Esports.gg had a chat with Sabi “INVOKERGIRL” to get to know her more. Spoiler alert: she is not your average Invoker player. #sponsored
A passionate Dota 2 player. A fun and dedicated streamer. An Invoker master with a third eye to always hit the Sunstrikes. Introducing Sabina or Sabi aka INVOKERGIRL, a huge Azerbaijani Dota 2 streamer born and raised in Russia.
Sabi, 23, speaks both Russian and English, but she now does English-speaking streams on her Twitch channel to a massive audience of 118K followers. And as you can guess by her name, she is one hell of an Invoker player. With over 7,000 games on Invoker and a 60%+ win rate, it's fair to say Sabi is a bit of an expert.
Her gameplay is well above the average Dota 2 gamer, with an MMR of 6.4K. Oftentimes, her fast reactions and calculated spells can leave you jaw-dropped, and although she has probably hit more Sunstrikes and combos than we can ever count, she celebrates every play with joy.
She isn't just active on Twitch; she is constantly sharing and communicating across Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok. Most excitingly, she just partnered up with Gamerzclass as their new Content Expert.
To get to know her better, we sat down and had a chat with Sabi.
About her streaming career
Back when she was 13 years old, Sabi was introduced to Dota 2 by her cousin. After being challenged to play more difficult heroes by him, Sabi was given a choice between; Chen, Meepo, and Invoker. And cue the drum rolls .. she chose Invoker!
Was it because of how complex the hero is?
"It was actually because I saw how handsome he was... it was only afterward I realized he has 10 spells!"
She learned Invoker all by herself and by 2016, she decided to start streaming under the name wabisabi.
Only months later, she changed her name to INVOKERGIRL. Back then, she received some negative comments which called her name attention-seeking because of the girl label.
"I was clueless and I didn’t even consider that if I have a girl in my nickname that’s attention-seeking," she said. "I was trying to find something that can describe me the best." Nevertheless, she keeps her name until today with pride.
She began her streaming career in Russian but later on transitioned to doing English-speaking streams. She stated that the reason was that she found a lot more toxicity from the Russian-speaking community, especially to a woman with a strong personality.
“I’ve always been strong in my personality and they hate when people are strong especially if they are women. They want you to be nice, and sweet, and pretty, and shut up.”
But Sabi kept her chin up and eventually, her streaming career rocketed. Since 2016, Sabi's channel has grown multifold, accumulating 5 million channel views and 118K followers on Twitch.
Sabi talks about her deep passion for Dota 2
With 17,000 hours recorded in Dota 2, Sabi shows immense passion for the game. She spent her early years in Dota 2 on an old laptop and played using a touchpad. Although she only played against bots in the beginning, she slowly built the courage to match up against strangers and grew her skills from then on.
What made you so passionate about Dota 2?
Sabi shared that she had a hard time during her teen years, and her personal problems led to her feeling depressed and outcasted. But by playing Dota 2, she found a way to heal her wounds.
"I remember I would come back from school and this game felt like home. No matter how toxic people were, no matter what kind of sexism I had to go through. It didn’t matter because I loved the game so much. It helps me disconnect from reality," said Sabi.
Until today, her love for the game remains the same if not more, "This game is so complex and beautiful, it’s always improving and changing that this game can never stop being fun to me," she added.
To Sabi, this video game isn't just another source of entertainment, it also teaches her valuable life lessons. She believes a lot of in-game situations mirror real life and from them, she learned a lot of important values.
"I'm 0/5, I got completely demolished in my lane but the game is still going. And that’s how I feel about real life. If bad sh*t happens, I always remind myself that you can comeback no matter what the win probability is,” said Sabi. “You always have a choice and a chance of coming back.”
The struggles of streaming Dota 2
INVOKERGIRL streams almost exclusively Dota 2 and for a game that requires high focus, most Dota 2 streamers have to choose between the game or the audience.
How much focus can you dedicate to a Dota 2 match while streaming?
“I’m probably giving not more than 60% of the actual concentration I could have had if I didn’t stream. There’s music playing, somebody follows, somebody subscribes, maybe donates, then there is the chat,” she said. “Meanwhile (in-game), I have to be able to focus on the minimap, small mechanical things, how to use my spells efficiently and at the same time remember to interact with the chat.”
She explains that most people want an interactive stream and if you’re going to try hard in a game while being focused and serious, it wouldn’t be entertaining. “People don’t really like that unless you’re 12k MMR,” said Sabi.
But she chooses to prioritize her audience first and that’s because she wants to show her gratitude.
"It’s exceptionally important to me to make sure the audience feels important in my chat. I want them to feel that I’m grateful they’re watching my stream. That’s why I never have actual goals like getting 7K in one month because I choose people over that.
"That’s why my MMR has been growing pretty slowly. I think if I weren’t a Twitch streamer, I probably would’ve gotten at least 7K MMR at this time," she said.
"You have a right to speak," - INVOKERGIRL talks about women in gaming
In a male-dominated space, Sabi expressed that it is extremely important for women to support each other. She constantly put in the effort to make women feel more welcomed in the space.
