Disclaimer: It wasn't really an interview but i was hanging out with a buddy of mine on voice yesterday and asked some questions about his boosting career and he was fine with me making and posting some notes. Wasn't really an interview but i turned it into one for easier readability.
Q: For how long did you work as a booster?
A: For about 6 years. I'm almost done with uni and will have a full-time job after though so i recently stopped boosting.
Q: Why did you boost?
A: To pay for Uni and support my family. The salary for a part-time job in my country is about $200 which is barely enough to pay for uni fees.
Q: How much did you make?
A: How much you make depends on the accounts you boost. Being unlucky also played a big role but Valve fixed this problem for us by putting Solo and Party MMR together because boosters now play in party stacks which makes winning much easier. Before that it was very random how much you made. Something between $500-$1000 a month and after the change i made about $700.
Q: How many accounts did you boost?
A: Not sure but easily more than 500.
Q: Did you work for an "organization"?
A: I did for like 2 years until the person that used to pay us ran away with the money. He used to pay us by the end of each month but one day he just disappeared. After that i made my own service with 2 other boosters.
Q: How many accounts do you think are boosted?
A: I don't know. I boosted accounts between 5k and 8k MMR in EU/CIS and if i alone boosted more than 500 accounts there are probably thousands in 5k and higher in EU alone.
Q: Are there any pros that boost?
A: Yes almost all of them are Tier 2 Players from East Europe however.
Q: What was your biggest boosting order?
A: A 5200-8000 MMR boost playing pos 5 and specific heroes only.
Q: Did you boost any known players?
A: Not that I'm aware of.
Q: What was your most absurd/surprising order?
A: A tier 1 player paying me a grand to boost his girlfriend.
Q: Are there any "dark" secrets in the boosting scene?
A: There are many boosters that work with self-developed hacks VAC never detects even though they guarantee not to. If people would know what kind of hacks are possible they would be really shocked.
The most common ones are warnings if invisible units are close, ward location detection, an overlay that shows cooldowns above enemy heroes heads, last hit/deny bot, enemy heroes networth graph, their location in fog, smoke warnings even if they smoked in fog, mini freezes that make the client of a player of your choice freeze for a few seconds, perfect Euls timings for SF ult for example… Most of these hacks work since Dota was in Beta and have never been fixed by Valve. Dota is one of the easiest online games to hack because you never face any consequences unless players report you because you are stupid enough to use obvious zoom hacks or instant cast scripts.
Q: Has anything Valve has done to combat smurfing and boosting actually hurt the business?
A: So far Valve has done more good for booster than harm. When they forced you to link a phone number to your account we started selling phone numbers for example. But the biggest gift for the scene was putting Solo and Party MMR together. This also helps booster to dodge boosting reports because nobody reports party stacks for smurfing/boosting. I'm still on a large boosting discord and haven't heard any reports about these accounts getting banned. The manual recalibration option is also a blessing because when the update came out we had more calibration requests than in previous years altogether.
Q: How many players on the Leaderboards do you think are boosted/smurfs/account buyers?
A: In EU more than 1500 for sure. Until like a year ago most people only wanted the Immortal Badge without the rank but since reaching Immortal is extremely easy these days more and more also want a decent rank too. Since Valve has put Solo and Party MMR together it is also very easy for account selling groups to create 7k+ accounts without much afford. The EU Leaderboard up to like Rank 1000 is extremely plagued with Smurfs, Boosted Accounts and Accounts that are meant to be sold. There is this classic EU/NA leaderboard meme but the only reason why you need like 6500 MMR in EU to get a rank and only 6000 MMR to get one in NA is that the NA Leaderboard is not full of people that shouldn't be there.
Q: Have you ever felt bad for boosting and ruining people's games?
A: At the start i was the classic Brood/Meepo/Clinkz/Huskar/Lycan booster type so it was often obvious that i'm a booster and got flamed in a lot of games. But there was one thought that helped me. People ALWAYS only complain about boosters if they are on the other team. Like people always only complain if they are the victim but not if they have the advantage and others are the victims. Later however i started playing less obvious booster and focused more on leading my team that trying to rush and stomp games. In fact i started winning more games when i started making calls and motivate my team to constantly make plays around the map while my cores farm. When Valve put Solo and Party MMR together things got even easier because nobody expects a 5 men party stack with dated accounts to be a bunch of boosters plus party stacks tend to care less.
However, it has become so common for boosters to just stack in party that they started facing each other all the time which is why many are going back to boosting in Solo queue.
Thats it for now, i'm too lazy to write down the rest. If you have any questions to him feel free to ask and i can include them in the next part.