Gaimin Gladiators’ Quinn: “I don’t think anyone will ever be like Sumail was then ever again” cover image

Gaimin Gladiators’ Quinn: “I don’t think anyone will ever be like Sumail was then ever again”

We got a chance to sit down with Gaimin Gladiator’s Quinn to talk about the state of Dota, the Gladiators and MMR.

Quinn "Quinn" Callahan has become one of the best mid laners in the world and is currently playing for Gaimin Gladiators. The Gladiators have been on quite the unprecedented streak of domination this year. However, it seems like other Dota 2 teams have finally caught up to the Gladiators.

We got a chance to sit down with Quinn prior to Dreamleague Season 22 to talk about Dota, MMR and more.

On Quinn's heroes and the state of Dota 2

Despite you branching out at Betboom Dacha with picks like DK, Timber or even Death Prophet it feels like your hero always circles back to Pango. Do you get tired of the hero or playing such a limited number of heroes? 

I mean Pango is a fun hero. The hero is just really strong, and I want to win. So I'm going to pick the heroes that I think are really strong. So that just means I end up playing a decent amount of Pango. The hero is just not fair. But yeah, it's still a fun hero.

What makes item combinations so hard to balance? At TI it was Blademail Heart. Now it's a lot of like Mage Slayer and Shiva's Guards. What do you think seems to be the issue? Do you think it's just over-tuning of items?

I think in some cases, some items are overtuned, but I also think that there will never be a patch where everything is equally good. There are also human biases that come into play. If people forget about things, there's recency bias, and people just remember the most recent things that are good or want to focus on things. It's also in terms of teams, like teams don't play every hero, they don't play every type of strategy they tend to streamline and so items and items being good also sort of funnels into that.

Where people are going to think and pick and play in a way that is predominantly around one thing, it's people who just tend to function better that way. And sometimes items are also just broken and stupid, like, mage Slayer or Heart was very strong, but Heart was strong for a long time people didn't know. So there are different reasons for it.

I mean Pango is a fun hero. The hero is just really strong, and I want to win.

Gaimin Gladiators Quinn

What do you think of Valve’s decision to dissolve the DPC? In another interview, Fly said it was very overwhelming for players in the previous season because it was back-to-back tourneys and quals but some people enjoy that kind of grind. What do you think? Do you enjoy the continuous grind?

I think it's good to get rid of DPC. I think the frequency of the matches made everything devalued, and it was also just like a super long qualifier. A lot of people have reiterated this opinion but like, the idea behind it is not bad at all, but the execution was just like sub-optimal.

With 7.35c coming out last night, not sure if you had time to look over everything, but what are your first impressions? 

Yeah, I mean, I generally dislike the patch. I think it wasn't big enough. And there's a trend of heroes that are being broken or heroes that are broken not being nerfed. That is very frustrating. That I think is continuing to be the case in this patch.

And there's a trend of heroes that are being broke or heroes that are broken not being nerfed

Gaimin Gladiators Quinn on the recent patches

The Betboom Dacha 1v1 Tournament

Betboom Dacha featured the first 1v1 tournament in what seems like forever. Did you enjoy the little side event? Do you think more events should have side tournaments? Maybe a small Turbo or Random Draft tournament to have some fun? 

I personally did not enjoy it (Betboom Dacha's 1v1 tournament). I think it was fine at that tournament, and people will some people seemed to enjoy it quite a bit. So I didn't have any issue with it being run at that tournament. But I think as it becomes more frequent, it starts to lose some of its novelty. And also at the big tournaments, people just won't play because it takes away from the focus of the main tournament, like at Riyadh or TI.

No one would play these things unless they were mandated to, and if they were mandated to, they'll be quite angry. Because it just takes focus from the main tournament. I didn't enjoy it because I don't have like pregame processes and my normal routine setup for this type of thing. And so the stress levels for me are very, very high for something like that. So it's just not very fun.

Would you share the same sentiment for The Internationals' All-Star Game if that were to return?

That depends on when it is and what it is. I mean, it used to just be mandated. So it just sort of was what it is, like people just became used to it. And it became an expectation that you had to participate in this if you were voted in or whatever. So it was sort of fine. I don't know how people would react if it came back. It's not the end of the world, It's like it's relatively okay, it's a pretty short timeframe. It is like, one night on a day where a lot of teams have already been eliminated. It's sort of it's sort of whatever to me.

With regards to improving & MMR

You advocate a lot about watching replays and grinding a lot of pubs. Everyone has a different answer to this question, but what do you think is more important for players to improve at a higher level replay analysis or just grinding MMR?

I don't think one is more important than the other necessarily, I think you need both. between either one, the consistent variable is actively thinking and trying to improve using your brain and not doing things mindlessly. Because anything can be done mindlessly, and anything can be done actively. I think the active component is the important part. Not the thing you're doing.

You know, the famous quote of MMR is just a number. Is that statement truly valid? Because last month, you just reached 13k, but is your MMR by product of you grinding? Or is achieving MMR milestones indicative of skill?

I mean, MMR certainly is not just a number. At the absolute highest level, it's definitely not a one-to-one ratio to skill. Just because I'm 13k doesn't mean I'm better than someone who's 12k. It's not really how it works.

But MMR means more and more the higher you go until you get to like super high and then it starts meaning less, and other things like professional success and what your peers think of you and things like this started becoming like better barometers of skill compared to lower MMR. But yes, at lower MMR's it absolutely matters.

On the topic of ranked, do you think the ranked leaderboard is indicative of professional skill? There’s the 15-year-old number 1 ranked player King/Satanic, is he the next Sumail-like player? Although I feel nowadays it’s hard to reach that level of dominance, where it’s literally impossible to lane against him.  Have you heard of him?

I mean, being high or super high MMR gets you attention, and it gets people to think about your qualities as a player, if you're good or not, that doesn't necessarily mean you are or aren't (pro player material), but it just gives you a spotlight and the potential to show yourself.

What do you think of this new 15-year-old kid who has been dominating the leaderboards?

I mean, Satanic skilled for sure. It's always hard to say like, he's really young, and he hasn't really played any like good teams yet. So, you know, time will tell.

Do you think he can eventually reach the level of TI5 Sumail? Where despite any matchup, you'd lose the lane to him?

No, absolutely not. I mean, I don't think anyone will ever be like Sumail was then ever again. I think that was an anomaly. And people have gotten good enough in the ceiling, like people have gotten close enough to the ceiling and Dota that something like that will never happen again. Sumail was a one-time thing.

I don't think anyone will ever be like Sumail was (at TI5) then ever again.

Gaimin Gladiators Quinn

You know, you've been on quite the journey from FDL, back in 2016, to Newbie and then of course, with the lads of Quincy Crew. How do you think you've grown as a player both in and out of the game?

I mean, I think I've got a lot better. I think it was pretty terrible up until like, the Quincy crew days where I was, I was decent on Quincy crew. But it was pretty awful before that. I think three years of playing the game, I think you become considerably more emotionally intelligent, being able to read situations, being able to speak, communicate in a way that makes some people feel more comfortable and like ease conflicts, all these sorts of things, I think playing for a long time, it's just inevitably going to make you better at a lot of these things if you want to be like a good communicator.

Stay tuned to for the latest Dota 2 news and updates.