Gaimin Gladiator’s unflappable support, Seleri, sat down with to talk about the Berlin Major, vision in patch 7.33, and more!

Melchior "Seleri" Hillenkamp is one of the most laid-back Dota players you’ll meet, even with so much on the line at the Berlin Major. As the captain of Gaimin Gladiators, you’d think there was a lot of pressure on his shoulders, but talking to Seleri was relaxed, smiling, and enjoying the ride.

With Gaimin Gladiators heading to the Grand Finals, he has plenty to smile about. But we sat down with him ahead of clinching that finals spot, on May 5. We asked Seleri about Gaimin Gladiator’s transformation over the past year, how it feels to play Support on 7.33, and if Quinn is really the only one with a rivalry.

Seleri on Gaimin Gladiator’s transformation and performance

(Image via Gaimin Gladiator)
(Image via Gaimin Gladiator)

Hi Seleri, thanks for speaking to us. We spoke almost this time last year, and the team was in a very different place. What’s it been like going from middle-of-the-pack WEU team, to Major champions, DreamLeague Champions, Top-Three minimum at a second Major?

Seleri: “I mean, it definitely feels a lot different. It's hard to say exactly how it feels. It feels a bit weird, because we've been working really hard. And we've tried really hard to make the right decisions with the roster after TI. And we're very pleased with how it turned out. It's hard to get used to how it feels to do so well. Because now it almost feels a little bit boring here! We're waiting for some challenge! But we've worked really hard. So it makes sense that we're doing good, but it feels really weird.”

Do you think the success has changed your mentality and the way you play?

Seleri: “Fundamentally, we're still the same team, but in a way. For me, I feel like I have more confidence than before. And there's less pressure. Now it feels easy. Like, it's always very important on a  team that you just trust all your teammates 100%. But now it feels even easier to do that. We know each other. We've already won some tournaments. A pretty big one! So now everyone feels the same, where we know we just have to focus on doing our own part. Everyone knows exactly what they need to do. So I can just do my part and everyone else will do it. And they're all that way.”

This is such a different patch, in so many ways, but I notice that as a Five player, you’re still playing a lot of the same things as this time last year. Undying, Enchantress, etc. Does it really even feel like a new patch hero-wise for you?

Seleri: “I mean, some heroes are still the same. But it's not sure how much the heroes impact how it feels, because it's a lot different. There's a lot of different timings. Some heroes are still definitely the same. But I do get to play more heroes! Because it feels like there's less… In a way, right now in the state that people understand the meta, it feels like there's less viable cores. So then you pick your Terrorblade, Medusa etc. And now all the support, we get to pick later, and we can pick some cool stuff. It's pretty nice.”

I was going to say, it feels like Tofu gets to pick anything. Do you ever get jealous of Four Position players? — it seems like a patch where they just get to random a hero and it works.

Seleri: “I mean, I wouldn't say I get jealous. I think overall I'm playing heroes that I enjoy a lot. Like I've been playing Enchantress a lot. I did last patch as well, but I also really enjoy playing it, so I cannot complain about it. I would like to play a bit more Wisp now and then. Maybe later.” 

“But it is true that Tofu gets to play a lot of interesting stuff. We’re in the drafts, all of a sudden we’re last picking his hero in one of the games. And he's just thinking like, what should it be? And then he says, "Go Spirit, Spirit Breaker." And we won the game. So it was a good choice!”

Seleri on the the new patch and the DPC schedule

(Image via Gaimin Gladiator)
(Image via Gaimin Gladiator)

Vision has completely changed in the new patch. There’s new warding spots, new objectives you need to ward, free vision with the Watchers. Do you like it when the patch is new, and not everyone knows all the best ward spots?

Seleri: “When the patch dropped, it actually felt like a disadvantage in a way. In DreamLeague before we lost against Liquid, I was pretty annoyed because it felt so weird. I felt like we had a really good grasp of all the vision and everything. And now I'm going into the game and I'm just getting wrecked, what is going on?

The last patch, I knew everything. And now I just need to relearn a lot of things because warding is also about data and understanding where people ward the most. But when it's a new map, there's no such think as where people ward. You can still see this in a lot of games, Support sometimes like “Uh… where should I ward? I'll just put it on a cliff.” It's always gonna be gonna be on a cliff. It takes a lot of time actually to get used to it. 

If anything to think that changed the most is that there's less Sentries. So now, sometimes it feels like “Okay, that might be a ward on this random spot. Sorry, guys. We're out of Sentries. Again. Just be careful!”

So do you like the patch overall? Do you want to play the DPC on this patch?

Seleri: “I mean, I really enjoy it. But when it came out, I didn't enjoy it because I was a bit tired. And it comes out, and now it's so big and I need to read everything. It’s tiring.But now I think it's very fun. I think some things are too strong. Some heroes needs a little nerf. But that's how it always goes, something changed, something that turns out to be a bit too good. But overall, I think it's really fun.”

Personally, as a Dota fan, I find the season quite a slog. We have seven days until Div I starts after the end of the Major, then full DPC, then another DreamLeague, then Bali, then Riyadh, then TI. It’s non-stop. Do you feel you get enough down time?

Seleri: “Definitely right now. Doing this tournament, when it started, the first one and a half weeks I was pretty tired. I could really use a break. I think it also had to do with the patch dropping, because otherwise it was pretty okay.” 

“The thing is, when a big patch drops, now you need to think about it all the time. You cannot stop thinking about it. So now you have no downtime, even when you're not playing on these days, and the travel days, and all these days, you just keep thinking, thinking, thinking. So in that sense, maybe it's gonna be fine in the future. But right now, definitely in this tournament, it’s tough. We didn't practice a lot. I didn't play a lot. We watched almost no replays during the group stage because we just knew we only had so much energy. So we need to use all the time we have to relax right now. I think that was more important than hyper-practicing. So in that sense, maybe there's not enough downtime. That's hard to say right now.”

And finally, your teammate, Quinn, is famous for being outspoken, having beef with people. Who are you beefing with, secretly, for real, just for fun?

Seleri: “Well, I’m vegan, so I’m not really beefing with anyone…”

Oh, of course, sorry. Who are you vegging with?

Seleri: “Probably, Nightfall [Egor Grigorenko], because he talks a lot. That’s the one person where, well nowadays I mute a lot of people, because I just want to have peace. But before, I didn’t mute anyone, but he’s the one person if he’s in my game, I have to mute him. Not because I hate him or anything, but… argh! He just talks so much I cannot think! But I don’t even know. Do I hate this guy? He’s just a person, maybe he’s a nice guy. But I cannot even find out because he talks too much!”

Seleri and the rest of the Gaimin Gladiators will be in action in the Grand Finals of the ESL One Berlin Major. Keep your eyes peeled to for more Dota 2 news and interviews!

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