MSS: “We’re just waiting to finally showcase our progression.” cover image

MSS: “We’re just waiting to finally showcase our progression.”

Quincy Crew head to the AniMajor with a playoff seed after finishing 1st in the NA DPC Season 2. QC’s Arif “MSS” Anwar is keen to show the world on LAN just how far the team has come.

Quincy Crew has been on a rampage in NA, finishing the second DPC season undefeated. The crew has been in the Dota scene since 2018 and consists of Quinn, YS, Leslão, MSS and LoA. The team has been consistently placing high in North American tournaments, however in international tournaments they have yet to show their true potential on an international stage.

Arif "MSS" Anwar has been a professional North American Dota 2 player since early 2013. He's played on a variety of North American teams from Cloud 9 to EG and has played with the likes of EternalEnvy, MISERY, and Qojqva. He is currently the co-captain and position 4 of Quincy Crew, enabling his team with his amazing Clockwerk and Enchantress. We had the amazing opportunity to interview MSS and ask him questions regarding the DPC season, the NA dota scene and the upcoming Animajor.

MSS rocking the latest Quincy Crew merch - Photo courtesy of QC's team manager @KBBQDota
MSS rocking the latest Quincy Crew merch - Photo courtesy of QC's team manager @KBBQDota

Knowagh: What goes into playing Dota 2 professionally that maybe fans don't take into account?

QC.MSS: "Being a Dota player is a lot more work than people think it is. If you're actually trying to get better at the game and trying to become the best, it's not some chill job where you’re just playing a game you like to play and you get paid for it. It's not that simple. There's a lot of stress involved. There are a lot of things you need to work on constantly and improve on. You can't be complacent."

"It's not some chill job where you just playing a game you like to play and you get paid for it. It's not that simple."

MSS - Quincy CREW

Knowagh: Professional Dota players improve through a combination of playing matches and replay analysis, do you think one is more important than the other?

QC.MSS: "Yes, but it's really different from person to person. There are some people who straight up don't play pubs, and I used to be that kind of person. But I mean playing pubs always helps. But you don't have to be a grinder. There are the casual pub-ers that play like five to six games, a somewhat reasonable amount I would say, and then they would balance it out with some replay watching. And then you have the grinders. Probably the best examples are like Miracle or MinD_ContRoL back in the day. And these guys were grinding MMR, like they played 12 games a day. "

Knowagh: Which do you think is more important, replay analysis or playing pubs?

QC.MSS: "To be honest, I think it’s dependent on the player. But I think you have to keep a balance. I don't think you'll get better if you don't watch yourself. You're gonna need to do a little bit of both, but some people do one more than the others. I think it's also dependent on your role on the team. Some people focus on mechanical skills rather than having to think about strategy or movements. They can just play their own game. I think those are the people who can just play pubs."

"I don't think you'll get better if you don't watch yourself."

mss - quincy crew

Knowagh: With the DPC season coming to an end, do you have a favorite moment or game?

QC. MSS: "There are two that stand out for me. There's the EG game with the Medusa toss buyback which was really funny. Like, looking back on it, I don't know what the outcome of the game would have been if that didn’t happen. And the other one, I'd say was the Black N Yellow, the mega creep comeback game. Those were some fun games."

Knowagh: On the topic of the Medusa toss buyback, do you think Valve should patch it out?*

QC. MSS: "I'm not entirely sure. Some people compare it to the fountain hooks, because technically it's a quote unquote abuse on a mechanic in the game. But it's not really abuse because it happens so rarely. It's very rare that the conditions are met. Like, you have to die while you're in the middle of the toss. You have to consciously buy back while it's happening. I guess some people don't think about the bug in the heat of the moment. But still, it's a very rare occurrence. And at this point, it's just in there*.”

*Since conducting the interview Valve removed the Tiny Toss buyback bug in 7.29d

Knowagh: This DPC season has showcased some standout players in NA, could you name a player that has stood out for you?

QC.MSS: "If I were to say who surprised me the most I guess it was definitely Lil' Nick and EternalEnvy. I think they got a lot better over the past couple months."

