Jacob "SirActionSlacks" Kanner, well known for his community work in the Dota 2 scene, will be making his ESL debut at ESL One New York this week. We hit up the American interviewer and spoke to him about the recent changes to Dota 2, his experiences in the Dota scene and what he expects to happen at ESL One New York.
ESL: You went from having a YouTube channel to doing your own TI4 coverage and now you’ve been invited as an interviewer for ESL One New York, all in an incredibly short time frame. Are you afraid that you’ll wake up anytime soon? What do you think about your sudden rise to Dota fame?
SirActionSlacks: Finding out that my entire Dota 2 run has been a wild hallucination is indeed one of my biggest fears. Luckily, ESL One should prove that it’s all real, so long as when I arrive and enter the backstage area Tobi doesn’t mace me and call security. As for what I think of the sudden rise, it just shows how fantastic the community is. Most communities are hesitant and aggressive toward new talent, whereas the Dota 2 community craves it. It’s an incredible ride, and one I don’t see ending any time soon.
ESL: You’re getting more and more involved in the Dota 2 scene. Are you afraid that it might turn from a hobby into a job, or are you looking forward to that?
SirActionSlacks: Am I afraid that doing what I love for fun might turn into my full time job? Yeah, I am terrified. Imagine if all my dreams came true at once - what a nightmare! But yes, looking forward to it is an understatement. I truly believe that eSports is going to be huge in the future (not to say it isn’t now), and to get in while it’s still growing is an incredible opportunity. If I can actually get people to pay me for this, too, that’s amazing, but to be able to just say that I did something to help gain interest is rewarding, too. By all means don’t stop paying me, though.
ESL: Who are you looking forward to interviewing the most?
SirActionSlacks: I am really excited to get into the heads of some of the players like Aui_2000 and Universe, who have been off limits to me in the past, but I must admit I am most excited to interview other Dota fans again. The guys and gals that attend these events are always so passionate and oftentimes hilarious - I just love talking to them. Especially cosplayers - those people are out of their minds and I love it.
ESL: Is there any specific team that you’ll be rooting for?
SirActionSlacks: I am at the point where I am still too excited at being directly involved in eSports to get pumped about only one team, so I’m just rooting for good matches right now. I mean, how do you choose? Team Secret, the ultimate underdog team and their incredible climb, C9 and their hilarious antics and who never seem to leave the Roshan pit alone, EG and the amazing amount of skill they display in every team fight? I'll just say that if anyone plays Omniknight in the finals, I will be annoying their Twitter feeds for weeks and leave it at that.
ESL: Do you plan on trying your hands at casting or hosting?
SirActionSlacks: I would love to cast and host, but all things in good time. People like Cap Tobi and Maelk have been in the game for years, and they have so much knowledge of and experience with Dota 2 that is unique and insightful. I mostly have knowledge about how to make jokes and look handsome, but hell if ReDeYe can do it, anyone can, so I’m not too far off.
ESL: With as few words as possible, make a case for the pros of picking up Omniknight for competitive games.
SirActionSlacks: With as few words possible? You came prepared, alright. Do you hate Faceless Void? Do you hate Skywrath? Scared Of Legion, Terrorblade and Rat Dota? Do you think the match can last into the late game with 6.82, with a possibility of comebacks after big team fights? Do you enjoy winning? Pick Omniknight, pro people.
ESL: If you had the chance to cover a different game, which game would you choose?
I’m pretty into Viva Piñata, but Dota 2 is my special lady, and I don’t front.
ESL: Which matchup are you looking forward to the most?
SirActionSlacks: The most? I would say the final game of ESL One, mostly because I have no idea who will be there. All the teams are very interesting this season, and the recent changes of patch 6.82 makes this anyone’s game, so I am just excited to see who can adapt and thrive the most to get to that top spot.
ESL: If you were to predict the next big strategy to hit the competitive scene, what would it be?
SirActionSlacks: If I were to guess, it would be intentional early game feeding to increase the comeback XP and gold. Nah, just kidding - I would say we are going to see a time where, rather than focusing all games on ensuring carries get farm all game, teams will give early farm priority to essential late-game orientated supports, who will get game changing items early then rely on getting the carries’ farm and experience later in the game by winning team fights. Oh, wait, no - that’s my dream. You are clearly asking the wrong person.
ESL: The team rosters underwent significant changes over the past weeks and months. Which teams will come out ahead in your opinion?
SirActionSlacks: The rosters were so shook up that we are all still trying to figure that one out, I think. I must say, however, that I don’t think any team really got worse with the changes, so that’s something. I am still upset that I did not get the call to join any pro teams, so I am going to pass on this subject before I say something I regret.