Bkop talks heroes he’d marry, secret recipes, and more at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 cover image

Bkop talks heroes he’d marry, secret recipes, and more at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024

“That’s my mom’s recipe. And I can’t give that up.”

BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 is a busy time for Benjamin "Bkop" Kopilow. The caster has come a long way, and he's currently one of the premier English casters for the $1 million tournament. Esports.gg caught up with Bkop between matches to learn what he thinks about the 7.35b meta, his favorite player, and the post-DPC era.

Read on for our exclusive interview with Dota 2 caster Bkop at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024.

An interview with Bkop at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024

Esports.gg: How is tournament host FISSURE treating you? Is it your first time in Dubai?

Bkop: It is my first time in Dubai. I've transited through Dubai a couple times, but it's the first time I get to actually leave the airport and see the city. We haven't traveled too much yet. We have a day off tomorrow, I think, as long as tiebreakers don't interfere. We don't have plans yet because it's all, you know, if tiebreakers.

But I'm hoping to see the city. It's been nice. The weather's been perfect. It's like 80 Fahrenheit, 22 Celsius, I think is the conversion. Or 23, 24. I don't know, North American, so whatever. But it's been nice, you know, we're right over from the venue, our hotel's right next to it, we walk over every day. It's a nice walk in the morning and everything's been really good. 

Were there any pro players or talents who inspired you to pursue Dota 2 full-time?

I just liked watching China, but talent-wise, I'm trying to think who the first people I worked with... It was definitely like [David "GoDz" Parker], I think, was one of those guys who I saw early on. And then I talked to him a lot in the beginning of my career. And then moving forward, when I was finally starting to get like bigger events and like DPC, it was definitely like [Dominik "Lacoste" Stipić], [Admir "lizZard" Salkanović], [Dominik "Black^" Reitmeier], all those guys who I kind of worked within that first DPC rung where it was just like — we're a very tight-knit family, and I just wanted to continue doing this all full-time.

Which is your favorite Zoid? Or Mechazoidaryan, to be formal.

My favorite Zoid? I see you've heard that we were talking Zoids. I like the... It's the green one. Is it... It's the... Oh no. It's the Schneider? I think the green one's the Schneider. Although that might be the orange one.

(Pulls up image) Is it the one that looks like a wolf with a tank? This bad boy?

Yeah, it's that one! I love that one. That's actually my next tattoo. That one and the orange one. Yeah, that's the one on my forearm. So I'm excited. I remember watching that show on Toonami. Such a good show. It would come on after like Sailor Moon. Perfect. 5:30, right after school. Easy.

Liger Zero is easily among the coolest Zoids, Bkop revealed at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 (Image via Kotobukiya)
Liger Zero is easily among the coolest Zoids, Bkop revealed at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 (Image via Kotobukiya)

I love that one because there was an episode in Zoids where they put all this like artillery on the Zoid on Liger, and he hates it and shakes it off because the Zoid's got its own personality. I don't know, that one's actually really sick. It only shows up a couple of times in the anime, though.

A caster's perspective on the post-DPC era

What do you think about the DPC dissolving and third-party events like this taking its place?

I liked the DPC. I liked the job security from it. I liked knowing I was working in a month or two months. It's kind of back to the Wild West of events. You don't really know when you're working. It's a little bit scary. Your calendar is not as full, especially because right now, there aren't many orgs that are running events and everything. So if you aren't a part of one of the orgs events, you're not really working as much. For me, I liked the job security and it's pushed me to get another job and split. I'm still doing this full-time, but I'm going to be getting a part-time job and splitting it half-and-half and working on just maintaining and sustaining. 

The Dota Pro Circuit formally ended in 2023 (Image from Valve)
The Dota Pro Circuit formally ended in 2023 (Image from Valve)

Your fellow talent members have stereotyped you as an old soul. If you could time travel to any period, when would you go?

