We got a chance to talk to Armel Paul “Armel” Tabios on the final day of ESL One Mumbai. We discussed about his time in India, his opinions on some of the popular meta heroes, the DPC system and more.
Pawn: Hi Armel. Is this the first time you’ve ever been to India?
Pawn: That’s cool! So did you guys go sightseeing or try some Indian food?
Armel: We’ve only been at the hotel and we went to a mall, but apart from that we didn’t have enough time to go sightseeing. We did try Indian food at the hotel, and it was really good, but we didn’t try anything spicy.
Pawn: I see. Your team-mates don’t not like spicy food huh?
Armel: Ha-ha, yes. Specially me. I do not like spicy food.
Pawn: Got it. And how did you like the Indian crowd? Did you have any memorable fan interactions?
Armel: The Indian crowd is really good. They cheer for everyone. It’s like the Philippines crowd. They’re really the same.
Pawn: We’re happy that you’re liking it here. Alright, let’s talk Dota now. There’s a few meta heroes that feel a little overpowered, and they are being spammed a lot in pubs. Let’s talk about them one by one, starting with Mars. What do you think about Mars?
Armel: Mars is just really OP right now. He’s good in the laning phase, he is great in teamfights, he can also tank a lot. He can just do a lot of things and I feel that he’s OP.
Pawn: Do you think he’s even close to being ready for Captains Mode?
Armel: Maybe if he gets a lot of nerfs in the next patch, but right now he shouldn’t be in Captains Mode.
Pawn: Right. Let’s talk about Viper now. He was almost broken till 7.21b, and even after the nerfs, he seems to be really strong. What do you think about him?
Armel: You’re correct, Viper was broken till 7.21b, but right now he is the same as any other hero. He’s balanced.
Pawn: Okay. What about the position 5 Abaddon? Any words on him?
Armel: I think that there’s some teams/players who can really abuse his Mist Coil, to make the best use of that hero. But otherwise, I don’t think the hero is very good in tournament matches. In pubs he’s a really good hero, you can easily get a lot of MMR by spamming Abaddon.
Pawn: I agree. What do you think about Necrophos?
Armel: I think he’s a situational hero. He’s incredible against Strength cores. But when he’s punished in the lane, he can’t do anything. Basically, he’s really good when you have a lead, but he feels useless when you’re playing from behind.
Pawn: I see. Let’s talk about Shadow Shaman now. I know you guys love to play that hero. He was the second most picked hero at the tournament with 46 picks, but he only had a win-rate of 41%. Any words?
Armel: Yes, we highly rated Shaman and we used to pick it a lot. But we started to realize that Shaman is not the best against Trilanes. Other teams also started to see this, and they started running trilanes against Shaman. I guess that’s the reason why Shaman doesn’t have a really high win-rate.
Pawn: I see. I have a different sort of question now. Do you have any suggestions for players in the Divine/Immortal bracket who aspire to play professionally and who are trying hard to improve their MMR?
Armel: Yes. If you are in the Immortal bracket and you want to get higher rank, just play your best heroes and focus on your role. Keep grinding and only focus on your own game.
Pawn: Thanks for the insight. Moving on, tell me about your pub experiences in all the different regions. I know that you mainly play SEA pubs, but you have experienced all the other regions as well, right?
Armel: Yes, I’ve played in every region. And I think that SEA is the best region among all of them. In other regions there’s too many toxic people, and it’s just no fun to play.
Pawn: That’s very interesting. What do you think about the current DPC system?
Armel: I think the current system is great. There’s only 5 Majors and 5 Minors, so you can prepare a lot. Previously, when you used to go back home after a Major, qualifiers for another tournament would already begin, and we had no time to rest.
Pawn: That’s good to know. That’ll be it Armel, thanks for the interview.
Armel: Sure! Nice meeting you.