Sadboys’ mid-lane prodigy: An interview with dnm

By Kenneth WilliamsJanuary 10, 2021
North American Dota has had a rough year. Greatly reduced prize money has led to an almost complete evacuation of sponsorship, but the promise of a new Dota Pro Circuit kept the region alive through the Fall. While Evil Geniuses looms over the Upper Division, some of the org’s former players have assembled a stack to oppose it. Sadboys is the most decorated roster to emerge from the online era.
Central to their podium finish at BTS Pro Series Season 4 was dnm, a rookie core player who got his start grinding to insanely high MMRs. He’s peaked as high as sixth on the leaderboards. In professional play, he’s made his preference for mobile casters like Puck and Void Spirit clear. TrackDota has connected with the midlane prodigy to learn his thoughts on Sadboys, Patch 7.28, and the online era.
TrackDota: Sadboys is a historic name in NA. All of the players are very experienced, including two TI winners. You’re mostly known for your top level pub play. How did you go about joining the team?
dnm: PPD reached out to me not too long ago about possibilities of making a stack playing mid for the upcoming BTS S4 tourney alongside with fear playing carry. Soon after we got Sney and Moo to fill up our squad and team Sadboys went on to place 3rd for our first tourney together. Although it would be my first time ever really trying to play midlane professionally, I believe I've made quite the fit for the squad!
fear has a history of taking young talent under his wing. Has he taken a mentor role in Sadboys?
For sure he has! I wouldn't say only fear but many others of the team have taken their time to make sure I fit into the role nicely. Hopefully, I also get to fill in the spot for TI winner; big shoes to fill!
North American Dota has been in a slump recently. What do you think of the online era and Valve’s response?
The online era for the North American Dota 2 scene has honestly brought the most stacks we've had in a while all trying to land for a spot in Div 1. Although I feel Valve's response has been quite lackluster since they could have implemented this system much earlier and have had something more stable for 2021. It's a step in the right direction, just a few years too late. Hopefully this inspires for more T2/T3 type players to once again tryhard for the game since it has possibilities to be more than just a hobby.
COVID has made travel difficult, so I assume the squad has only practiced and discussed strategies online. What challenges does that bring?
I haven't experienced the latter, but I can only assume the level of intimacy inside the teams environment is missing. We're mostly just players who are looking to make the most with the situation we're given. Other than that, I'm sure traveling across the world for tourneys must be thrilling!
Is there a certain goal you hope to achieve in the first DPC season? Besides winning, of course.
Only goal in mind is to make a name for myself. With other competitive midlaners in our Division such as Quinn and Abed, besting them in every way I can is the main objective. Still taking everything in and learning is the first priority, but best be sure I'll be giving it my all.
Evil Geniuses are the favorites for the region, though Sadboys bears some resemblance to their TI5 victory roster. How do you feel about playing against EG?
It does, doesn't it?! Quite nervous actually, tons of very respected players along with acquiring Icex3. With also Arteezy being my main role model, making a good impression will always be on my mind!
Patch 7.28 is starting to settle in. What do you think of the metagame and the new Aghanim’s Shard mechanic? Any favorites?
Feeling melancholic about it all, mostly since with Puck on the rise; I'm not able to play as much of the Spirits as I want to, haha. Besides that, learning these new niche mid heroes has been quite the challenge, but who was to say there wasn't going to be hardships in learning a new role?
Honestly loving these new Agh’s Shards, they provide a whole ‘nother level towards the game and midgame teamfighting. Looking forward to the many unseen combos that people have yet to theory craft. I'm really liking this Dark Seer Agh’s Shard, I wish Valve had more pop culture references in their games. Would help a ton if they went towards this direction to attract the younger generation too.
The North America Closed Qualifiers feature a lot of new teams and talent. Are there any players or stacks you think fans should pay attention to?
They sure do! I think team 5manmidas have great potential in the future if they make DIV1. Bunch of raw talent on their team, especially with players such as RRL (Rank 16) and LIES (Rank 26). Incredibly skilled players with a strong supporting cast, super excited to see where they end up.
Anyone shout outs or additional thoughts? I'm really excited to be competing for this DPC season and hoping me and the squad can make it to qualify for the major, feel free to follow me on Twitch and Twitter.
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