7ckngMad: “Of course Ana will return to OG”

7ckngMad: “Of course Ana will return to OG”

OG’s Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs talked about the current meta, the Starladder ImbaTV Minor, their new teammate iLTW, and the return of Anatan “ana” Pham to the squad.

Starladder proved to be another underwhelming event for OG. The team fell in the group stage after two straight losses against the Russian Old But Gold lineup. Even though they managed to win against China’s Royal Never Give Up, their overall performance was less than stellar.

One of the possible explanations may be that team’s newest addition, the young Igor “iLTW” Filatov wasn’t allowed in Ukraine following the geopolitical situation between Ukraine and Russia. Thankfully, iLTW was allowed to play for the team from his home, under the supervision of Starladder admin.

Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs talked about the event and his teammates in the interview.

Let’s start with the most important topic at the moment: iLTW was not allowed into Ukraine. What was your plan for that?

The tournament organizers said that iLTW will be able to play online under the supervision of a StarLadder judge so that he does not break any rules. That was the only option that we had.

Have you ever thought of playing with a coach?

No, we wanted to play with iLTW.

Players from the CIS rarely perform in European teams. Only Resolut1on can be called an exception. Why did you invite iLTW and what do you think about his potential in top teams?

With iLTW, I played a lot in matchmaking and noticed that he is very good. He perfectly shows himself in the micro. I would say that he has talent. Therefore, we remembered him almost immediately [when we needed a carry]. ILTW has huge potential — he works a lot and approaches the game very seriously and professionally.

In addition, he has the motivation to win. In many ways, he reminds us of ourselves when we were just starting our career in DotA. He has the motivation and talent — everything you need to become the best. I think he is waiting for great success in this discipline.

I just have to ask you about Ana. Many sources reported that he is returning to OG. Can you comment on these rumors?

Of course Ana will return to OG. He did not finish his career but only took a break. Such rumors constantly appear.

That is, he will return to OG?

Yes, of course.

Let’s talk about the Minor. Many analysts considered OG, if not the main contender to win, then certainly one of the favorites. What other teams, in your opinion, are included in this list?

I think Vici Gaming and Gambit Esports were definitely favorites of this tournament. In fact, there were many strong teams here. For example, the RNG is also a very dangerous opponent.

In general, “DotA” teaches that in any tournament each opponent must be approached seriously. Therefore, no matter who comes against you, you have to act as always and do your best. The team looks not only at the favorites.

What do you think about the current patch 7.21c?

In general, this is a good update. The developers balanced some of the characters, but I didn’t like some changes. I do not understand why they strengthened Meepo. I think he was so good. For some reason, they improved it again. I love it when developers make characters balanced, and not reinforce only one side of it. If the hero is good only in a single situation, it will be impossible to use it in other cases.

The rest of the patch is very good. I liked that the developers had finally begun to change the system of denying. Look at how “DotA” has changed, when they stopped giving a lot of experience for selected creeps. Perhaps Valve still has to balance the sides — now the percentage of victories for the Radiant is slightly higher. Of course, this is not such a big problem, but, in my opinion, the winrate should be as close as possible to 50 to 50%.

What do you think of Mars? Already managed to play on it?

I have not yet taken Mars in matchmaking. Just tested it in training mode. Very funny and simple character with interesting abilities. In general, he did not seem to me too strong, but I always say this about new heroes. I think in a month everything will change. But for me now, he doesn’t look like a character from DotA — the hero’s model doesn’t really fit into this game, but on the whole it’s an interesting idea.

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9pasha: “The group stage will be difficult for all the teams”

9pasha: “The group stage will be difficult for all the teams”

World Electronic Sports Games 2018 start today and the battle for $890,000 USD begins. Defending champion Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov returns with White-Off, but this time the climb will be much harder, he says.

White-Off consists of four Virtus Pro players — Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov, Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev, Vladimir “RodjER” Nikogosyan, and Alexei “Solo” Berezin, as well as team’s coach Arsenij “ArsZeeqq” Usov. Joining them will be Gambit’s Andrey “Afoninje” Afonin.

