By Fantasy

This week I had the opportunity to talk with mmhod`, captain of the dominant Thai female team, Dominatrix. In our interview she talks about the origins of the squad, their winning streak, and the challenges of being a female gamer in world of Thai HoN.

mmhod`, captain of Dominatrix - courtesy of Dominatrix Facebook

Fantasy: Hello mmhod`, thanks for taking the time for this interview. You are not very well-known outside of the Thai scene. Could you introduce yourself?

mmhod`: Oh, no problem. Thanks a lot for asking me to do this. So my name is Maymae, I am from Thailand. In-game I go by the name mmhod` and I am playing for [DMt] Dominatrix - a female team in Thailand.

Starting with the past, how did you start with gaming and HoN?

I started playing HoN about 2 years ago. I don’t have other experience with other games - I just fell in love with HoN and started playing it regularly.

From that start you became part of one of the most powerful teams in Thai Female HoN history with Dominatrix - how did you guys get together?

It all started with EMoOKuK and myself being best friends in real life. We both loved HoN and both loved the challenges of the game. We both thrived under the competition and embraced it, forming Dominatrix with the mindset of making the best Girls team in all of Thailand. That was how it started, then we invited the other players that fit very well and started playing together.

Was it your aspiration to be a part of the competitive scene from the beginning?

Definitely. Like I said, our goal always was to be the best girl team in Thailand and compete with the best. A side note of this was also to be a good example, a role model for other female players, and create a good community for HoN girls.

Just like you, your team is not that well-known outside of Thailand. Tell us a little bit about your teammates and the entire team structure?

Okay, well I am going to go through it by position. I, mmhod`, am the carry player of the team, my best friend and founding member EMoOKuK plays initiating heroes in the middle lane. The other three are PRAEWIIFREAK who plays the suicide role for us, SHERRIE`ELLA - aka `L`ynx - is our hard support, and WiRoNe is roaming for us. Together we are Dominatrix!

How did you come up with the name Dominatrix?

LOL. Well, we just all like the Rihanna song S&M - so it wasn’t that far fetched to go with that name.

What is your practice routine usually? How much do you play or scrim per

We have a pretty set schedule in the week, that we keep regularly. We play all five days of the week and have the goal to play at least two or three games. This varies from just 5-man queues or scrims, whatever we manage to find on the given day.

Do you have any experience against male top teams?

We do actually. Unfortunately it was just experience so far, nothing on the winning side. As of now we haven’t been able to get a win over a 1900+ MMR team, but we are eager to play, practice, and improve to make that dream come true.

You told me once, that your biggest dream is to play and win against one of the more accomplished male teams in Thailand. Do you have any plans to join the “male” HoN Tour as a team?

We did and do that. Last time we joined the HoN Tour competition and actually did pretty well for ourselves. We managed to get as high as Division 1, but couldn’t quite make the jump to the G-League just yet. We are also playing this Thai HoN Tour season and try to improve our skills and make a run - all that while also competing in the female competition on the playoff weekends.

How would you approach a match against your boyfriend, Neo.MRR Chitawan`?

Ha, that is a really hard question. I never really thought about this before. I think it wouldn’t really affect me that much, it would just be us against one of the best teams Thailand has to offer. I think playing my boyfriend wouldn’t be a major factor, I would just try to do my best and I would like my girls to do their best.

Would a win against his accomplished Neolution eSports.MRR feel special to you?

It would give me bragging rights in the relationship, but other than that, I would just chalk it up as a big improvement and experience for my team. That is what it is all about in the end, not me as a person, but the Dominatrix team. We try to improve together and learn with each other to become the best team we can possibly be. Beating an accomplished teams would give us a boost and also redeem us for all the hard work we put into this project.

Now that we are on this subject - we know that other pro players tried to coach their girlfriend’s teams. Has Chitawan` any coaching imprint on Dominatrix?

No, he sometimes tries to give me advice, but every player on our team has their own personal coach or mentor to improve on the given position. For me personally it is duiqu, the MRR carry player.

Personal coaching for me is not the important part of our practice though, since we really need to be good as a team. I think the most important part is to watch replays. We always watch replays, every day, all the time. Replays of our upcoming enemies, replays of our own games, and of course replays of the top players and top teams in Thailand to learn and improve from their example.

Is that something you think would have helped? Would you have wanted him to coach you?

I believe in personal coaching to improve your play on a given position, but overall for the team, I think we can manage alone and just learn from the replays!

