Discusses Kiev Major Group Stage
Lil spoke to cybersport.ru after VP's group stage at the Kiev Major. He provides insight onto how they picked and what they thought was a good format for the Major.
— Everyone says that the groups stage is not interesting, since everyone goes through to the playoffs anyway. Did you have any goals for it, or was it as simple as «if we win — good, if we lose — not a big deal»?
— Our only goal was to play with unusual heroes. We tried not to show any strong strategies that we saved up for the playoffs. We drafted with our soul and didn’t really try to balance it out, just picked heroes that more or less fit. That’s why we ended up picking 22 different heroes on the first day. We feel like other teams did the same, but we beat them with individual skill. That’s why we ended 3-0 playing heroes and strategies we do not run.
— Let’s talk about the games. Did you have any problems with Team Faceless?
— All the games were easy. To a viewer it might sometimes look like if you’re 10k gold, 20k gold behind, then you’re losing. The current meta is a lot about the draft — the come-back strategies. For example, someone picks Anti-Mage, then it’s obvious they will most likely be behind in net worth for the first 20 minutes, and if they’re playing against someone who puts emphasis on lanes and early game, then they might even be 20 and 30k behind. But we saw how Invictus Gaming played. They just turned everything around after losing by 30k gold, because they had Magnus and Anti-Mage. There are a lot of come-back strategies in this meta, and net worth graphs mostly show nothing.
— You said you were picking with your soul, heroes like Venomancer, Skywrath Mage and others. Were you preparing them at all, or was it improvisation during draft?
— We were practicing Venomancer, it is one of our strategies, but not one of the strongest. We simply observed what can you possibly do with him at different stages of the game. The Skywrath Mage situation was kind of funny. Guys were sitting and drafting, but I went away. When I got back, it was 20 seconds before time ran out. Guys were for some reason going to pick Huskar, but it so happened that our opponents last picked Tinker against us. Just as I got back to the PC, I say: «No, Huskar is bad here, let’s pick Skywrath Mage». And that’s it. We decided to pick Skywrath in 15 seconds. That’s how it works.
— They only game you lost was the Venomancer vs Chaos Knight [vs Team Random]. Your advantage was significant. What went wrong?
— It was a much harder draft to execute. We were winning this game easily, but we made too many mistakes with heroes you can’t makes mistakes with. Even considering our opponent’s super weak laning and poorly balanced draft. But when CK kills a few heroes, he will just be able to blow up a Venomancer and all his friends.
— You finished your games before any other team and you had a day and half of a break. Is that a good or a bad thing?
— It is more good than bad. You can’t forget how to play in half a day or even in a month. I went for a walk, breathed some fresh air for the first time in a long time. The guys relaxed and had a little birthday celebration for RAMZES666, went and bought him a present, a cake. Then we just watched games, learned who our opponents will be and what the bracket will be in the evening. Today we have almost a full day to practice, and we will be preparing specifically for our first round opponent.
— What do you think is the perfect format for a Major?
— I think it should be the same as The International: two 8 team groups, 4 go through to Winner’s Bracket, 4 to Loser’s Bracket. That way people would put effort in the group stage. I think that is the best system there is. Or it could be a Round Robin with Winner’s and Loser’s brackets, but the lowest placing team drops out of the tournament. Or the same one without the Loser’s Bracket but the highest placing team goes to the semi-finals, and so on.
— What can you say about iG Vitality? Could you say that they lost their form recently?
— It is hard to judge who lost form or not. It is the group stage nobody cares about after all. People don’t put in effort at all, they don’t show their strong sides so you couldn’t prepare for them. During The Boston Major they were mediocre in the group stage, and then went to the play-off and played for 300%. It will be the same way this time, and they have their full roster, so it won’t be easy.
— If you win, winner of Team VG.J — Digital Chaos will be waiting for you in the second round. Who is the strongest of the two?
— DC should win, but VG.J have a chance too. It's hard to judge. We played vs DC in practice, they showed quite a high level, but not VG.J, so I really don’t know.
— With this bracket your fans expect you to get to a semi-final minimum. Did you get lucky or there will be pressure?
— I recently gave an interview where I said that you must abstract yourself from that pressure of responsibility. You play for the sake of the game, of yourself and of your team. You came here to win and you must understand that you must be ready to beat any opponent. Regardless of who you will meet in the first round, EG or iG.V. We have a different mindset this time. As opposed to Boston, it won’t be the first time for us to be in the same booth together as five. We went through a lot together. We will be playing our best. Everything is in our hands.
Source: https://www.cybersport.ru/news/lil-na-etot-raz-u-nas-drugoe-myshlenie - April 26th 2017