Last year 9pasha’s Team Russia won $800,000 after defeating Brazil’s paiN Gaming in the grand final. That time they played with Igor “iLTW” Filatov, who now plays for OG.

In an interview Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov talked about WESG, growing prize pools, arrogant players and the new hero Mars.

You are defending the WESG champion title. Does it affect your attitude to the tournament?

No, absolutely not. We came here only because we wanted to be here. And the fact that we are defending the title of last year’s champions doesn’t mean anything for us. We came to play Dota and represent the country.

You played with iLTW last year, this year you play with Afoninje. Can you compare the play styles of these players?

Now, Igor is playing in OG. He is a star! He is arrogant now, it is impossible to talk to him, he deleted everyone from contacts and does not respond to messages on the phone. And you can only contact him through a lawyer. He is a closed young man.

The previous year at WESG, you wore a funny uniform. Should your fans expect anything unusual?

I would like to, but we have not planned anything like that. We still have a cool form, but my form, if I may say so, has broken. I will be without it, that is very sad, but nothing terrible. I will not spoil it — we have a very cool, stylish uniform.

Who is your main opponent in this tournament?

It is difficult to say … Maybe EHOME? In general, here is a Chinese team that consists of five pretty strong players. I do not remember their exact names, but we’ve discussed it several times with the team.

What do you think about the participant list for this year compared to the previous one? A couple of strong Chinese teams have joined the competition.

People finally understood what WESG is. It’s just that when people came to WESG for the first time and got a lot of money, and they were paid, everyone thought it was just luck. When the same thing happened for the second time, then everyone understood that it was not luck. By the third WESG, everyone realized how much money can be earned here, and that “the money has a 100% win rate.” So now, it will be difficult to win, but we came here to fight for respect.

How did you prepare for the tournament?

We have essentially the same team Virtus.pro with one replacement, Afoninje. We haven’t played with him until today, but we understand what kind of player he is, what he is capable of, for all that we are watching him. With his team, Gambit, we both train and play official matches, so we have an idea of what he is made of. Therefore, we will cope with everything.

No[o]ne is a part of Team Ukraine at the tournament. Does it make your potential match more expected and principled?

I think Team Ukraine will not manage to pass through the group stage… Their group is very dangerous, which is the first reason. And secondly, you know, as they say, the one who is the most arrogant is the first to be knocked out. And they are the most arrogant. Well, they will cook for us some nuddles (laughing).

What do you think about Group A. And what about your own?

I took a look at them and I can say that it will be hard too. Generally, the group stage will be difficult for all the teams because only two teams can reach the Playoffs. That is what makes all the matches more hyped.

What do you think about the updated tournament system?

I’m not quite sure that I can definitely evaluate it. In fact, if you lose one Bo2 you are already in a risk zone. Therefore, it will be hard.

Let’s discuss the latest updates in Dota 2. How much do you think the game has changed?

Kunkka as a mid-hero is now very bad. Previously, he had a big advantage due to the fact that he could deny the creeps with Tidebringer. Now he cannot do it, so he immediately became a bad hero. Not even that bad… Rather not as dominant as before.

Midas is now an item that you do not want to buy for supports. You need to understand that the item is so popular because of the experience bonus, and not because of the gold. I wouldn’t pay attention to attack speed.

Have you already tried Mars in a ranked match?

So far, I’ve only played one ranked match. And one guy who played on him was just bad. But on the other hand, the abilities of the hero are very cool. It seems to me that in the future he will take the role of the third or fourth position in professional games. I don’t think he can be a mid-hero or carry.

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Dendi: “People want to see either immediate success or instant failure”

Dendi: “People want to see either immediate success or instant failure”

Danil “Dendi” Ishutin explained how he chose the new team and why he joined Tigers, assessed the level of teams from the CIS, shared his opinion on the meta and discussed the possibility of changing the position.