Dominatrix in full Neolution E-Sports gear - courtesy of Dominatrix Facebook

Leaving your personal life and back to the nitty-gritty of HoN, you are one of the most fierce teams in female history. This weekend you will protect your title against three other teams, how do you see your chances?

I feel like we have a good chance of winning. As a matter of fact I believe we will win this competition for the second time in a row, mostly because we put so much effort into it. We are practicing a lot, we are trying to improve as a team and actually make something out of this opportunity. That will give us the edge and carry us to the second Lady HoN Tournament title in a row.

In the first iteration of this cup, you destroyed the competition. What makes you so much better than the rest?

The practice. HoN is a complex team game, so you need to know each others movements and be aware of the strategy all the time. You can only achieve that when you practice a lot as a team. That is what makes us better.

This time around, the “real” Bubble Gums with icon Fahsai is most likely going to show up. Do you see them as your biggest competition?

[BBGx] Bubble Gums is a good team, that is for sure. I don’t know what our biggest competition is actually, I guess at the end of the weekend you just have to look at the results and figure it out. We will be prepared for all of them.

You won GSL 14 and the first HoN Lady Cup, how do you motivate yourself to practice in the light of these great results?

Well, we want to be the best girls team in Thailand. That goal is not reached by winning one or two tournaments, it’s a long process. You do not lose motivation by winning, you want to keep winning and get better. As I told you and you mentioned before, we want to be the best female team, but also be able to compete with the big male teams in HoN Tour.

Overall the female competitive scene in Thailand seems to be doing really well. Do you think there is potential for a female HoN Tour league?

For sure! I wish they would just give it a try, I believe a lot of girls would want to compete and test their skills!

I have conducted an interview with Pixiebaby a year ago, speaking about the female scene in SEA in general. A lot more girls seem to be doing well inside the scene, why do you think that is the case?

Yeah, that is absolutely true; she is a role model for SEA. We try to be role models for Thailand to encourage more and more girls to get into gaming and not accept it as just a male dominated field. I also like her!

Have you seen any big support for the female community coming from the publisher or the distributors in Thailand?

Well, Garena hosts these small lady tournaments for us at the big events. We were featured at GSL, we are featured at promotional events and now as a part of the HoN Tour playoffs - so they are doing good things.

I also have to mention Neolution E-Sports, who not only support the team of Chitawan`, but also give us and the female community a lot of support and help us out a lot.

As a whole, the Thai scene is flourishing compared to other region. Why do you think HoN is so strong in Thailand?

It is just that a lot of Thai gamers found the game and fell in love with it. We have a lot of excitement around it and the game is just always fresh. It has so many various features, so many new and exciting elements and no game is ever the same. It is just fun for a lot of people for a long duration of time. That is the main reason I think.

Why do you personally prefer HoN over other games?

I just fell in love with the game and never went away from it. I absolutely love HoN <3

Dominatrix at this weekend’s HoN Lady Cup - courtesy of Dominatrix Facebook

Now to close the interview, more questions about being a female in a male-oriented game. In NA/EU some girls receive a bit of harassment from the male dominated player base. Is that the same in Thailand?

Well, it’s a stereotype first and foremost. Many guys just see a female player and immediately associate her as a noob. That is something that needs to change and hopefully it does. In Thailand more and more girls are joining the game, so the impact of harassment is lessened more and more.

As I said before, I interviewed Pixiebaby from Malaysia before, who told me sometimes she gets negative feedback as in “being just a pretty face”. Is there any backlash in Thailand?

I’ve never experienced backlash and I think PixieBaby’s mocking is not justified either. All I know is that she is a very good player and worked hard to get to the level. It’s not just the looks, it’s dedication that gets you to the top!

Another perception of female teams is that often the players will develop internal rivalries. In the past, promising and popular teams have failed because of these internal issues. How do you and your team manage to stay on the same page?

We are friends, but it’s still an uncertainty - everything is. I can only say that our team has common goals and likes each other. So we will strive to achieve success and stay together as a team as long as possible. As long as possible is hopefully a long, long time.

Overall there seem to be a general friendship in the entire community of female gamers in Thailand. Is that just my outside view or do you all get along well with each other?

Yes, we do! We like the other players from the other teams and cherish the opportunity to hang out at the Garena studio or outside of the game with each other. The HoN Lady tournament not only gives us a chance to compete, but also hang out with friends and build up the reputation of a strong female scene without drama.

Do you have any shoutouts or anything before we end the interview?

Just for my team. If you want to be up to date with everything that is new on Dominatrix, please follow us on Facebook!

About The Author: Fantasy

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