Sabi also said that women have a harder time in the streaming network. "It’s especially hard for women to stream their games. There’s a lot more backseating, criticism, more genuine dissatisfaction over whatever you’re doing in a video game - even when you’re good," said Sabi.
What is your advice for women who are aspiring streamers?
“I would like to encourage all women that considered streaming to not be scared. The more we remain scared and embarrassed to show our gameplay, thinking about how much criticism we’re going to receive, the more we prolong the time when we’re going to be fully accepted in the community,” she added.
The struggles of women in gaming aren’t something new and the world is constantly trying to bring inclusivity across all fields. Fortunately, Sabi feels that the environment has grown better and gaming is slowly becoming safer for women.
“Things have changed a lot. There are some creeps (in-game) but I have to be honest, in 9/10 games I can communicate freely and nobody bullies me,” she said. “Things have changed so much and women shouldn’t be shy or afraid to speak. Yeah, there are idiots, just mute them and keep talking because you have a right to speak.”
Her competitive experience
Not too long ago, Sabi actively competed in competitive female Dota 2. In 2021, she played in a team called Tiny Airlines Female with an average of 6K MMR.
Her team had great synergy and they participated in various Russian tournaments. She highlighted the fun experience, however, she is no longer playing competitive Dota 2.
Why did you stop competing in Dota 2?
"I noticed there is a lot of toxicity (among Russian speakers). (Some) girls would feel naturally separated from each other, they don’t like to see other girls in the game,” said Sabi. “It’s sad to see there are only few women in the community and we can’t behave with each other. I was disappointed and that’s why I completely quit female Dota.”
Despite the bad experience, Sabi is positive about attempting competitive Dota 2 once again.
Far from a one-hit wonder
Sabi has established herself as an Invoker player but a downside to her label is that people assume she has a one-hero-pool.
“People like to make fun or joke that I’m a one-hero-pool-player, but a lot of it has to do with my name and brand that I created myself. So of course when I stream on Twitch, I go into the game and if Invoker is not banned, I first pick it,“ said Sabi.
So what other heroes are your favorite aside from the Invoker?
“Apart from Invoker, my favorite heroes are Leshrac, Kunkka, and Zeus. These are my absolute favorites. My hero pool is mostly intelligence heroes that are spell casters. I don’t like boring heroes with two buttons.. I like combos,” said Sabi.
Who are the top Invoker players in your opinion?
“There is the legendary Topson Invoker. I used to watch Topson play Quas-Wex Invoker even before he got invited to OG. He used to be just a casual streamer on Twitch and I remember when people wouldn’t take him seriously but he was so good. He was the one to bring this Quas-Wex Invoker meta - for example, Quas-Wex with the Meteor Hammer,” said Sabi. “And then there’s the famous-all-over-the-world Sumiya Invoker, the Chinese player."
Who are your favorite midlaners of all time?
"Nisha, Somnus, and NothingToSay, they're really fun to watch. The CIS player, No[o]ne - I love his mid game, he’s very strong,” she said. "If I have a chance to play 5 rounds of 1v1 against him, I would learn more than playing 100 pubs myself."
Partnership with Gamerzclass
On February 9, InvokerGirl announced her partnership with Gamerzclass, a site that provides gaming classes, videos, and guides.
How did the partnership happen?
“They reached out to me saying they would need my help and they want me at Gamerzclass. And that was exciting because it was exactly at the moment I thought I didn't have anything to look forward to. I felt a little bit upset with the state of things and they reached out to me out of nowhere, exactly when I’m feeling down. They invited me because.. I guess I’m pretty smart,” she laughed.
What is your role as a Content Expert at Gamerzclass?
INVOKERGIRL explained that firstly, Gamerzclass would schedule a call with pro players and she would then talk with pro players and ask them the necessary questions, providing them the ideas and the replays.
She’ll watch and find specific replays for a specific topic and makes sure all information is structured so they cover the main points and additional questions their subscribers may have. She will make sure her guests on Gamerzclass do not miss important details. “(Pro players) can forget mentioning something small because a lot of things to them are so obvious and they don’t explain it. But if I’m 2K MMR it’s not easy and I want to know why,” she explained.
She talked about how she's enjoying working at Gamerzclass. “They give me some sort of freedom to be creative which I have always dreamed of having in my life. They gave me that and I’m so grateful for it.”
Life goals and dreams
Back when she was 18, Sabi wrote a list of goals for her to achieve.
Now, her goal has grown simpler. “I realize my major goal is to become a better version of myself and love myself more,” she said. “I would go with the flow and let things naturally happen.”
However, she does have dreams which she said are different from goals, as she feels that goals are something people dedicate to.
She shared that she has never attended a Dota 2 event and would like to someday attend one. She would also like to be a Dota 2 broadcast talent, however, she isn't confident with her English capabilities. "My English is not perfect and most of the Dota talents have really good and advanced English," said INVOKERGIRL.
Before we ended our session with the Russian streamer, she shared her hopes for the Dota 2 community.
"We should be better to each other to help our community become more genuine and grow together. I want Dota community to grow more than we are already, I want our community to stand for itself and for that, its fundamentally important to have good relationship with each other no matter where we are from,” said INVOKERGIRL.
To find her, here are her social media links:
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