Maria Emolina, Masha as the Dota 2 CIS fans might know her, made her host debut for a Dota 2 tournament. EPICENTER 2019 gave her this opportunity and she embraced the job with opened arms.
Maria’s presence in the CSKA arena is a very fresh one and she has a natural way of doing this job. That’s because this is not her first contact with the esports world, and in fact she is someone who does a tremendous work for one of the biggest Dota 2 teams, Virtus.pro.
In between the series on the first day at EPICENTER we managed to sit and talk to Maria about her debut as a tournament host and about her previous experience in event hosting and about her job as a content producer for Virtus.pro
The English stream didn’t get to see you at the live opening ceremony of EPICENTER, unfortunately, but I’m here to tell them that they missed something. Congrats on your debut as a Dota 2 tournament stage host. I don’t understand any bit of Russian, but I still could get all the vibes and the positive energy from you. You have done a lot of work behind the scenes and we will talk about that later, but before we do it, tell me how did you make this transition to stage hosting?
I wouldn’t exactly call it a transition. I would say it’s more like something that happened naturally. Before joining the esports world I hosted different kind of shows, music events, concerts, things like that. I also worked in a Radio station, I worked in TV, so that’s why I am familiar with this kind of job. I would even say I have experience hosting events, of course, this is my first Dota 2 one, but it was something that I really wanted to do.
Alright, now it makes more sense, at least to me and I bet, to all the people that saw you in the arena or on the Russian stream.
Yeah, it all came together for me I think. It’s a mix of my previous profession and of my experience with the esports scene and especially with the Dota 2 one.
Have you ever pictured yourself doing this for an international audience, do you dream that one day you will be hosting in English?
Yes, it’s something that I sometimes dream about but it’s a target that I have to put somewhere far in the future because, to be honest, my English is not that good. For a host, for an MC, the language is the main tool. So, when you go and work in the media field and you want to be on camera, you have to be comfortable, you have to master the language, to feel comfortable speaking a foreign language, and I still I have a lot of work to do with my English.
Let’s talk about your work in esports. You are the Youtube manager for Virtus.pro, the person behind all their video content. So, how is it to work with their Dota 2 team?
It’s a lot of work, I can tell you that. Sometimes it’s also hard, but it’s something that I love to do. These are not just some players I do content for, they are my best friends, my family. And because we made this strong connection I might understand them better, I know or I feel when I can come to them with the camera on and when I have to stay away. I understand how and when I can help them, it’s an interesting job. I’m also the one who does all the editing, so I’m not only the interviewer, but I’m also editing my own work and that gives a good flow, I have my own rhythm of releasing all the content
For instance at the Chongqing Major, the Virtus.pro youtube channel, so basically me, posted the most videos from that tournament. More than MainCast and more than RuHub. So, I guess you can say I’m a workaholic, that I have an obsession with this work.
It’s actually interesting to hear that because I know Solo was super sick during that tournament so, that’s from start one less person you could do content with.
Yes, but we had a lot of Vlogs and that’s a format that doesn’t really requires me to always interact with them. I just shoot a lot of things and then do a lot of work on editing.
How fast do you want to be with all that editing?
Usually, I have to be very fast with that. We don’t have much time because we want to keep our fans updated as fast as possible. So, in general, I’m doing everything in one day, the shooting, editing, and then release the video.
I have this example that popped into my mind now. The video you made on the departure day to the Major in China where you helped everyone to pack their bags and be ready for the airport and I think you release it even before you all landed in China.
Yes, when we have tournaments and videos related to our activity there, we really want to publish something on the same day we filmed. Sometimes I don’t sleep, but that’s something normal by now, it’s a part of the job.
Me working in the media field, I perfectly understand how hard it is to work on tournaments there, especially with Youtube and western social media channels. Is your body prepared for TI9?
Absolutely. I made my training at the Chongqing Major. That was a hard tournament not only because of the internet but it was also hard to find ideas for content, for filming outdoors because that’s not much of a tourist city. But it will be different in Shanghai. You have so many places to go there, I can’t wait ! Of course, the internet problem will still exist for us, the media people, but I know how to deal with it now.
Alright, I can’t wait to see what you guys are up to in Shanghai. Have fun on these two days left in the tournament here in Moscow, and I hope to see you one day hosting in English.