After the abysmal performance at DreamLeague Season 11, Team Liquid will be looking to redeem themselves at MDL Disneyland® Paris Major next month. Team’s veteran Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi talked about the mindset within the team, preparing for events, and his career.
Earlier this year, at the Chongqing Major, Team Liquid found themselves one man short and were playing with Chu “shadow” Zeyu as a stand-in. There TL finished in respectable Top 8 position, considering they were missing one of their leaders, Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi.
In an interview with XBOCT, Kuro “KuroKy” Salehi Takhasomi talked about what it means to play with a stand-in at a professional level, playing with someone who doesn’t speak the same language, why they changed a coach, as well as his plans for the future.
“Suddenly he [Miracle-] could not go to this tournament, and we had to very quickly look for someone to replace him. We talked to shadow, and he agreed. He were to play with us until the end of the tournament.
In general, this is a cognitive experience. Shadow is a very hardworking and modest person. It is easy to communicate with him because he knows how to listen. But it is difficult to communicate with him because he does not understand us at all.
He does not speak English, so if he wants to tell us something, he takes out the telephone and uses a translator. Here he wants to say: “I think this hero will suit us” — and shows me the phone with the translated text. It is such a small annoyance. But he tries hard and works hard. In general, we did our best.
The biggest difference for me as a leader is that I gave him a lot of guidance on the microgame. We discuss the subjects — he asks for advice on what to buy. I try to tell him when to engage in fights or just farm.
I think he experienced undue stress playing with us. For him, our game system is new. He does not know when we want to fight, gank the enemy or something else. So I tried to help him all the time. The effectiveness of my game from this, however, suffered a little, but it was worth it.”
About playing with a stand-in
“My personal goal was to find suitable strategies under the current conditions. When Miracle- could not come, the biggest problem was that the strategy pool shrank by more than half. I lost about 60% of my workpieces.
The fact is that our team is built around the rotation of the positions of MATUMBAMAN and Miracle-, but Shadow doesn’t really want to play in mid. So it is worth paying tribute to MATUMBAMAN because now he had to stand in the middle lane all the time and did a good job. He is truly one of the best players in the world.”
About changing the coach
“The coach is a very exhausting position. You can’t do this for long. And it seems to me, Heen is a little tired of this. He wanted to do something new. And together we came to the conclusion that yes, we had a good many years, won the International together and a whole bunch of tournaments …
It seems to me that at a certain moment the team wanted to change something. Not necessarily the players, just change at least something that would bring new ideas and fresh blood to the team. In such cases, you just change the coach.
I think Virtus.pro acted in a similar way, changing ArtStyle to ArsZeeqq . After The International, as for me, both us and VP were in a very similar situation. We felt that we needed to change something, but the team was good, and everyone knew that we could continue to win. And really won this composition. So somehow it all came to a change of coach.”
“Win The International for a second time. And the win two more Internationals.”
About the difficulties in the team
“I think the hardest thing we had was when you win one The International everything goes down. We had a desirable goal, and we put all our efforts to win the most important tournament.
And after we did I made a mistake, because I began to squeeze all the juice from my team. I want to win another TI, and they also want to win, and in general we had a very good season. We hit the top a lot of times, won one Major and two Minors. And when the time came for TI, we were completely exhausted.
After the end of TI, we decided to take a big break. We missed the first Major to refresh our heads and take up the game with new forces. After all, be that as it may, the main goal of any player is to win The International.
This is a huge test — to win a second time with the same team, because these people have already won. But I accept this challenge, and I hope we can make it happen. As for me, this is a great motivation: to become not just the first two-time TI champion in history for myself, but to make it a whole team.”
About his career
“If you give in to the life of a pro-player, then you have to give it your all completely, nothing less. Career is your whole life. You have, in fact, no privacy. It does not give me problems. Many at first suffer, but quickly get tired of living like that. I still like this life.
When I finish my career, I will certainly spend almost all the time with my parents. As time goes by, parents grow old, so spend time with them at least sometimes.”
About unpleasant teammates
“Sometimes, when playing solo, you come across ruiners who just want to waste your time, and you don’t want to play with them. In general, yes, there are people with whom I hate to play. I don’t even know their names. I don’t care about them. I don’t even turn off the sound for them. I don’t even want to quarrel with them — it’s a waste of time.
Yes, I am sitting at the computer, I understand — you just play, but for me this is work. I have to get better. And I just can not do anything, just sit and endure. And then I will either allow the negativity to devour me, or try to keep calm and play on.”
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