MoonMeander on the Regional Leagues system: “I think that having 16 teams in NA is the wrong approach”

StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor marked the LAN debut for CR4ZY, who very recently signed what was left from the Fighting PandaS roster. Our special reporter in Kyiv, Taras Bortnik had the opportunity to sit and talk with David “MoonMeander” Tan about all the recent roster changes, about goals expectations and how he sees the future for the North American lower tier teams heading into the next season’s system with Regional Leagues.


Hello MoonMeander and thanks for taking the time to talk to us. What’s the mood coming to this tournament?

We are in a good mood, we have nothing to lose because we just lost two players and we are here with two stand-ins. It’s very easy to play when you have zero pressure, this is one of the tournaments where there is like zero expectations from us.

Can you tell us a bit more about EnVy and Senyking’s departure?

It was sudden, unexpected. To put it very simply, they got poached by Cloud9 and they told us on the last second that they are leaving, which put us in the situation of having to find two stand-ins extremely close to our arrival here. Yeah, it hasn’t been done professionally.

How did you decide on KheZu and Skiter?

I and KheZu go way back, we were on the same team in HoN and Skiter and Bryle are friends, so when we needed two players our first thought was to just play with some friends, with some people that we know.

Right before coming here you got signed by CR4ZY, a Croatian organization, could you walk us through how that happened?

It was a long process. We worked with Evolved Talent Agency, with Ryan Morrison heading it. They pretty much got the deal for us, but obviously there is a fee for it. We signed with Evolved Talent and their job is to negotiate contracts and to talk to CR4ZY for us, so we, the players, don’t have to do it. I believe this is the least stressful way to do it and the future for esports players. You always have to have a lawyer.

CR4ZY at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor

Considering that CR4ZY is a European organization, where will you play the next round of DPC qualifiers, NA or EU?

We will play in NA, we have three Canadian players and our coach is also from Vancouver,  so if there are any Canadian Dota 2 fans out there, this is the team to support, guys!

I can only imagine that EternaLEnVy was the most vocal in your team, the one who made the most calls. Now with him gone, who took that role, how is the in-game communication for you?

Less talking is not necessarily worse, in some sense is more stable, less chaotic. I talk a lot more now, but basically everyone needs to do their part and everything goes from there.

What do you think of Gambit, your first opponents in the group stage? 

Gambit have very high ranked players and they have a good captain in fng. Their only weakness right now is that they had this recent roster drama with and gpk. I’m pretty sure that him going in and out of the roster has done some damage to the team, but I know that the Russian mentality is strong and that they will overcome something like this. 

You are now playing under an organization tag, but for a long time before that, you’ve played without a sponsor and that’s something we see happening quite often in NA. Do you think that the next season will bring stability for the tier 2-3 scene and perhaps more opportunities to play under a tag?

I’d say that there is a huge power discrepancy in NA right now compared to other regions. The only tier one team in North America is EG, Chaos is something like tier 1.5  and for tier 2, you have us and Business Associates. The problem is that everyone else below that is not even tier 3 and I think we got into this situation because the way that the Valve system works now is that if you are the fifth in the qualifiers, you make 0 dollars. So there is literally zero incentive for organizations or even for the players to put in the time, effort and money to play online qualifiers when you have no hope to beat these teams. Many people are mocking the leagues system right now, but I really truly believe that the leagues system will see a higher quality increase in NA for the tier 2-3 scene just because there is prize money and people will actually try harder and not mess around as much anymore.

However, I think that having 16 teams in North America is the wrong approach. If I had to do it, I would do six teams in the Upper Division, six teams Lower Division. Actually I’ll do the same for South America and CIS and I will take the money left from having fewer slots in these regions, and put them in the Majors prize pool. The Majors prize pool is too low. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that Valve is heading in the right direction with this new system, but I think they swung too way too hard in that direction, if that makes sense.

You’ve said that you have no pressure and people have zero expectations from you at this tournament, but what’s your goal coming here. 

Right now we are looking to develop chemistry, to get some experience together. In a sense, we just formed and it’s wrong for a team that just formed to have high expectations going into a tournament. Of course, if you do well is nice, if you don’t do well just don’t be sad and disappointed because that’s not the right mentality. Honestly. I’ll be disappointed only if my teammates get sad if we get out in the last place.

Thanks a lot for this interview and I wish best of luck in your new adventure with cr4zy and with the new roster. 

Thank you.

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