Gone for two years but never forgotten. Geek Slate returns to Dota with a storm, excelling at the DPC and qualifying for Lima Major.
After missing in action for two years since late 2020, Geek Fam (now known as Geek Slate) made a return to Dota in 2022. And it did not take long for them to blow the competition out of the water. They excelled in their first trial, placing second at the BTS Pro Series: Season 13 South-East Asia. Later in a peculiar twist of fate, Geek Slate acquired Lilgun's South-East Asia Dota Pro Circuit (SEA DPC) division I slot where they continued to triumph. And after winning a tight final series against Blacklist International, Geek Slate clinched their spot at the highly anticipated Lima Major.
Esports.gg spoke with Geek Slate coach and founder Lim "Sheep" Keat Kuang on the team's recent success and plans for the upcoming Major.
On SEA DPC: Working hard and humility is the key to success
We first ask the team to look back on their performance during SEA DPC Division I: Tour 1.
SEA DPC is so competitive these days that the difference between every team isn’t far apart. We just feel that if we are humble and work hard, we will have a chance against everyone.
What do you think about your overall performance throughout SEA DPC? And how do you plan on getting better in the future?
Sheep: Having just formed the team about one month before the DPC began, I would say our performance was quite decent. There were definitely a lot of things for us to learn. As a team, we would like to work on our willingness and open-mindedness to learn new things to improve our game.
What happened in the third week of SEA DPC? Why did you struggle against Talon and SMG? And what changes did you make after to help you win against Blacklist?
Sheep: I guess we struggled because our team isn’t the most experienced. However, after recalling our many victories in previous official matches and scrims, we went back to our natural levels. We did not actually make many changes for the win against Blacklist. It was more a matter of just a mentality shift.
Throughout the DPC, which team was the most fun to go against, and which team was the toughest? Please provide a reason.
Sheep: Execration was the most fun to play against because I used to coach two of their players (Tino and Shanks), and at that time, we felt they were one of the strongest teams in SEA with their very unique drafts. We don’t really see any other team to be much tougher than them. SEA DPC is so competitive these days that the difference between every team isn’t far apart. We just feel that if we are humble and work hard, we will have a chance against everyone.
On reforming the Geek Slate Dota 2 squad
Let's get to know Geek Slate more in-depth. What brought you to revive Geek Slate after a two-year hiatus?
Sheep: Dota 2 is a passion of mine and always has been. I have been playing it since Dota 1 day and still continue to do so till today, albeit rarely now due to being a coach on top of running my various businesses. Having to disband our team back in 2020 due to the pandemic was one of the hardest decisions I had to make, especially since we were the strongest team in SEA back then. However, I’m glad to finally have reformed the Dota 2 team.
What were the steps taken to form this team? Why skem, Kokz, Force, Narman and Roddgeee?
Sheep: To form this team, I spoke to maybe more than 20 or 30 players. I’m lucky that I have a good connection with them due to the reputation we had amongst our former players who spread kind words about us. Some players refused to join us, and some we analyzed and felt might not make for the best team chemistry. At the end of the day, this was the best five that we felt we could get since I could not get skiter, Nine, 33, Saksa, Sneyking, and Aui (laughs).
Who is the team’s shot caller i.e. the most vocal player on the team?
Sheep: I think at different times of the game, different players are more vocal. Sometimes it’s our supports and other times it’s our cores in the late game. Everyone is free to share their opinions, but I am still the final decision-maker most of the time.
Outside of Dota, what does the team like to do together?
Sheep: We go out for coffee, meals, gym, badminton, cut hair, and even shop together haha.
Geek Slate arrived at Lima earlier than expected to get a head start on their preparations for the Major
How are your travel preparations to Lima? Is everything moving along smoothly?
Sheep: Our team did a lot of research especially since we have players from three nationalities. We are the only SEA team that came to Peru earlier than our official travel plans and spent quite some time researching many different things. Visa is just one of the hundreds of details we prepared for.
Anything else you are doing before the Major? Are you still bootcamping or will you be taking it easy?
Sheep: We took a long holiday after the DPC, so we definitely have to train hard now (laughs). We came to Lima 12 days before the Major starts to adjust ourselves to the time as Malaysia is 13 hours ahead of Lima. We have been bootcamping there while also setting scrims with teams from NA and SA (North and South America). It is an eye-opening experience as we got to scrim with teams who have been to TI.
Which team(s) are you looking most forward to compete against and why?
Sheep: Liquid. In our view, they are one of the strongest teams around and we can’t wait to see where our level is compared to theirs.
A new patch is coming. What are some changes you are hoping to see in the game?
Sheep: I would like to see map changes. It’s been a while.
What do you know about Peru? What are you looking most forward to in Lima? Any foods in particular that you are dying to try?
Sheep: We only did research on transportation, food, and such necessities (laughs). We would like to try the local food here such as ceviche!
Last but not least, what would you like to say to all the Geek Slate fans out there?
Sheep: We recognize our lack of experience, but your support means a great deal to us and for our growth. So follow our journey and watch us get to the top. I'd like to say whether you've been following us from the start, or are new to the Fam, thank you for all of your support. Most of our Fams will be watching The Lima Major from the comfort of their home, but we know that we can definitely feel their support from all the way here.
We'll be seeing more of Geek Slate at Lima
Thank you Sheep for taking time out of your busy schedule to help us get to know the new Geek Slate better. We wish you and your team the very best at Lima! Geek Slate will be playing their first two series against Entity and HellRaisers on Feb. 22, 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. PST respectively. Be sure to catch their games and stay updated on Lima Major by tuning in to Esports.gg.