The Dota 2 Asia Championship 2018 is being held at the Shanghai Oriental Sports Center from Mar. 29 to Apr. 7. DAC is considered to be one of the biggest tournament in China and to the Chinese legend Xu "BurNIng" Zhilei, it was an extremely important stop in his career. During the first ever DAC in 2015, BurNIng achieved 4th place with Team Big God and in the last DAC, held in 2017, BurNIng was able to defeat OG in the grand finals with Invictus Gaming to become champion.
Later this month, it will be BurNIng’s third time attending DAC but this time as a special guest for the event. How does BurNIng feel watching his former teammates still battling it out in the competitive scene? How has BurNIng’s life been after retirement? We [Huomao] have conducted a simple interview with B-God to find out the answers!
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This will be your third time attending DAC. The only difference being that the previous two times you attended it as a player, winning 4th and 1st place, respectively. How much did these two seasons of DAC mean you to?
DAC is the biggest tournament held in China. Everytime I attend DAC, I always feel like I am representing the home team and this gives me an additional boost both in terms of mentality and form. I fulfilled a small goal of mine when we won the second season of DAC.
As a special guest for the upcoming DAC, you will get to see many of your former teammates such as those from IG, as well as Mushi and LaNm from your time in Team DK in action. Even Fear, who is the same age as you, has come back from retirement to play competitively. Seeing them compete in tournaments, do you feel a sense of impulse of wanting to return back to the competitive scene?
I would love to return to playing competitive, especially when I see my former teammates still battling it out. However, there are many other things to do in life. After playing competitive for so many years, my health has deteriorated and I have neglected my family, friends and wife. One cannot possibly live for his own dreams forever.
Ever since you retired, you have been focusing a lot on streaming and casting. Ever since TI7, the Chinese teams haven’t been performing up to standard. What do you think are the main differences between the Chinese teams and western teams now?
The playstyle and strategy of the Chinese teams are still too one-dimensional and their ability to improvise is still not good enough. As far as I can remember, the Western teams will utilize lane improvisation, role improvisation or playstyle improvisation to make up for any disadvantages incurred from their draft.
You have learnt a lot of techniques from Sylar previously. What sort of tempo do you think suits the carry role in the current patch? Can you share your experience with the fans?
I feel that the carry role now is very important. Firstly, due to the nerf to the offlane, the carry needs to be able to effectively pressure the opponent’s offlaner in the early game. As for the late game, carries can now make use of Nullifier to burst down a critical target to end the match.
There are two types of carries. Firstly, heroes such as Dragon Knight, Death Prophet and Lycan rely heavily on tempo and once you hit a certain level and timing, you can lead your team to take fights, push towers, snowball and pressure your opponents. The other type of carries are the "cancerous" type where you just keep on farming until you hit your peak timing and just push. For the second type, you utilize your advantage in levels and items in the mid-late game to take down your opponent.
Ever since you retired, you still kept in touch with your fans. Moving forward in your life, what sort of plans do you have? Any plans on having a baby?
I personally have an OCD where if I decide to do something, I will always put in my 100 percent. As of now, I still wish to focus fully on streaming and casting. Thereafter, I will focus on recuperating my health and only then will I start thinking about having a child.
Lastly, what do you have to say to your fans?
Thanks to all my fans who have always been supporting me. In the past, I've always played my best as a way to repay my fans. As for now, I will continue to provide an interesting and educational stream for them and, of course, I will not forget to continue casting competitive matches.