Eight years — that is how long Dendi played for Ukrainian team Natus Vincere. Through good and bad times, through hot and cold. Among many other respectable results, NaVi, lead by Ishutin, won The International 2011 and came in second the two years after that.

The last few years weren’t that great for Natus Vincere. The team struggled to constantly show good results and a big change was needed. In September 2018 NaVi management decided to bench its star player Danil “Dendi” Ishutin.

Four months later, Dendi joined Tigers on loan, together with David “MoonMeander” Tan, Kenny “Xepher” Deo, and Sivatheeban “1437” Sivanathapillai.

In an interview with Russian DOTA 2 caster Vitaly “v1lat” Volochayu, Dendi talked about the recent months of his life — leaving NaVi, joining Tigers, among other topics.

About choosing a team

“A lot of teams approached me, I can’t even remember them all. But I was not interested in all this. Some of them were interesting, but I simply couldn’t afford in this position, because it’s a double-edged sword. People are waiting for some results, or, conversely, haters are sitting and waiting for me to fail.

I needed some kind of other option. From tier 1 teams no one called me anywhere. Perhaps because they are all stacked, perhaps because they do not consider me to be a super strong player — I have a tarnished reputation, since the last two years. <…> I wanted to get into the team, in which I would have some kind of faith in me. In any case, I would go to some team, because half a year has already passed [in an inactive role]. When Tiban called me, I decided that this option is pretty good, looking at the players who were there. In addition, I wanted to go to another region, I did not want to play here in the CIS.”

About teams from the CIS

“The level of the CIS in DotA is rather weak. Mechanically, the CIS is one of the strongest regions in the world. This is 100% true. In terms of mechanics, micro, laning, we have very strong guys, that is, they can smash those buttons very well. But in terms of strategy, in terms of macro, team play — very big problems. Because we have such a mentality, we all want to be cool. It is impossible to say where this sense of self-importance came from.”

About the possibility of changing the position

“I have a lot of experience on the center lane in the competitive DotA, but I have no experience in other positions now. Of course, I am sure that with my knowledge I will be able to adapt to any role. Some role may be better suited to me, and some — worse. But I can switch.

On January 22, Danil “Dendi” Ishutin became a Tigers player . The team was not selected for any tournament from the Dota Pro Circuit. Most recently, Tigers won StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor Southeast Asia Open Qualifier, but dropped out of the closed qualifier after two straight losses.

You can watch the full interview in Russia here:


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Fng: “OG had every chance to win the game if they played a little better”

Fng: “OG had every chance to win the game if they played a little better”

The captain of the Gambit Esports Dota 2 team Artem “Fng” Barshak spoke about the confrontation with Team Secret in the grand final of ESL One Katowice 2019 and admitted that he expected defeat.

According to Barshak, before the start of the tournament he set the task for the team to get to the top 3 at the $300,000 event. The Russian team had a great start, even defeating the giants OG 2:0 in the group stage. Gambit lost only three maps out of ten in group A — twice against Team Secret and once against Forward Gaming.

In the playoffs, even though Fng’s team managed to secure wins against Fnatic and, once again, OG, they fell against Team Secret once again. 0:2 in the group stage, 0:2 in the winners final and 0:3 in the grand final — those were the results Gambit showed against Clement “Puppey” Ivanov’s Secret.

Gambit went back home taking a second place finish and $65,000 USD. And according to the team captain Artem Barshak, all things considered, that’s a great result.

Let’s start immediately with the results of the tournament. Second place — an excellent result. You’re happy?

My task was to get to the top 3. It seemed to me that we can definitely go to the top and defeat the first team there. But I understood perfectly well that it would be difficult to play against Secret, and I thought that Fnatic, Ninjas in Pyjamas, OG are teams that can defeat us.

What went wrong in the final?

