[INTERVIEW] Statsman Bruno

 ‘Statsman’ Bruno Carlucci

 “If cats looked like frogs we’d realize what nasty, cruel little bastards they are. 
That’s what people remember.”
From Terry Pratchett’s  “Lords and Ladies”

Favourite Hero:  Enigma
Favourite Player: Ben “Merlini” Wu (Merlini was my nickname in my local W3 server for a long time!)
Favourite Team:  Any team that tries to change the meta.

Personal Info
Bruno and his Sister



A little background on yourself please?
I’m a 28 year old Argentinian guy, I’m an engineer (Computer Science), and until very recently also a professor at my alma mater. People say I’m a great cook, I play piano and some guitar, speak a few languages halfway decently, I love basketball and football (soccer, not handegg), and I’m an avid film watcher. My favorite color is green; I love cold weather, blues and cats. I hate beets, traffic and mosquitoes!  Who are you in real life, when you’ve dropped the yellow suit?
Also, I AM the guy in the yellow suit, people that know me can confirm that that is not a persona. I was a very shy kid for the longest time (I even wrote a love letter to my high school sweetheart and hid it into her backpack!), one day I got bored of the way I dressed, and started going for “serious” clothes in bright colors. Interestingly enough, people that met me assumed I was a very extroverted and open person, which made it easier for me to be that way. That led to a self-perpetuating cycle and helped me be more comfortable with myself, you should all try it!
Spot Bruno!
How did you get into DotA2, and what other games do you enjoy?
I started playing DotA shortly after Guinsoo stopped developing the map and the 6.xx versions started spawning. My first match was a boots-and-RoR-first Sniper, rushing sange and yasha, and I never stopped since then.
Other than that, I’m not what you’d call a hardcore gamer. I can’t play open world games because I drift so much from the plot that I end up losing interest! I could try and keep focused but…  I want to do all those sidequests!  On the other hand I really like heavily story driven games. World of Goo, Braid, Heavy Rain, To The Moon, The Walking Dead are some of the best games I’ve played in the past years.
I guess it all comes down that I’m a very guilty gamer, I don’t have an “off” switch and I can’t play games and relax when I have something else to do, I feel guilt about doing that… and I always have stuff to do!
Rewind to TI2. Tell us about your journey there, and how that has affected your future path and decisions.
A few years ago I started my own consultancy business with a friend. We did really well, but 3 years later, I decided I wanted to move out of the country, so I sold the company and decided to take a long trip to Europe. I timed it so I could assist TI1 in Cologne, and that event inspired me so much that when I came back to Argentina, I decided to start doing some small dota-related projects which culminated in dota-academy.
Thanks to Shostakovich, who back then was part of the GGnet staff and many other people I met along the way, especially Lumi, LD, and the people from Dotacommentaries, I was able to get a lot of exposure and my contact network within the scene grew really fast.
(read a recent interview of Shostakovich and Statsman about Statistical Significance by EG here

 I had everything set to move to London by August 2012, but a month before, Lumi said: “Hey, given that we’re casting there…  why don’t you come to Seattle and help us with some stats?”. The idea was nice, and once I explained Valve what I could do, they were really open to the initiative.


Initially I wasn’t supposed to be on camera, I was going to be behind the scenes filtering info and preparing the infographics for the panel and the casters, but then I met James (2GD), and he convinced me and Valve that I should be a part of the panel. That’s why I didn’t have a laptop and had my yellow notepad instead!

The rest of the story is known, I suddenly became very famous and got a lot of appreciation from the public, something for which I’ll be grateful all my life. I wanted to focus on the community work I was doing before though, and I had other real life responsibilities, so I stayed off the radar until I was sure of what I’d do with my life.  Once it became clear, I cancelled my move to London and as you know, now I’m heading towards Sweden.


Nice move to GD Studio btw. What were your reasons for that? What can we expect of you and of the GD Studio moving forward?


James and I hit it off straight away and a couple days into TI2, he offered me to work in the GD Studio. I really liked the idea, but I had to sort out other things first.
Everything fit for me, I could move to a really nice country, which is what I wanted on the first place, work on Dota, keep on developing the tools I made so far, work on some really cool development projects and even occasionally get to entertain people every now and then. There was no way I would say no to that.
As to what to expect, well, let’s say I have more than 10 projects in mind, I don’t know how many or which of those will fly, but it will definitely be entertaining. I’ll also be doing some coding-related work and appearing in weekly shows/LAN events as entertainer/co host.
Why stats? Are game stats something you have a particular passion for? Where do you get your inspiration from when you cast? Do you do a lot of research beforehand?
Numbers are something I get along with. I wanted to really understand how good certain heroes/teams/lineups were, but there was nothing available for that. That’s why I created Dota-Academy, and it was useful, fun!
Then at Seattle, James invented the “Statsman Bruno” nickname and people found it funny, and by the time that we realized that I would work better as a comic relief in the panel, I started pulling the stats jokes! Hopefully I will be able to show people that my brand of humor can go beyond stats, because, really, I think I ran that field dry in those 3 days, I wouldn’t know what to say for TI3!
Game Related Stuff
What do you think DotA2 (the platform/mechanics) lacks right now, if you were Valve, what would you change/add in/remove?
I’m glad to see Team MatchMaking and Tutorials in the works.  I think it’s clear that will wrap up the main game features. Team Matchmaking will probably satiate the hunger of those who want to measure their comparative strength with others, and for those who don’t have a team, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if there was some kind of “lobby” where you can make a temporary party just to match yourself against consolidated teams.

