GameInside.ua catch the coach of Virtus.pro, ArtStyle for an interview, before Ivan will go to team bootcamp. Champion of the first TI tell our site his thoughts about reshuffle between Na`Vi and VP and about last results. All the most interesting answers — read below.
— Let’s start with the situation with Lil, if you do not mind? Solo on the stream said that you discussed with Ilya his decline in the game. You as a coach do not think that personally you didnt do all your best, given that Lil had claims to the part of training?
— In fact, in this situation, maybe, lies my great fault. Somewhere did not find a right way, somewhere did not reassure the guys. But this was going on for a very long time, and let’s just say, over time people were even more driven by some game mistakes. It was impossible to leave such a roster anymore and a corresponding decision was made.
We worked on many options. Leaving Ilya was the most priority of the exits, just did not work. The main goal for us now is a victory on The International, for Ilya as well. I even think that Lil has more chances to do it in another team.
— The reverse side of this solution is RodjER now in Virtus.pro. What are the advantages of Volodya? Who did you consider besides him?
-With RodjER’s incoming, our most important advantage, and even his own, is that we «refreshed» the squad. We are feeling like updated. The guys are on fire again. If someone had a recession before, now we are working again. Constantly there are new ideas.
At one point, it seems to me, we had a kind of stagnation in Virtus.pro, we stalled. We did not have enough ideas, there was not enough variation. Roughly speaking, they were constantly doing the same thing. Now the work is boiling again and this distance is six months before The International 2018 should be enough for us.
In addition to Vladimir, no one was considered. He was the only adequate replacement for Ilya. We did not even know until the last whether RodjER would be released and whether he would be with us. Now the roster has begun to live a new life.
— In his farewell post, Ilya did not mention only you. Did something happen between you?
— No, he personally wrote to me, so I did not notice it. Everything is ok.
— What is the minimum goal for you on ESL One Katowice 2018? How long do you think you will get your peak form?
— We have only 2 weeks of training before Katowice. Given the fact that it’s been two weeks already, and we did not play as many games as we would like. I think that we will still try, there are two major in the lead and somewhere we need to find time for WESG. Therefore, in Poland we will in any case show the maximum of opportunities, but I believe that we need some time for overclocking.
We will not have excuses like «We havent enough time for preparetion». We will try to win the tournament and we have chances to do it. Nothing really changed for us, we still have all the strong players on their roles. We can fight against any enemy, whether Liquid, Secret or any of the Chinese teams.
But we need to work on many processes: coordination, communication. These processes are still in their infancy, but we are extremely motivated to overcome them.
— Speaking of WESG. What happened between you and Ilia, will it not interfere with you?
— To be honest, I do not know yet whether we will perform. In same time it will be a tournament qualifications for MDL, and this is a major, for which both Team Empire and OG with Roman are registered. It is unclear whether we will go from Ukraine.
— As far as we know, the players are now on the bootcamp. Why are not you on bootcamp?
— I agreed with the team to come a little later, in three days, because we are going to leave for a long time, the trip is designed for two months. And I really missed being with my family, staying at home with cats. Considering that I did not have to attend to some of the minors, but I even played them!
As a result, all this covered me up and I wanted to rest. I am already not 19 years old(laughs). But I’m on constant communication with the guys via the Internet during training, and on Monday I’ll be there. I also add that we are planning a bootcamp in China, during a break between tournaments, so it will be difficult.
— About minors. In the October interview, we talked about your possible return. After the victory at The Summit, did your eyes catch fire?
— No, they did not catch fire. Of course, I got a lot of fun playing with such teammates, everything was strong and interesting, the more we won it. But I do not feel that now I will sit down and be able to play at the same level as it needed. It’s very difficult at the moment.
I reacted more to these tournaments as an additional burden on the coach and that’s it.
— The fact that you have extracted significant results under your leadership has raised your authority in the eyes of the players?
— Actually, there is not under my leadership, almost everyone ran by Ramzes666`s plan.
— Well, at least did you get some respect from boys?
— Yes, I had to learn again some moments, but in several situations I showed that even if I do not play Dota 2 for a year and a half, I still understand in the movements on the map and other points. In the end, we played against the tops and I did not concede everywhere. So yeah, I’m happy with that.
— The question about Ramzes666. In Genting, you showed Virtus.pro not in the best way, including because of the peaks. How come you gave up Lycan?
— As for Lycan, I’ve already read a lot of comments and it seems obvious to all the pick or ban of this hero against EG — this was really obvious enough. But we played a lot of training with Team Liquid, they pciked it in every second game, and we found hearoes to «counter» Lycan. There was no such feeling that the hero is invincible, overbuffled — yes, but not so much.