In the grand final was the expected result. There were a lot of problems: starting with the basic mechanic in the lining and ending with some more difficult things. For example, the correct attacks on the towers or fights — how we pushed them, how they moved on the map…

Were you ready to face off against Team Secret?

After the group stage, when we played there with Team Secret, we got the impression that we were being toyed with. I, in principle, knew that Puppey likes to do that, but when you already feel it for yourself, you begin to think about it more and find ways to fight.

In the group it was that, conditionally, they took Lifestealer, we take Ursa, and from them this Nyx goes to a lower position, and to him comes some other hero who is potentially good against our strategy. Puppey likes to do something like that.

In the playoffs, Secret began to push even harder. They took adventage of the heroes who are good at this patch — in particular Viper. We also knew about that, the Viper is a potentially very cool hero. This was evident in the games at MDL Macau 2019. But due to the fact that we did not have time to practice with him and understand whether he suits us or not, we mostly ignored him. And after the games with Secret in the playoffs, we realized that Viper is somehow problematic.

By the end, we had a third idea: there is no point in trying to take what they have already seen from us. Everything that we did in the tournament, every draft — we completely abandoned it and invented three completely new ones. It turned out funny because, as it turned out, we took 15 different heroes. It came out absolutely spontaneously. But, as I said before, this is a very strong team, and you need to be strong in all aspects to defeat it. Starting from the draft and ending with laning, team fights, solutions in mid-game, late-game and so on.

In the final, you picked Naga Siren, which almost no one takes. Is that hero underestimated?

About Naga, I remember that we had two or three options. I’ve already forgotten what. Naga was just one of them. We knew that we’ll take Dark Seer, and Team Secret will take Anti-Mage. We decided that it could suit us.

The new Naga is pretty good against Anti-Mage, but on the condition that it has good networking, and AM has normal or lower. In fact, with Anti-Mage everything was perfect, with Naga worse than the average … And, accordingly, a logical outcome. But apart from that there were a bunch of other factors.

Nikita “Daxak” Kuzmin on the second map collected the Hand of Midas on Juggernaut. Is this a valid decision?

Actually, it seems to me that right now Midas on Juggernaut is one of the best artifacts. Because Battle Fury itself has become weaker: it costs 4 thousand gold, and you still need to farm after buying it. After buying a Midas, your ultimate becomes stronger at times. After that, you can buy another conditional Yasha, and then the hero turns out to be tempo, not greedy. Therefore, we liked Midas on Juggernaut very much.

Before the final, you confidently beat OG. With the advent of iLTW, this team has become stronger?

I would not say that we confidently beat them. Games really went the way we wanted, not OG. But they certainly were not easy, because OG had every chance to win the match if they played a little better.

As for Igor and OG … Frankly speaking, it is difficult for me to assess whether the team has become stronger. Because the results suggest that OG is now a bit stronger. At first they didn’t get out at all, then they went to the major, and now again to the minor, if I do not confuse anything.

Probably, with Igor, they look a little more interesting, because Pajkatt is the kind of guy who likes to customize the game around the team, so that people play the way they are comfortable with. And Igor is malleable and still young …

He will be asked: “Igor, what are your best heroes?” He will name ten heroes. And he will say: “Let me play this here.” And Igor will not say no. He will say: “Yes, it is easy.” Here in this spirit. Therefore, in this regard, OG has become stronger. But if we want to see OG in the top 3 majors, then this is not enough.

You have to play with her in the minor. Do you think this is the most serious rival of your team?

Honestly, I still have not checked who will play against whom in the minor. I’m not joking. As they say, you have to go step by step. We just returned from IEM, today is the first weekend for us in a long time after the bootcamp and the LAN tournament. Tomorrow I’ll probably see [the matchups].

But I suspect that, as always, there will be some strong Chinese team … If I’m not mistaken, there will be Vici Gaming.

Vici and Royal Never Give Up.

I have not seen, frankly, how the RNG plays. I think Vici will be a threat and potentially OG.

Is it fair to consider your team a Minor favorite after such a performance in Katowice?