I also hope we get a way to watch a replay with someone else. There are many caster pairs that love to cast games from replays, and having to synchronize their games in order to do so is a bit too complicated.


Also, personally, I can’t wait for all heroes to be ported and for Dota 2-only development to start. It will be sad to see DotA come to an end, but imagine all the possibilities and new mechanics that will arise! The game can only get better!  
What do you think the DotA2 community needs right now?
More bridges. We need to stop talking about “Asian DotA” and “Western DotA”, we need to connect both scenes more. Even if latency is a problem for tournament between teams from both areas, I think that G-league and G-1 League are doing the right thing in opening up their casts towards the English audiences and the English tournaments should follow suit and trying to get Chinese casters interested in their tournaments. Everyone wins if the community is more connected, and who knows what can happen in the future as production budgets keep growing… Maybe The International won’t be the only prestigious truly international tournament.


How does the Valve API affect you (if at all), since you’re the stat guy?
It actually helps me a lot. Until December 2012 we were getting our stats manually because we couldn’t get all the required info to do it automatically. Now we’re doing it automatically using their API and my replay parser. Having all that information easily available can only makes us improve. The Valve API is actually really well suited to what we do at Dota Academy. They’ve done an amazing job.



Bruno and eSports
What is your ultimate aim in esports, what do you hope to accomplish?
Unlike most people in eSports who are either teenagers or grew into their roles, I found myself in the eSports business all of a sudden, so while my passion is there, I’m learning by observation. I think I have to play a little more with the environment, see what’s there, what’s never been tried, what works, what doesn’t… I always saw myself as a creator of stuff first and an entertainer second, so deep inside I’d feel infinitely more satisfaction in helping create the games, the tournaments, the spaces for others to shine,  than being “the key community figure” or “the funniest guy”. It’s all about giving tools to others, I’m sure there are millions out there that are much better than me. Makes sense doesn’t it? With a teaching and an engineer background, understand –> create –> facilitate is the natural progression.
Is there any one in eSports whom you look up to, and why?
Not one person, no, although there are many deserving of praise. I do admire every single behind-the-scenes volunteer that never get enough credit nor recognition but whose work is CRUCIAL to make eSports work. The tournament admins, the news writers, the team managers…  all those guys do it because they love the game, and they actually MAKE the game.
What are you like as a player? Do you rage a lot? Stay quiet and let people bully you?
What a loaded question! Neither. The main thing is that I ALWAYS play with friends, which makes DotA 100 times more fun. My best friends are very good at solo mid and support roles, so I played carry a lot back in DotA1 which was, communication wise, a more passive role. These days I enjoy playing the position 4 a lot, so it makes me a bit bossy because I get to dictate the tempo of the game a lot. I’m also a flashy player, I want to make the highlights, even if it means whiffing a few black holes every once in a while!
Tell us more about your other DotA 2 projects and how you were inspired.
The FantasyLeague was all Luminous. He came to me with the idea; all I had to do was make it real. I still have lots of other similar ideas which, if able, I’m going to implement eventually as well. The replay parser was because I saw so many people that wanted to do cool stuff but lacked the technical tools or the time to tackle the parsing problem (which is a big part of the problem). So by creating a parser like that, I’m allowing lots of people to do more awesome stuff, and if their products are great, they will be a platform to their own growth and development.
In as few words as possible, give us your first thoughts :
– Valve
 I really have no words to tell you how awesome everyone at Valve is. I owe them a lot, and everyone there is smart, passionate, creative and hard working. I think in many ways they’re above every other software company.
– Female Gamers
 I don’t know many, and the problem likes exactly in their low numbers. The gaming business was always oriented towards a male audience. I would like to see more female-only tournaments though, even if the average team quality is lower, IF DONE RIGHT spending time in getting people to know them, to humanize them instead of sexualize them, it can attract a higher female viewership, which will in turn play the game and help the female community grow, which in turn will increase the quality of said tournaments.


– NA/EU VS China/SEA
Lots of Asian teams have the chance to live together in a house, and worry only about getting better at Dota. This inevitably translates to a better quality of play. As long as the NA/EU market can’t find a way to replicate this, the Asian scene will have the edge.


– Legs
As with hands, legs say a lot about a person.  Make up can do wonders to sell an image, but the rest of the body (mostly hands for men, and hands and legs for women) tells the true story.
They have the rare opportunity to go back to the drawing board, and try to make a new business plan. They got lots of publicity even though their PR was extremely lacking (and any publicity is good publicity in the end), and they can make a right out of a big wrong. And if they don’t, someone else definitely will.


