After an Advanced winning season in which they only dropped 3 rounds, lay and The Dojo are moving up into RGL Highlander Invite and looking to beat down the competition. Featuring a good mix of newcomers and established players, The Dojo looks to bite a little harder than most move-up teams do in HL’s top division.
An untested but high potential combo of dowd, Townze, Willy and lay, flanked by Cutimus on Scout and Austin on Engineer form the core of the team. The Dojo has their other classes filled out by three (3!!!) Spy mains with Hino taking mainclass duties, while pajaro and rairai (raiden Bv for you oldheads) fill out the roster on Sniper and Soldier respectively. Speaking of Spy, it's the only class that The Dojo will see change from last season. Where Theoretical Spy was taking care of espionage duties, Hino brings some welcome Invite experience to the roster that could help to ease the transition.
Expectations for the team are cautiously optimistic, as the same drive to improve that saw them emerge as the clear frontrunners of a seemingly top-heavy advanced division should help them improve by leaps and bounds over the course of the season.
Lay was kind enough to answer some of my questions on the team before they make their Invite debut:
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Coming off a dominant advanced season, how do you feel your team stacks up to the rest of the Invite competition?
Lay: Not great but not complete garbage either. We consistently do pretty poorly when we play against the top half of Invite but we are usually able to do well against the other lower half. I don't imagine us making playoffs at all, or really going positive, but I think we have the ability to get a 3-4 first season of invite in.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Historically, Advanced moveup teams have struggled to break that 2 win mark. What do you think sets The Dojo apart from its peers?
Lay: A lot of people on the team really do care about getting better at the game and learning how to do stuff correctly, whenever we do bad we try to figure out what happened and to do better next time.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: While naming names is always a difficult, who are some of the players who help to spur the team's improvement? Your roster has a good mix of well-known invite names and some newcomers, so I'd be interested in finding out how that dynamic plays out.
Lay: I definitely think Townze is the most important player on the team in regards to how different the team plays if he is not present. Cutimus and rairai on flank + spu on sniper also make a big impact that is very notable if they are not there. Everyone else on the team is still very important and taking just one person out can make a scrim a lot harder but those four players are the most notable imo in changing the team environment
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Who's going to take Invite by storm?
Lay: Difficult to say since pretty much everyone on the team is known in some regard and has been consistently playing/getting better. I do not believe Townze will be able to do it, but if I had to say somebody it would probably be cutimus since he hasn't been playing for nearly as much and imo has been doing a lot of underrated work in scrims, but it's hard to say until the season starts.
TEAMFORTRESS.TV: Any closing remarks or shoutouts?
Lay: Shoutouts to Theoretical Spy
The masters of The Dojo are:
- Scout: Cutimus
- Soldier: rairai
- Pyro: dowd
- Demoman: Townze
- Heavy: Willy
- Engineer: Austin
- Medic: lay
- Sniper: pajaro
- Spy: Hino