Well, fair, I guess. Because, nevertheless, we beat the teams that reached the major and showed good results at the previous majors. And on the minor, even though we lost against EHOME with a score of 1: 3, I would not say that we looked like whipping boys.

Well, we also add the tournament from WePlay, which we won online. Therefore, yes, I would say that we are favorites. But Vici are favorites as well.

And OG behind you?

It’s just always very difficult to evaluate Chinese teams. Here, if I knew the power of the Chinese teams clearly, I would say, but it seems to me that this will be Vici, we and OG are in the top four.

What is the goal for the team for the rest of this season? Participate in all the remaining majors, earn a slot at TI?

– It is obvious that the slot in The International is the task for any team. It is silly to say: “We want to win every tournament”, or something like that. Yet “International” is “International.” You always want to get there.

But now the team is in such a state that everyone wants to play in all tournaments, where it is possible and reasonable. Accordingly, we want to win every tournament we play.

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Xron: “The one who puts in the most work is the winner”

Xron: “The one who puts in the most work is the winner”

With the future of Quake Champions esports in question, many of the pro players are looking for the answer elsewhere. Dmytro “Xron” Sakharuk is enjoying Apex Legends for now, but is there more to it?

Although it found a strong core audience, Quake Champions has been struggling to break through into the gaming mainstream since before its release. Nonetheless, there was always a strong, developer-backed esports scene behind it.

Recently, however, with the dropping viewership numbers as well as issues within the game the future of the scene came into question. Even more so, after the unexpected hit release of Respawn’s Apex Legends. Most Quake professional players have been openly playing (and enjoying) the new battle royale.

Dmytro “Xron” Sakharuk himself thinks it’s a fun game and he’s going to be playing more of it. But what about the future?

Many Quakers are indulging in Apex Legends right now. How serious and promising is the game?

It is hard to say. In battle royale games, as a rule, all the money goes to popular streamers and tournaments are made for them, not for players. It’s too early to talk about tournaments at all. This is just a fun game.

You played PUBG, Fortnite and now Apex. What do you like (dislike) in each and which one is better?

I played everything but PUBG and Fortnite only for a couple of days or weeks. In PUBG I do not like the mechanics and the slow game. In Fortnite I ran a little with Cypher, I liked it, a very cool and skill based game, but in order to play at a normal level, you need to give it at least 10 hours a day, I am not ready to go for it. Apex — very easy to understand, a lot of action, very fun to play with friends. It is always interesting to chop into something new. I don’t want to compare these games, each is good in its own way, but I personally don’t like only PUBG.

What qualities should a popular shooter have today? Does it have to be a battle royale?

Everyone has their own views on this. I personally like quick games with team interaction. Team play is generally the main thing. Running with friends is fun after all. I am very pleased that Apex has achieved such popularity without a solo mode. I do not think that the popularity of the game requires the format of the royale games. Counter-Strike proves it.

You communicate with many top players in Quake Champions. What is the mood now in the pro scene regarding the future of Quake?

In general, everyone is just waiting for announcements or at least something, nothing more we can do.

How are you going to prepare for the OGA Quake PIT #2 Duel event?

I will play a couple of days in Free For All or in 2x2 with friends, I can pick up a stream and play a ranked duel.

Do you expect the overall skill level to drop there due to Apex and other games?

I think the results will be unpredictable. Most likely the favorites are Vengeur,Raisy,Toxjq. They are the most active players in Quake today, but as in any game, the one who puts in the most work is the winner.

Is the format of the OGA Quake PIT tournament and the composition of participants good (after all, there is no Clawz, Agent or Base)?

Clawz was invited, but he refused, I don’t know about the others. I’m just glad that there will be at least some tournament for Quake and its format is not important.

Where does your love for cats come from? Do you have cats?

I just like cats. And yes, I live with a cat.

By the way, how did you come up with your nickname? Does it bother you that casters mispronounce it all the time?