Why MYM.DotA Left : Hyhy Breaks The Silence

Both Hyhy and MYM have announced the termination of Scythe’s contract, and it seems to have sparked off some news posts and discussion about MYM’s (failed) foray(s) into Asia.
Although Hyhy has rejected other interviews, I managed to squeeze him for a few precious replies, and I hope this sheds some light on the situation, or at least, the team’s point of view on the whole matter.

MYM and Scythe
Scythe caught MYM’s eye after their 3rd place finish at the International 2011, and the team were promised salaries as part of their contract.
Because the members were conscripted following that, the team’s roster was unstable, and no one saw them taking part in any competitions in their original line up.

GG.net spoke about the initial line up falling apart. Could you give us some insight into why this happened?
Hy: There have been no instances of our initial lineup falling apart. When MYM approached my team (Scythe.sg) back in September 2011, I did inform them thatt 3 of the core members would be inactive for 2-3 months because of national service. (In Singapore, males above the age of 16 are conscripted for 2 years.) We also made it known to MYM that if they wished to sign us, the members who are unable to participate in competitions because they have to serve national service would be substituted.
Our former sponsor was also expressing interests in continuing sponsorship, so we weren’t exactly desperate for the partnership with MYM to go through. However, MYM’s offer was attractive enough and of course it was great to play under such an established name, so we joined

Falli mentions that MYM was told to remove the tag, the team just kept playing with it. Any reasons why?

Hy: Falli has been in direct contact with me the past few months, I think if he did ask us to remove the tag, I would have known, and would not have hesitated to remove the tag immediately. There wouldn’t have been any need for Falli to even insist on it. Besides, MYM has its own website, social media sites and media contacts to inform the public should they have had the intention to announce they wanted to end the cooperation with the team, so there is really no logical reason why the team would insist on playing with their tag, if they were told not to.

Is your split with MYM an amiable one? What is the relationship with the organisation now?
Hy: I confronted Falli after I saw his post on gosugamers, where he stated in a MYM vs EVO gosubet thread, that this MYM team is NOT MYM. It was only then that he told me MYM cannot continue sponsoring the team, especially when there were many other teams out there asking for less. 
Of course I was aware that the team wasn’t exactly performing, the reason was largely due to the fact that my boys had to go for national service.
All said, even though we now have a strong and ready lineup, I did not want to compromise what our team is worth by re-negotiating a partnership with MYM because of a few things:
1. MYM has not issued a single month of salary since I signed with them even though they promised that salaries would be paid out in a timely fashion. Falli himself gave me his word on this.

2. I have heard that my team was not the only entity to whom MYM owed salaries to.

3. I did not like the way MYM “ended” things with the team. I felt they could be more open and direct about it.
Do note that I’m not directing accusations at MYM, and that if any offence is taken, it is not my intention. I am only sharing what I know of the matter, and how I experienced it.

Team Zenith
In what some call a slap on MYM’s face, Hyhy teams up with iceiceice, xy, Chuan (from iG fame) and xfreedom, and take the first place in joinDOTA’s Masters IV cup right after they announced their departure from MYM.
The new team takes on the name of Singapore’s most successful DotA team, Team Zenith, which at one point in time went undefeated for 6 months straight.
The starting 5 of Team Zenith consisted of ToFuboi-, GPS, Ant-, iceiceice and LuX. The line up eventually changed, and among the subsequent players who joined and left was hyhy.
Here’s an old team page http://www.teamzenith.net/?page_id=2 

Team Zenith wins ESWC 2009 http://www.gosugamers.net/dota/news/8851-zenith-crowned-eswc-dota-champions

Team Zenith is currently actively seeking sponsors who believe in them and who will follow them through to world domination.
Please email team.zenith@ymail.com if you have any enquiries.

The current Team Zenith DotA2 line up consists of :
“hyhy” Han Yong Benedict Lim
“iceiceice” Daryl Koh
“xfreedom” Nicholas Lim
“xy” Toh Wai Hong
“ChuaN” Wong Hock Chuan

the sudden sPike

so this 2899 (and counting) page view spike comes in the wake of an article on Yahoo!.

Even HWZ has picked up on our news – I just posted a thank you note there. my Maiden Post at that! http://forums.hardwarezone.com.sg/showthread.php?p=54873724#post54873724

I’m finding this particularly interesting because all along, we’ve received more support and more coverage in other parts of SEA, EU, and to some extent US. In fact, our clan originates from the US, and all the monetary/product support filters down to us from the land of the free.
I can’t ever say that we were supported in our home land… ever. In fact, I’d say we were attacked more than we were defended.
We’ve had plenty of chances to examine the gaming scene of our closest neighbour, Malaysia, which has a really vibrant community that supports their gamers wholeheartedly. It makes me jealous sometimes, that a team can be cheered on simply because they share the same nationality as their audience.
I’m past hoping that this will change, we’ll still be dissed, and I’ll still have fun reading and replying to comments about my team and I. hehheh.
Oh, I have to say that I love our supporters from the Philippines. They’re all so passionate and warm!