Probably, I mean, I want to say to when the Beatles were playing music. They only played music for like…
seven years, which is crazy. I didn't just learn this, but I just put the math together. Like, from Meet the Beatles to Abbey Road is only like seven or eight years. So I don't want to go back to the 60s just to enjoy seven years of the Beatles. I feel like I would just go back to 90s grunge. And that would be a little bit better. All those movies and everything like that. It's a lot more of just enjoying that genre as a whole.

But they call me an old soul because my oldest brother is 11 years older than me. My parents were old when they had me and I make all these 80s references and [Andrew Jenkins] is always laughing. I asked him to put on Prince yesterday. I was like put on Raspberry Beret. He goes, "My mom listens to that song." And I'm like, "All right, it's still a great song!" Like, gotta love Prince. His mom's got good taste.

On that note, does vinyl actually sound better?

Yes, it does. I love having it, I have a little vinyl collection, most of it is my dad's old collection. So I've got like every Beatles album so far, but I get some new stuff and I like it more. I like listening. If I have the music I want to listen to on vinyl, I'd rather listen to that than on Spotify or something like that. And I'll just play it on my speakers.

The Bkop pub experience

Does your fame as a caster affect pubs?

More so recently. Ever since the voicelines got added, I've been noticed a lot. Although somebody was like, "Why are you trying to impersonate Bkop?" And I was just like, "Damn, dude." I was like, "I'm not. Look at my Steam account. That's been my name always. Like, I've never changed my name." And he was like, "That might be even sadder." You can't win.

Well, I had this pub recently where this guy thought I was boosting. I was playing with like, [Brynden "neph" Barbour] and friends, other casters. We were just a caster stack. And he's like, "You're boosting, blah, blah, blah. We'll let Reddit decide." And I was just like, "Oh no, dude." And then I looked at his account. He had 200 games. The only people who were on his friends list were the four other people he was playing with. And he was, like, boosting! Like, it was a booster account. I took all the information down, I was like, if he comes for me, I'm coming for him. Neph still makes fun of me about that. He's like, "He's still living rent-free in your head."

Well, that's just self-defense.

Oh yeah, 100%. 

Bkop has a 51.79%% win rate on Ancient Apparition across 224 matches (Image via Valve)
Bkop has a 51.79%% win rate on Ancient Apparition across 224 matches (Image via Valve)

If you could only play one hero for the rest of your life, who would you pick and why?

It's Ancient Apparition. Yeah, it's just the simple answer. Throwing Ice Blast from a distance, hopefully his Agh's gets changed to something different, but throwing Ice Blast from a distance and getting kills, like that first Ice Blast connecting, it's so crucial. Because if it doesn't hit, your team doesn't believe in you anymore, especially in pubs. But if that first Ice Blast hits, they tip you and all of a sudden your team believes in what you can do. It's such a good feeling because then they trust you to throw that Ice Blast and lead those heroes and get those kills. So for the rest of my life, I'll take it. And then you play greedy, first item Midas always.

I wanted to do a Marry, Love, Kill with your most played heroes, but 28 of your top 30 most-played are male. With that in mind, why don’t you play female heroes?

I think I'm just bad at them. Windrunner, I don't trust Shackleshot. QOP, I'm not a mid player, so that kind of takes out Death Prophet as well. I've been leaning into getting more into the offlane. I play Crystal Maiden a little bit, and then I just...

I don't know, I've spammed supports and I feel like most of the supports, at least, are male. I would say it's like Abbadon, Witch Doctor, Lion, Shadow Shaman. Most heroes are male. I think there's only like 20 female heroes, right? Something like that. But if I had to marry, love, and kill one, I feel like I'm... (long pause)

This is way harder than I thought it was. All the top heroes that I play. Feel like I'm marrying Ancient Apparition. Like that's just the given. I'm loving or crushing on... maybe Shadow Shaman? No, no way... Zeus. Yeah, support Zeus. Alright. And then killing Techies. It's three for one. Biggest bang for your buck.

That one's for the people.

Yeah, and then you're a man of the people. You're doing what people want.

Are there any heroes that you think will ruin the tournament? Arc Warden, maybe Meepo?

