Here is the interview I did with Gaurav ‘Helm_G’ Anand last week. For those who don’t know Helm_G, is the team captain of Team Buriza, a relatively new team in the Indian Dota scene with a fire to prove themselves. The team is backed by Indian Dota scene veteran and my close friend Ankit ‘Chacha’ Jayant.
Mayur: Good Evening Gaurav, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to do this interview. How are you?
Helm_G: Good Evening Mayur. I am fine.
Mayur: So Gaurav tell me about yourself. How did you get into Dota and your journey that led you to be the captain of Team Buriza?
Helm_G: So I started playing Dota in the first year of my college. My roommate at the time got me into it. He used to play 6-7 hours daily. After playing casually for a while I decided I need to play in a team so I formed one and started competing in all the local tournaments. I tried to take part in as many of them as possible. At some point, I realized I can be an e-athlete but I had no means to fulfill my dream as all of my teammates left, some got a job, some got bored of it. By the end of college even I was about to quit and had a job opportunity but after I saw the post on Dota 2 India official group that Ankit was forming a team I decided to give it a try. I told my brother that give me one year if it doesn’t work out I will get some normal job. After I applied for the team I was interviewed and we had 2-3 month team building period where we played online with each other and after that, we moved to the team house in January.
Mayur: Now there is a lot of social stigmas surrounding the whole “pro gamer” thing in India, did you too face the same or were people around you supportive of your decision?
Helm_G: Well yeah I faced the same too, my friends were quite supportive of me but my family wasn’t. As soon as I finished college I had a job so my parents wanted me to take that job. My brother was somewhat supportive and he was the one who convinced my parents that I wanted to go on this unusual career path, let’s give him a try, if it doesn’t work out he will do a normal job. I also moved out of my parents’ house and started living in a relative’s house which was not in use as I couldn’t have practiced for more than 2-3 hours in my house. I promised my parents that I will do whatever they want if this doesn’t go as planned so I have to prove myself to remain in the pro scene.
Mayur: Tell me about your teammates. How is the team dynamic? Did you try rotating roles around to find the best fit? Also, how do you feel about the boot camp, what does your daily schedule look like?
Helm_G: My teammates are from all around the nation so it is a mixed bag of cultures. We have one guy from Bangalore, one from Haryana, one from Mumbai, one from Delhi and I myself is from Patna. I am the in-game leader and also the drafter of the team. We did switch roles to find the most optimal setup but the end decision about every position was made by the whole team instead of any individual. As for our boot camp, it is everything we had expected. Our schedule is quite strict, we wake in the morning and go for a walk which is mandatory. After that we come back and freshen up and start our practice by playing some warm up matches. Then we do our team practice for 3-4 hours. After team practice we stop playing and have a discussion about our matches. Then we have some free time and at around 8 P.M. we again start practicing. Zeddisbugg is our coach and he is helping us in all our endeavors.
Mayur: You have captained teams before as well. How is being the captain of this team different?
Helm_G: In other teams, I was captain for stuff like registrations and all that. Here it is different. Here I have a responsibility. This gets real sometimes. I have to take responsibility for things that happen in-game and outside the game. It is a big role and I am trying my best to do it perfectly.
Mayur: How do you guys resolve issues among players?
Helm_G: Every team has conflicts and so does ours., Most of the times players resolve it themselves but if something isn’t manageable then I step in. The team has one rule that in case of a conflict, whatever I say the team will listen.
Mayur: What are your thoughts about this meta.
Helm_G: 6.88 was a more stable patch but this one has a lot of versatility. Due to shrines, offlane is open to much more experimentation. The game has shifted from farm oriented play and the late game is much more exciting due to the availability of those shrines. It is much harder to push high ground now.
Mayur: You guys are yet to make a debut. When will we see Buriza’s first appearance and what are your expectations for this season?
Helm_G: We are going to play in Kiev Major qualifiers. Up until then, we will play some tournaments although we are not sure about it, to see where we stand. But I believe in Kiev Major qualifiers we can do definitely do some good.
Mayur: You guys are going to go up against Indian powerhouses like EnTiTy as well as International powerhouse if everything goes well, are you guys nervous?
Helm_G: We are more excited than nervous. When we first came to the boot camp, of course, we were nervous, we had some doubts about the team but as time passed and we played together we realized that we can do this. We will definitely give them a fight.
Mayur: Now I would like to know your realistic expectations from the whole Indian esports scene for this season. According to you, are we going to see an Indian team in a Valve sponsored event this season?
Helm_G: Well probability is very high this year, we might see teams in Kiev Major SEA qualifier this year because a lot of teams including ours is working really hard. Realistically I would say there is a 70% chance of that happening.
Mayur: Apart from playing Dota what else do you like to do.
Helm_G: I like to go to the gym and play cricket but the team is here for a particular objective so I don’t get the time to do all that but I am happy with it. The team goes out sometimes but right now we are not focusing on anything else but our performance in future tournaments and qualifiers.
Those were few questions we got to ask Helm_g when we got a chance to speak with him. If you have any questions you want answered, let us know in the comments and maybe we will use them for our next interview.
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