At ESL One Hamburg, Shiaopi sat down with Pasha before his match against Vici Gaming and talked to him about what he thought about the patch, the problems of the current offlane, and their new coach.
Thank you, Pasha, for your time. The new season has started but it feels like a repeating story for Virtus.Pro. Last year at TI you fell short and did not quite go as far as many people expected. This time it is again “just” a Top 6 finish. How do you deal with that? How does the team deal with that?
It feels bad of course. But we are trying to...maybe not forget about it, but not think about it. Also we have been making jokes too. Like asking our manager how much money we will get from 5-6th place next year at TI.
It’s sad of course, we wanted more. But still, we are 5-6th and we hope that one day we will break the curse.
Last year, you made no changes after TI. This year around you have brought in ArsZeeqq for ArtStyle. What does your new coach bring to the team as a whole? What are his new ideas?
We got many problems with our drafts, because we got 2 persons making drafts in our team, Solo and Ramzes. And sometimes when they have different opinions and are arguing, you need to have a third person who will say what is true and what is false.
And with ArtStyle he was a bit afraid to do this, because he thought he might do a wrong decision and he believes we should handle it without him. He was trying to help us but in very important situations he was a bit afraid and sometimes we got bad drafts. We don't like [the drafts] at all but we just have to play them.
Speaking of drafting: Patch 7.19 has been around for a very long time now. What are your wishes for 7.20?
I just want one big patch now. I want to start staying solo again on my offlane. I don’t like this at all. Every game. Like every game, you are picking hero, you are going duo vs duo. You are staying in this lane for like 10 minutes, nothing is happening, you are just CS-ing. And sometimes you are trying to kill. You can’t even kill anyone. It’s just 10 minutes of killing creeps. That’s all. In my opinion it’s not interesting. This was the reason why people were playing Dota instead of other MOBAs. Because there are a lot of things to do on the map. You can do what you want and everything can be good. But now you can't do anything. If you are going from one lane to another and you are leaving someone solo, he will lose, because it’s 2 persons versus 1 and he is losing. And I just don't like it at all, I want a patch.
Basically make the offlane great again?
Yes, yes, yeah! I want to play offlane not safelane!
Moving on to this tournament. Virtus.Pro has had a very strong showing so far in the group stages, but you lost to Team Aster. Were you surprised by how strong the Chinese Teams were? Especially after the TI results, where they did rather poorly?
In my opinion the strength of that team is that they are not afraid to do some stuff on the map. Sometimes they don't see anything on the map and random, weaker teams will just try to stick together and not die solo. But they are not afraid. They are pushing lanes, they don't fear dying. They just do it because it is a good move and they are not afraid to take risks. That’s why they played really good against us. We just cannot catch them everywhere. For example in the first game, when the Lina died without buyback, they lost already. But they made a really good move: They attacked us before high ground. We weren’t ready at all at that moment and they won. They played really good and I like it. And the second game...I just don’t want to…
Yeah, I can understand that, it’s fine. So your next opponent will be Vici Gaming. VG has also been very strong in the groups. How do you prepare for a team that you usually don’t meet in scrims? How difficult is it to prepare for the Chinese teams?
Hmm...I’d say in this patch. In this... bad...patch. It is enough to look at drafts and vision at 10 minute to be ready. It’s enough in my opinion.
When you are trying to prepare for a team you are looking for the heroes they prefer, what they are picking in this situation and that situation. Next is vision, they are placing in early and mid-game. For example before night and during night etc. . And that’s all you need to be prepared. So versus Vici Gaming, I guess. We played many official games against them and the only lesson we got was we should not pick Brood and expect to win the game. Because sometimes Ori is making some crazy stuff [happen] and winning against Brood. And after that we’re just like: “Okay, what do we do next game.” It’s like this.
Speaking of crazy stuff, Virtus.Pro is also picking things like Drow and Huskar together.
This is the patch for that though. You can’t do anything against it. You are picking heroes in the first and second stage and when you got last pick, you just look - and I believe everyone in every team does this: “Oh, maybe Brood, ah it is banned. Maybe Huskar, oh it is not banned. Let’s just Huskar.” It is just this meta of this patch, you can’t do anything.
Setting aside the meta. Does VP have a special pride at ESL One Tournaments? Since you won so many of them, does it feel like a home field advantage playing here?
Hmmm..how to say it. We won 3 tournaments, we got 3 cars and for us it’s like a challenge now. Because everyone can come here and lose it and okay, it’s fine it’s not a minor nor a major. Here you go to the next tournament. And for us it’s a challenge now, because we now try to win all 5 now. It’s really hard. Who knows, maybe we are losing this. I will feel bad if we lose it.
So you will keep going until everyone of Virtus.Pro has a car?
Now, yeah. We are trying to do this. But if we lose, I don’t know what we will do.
So moving on to the KL Major that is upcoming. Do you hope that there will be a patch before the Major? Or do you want to play on the stable version?
I’d agree to a patch even right now in this second. Because I’m pretty tired to play this really. I don’t like it. I don’t want this patch to come the next day, in one week or one month. I want it right now.
Thank you very much for this interview and best of luck against Vici Gaming in your next match!