I just liked the word, I never thought that they would pronounce it in English. I’m not going to change it. It’s normal that most people don’t pronounce this word correctly. If we recall 2017 and LANs, then the people working at the time as commentators / interviewers constantly approached me and asked how to pronounce correctly. They tried to do this even after I told them that I absolutely did not care.

What holidays do you like the most? Do you support the European traditions associated with Valentine’s Day?

No favorite holidays. I spent Valentine’s Day with my beloved Jack Daniels.

Which of the current Apex characters do you like more? Is there a need for new heroes?

I like Lifeline. I would like to see new characters with time, I am always for any new content and innovations. It’s hard to say how the character pool should look like if you suddenly add ranked games, then it may be worthwhile to balance everything, but for now let it be just a fun and a cool game which it is.


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Chuvash: “Everybody knows that I am the king of Sven”

Chuvash: “Everybody knows that I am the king of Sven”

NaVi’s Evgeniy “Chuvash” Makarov talked about the patch 7.21, analyzed some of the buffs and nerfs, as well as the rework of the Io.

Natus Vincere have been struggling to find their way back to victory. The last major tournament win for the Ukrainian team was back in 2017 at Adrenaline Cyber League where they triumphed over Virtus.pro. Recently, however, Chuvash’s team managed to show some worthwhile results, including a second place finishes at MegaFon Winter Clash and DreamLeague Season 10.

NaVi’s support player Evgeniy “Chuvash” Makarov sat down to discuss the recent patch 7.21 and what changes will it bring to the game.

The amount of experience required from level 7 to 12 has been increased from 640/660/680/800/820/840 to 720/750/780/810/840/870. How this will affect the gameplay? Does this mean that the life of a support player got a little difficult and the matches will be longer?

The gameplay will not change much. A little annoying that’s all.

Phase Boots and Power Treads, are you happy about the fact that Icefrog basically reverted the changes?

Yes, I like this change. I actually quite dislike Phase Boots.

Valve keeps buffing Lion’s talents. Does he have the potential to be the mid hero? Or solidify himself as a support in the patch 7.21?

You can utilize him in midlane but after his first death, it’s very hard for him to come back. As support thought not so bad.

Earth Spirit is being nerfed once again. In your opinion is that justified? How would you approach this hero and the people that are weakening one of your favorite heroes?

Well, the nerf looks quite natural, because Earth Spirit is the first pick material. I wouldn’t say that he was super strong (but it’s a pity).

Grimstroke was also nerfed. Is he balanced yet or he requires some more nerfs?

I think, in the current patch he looks quite adequately.

Enchantress’s Enchant has been reworked, she seems more powerful early- and in late-game. Is that sufficient enough to get her back to meta?

Yes, we will see this hero more than once.

Io got a complex rework. In your opinion, which changes are positive and which are not? Is the hero OP?

I didn’t understand this at all, why buff the first pick hero?

In the patch KotL got his 30% exp talent at level 10 instead of 15, will we see this hero more often in the pro scene because of this change?

The KotL lovers will still pick him, but in general, the change is insignificant.

From patch to patch, Ogre Magi gets more and more buffs, how many does he need to get to be drafted? What do you think, what is he lacking?

Ogre does not suit into this meta, he loses the lane to the main batch of heroes of this patch.

Sven who was gaining more popularity in the last patch as a support has been reworked. Did you enjoy your time while it lasted? Is he now back to the carry position?

Everybody knows that I am the king of Sven. I think we won’t see him much as a carry.

Has Tusk got a sufficient nerf or should they have nerfed it more?

Previously Earth Spirit and Tusk were stronger then the rest of the pos4 supports, now they are about the same as Tiny and Elder Titan and that’s good.

Top 3 pos4 heroes for the calibration?

As a person who got 3 wins out of 10, I shouldn’t give any advice.

How do you counter rank 3 Slark in DotA Auto Chess?

Haven’t played it for 3 weeks(hopefully, I won’t play it at all)

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