Hi! First of all, I’d like to congratulate you on your remarkable performance in Kiev Major qualifiers. You earned a lot of new fans for sure.
Thank you on behalf of a whole team. We practiced really hard for it.
Did you follow the qualifiers of other regions? Is there any team that surprised you?
I watched some games of CIS regionals, mostly Na`Vi games. Alliance was a pleasant surprise for sure. Honestly I thought they are not that strong.
You did manage to beat them though ;)
Yea we lost every lane but in teamfights we did good. It was a very hard game for us.
As we continue discussing qualifiers, I wanna tell you an interesting point made by PPD in a podcast with @Thorin. He said it's a lot easier to build a team around one exceptionally talented player like Suma1l or Arteezy than to try and play as a whole team. Would you agree with him on that point?
Uh, hard question. PPD was pretty right about that thing and I agree with him, especially in the beginning and overall too it is easier to build team around one major player. However, that doesn’t have to mean anything because for me most important thing is "chemistry" inside of the whole team.
If they click all together as one, then that extra talented player is just an advantage in that situation, but without that everything is pretty much same. It’s a hard question hope u understand :D
Thing is, the team ppd said to try and play as a whole was Team NP. And then they got raped by Abed's Meepo.
Well I don’t know why they just didn’t ban meepo every game against that guy. His meepo is too good. You should insta-ban certain heroes against some players: like Juggernaut against Loda in regional qualifiers :)
Alright. What type of team do you think EPG is? Playing as a whole or around one player?
Truth is, we base our game around Swiftending, allowing him to pick some hero and then creating a whole setup around him. We are a young team with a lot of space to improve, although me and g0g1 are playing 10 years together with small pauses.
7.03 just came out. Obligatory question: what change in 7.03 seems the most interesting to you?
Overall it is a really good patch. The most interesting is Puck’s 420gpm, don’t think it’s possible to build a strat around it, but I’d like to see this in a pro match^^. However, this Monkey King was really unnecessary in my opinion. I hate this hero, he is still broken. Any wrong change can ruin him though, he Is that type of hero who is either broken or borderline useless.
I know you started playing professionally at the times of Dota AllStars, so I guess you’ve seen something worse :D
Haha, you don’t wanna know. Given a chance, I’d like to play 5.84c patch, everything was broken about it. Void had global time stop, old Naix with 20 sec bkb ult, Riki with death ward (something like witch doctor ult)… Keeper of the Light could split push better than furion without ever leaving base. Blink Dagger used to not go on cooldown when you get hit. So you could blink out of everything. Vigoss era…
I wanna go back to the time you played in Russian teams. It didn't last long though, in Team Darer you only played for like one month. What was the reason for that early of a leaving?
Dota was more casual back then, there was less money and obligations and players was switching team more often. I don’t quite remember, but I think ArtStyle decided to make team with Goblak, aiming to play with CIS players.
The official statement was “language barrier”…
Nah, we just played bad. After that my friend twista invited me to Team Empire to play at The International qualifers. We lost every game and disbanded :(
It happens. You played a hard support back then, didn’t you?
Yes, and I’ve never played support before. We tried to change roles but it didn’t help.
Is there actually any role you didn't play competitively?
I did play all roles indeed. I played mid for Fnatic.RS in Dota 2, and in Dota AllStars I played carry mostly. I only moved to offlane after The International 2012. I enjoy position 4 the most though, it is fun to roam and try to make kills at every lane.
Favorite roamers in this meta?
Mirana is ALWAYS my favourite! But the strongest are Slardar, Ogre, Earth Spirit... and Pudge, ofc!
Wanna try out Tusk?
I played a lot of Tusk before, but Infused Raindrop killed that hero. Hope he can comeback, he has good talents, if some top team picks him, everyone will start playing him!
Is there any role that is exceptionally difficult to transition to? Like, is it harder to transition into offlane if you never played offlane, that into, let's say, mid or support?
I think mid is the hardest role on the map because it demands the most of individual skills of all players. GeneraL played mid before and he was top mid player, now he is good offlaner. Pasha played carry before, now he is top offlaner. So offlane is quite easy :D
In the last EG ama-session zai said (gotta quote him): “There is no system in place for tier-2 players in Dota or e-sports in general as of yet”, meaning there is only like 20 teams that compete in top tournaments and not a whole lot after that. Would you agree with him on that point?
You killed me with that question :D
Ok this one is a really complex question and we could debate and argue about it for a long time, but in basic of it I can agree with him to cut this short. On one side it is true there is a place only for top 20 teams and it goes around and around same old same but if you look at wide picture it is not only dead leaves, there is always place for other teams to progress with practice and surprise at tournaments, that's why we love Dota :)
Here is a chill question: what does «Slobodni_Umjetnik» mean? [note: one of the alternative nicknames of Mitch's]
Something along the lines of “freelance artist”. That’s my way of life!
The number of your CIS-fans keeps growing. Are you looking to increase the amount of social media content?
All the players on our team have groups in Vkontakte social network, feel free to ask us any question there. You can also find small stories&interviews there, from now on they will appear on a regular basis. We always read commentaries at the main group of Elements Pro gaming as well.
When we go to Moscow we always meet the fans: last time there were like 50 of them, honestly, I didn’t expect that much people. Was a lot of fun though!
And the last one. Let's imagine you are not a professional player but a casual office worker. You come back home, you call you friends in Skype to play some Dota. Would you still play with these very people you are playing in EPG now?
Well, If I quit Dota and worked in some office, I would probably played mostly with them when I have a free time... depends how much would I work in office and how much would they would like to play with casual player :)
Thanks a lot for the interview, it was a pleasure to talk to you!
You are very welcome and thank you for calling me to do this interview, was a pleasant one.