Interview with Digital Chaos.BuLba
He is quite often known for his quirky plays and has been in the competitive scene since early Warcraft 3 DotA days. He's a staple name in the American circuit and is considered one of, if not the most, talented players to ever grace the scene. This Indo-American lad hit it big and has played for many powerhouses in his career. Yes, we are talking about none other than Sam 'BuLba' Sosale who started out in Dota 2 with EZ Style alongside Tim 'PowerNet' Moon, which later became Its GoSu.
Besides Its GoSu, Sam has also represented the American giants, Evil Geniuses, and played alongside Clinton 'Fear' Loomis and Saahil 'UNiVeRsE' Aurora before making his transition to Team Liquid. He is known for his roles on Invoker and Tinker and is heavily credited to ousting LGD out of The International 2013 with a clutch hookshot from Clockwerk that earned Liquid a top eight placement.
After a dismal performance at The International 2014, Team Liquid decided to discontinue with its Dota 2 roster that rendered Sam team-less. However, he returned with Team Tinker; a mix of American-European players which later were acquired by mousesports. Favourites to win The International 2015 North American qualifiers, mouz eventually succumbed to the amounting pressure and expectations, thereby, crashing out of the $18,000,000 million event.
The fighter that he is, Sam bounced back for a fresh start with the newly formed Digital Chaos after a disastrous campaign with mousesports/Team Tinker last year. In this exclusive interview with Natus Vincere, Sam was kind enough to share his experience of the previous year with Team Tinker/mousesports and its fair share of problems, how he almost quit the game entirely, his time as a coach for EG, his opinion on Aui_2000's ousting from EG and about his new team Digital Chaos with Aui and TC alongisde two new players.
You can read the complete interview below:
Hi Sam. Thanks for taking out time for this interview. How is it going?
It's going well, just playing Dota!
Likewise. Dota is life right? Anyway, let's go back a bit into the past. Post TI4, you departed from Team Liquid and formed Team Tinker with Pajkatt, Qojqva and others. TT saw a fair share of roster changes until Black^ joined and came to be known as mousesports. In short, shed some light on the past year! How did the past year go according to you?
Hmm, it was a pretty big mistake trying to make a team like that. Personalities kept clashing, people were on random roles every week. We had a new drafter every other week. There was no trust among anyone, no one really knew what to do. People had little to no motivation and it was a very unenjoyable year.
That's sad to hear. Ideally, which roster would you rather have paired up with in TT/mouz and why?
In December I kind of just wanted to quit entirely and play with friends in NA, but I kept trying and we just kept losing more and more confidence. I don't think any of the rosters. None of us are very good friends in Dota. I mean, we were friends outside of Dota but in Dota we all had different views of the game and there were too many egos and personality clashes. If there had to have been a team though, it was the one with pie/wayto/black/qojqva. That one was the least cancerous which is saying something. I'm still good friends with everyone from that team though. We had some good memories from our Toronto house but all the memories were stuff not related to Dota. (laughs)
Well, you guys did have fun though. That counts for something, yeah? Moving onto the phase where mouz was evicted from the TI5 NA qualifiers. Sum up your exact thought process at the time of elimination. After all, mouz was one of the favourites to win the qualifiers!
We were too cocky, probably. Everyone just assumed we would win no matter what. qojqva arrived about two days before the qualifiers started and that's when our practice started. It went well though, considering we only played European teams on lux. However, I guess the pressure of being the favorites got to us and we had some tilty shit going on in the games vs Archon. We should have won that second game in the set and 2-0'd but oh well, as for losing it was very very depressing. I had a lot of ideas at the time and felt confident in my drafts. I think we abused Dark Seer, Bounty/Anti-Mage at the time and no one else really ran it and other stuff like that. pie probably has one of the best bounties too. We weren't bad but we just tilted hardcore and blew up internally.
Shortly after, you assumed the role of a coach for none other than Evil Geniuses - your former team. How did you come to join them on a coaching position? What were your roles and duties as a coach? Sum up the overall experience as a coach for our viewers!
I was good friends with everyone on that team. I had known Fear, UNiVeRsE and Aui for a while and I knew Peter (ppd) from LANs/inhouse leagues. I hadn't known Suma1L that much before. Charlie (EG's team manager) and I talked a bit and then he brought it to the team to discuss and they were all fine with it. They decided they want me at their bootcamps as well and it just kind of happened. It was way more enjoyable than me just being at home and watching the matches and I could attempt to help a team that I am friends with do well at TI5. As for my duties, I just did whatever was asked of me. I spent a lot of time watching other teams' replays. Studying other teams was probably my biggest contribution, I think. I mean EG already had a system set in stone. I just gave my input when I could. Overall it was an enjoyable experience and I think I became really good friends with all of them.
I'm really glad something did work out for you in the end since EG won the ultimate grand slam. According to my point of view, you've excelled in the coaching role and TI5 victory is the trophy to back it up. Why not pursue the coaching role instead that of a player, especially, when coaches are becoming a 'thing' in today's world?