Meepo's been pretty much handled. I feel like safe lane Meepo hasn't been performing well. That being said, [Yuma Langlet] just destroyed Xtreme Gaming with that hero. And Ame went 0-11 for the first time I think I've ever seen him go 0-11 in my career. Like, it's never happened. But I don't think it's ruining with Arc Warden because he's not picked too heavily. But I like what he does.

I enjoy heroes like that. People think I'm awful for liking Tinker and Bounty Hunter. I always ask for Tinker Bounty Hunter combos because I remember at EpiCenter when FlyToMoon played it and they had offlane Doom, [position four] Bounty, mid Tinker, and they were just like, "Alright, Track, Laser, this move, Doom." I just love that kind of style of Dota. So I don't think any hero really ruins it. I like that Lion's being played all the time. Although that means he's going to get nerfed soon. So that kind of sucks.

What about Venge?

Venge's game is a bit of a playmaker, right? You usually pick it with the Puck, you're swapping to break the Coil, you stun, you Wave of Terror lane. It's pretty basic, but I like it. I like Venge. I wanted to play Venge more, and I think I do play it a little bit more, but I don't know, I like the hero overall.

A long road to The International

Is there a certain pro player you particularly enjoy interviewing?

I don't get a chance to interview many people, but I like interviewing and talking with [Sébastien "Ceb" Debs]. He's super well-spoken and it's sometimes hard when you're interviewing players. They're very closed off or they'll give you one-word answers. Ceb, you know you're getting a conversation. It's always so great.

Not at the most recent Riyadh Masters, but the one before that, we were working with him. Listening to him just talk about Dota, you can tell it's a passion. That ability to just talk about it expands into everything. And I think interviewing him is the best.

Getting snubbed for TI12 was a very controversial casting decision, but Valve finally invited you as a commentator for 2023. How did you react to the invitation?

I was not sure it was real. You kind of just wait for so long and you're just like, "Oh my god." And then you don't know it's real until the day they release the talent voice lines because that was almost the talent announcement as well. Because nobody knew who the talent were until the voice lines came out in the game.

That was like midnight eastern time. And I was just checking my line and making sure it was real. I called my brother. I was just like, "Is this real? This happened?" I was pretty hyped about it. Next year, though. I'm coming for that main stage. That's the plan. And some good voice lines, of course. I had a lot of conversations about my voice lines with my brothers and Lacoste trying to get the best voice lines out there. So I think I did all right. I was told my voice lines are toxic. I don't think they're that bad.

Top row for his long-awaited appearance (Image via Valve)
Top row for his long-awaited appearance (Image via Valve)

Could you remind us of your voice lines?

The first one is "Call an ambulance, but not for me!" I don't think that's toxic. And then my second one is "Why don't you take this time to wash your face?" which could be toxic, but I mean... that's pretty respectful. Also, very regional and, you know, I love China Dota. That was the reason for it. It wasn't for being toxic at all. And you know, wash your face. Get clean skin. A lot of Dota players can wash their face (laughs).

What is your best baking recipe? Would you be willing to share it with the people?

So I made cookies for everybody coming to this event, and I brought them with me. They didn't travel well, they kind of crumbled, but I was told they were good. I don't want to botch the name, but I think it's Alison Roman. She does like this salted edge toffee chocolate chip cookie, and they take forever, and you don't get that much out of them. I love making those.

Andrew Jenkins praised Bkop's baking abilities at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 (Image via Alison Roman)
Andrew Jenkins praised Bkop's baking abilities at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 (Image via Alison Roman)

And basically, you get like 12 out of them and you let it sit in log shape in the fridge overnight. It's sugar on the side. So you dip it, you do like an egg wash on the outside, roll it in sugar, and then you cut them into cookies. And then they don't expand much. It's one of the best cookies out there.

But also I love my banana bread recipe. That's my mom's recipe. And I can't give that up.

Anything else you'd like to say to the fans?

I always want to thank my one fan. You know who you are. I love doing that every single time at the end of an interview because now I get people fighting over it. When I first started doing that tradition, it was my mom. So now I just say it all the time and see who responds. I appreciate the support. I really love it.

That's it for our Bkop BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 interview. Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.