there were one or two teams that were interested in me, but they weren’t that good. I wanted to play with people I like and and see how it goes. At that time, I felt I should keep playing with a full Greek roster.
After The International, Golden Boys weren’t looking the same as before. You went from participating in LAN events and contending against top European teams to not doing very well in a rather short amount of time. Did that affect you personally? Did you lose motivation?
Madara: We didn’t go to any LAN events, but we kept playing against some of the best teams in Europe in online leagues. We got some mediocre results, but it wasn’t all that bad. I didn’t lose motivation or let it get me down. I always want to improve myself more than anything, so I see everything as a chance to become better as a player and as a person.
You have recently changed teams and joined No Logic Gaming who are on a rise right now. Who approached who? How did the move happen and what was your thought process behind it?
Madara: After the Frankfurt Major qualifiers, NLG lost their carry and offlaner. SsaSpartan contacted me and told me he needed a carry and that he wanted to play with me again. I liked playing with him and, most importantly, he’s a valuable friend who taught me a lot of life-related and Dota-related stuff. I put a lot of thought into my decision. I thought about my teammates. I didn’t want to leave, at first, because I felt we hadn’t tried hard enough to be able to say: “We tried, it just didn’t work out”. But still, I wasn’t that confident in the Golden Boys team anymore, because we played for two and a half months and we didn’t have any promising results. We were making progress, but I felt it wasn’t enough. I decided to play with NLG, because they offered me better conditions and I wanted to play with SsaSpartan again.
You teamed up again with SsaSpartan, who was the captain of the successful London Conspiracy team. Looking back, do you think he had a high impact on the success of that team? Do you think that Golden Boys weren’t doing as well because SsaSpartan wasn’t on the roster anymore?
Madara: He had a really big impact for sure, since he was the captain and I believe a really good one as well. Also, his ideas and some things he brought to the team really helped us improve. In Golden Boys, we tried S224J as a captain, but he lacked experience and we didn’t help him enough to fulfill his role. After that, we tried MNT as a captain, but he was inexperienced as well. As a result, we lacked captaining. So, yes, you can say that we lacked the captaining that SsaSpartan brought to the team, for sure. I believe Golden Boys have the potential to become a better team and I think MNT is a good captain. He just needs time to prove himself.
Alright then, what is your first impression of NLG? What are the main differences, compared to Golden Boys? How is it for you not to play in an all-Greek squad anymore?
Madara: No Logic Gaming is much more of a fighting team compared to Golden Boys. I’m sure all my captain thinks is “fight, fight, fight, go go go”! In Golden Boys, we used to farm and control the game differently, but that’s just a play style at the end of the day. It’s kind of weird to have to speak English all the time in-game. It’s a new experience for me, but I don’t really mind, since I like English as well.
Let’s talk team strength! This year, the Major system has been introduced, but neither GB nor NLG managed to qualify for the first Major. When would you expect your new team to be able to attend a Major?
Madara: I believe we can attend the next Major, we just need to find our play style and play our own game. If we put in the hard work and try our best, we have good chances.
Good attitude! Speaking of the Major, what are your predictions for this one? Who do you think is going in as a favorite?
Madara: Secret, EG and CDEC are definitely the favorites for this Major. I think OG have the potential to surprise us and win it, because of their unpredictable and weird play style.
Why do you think that CDEC are among the favorites? They have been much less impressive since The International 5. To me, they don’t look like a team that would dominate at the Frankfurt Major.
Madara: I think they have five really talented players and a really good captain. It is true that they have been less impressive since TI5, but I believe that was because they didn’t practice at all, just as Aggressif said in an interview, if I remember correclty. If they practice for the Major, they can show us a different style of Dota and figure out different ways to win, as they did during The International 5.
Alright, let’s see if that happens! Omar, thank you for your time. Best of luck with NLG and I hope to interview you in person at the next Major! Any shoutouts?
Madara: Thanks a lot for the interview! Shoutout to Golden Boys, I really hope to see them in future tournaments, also to my fans, my four new teammates – these guys are awesome, and to everyone who reads this interview.