Knowagh: During the NA DPC there were a lot of 2-0 matches, and quite a few stomps, do you think this is just indicative of the NA scene in general? Do you think the NA Dota scene is growing?

NA DPC season 2 final standings
NA DPC season 2 final standings

QC. MSS: "I mean, there's not many top tier teams, so there's gonna be a lot of stomps. The tiers in NA have a really wide gap between skill levels.

“The middle of the pack is the most even, within the fourth to sixth placed teams you'll probably see the most 2 - 1's and whatnot but I think in terms of the rest, I think it's pretty normal to see 2-0's. Because for example us, EG and Undying, we're probably gonna 2-0 most of the other teams due to the skill difference. So by default, there's gonna be a lot of 2-0's in NA because of us three."

QC. MSS: "Yeah, and if I were to say if NA is any getting better, for sure. However, we aren't there yet. But we're slowly getting there. I think we would have to see how NA does in this Major, then I would be more confident in my answer. But NA is gonna need more top placements."

Knowagh: With regards to the NA Dota scene, I personally feel like the NA region is typically overlooked and underestimated. How do you feel about it 

QC.MSS: "NA definitely gets way too much s**t. People like meme about NA Dota just being low quality gameplay, but I don't know. After watching other regions too, it's the same s**t in every region."

Knowagh: NA over the last few years has a smaller pro player pool, and teams often consist of players who’ve played together before. What is it about this specific combination of players in Quincy Crew that works so well? 

QC.MSS: "Yeah I mean, contrary to the stigma of NA teams disbanding and changing players all the time, the core of Quincy Crew has stayed together for a good three years now. Mostly because it's a mix of thinking we're all good players and we all believe that we have the potential to become even better players. On top of that, we have a good mentality and mindset. So I think it's a combination of all those factors that's making us willing to stay with each other, even through the s**tty times."

Knowagh: Which hero do you think needs some buffs or would like to see in the meta?

QC. MSS: "I mean, I just tweeted that Mirana is horrible. I would like to see that hero be buffed a bit. The main problem is that Icefrog doesn't know if he wants her to be a support or core. I don't think anyone knows. Her shard is good for a core but it's horrible for supports. With how important shards are for supports, it needs to be something more neutral. Another thing is her starting stats, which are pretty bad. It's also hard to balance the hero because her spells are pretty lackluster as a support."

Knowagh: Do you have any predictions for the tournament in terms of meta?

QC.MSS: "It's hard to say, the meta favors whoever is quote unquote, the better team coming into the tournament. That's usually what the meta leans towards. It's either that or teams try to pick stuff that's good against it.”

“But it's hard to say. It's not like there's a specific region that's just better than the others. I think it's just whoever's the best at that moment. The better teams are gonna make the tournament meta theirs. That's just how it is.”

Knowagh: You mentioned that every region is different, is there a dark horse region or team?

QC. MSS: "I mean, the only region I occasionally watch is Europe because when I wake up some European games on. Also some SA games, but very rarely. I haven't watched any China games or SEA games. But I was looking at China team drafts a bit, and you know, they have a completely different meta, it's insane there. The way they pick Heroes is unique compared to other regions. But I think teams and regions are pretty even right now. I can't say for sure that one team is just gonna come out of nowhere and be on top."

Knowagh: How do you feel about the format of the major? Quincy Crew is skipping groups and starting in the playoffs, is that an advantage or disadvantage?

QC. MSS: “It's good and bad. Some teams like warming up with group stage games, and then being able to ride the momentum. But at the same time, if you start in the upper bracket and you win one game, you are in the top six and I think you're gonna be pretty happy. So it just depends. I mean, we're going to get there early so we're going to be able to scrim there. So I think in the long run we're gonna be happy with starting at the top of the bracket. On top of that, being able to watch the group stage it's pretty nice to just see what people are doing and whatnot.”

Knowagh: After beating EG twice now, how confident does Quincy Crew feel going into the major?

We're just waiting to finally showcase our progression.

mss - quincy crew

QC. MSS: "We're very confident. I mean, we were very confident for the first major as well but unfortunately, I caught COVID. But, I think we're always confident and we've gotten better as a team and we know that. So we're just waiting to finally showcase our progression."