Playing is just what I enjoy doing the most. I enjoyed coaching but playing is my real motivation. Not much else more than that. I was happy to see Fear/universe/Aui/ppd/Suma1L win but i also want do well. The past year is definitely not what I want as my last experience playing competitive Dota.
That's a fair response. We'd like the same thing for you as well. Being a coach and friends with EG players definitely brought about positive changes in your life. But then there was the EG shuffle; unexpected or to say more bluntly ... brutal! Your friend and current team-mate at Digital Chaos, Aui_2000, was kicked off EG. Even though PPD gave his reasons explaining his departure, what is your personal opinion on the matter? Did you know EG were going to kick Kurtis beforehand?
I didn't know EG was going to kick Aui, it surprised me too. I don't really know how to comment on this. I think Aui brought a lot to the team. He is a good teammate and a really good player. They have their own reasons. Arteezy is Arteezy and they wanted him. Not just that, taking Arteezy also takes away competition because whatever team Arteezy makes will be the biggest competition theoretically.
Yes, it took all of us by surprise, too. It was unexpected to say the least. Anyway, it is really good to see you back in action as a player with Digital Chaos. Speaking of which, tell us more on how DC come into existence in the first place?
The team was also unexpected. After TI I had some ideas to play with some NA players/friends. However, when Aui got kicked, he approached me and asked me what was going on. I told him some ideas I had and he was down to try them out. Biryu and Yawar were people I originally wanted to play with and TC was a player I also think is very good. I wanted a team that wanted to improve and learn and wouldnt have egos to screw it over.
Tell us something about Yawar and Biryu since you've mentioned them. As far as I know, Yawar is also Sumail's brother but beyond that I am blank and about Biryu, I am even more blank. Could you tell us something about these two newcomers?
Biryu was recommended by Artour (Arteezy) and EE ( EternalEnvy). I played a few games with him and talked to him and he seemed really hungry to win and he seemed very motivated. He's a very fun guy to talk to as well. He's a new player and he wants to learn. Yawar is Yawar - really cocky, plays a lot. He is also new to the scene and he is also very easy to talk to.
It is really something when one gets recommended by our great lord EE-sama towhom we give our energy and Arteezy right? If there is one advice you'd like to give to Yawar and Biryu in order to succeed in eSports, what would it be?
Just be confident in yourself and play your game!
This question might come off as generic but its an important one nonetheless. What are your short and long term goals as DC? Who is responsible for drafting, who generally calls the shots, and how do you go about practicing? Give us a bit more insight on a particular day of practice!
We are a new team so not everything is set in stone, we have only played for two days. But so far I am doing drafting and our in game calls are kind of mixed between Biryu, Aui and me.
Apart from the Majors, which other tournaments are you currently participating in and/or plan to participate in?
ESL, the elimination mode tournament, MLG as well as The Summit.
What are your views on Valve and their move on introducing Majors to the scene? How does it affect the overall competitive atmosphere for both; professionals and amateurs alike?
It makes it more spread out, losing out on TI doesn't mean the end of the world for an entire year. The top teams like EG will choose what tournaments they want to play in and this makes more space for some of the other teams to play and place well in tournaments teams like EG don't participate in.
Post TI5, there have been many shuffles as expected. Which teams, according to you, have benefitted the most with the shuffle? Which teams look promising or has the potential to take down top teams in every region?
I am hopeful for Cloud9, compLexity and our team from NA. In Europe, the new Team Secret is interesting as well as the new team with Fly and notail. Alliance has s4 back and that should bring some energy back to them.
With Source 2 introduced and Reborn added to main client with new UI, Graphics and other cool stuff, do you think it is too early to make it as main client and to be played in professional tournaments? What do you like about the reborn and what not?
Yeah, it's probably too early. I know Aui had FPS and stuttering issues in our first match and several people are just having stability issues with the game. I felt matchmaking should have been added on it but tournaments still played on the old client. I like the smoothness of the game on that client.
There is always a debate over the streamers and Youtube uploaders on content, the recent incident between NoobfromUA and zai bring that in highlights what are your views on it and how do you look at the whole thing?
I don't have much to share on it but I see the player's side. Replay content should be fine for him to upload but individual stream content shouldn't be fine without permission. It is their ownership.
There is a lot of money poured by community in tournaments by purchasing tickets and sets. Will it affect the future of Dota? If yes, will it be positive or negative as big prize pools attract big teams to play in every tournament and that stops new teams from emerging.
Probably not, because the big teams like EG aren't going to play every tournament and just focus on the premiere ones like the majors and ESL.
Alright Sam ... that almost concludes our interview. Before we round it up, you have to honestly answer this one very important question. Your thoughts on "confirmed by Bulba" meme and how it came into existence and the trend it set in the community?
Lol, it came because I casted with Ayesee and he said that and it just kind of happened, it was two years ago. I also liked to claim things like inventions and stuff which was part joking.
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