We got a chance to interview Andy Julian “MingMing” Sabri who won the CriticalX Dota Underlords Championship #11 tournament with a perfect 3 game victory in the finals (BO3). Let’s get started!
Pawn: Hello MingMing. Before we get started with the questions, why don’t you tell us a little bit about yourself.
MingMing: Hello, my name is Andy Julian Sabri, and I’m from Indonesia. Currently I am working as a Junior Associate Lawyer. I have been playing video-games since I was 7 years old and I love strategy games. When I was 19 years old, I came 2nd in Atlantica Online World Championship.
A friend suggested me to play Underlords and I felt that it was a really interesting game. Once I started playing, I loved it and started grinding.
Pawn: You won 3 games in a row in the finals of DUC#11. A flawless and dominating victory. How did you get so good at Underlords? How long did it take for you to reach Lord in the last season? And what rank did you reach last season?
MingMing: I don’t feel I’m very good at the game because I’m not number 1 in the World yet. I will try for it, but my focus is not to reach rank 1 as soon as I can, but focus on winning a lot of tournaments, because I want to buy a PC.
It took me 3 months to get to Lord before the reset, and I reached top 50. Right now, I think it will only take 1 week for me to reach Lord because I know the game well.
Pawn: If Underlords becomes a popular Esport like Dota 2, would you consider playing it professionally?
MingMing: Of course. If Underlords has a pro-scene, I would love to join.
Pawn: As you know, watching replays and watching pro-players playing live is a big part of Dota. A lot of players learn through watching other people. This feature is currently not available in Underlords yet. Do you think the competitive scene will change a lot after it is added to Underlords?
MingMing: Yes, I think replays and watching live will change the competition a lot. Even now people learn a lot from watching on YouTube and Twitch because a lot of pro players make a channel on these sites now-a-days. Would be great to have it directly available in the game though.
Pawn: Do you also watch Underlords streams on Twitch? If so, who’s your favorite streamer?
MingMing: Yes, of course! I use Twitch a lot. My favorite Underlords streamer is bebe872. He inspired me a lot. I like to watch his stream when I’m not busy and I catch everything he explains about the game.
Pawn: Nice, I am also a fan of bebe.
Pawn: Have you played Dota 2 before Underlords? If so, what’s your MMR in Dota?
MingMing: Yes, I used to play Dota until 2016 and my MMR was around 4.4k. I stopped playing because my laptop was stolen haha.
Pawn: Do you like the game more after the big update or before the big update? I’m asking this because there were a lot of complaints in online forums after the Underlords were added. Lots of players think that the game is too complicated and that it’s hard to understand what’s happening in the game anymore.
MingMing: On the first day after the Big Update, I really hated the game. Because they made a lot of changes and it made me feel like I was playing Underlords for the first time again.
Soon I saw that the update is actually quite interesting and that I just needed to play more – more than everyone else. If you play 10 games in one day, I will play 20 to understand the game better and become a winner. That’s just how I am.
Pawn: So, the game was hard to digest in the beginning but got better after each match, right?
MingMing: Yep, that’s right.
Pawn: I know you play on Mobile. Do you feel like you’re at a disadvantage compared to the PC players?
MingMing: When I was grinding for Lord of the White Spire for the first time, I felt like a chicken because it seemed like I was the only one playing on mobile. But I didn’t pay much attention to it and always just went for the win.
I could have had a PC right now but I don’t want my parents to buy it for me. I am 25 years old, so I want to buy it with my tournament prizes haha.
Pawn: That’s amazing, very responsible of you.
Pawn: There were many complaints on reddit and other online forums that mobile UI was almost unplayable after The Big Update. Do you agree with this?
MingMing: No, I personally think the UI got better after The Big Update. There’s no difference in the shop UI between PC and Mobile now, and I love that. It was a great job done by Valve.
Pawn: Do you use Reddit? How often do you look at r/Underlords posts?
MingMing: Yeah, I’m a Reddit user, but I don’t look at Underlords posts every day. When I need to know something, I try to find an answer to that on Reddit.
Pawn: Did you play any other Auto-battler apart from Underlords?
MingMing: Yes, I’ve played Auto-Chess on mobile and Chess Rush from Tencent. But I don’t like them that much. They feel similar to Underlords, but Underlords has such an amazing UI. Maybe I like Underlords better just because I’m a Dota player.
Pawn: So, you are a Dota player, you know how toxic Dota players can be. Do you think Underlords should have an all-chat?
MingMing: Yes, Underlords definitely needs to have an all-chat. It will make the game a lot more interesting and fun for me, and I’m sure everyone would agree. Sure, all-chat has a bad-side to it as well, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be in the game. Valve can just include a ‘disable all-chat’ option and anyone who doesn’t want it would be able to remove it.
Pawn: Do you like the concept of Underlords (the units)? Do you think the Underlords are balanced currently?
MingMing: Yes, I think they’re both pretty balanced as of now. You just need to pick the right talents for your build. We just need to give Valve some time to make them even better. The game will become even more colorful when all 4 Underlords are added into the game.
Pawn: Don’t you think Anessix is better than Hobgen right now?
MingMing: No, I am not sure if Anessix is better than Hobgen right now. But I like to play Anessix because I played her a lot previously, and know her kit very well.
Pawn: What do you think about the Jail system in Underlords?
MingMing: I think the jail system is great for the game. It is also really fun sometimes. I don’t like playing Assassins and if I see them in the jail, I’m really happy.
Pawn: Do you like the new jail better or the old one?
MingMing: I like the new one better. For me, more banned hero = more interesting. Also, the jail makes us play different builds every day.
Pawn: Do you think tournaments should use custom jail? Or should they continue using regular jail?
MingMing: Yes, I like the idea of custom jails. I think it would create interesting gameplay choices and make us think harder while playing.
Pawn: What’s your favorite build to play currently, and do you have a favorite unit?
MingMing: I don’t have a favorite build, but my favorite unit is Slark. I already fell in love with Slark during my Dota days. It’s funny though, because I don’t like playing Assassins at all in Underlords.
Pawn: Give me your personal opinion – Is Underlords going to have a bright future or is it going to share the same fate as Artifact?
MingMing: I think Underlords just needs to fix all the bugs and create a proper competition like Dota 2. If they don’t make that happen soon, I feel that Underlords will die like Artifact.
Pawn: As a competitive Underlords player, do you have any suggestions for Valve?
MingMing: Make games that make people happy. Make the game more interesting, but remember to not goo too far. It might burden then players, and Underlords might start losing a lot of players. Keep it up Valve!
And that concludes our interview with MingMing. I have decided to do these interviews every week. Let me know if you have any questions you want answered from the Underlords pros. I write about Dota Underlords, Dota 2, Esports and Gaming in general. I’d love it if you followed me on Twitter and Facebook. Thanks for reading.