But it so happened that the EG concept of using this hero is different. At them he is more the hero of the third position with farm, and from above there are two more carries: SumaiL and Arteezy. Nominally, of course SumaiL acts as a harder, but it does not play the role of an offlaner, but rather a soloplayer, which is then accelerated into a full-fledged carry. And Fear, roughly speaking, just absorbs the damage, then goes to the jungle and with two arts clicks on you with the right mouse button. But the hero himself is not some kind of specific, so everyone can do.
But it’s still our fault and mine in particular, we decided that we will be able to cope. Next time we will think differently.
— Why do you change the drafter?
— Simply Roman had specific ideas, and he asked to make a try, and Solo just gave his good. In addition, Solo took a break and he needed time to «acclimatize» to gather his thoughts and look at the situation from the side. I’m also doing this now, I’m constantly watching demos, etc. At the tournament there was an experiment: Roman drafting, Solo coordinates. And it worked, until we have got ban Tiny banned and the others..
— Returning to the topic of reshuffle between you and Na`Vi. The current lineup of Natus Vincere, what do you think about it? Can it work? What can you say about LeBron?
«I’ve known Nikola for a long time already, for three years, we played somehow in the party. I can not say anything about him, as a pro-player, we have never played together professionally. As for the solution itself, it is important for them to collect everything in a heap, but it’s hard for me to say that they have an atmosphere there. They lost RodjER, then SoNNeiKo and what will happen to the new lineup — it’s very hard to predict. Maybe at times better — maybe at times worse. Unclear.
— Have you played with them CW (clan wars)?
— No, they did not.
— And will you?
— We will, of course, if we are assigned to do it.
— During the broadcast of the ceremony at ESL One Hamburg, we could see that you were holding out. But in fact you are coach and for certain your contribution was in own way key. Sorry for being frank, but do you feel that you are «not worthy» to lift the cup? Or is it all your modesty?
— Can`t i answer on it? We simply did not speak abot it before final, and I did not want to take responsibility on myself to go somewhere. I was covered by my modesty.
— Excellent answer! Let’s talk about another topic. Patch has just come out. How is it to you?
— In fact, a very cool patch, but on the other hand, I would like more nerf for Lycan, he essentially remained the same. Strongly cut off the Rasta (Shadow Shaman — Ed.), Although the hero can still be used. And so … A small patch, what to take from it? It is much more interesting when everything changes upside down. On the major nothing will change.
— And the fact that now updates will be published every two weeks — how will this affect the training process?
— Valve always thinks up something in this regard. Take at least how they overloaded the year with tournaments. Now the training process is very complicated, because we can not predict what are we have to prepare in advance. What if our idea gonna be nerfed next week? And if you still play qualifications, then it’s generally horrible.
But on the other hand, they will not be large-scale, they will influence something, but the situation will not be changed at all.
— So you do not like innovations?
— No, I like them, I just liked the old tournament model, with two or three major majors in a year. These were very prestigious tournaments and everyone were prepared quite at different level. Now it’s just a regular tournaments with the «major» postscript and you need to visit everyone, which in itself is hard. The teams are working on wear and tear.
— Do not you think that the teams whose coach has experience in drafts, like you, 7mad, Heen and others, now have an advantage over those who have a coach acting more like a team psychologist?
— I do not know how the rest of the guys, how they do their job or what instructions they do. In my experience, I realized that sometimes extra words, or advise before the game can make all wrong. Now I have been with the guys for a year and I know who and what to say, and with whom it is better to remain silent and not to be discouraged. Myself is the same. When I played I really did not like that someone before the game begins to load me up, as I need to focus by myself. It all depends on the person.
— When did you advise something wrong? Tell us more about this.
-Well, I will not go into details. But of course there are moments, usually on clan wars, when testing ideas or sorting out options. It happens that we lose after 15 minutes and we understand that it is not not style, and better to go away from the idea and, of course, we do not use it at official games. It happens from time to time.
— And on LAN finals happened this?
— No no no! When it comes to LANs, I prefer that guys play on the best of our heropool. In th last time we have not worked with the style of EG, and we have completely understood our own.
— The experience that you got playing again, how did affect you as a coach?
— More likely no, than yes. I did not play on my own, the team was excellent, the tournament went like clockwork. Even there was nowhere to accelerate. Sometimes I play on the bootcamp, ideas arise, and I offer them.
— Now you are on vacation. Let’s leave all this dota-staff. What are you doing now in your spare time?
— Yes, constant traveling is hard thing, there is nothing to add. Now I am with my parents and cats chilling. Honestly, there is no time at all. This week, just as a balm, I had to beg myself to stay at home. Usually trips after trips, I even feel sorry for the guys, although they are young, more resistant for it.
-While we talked with you, we did not notice how the time flew by, and the questions ended. Thank you and good luck to the team, will you give some last words to the fans?
— I want to tell the fans of Virtus.pro not to be discouraged. Yes, we have let you down a bit recently, but now everyone wants to work and prove that all this was not in vain, bringing the second Aegis for the CIS. Cheer for us, we honestly do our best.