After a stellar performance at ESL One Mumbai, where the CIS-based Natus Vincere finished 3rd, ahead of TNC Predator and TEAM TEAM, team’s midlaner Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian answered the most pressing questions.

Even though they started the event with a loss against Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s TEAM TEAM, they quickly came back with two straight wins against compLexity and TNC Predator. After defeats against Mineski and Keen Gaming in the playoffs, Natus Vincere had to make do with a third-place finish at the Indian event.

But considering recent performance, this could still be a great result for the team. The last few years in DOTA 2 were less than successful for the Ukrainian organization. Four-time The International attendees and three-time finalists NaVi find themselves desperate for top positions.

Last week’s ESL One Mumbai 2019 was meant to serve as a way for the CIS team to bounce back. The 20-year-old midlaner Idan “MagicaL” Vardanian talked about the event, esports in India, stand-ins, and many other topics.

How did you like India?

We lived in a very nice hotel. It turned out to be very cool. But there was a very big contrast: as soon as you leave the hotel, there are people that sleep on the street.

What about the spectators and the fans? Were they rooting for you?

Yes, the mob of fans were very “pumped”, we felt the support. Even when we were just coming out, they supported us a lot.

Did you try any Indian food?

ESL provided its own food, they did their best, and we had access to it all day. I tried Indian bread: it’s something similar to matzo.

How are you feeling?

I feel okay, in a working spirit. We are not tilted, top 3. Need to get home and practice.

How did you like Misha as a teammate?

A good guy, brought a lot to the team. Even though he was just a standin, he was involved in the team. I liked playing with him, I think it’s mutual.

Why did you choose Misha as a standin?

Chuvash has a good relation with him, and Misha is also a captain.

Playing with standin, is that a useful experience?

I think so, yea. Especially when it is the captain. When Akbar left us, there was a lack of calls, information. Everyone had to get involved, offer something of their own, throw ideas around, take responsibility. So this is useful. We have learned to be independent in some way.

Keen Gaming players said they lost to you “by chance”. What do you think about that?

They did mistakes, we did mistakes. As for me, we deservedly won the first series, and they — the second.

What heroes would you like to add to your pool?

Ember Spirit. Of course, I play Ember, but I would like it to be my signature hero.

Whom would you call a favorite in the upcoming Major tournament?

Same old teams. Team Secret, Virtus.pro, Team Liquid. I think Liquid should show a good result.

Dendi left Tigers. Where do you think he will go next?

I don’t know really. He plays well, he practices a lot, he just needs to find the players, or that the players find him. It just didn’t work out in the Tigers.

What teams would you like to play against?

Against the strong teams. Team Secret, Team Liquid, Virtus.pro, PSG.LGD.

Could you assess the team atmosphere on a 10-point scale?

Actually, this is my only team, where we have a friendly atmosphere. There is no such thing that people try to blame each other. I think it’s 10, we just need to work more.

To whom would you give the MVP title of ESL One Mumbai 2019?

Blizzy. Actually, I already wrote that the midlaner of Keen Gaming is worthy of that title. He is one of the strongest on the laning stage. I re-watched the replays, watched how he played, and this person knows what he is doing.

Who is the toughest to face on mid?

Against No[o]ne-, perhaps, SumaiL, Midone.

Besides Vici Gaming and PSG.LGD, who is the most interesting Chinese team in your opinion?

In the Chinese scene, everyone is very cool. In China, right now it is like a slaughter: seven teams that are battling each other. I would highlight Keen Gaming, they play very cool.

What country would you like to visit as part of LAN-tournament?

The United States. Doesn’t matter where exactly. Los Angeles, New York, Miami …

Share your thoughts on the Dota Pro Circuit format.

The fact that the top 12 goes to The International is appropriate. As for the Major and Minor tournaments, I would immediately invite the top 3 of the Major to the next Major tournament.

The best heroes on an offlane in this patch?

Beastmaster, Dark Seer and Pangolier.

What heroes would you buff or nerf?

I would nerf Mars or even remove him from the game. And I would buff Storm Spirit, Zeus, Queen of Pain and Shadow Fiend.

Would you be able to play the Carry position in official games?

I think so, yes, but would need some training.

Why not swap during the official matches with Crystallize?

We can do it, but we won’t be able to show our best, what we are really capable of. We need certain practicing to do, both me and Vlad, so that there is synergy with supports. But we will train it.

What can you say about the TEAM TEAM scandal?

In general, it is very sad for the guys, since one of the players bought tickets, booked a hotel for his parents. You spend your energy, you qualify for a Major tournament, it’s a shame.

Do you consider yourself as a tier 1 mid player?

I think not yet. I lack the skill and experience. But I’m close to that.

Which tournament was most memorable for you this season?

I think EPICENTER will be most remembered. This is the most important tournament, with the exception of The International.

Highlight your favorite talents.

I listen to Lex, Olsior, V1lat and CaspeRRR. Among the English speakers are ODPixel, TobiWan, SirActionSlacks, Redeye.

How do you like the idea of the OpenAI?

It’s cool. I do not quite understand the concept for what it is, but, in general, I would like to practice 1v1 on the midlane.

Would you like your own set for a hero?

Yes. For the Templar Assassin.

If the mid is taken in a pub game, what do you do?

Recently, this has not happened. And yes, I raised my MMR. If it happened in the past, I would just go to another lane.

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