Talks new VP roster
Source: https://www.cybersport.ru/dota-2/interviews/inogda-nuzhno-gnut-svoyu-liniyu-intervyu-s-solo-o-novom-rostere-virtus-pro-i-vozvrashenii-k-roli-kapitana - (03.10.19) (by Cybersport.ru)
Alexey "Solo" Berezin shared his process of choosing the players for Virtus.pro’s new roster. Switching back to being captain, Solo revealed other possible options he considered, gives an introduction to the two young standins, explained the mistakes made during the previous season, and the team’s approach to the coming 2019-2020 DPC season.
— The new roster was a big surprise! Let’s discuss each of the new additions.
— No problem, but you have to remember that this isn’t the finalized roster yet. Egor "epileptick1d" Grigorenko and Vitalie "Save-" Melnic are standins for the coming qualifiers.
— So you're saying that things can still change big time?
— At the moment our roster consists of me, Vladimir "No[o]ne" Minenko and Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok.
— I heard that epileptick1d and save are not too outgoing. Did it affect the practice?
— Oh no, it’s the other way around! The guys are quite sociable and very motivated. We had no problems of that kind at all.
— In one of the previous interviews you mentioned that the new players need to be sure that they won’t get kicked after the first failure. At the same time, both epileptickid and save are considered standins right now. You don’t think that will affect their confidence?
— No, I don’t think so. We all know that people expect us to show great results from the very start. But at the same time, I think that our fans have to understand that the team changed significantly. Resolut1on switched his role, I went back to being captain and we added two very young players. It would be foolish to expect good results right here and now. We are betting on long term perspective.
I don’t turn away from those words. If we are signing players, then it is serious and for the long term. That’s why we were very careful about choosing the new players. We are only starting to get used to each other, but if we are signing the guys, then they will be sure that they won’t be replaced after the first defeat.
— Many expected to see Rostislav "fn" Lozovoi in your roster, since he was standing in for you before. Why epileptick1d?
— We’ve been taking our time with this decision. After returning from Shanghai, we started to monitor the whole CIS scene from scratch. We didn’t expect we would need to be doing this until TI9 was over, everyone believed that Virtus.pro will conquer all the hardships and do well at The International. I personally didn’t pay any attention to the local scene at all.
When it became clear that we need young blood, fn was our first thought. We are close with him, he already played with us, but… we decided to not rush things. Instead we decided to weigh everything over and figure out what is actually happening in CIS first. We started to monitor both pub and professional players and eventually leaned toward taking someone with no experience, so they wouldn’t have any stale ways of thinking or stereotypes. That way we would have a chance to grow someone our team needs for the position 1.
— People at least heard something about epileptick1d, but what can you say about Vitalie "Save-" Melnic?
— He is also 17 years old, as young as epileptick1d. They play a lot of pubs together, know each other well and are friends. But we were monitoring them separately, there was no condition of getting them as a pair.
Save is very calm, reasonable. In some ways he is the opposite of epileptick1d, who is more impulsive, talkative and tends to make a lot of calls. Save is more quiet, but he always does his job on the map well. He is very even-tempered and overall appears a lot more mature than he should be for his age.
He plays a very big hero pool and is mechanically excellent. He left a very positive impression after our practice matches. During the first games he did things I have not seen professional position 4s do in a very long time. He really does play very well.
— The way you describe him, he looks very similar to Vladimir "RodjER" Nikogosyan.
— All position 4 players looks alike, more or less. There are always meta heroes that everyone has to play. At the same time, there are also just the common position 4 heroes…
I think that RodjER and Save- hero pools noticeably differ. For example, Save doesn’t play Chen yet, while it was one of RodjER’s strongest heroes. It’s difficult to compare them. Save has a real chance of catching on to the professional scene and making a name for himself.
— How did Resolut1on, who played carry for six years, end up switching to offlane for you?
— CIS has a bad time with offlaners. There simply aren’t any stable, strong and obvious replacements to Pavel "9pasha" Khvastunov. He has a lot of experience, but even he didn’t come to VP as a world class offlaner. He became one of the best together with us.
So we just had a thought, why not try to take the experienced and at the same time young player? Resolut1ion even has TI finals experience! He proved himself well in NA. So we decided that he fits our team both as a person and an experienced player. Switching roles isn’t a problem, as long as he himself wants to do it.
— Was it his idea to go offlane, or yours and No[o]ne?
— It was our common decision. He knew we were looking for an offlaner and offered his services. It happened a month ago. We’ve been looking through a large pool of players on every position. We’ve looked at the current CIS offlaners, thought of who could switch their role and prove themselves well. After a month of thinking we chose Reso.
— Did you consider an option of taking Resolut1on as a carry?
— There was that option, but we’re not too tied to that role distribution. We focus more on team play, hero pools, personalities and cooperation in the game. It is very likely that we will end up having no clear position 1 or clear position 3. We thought of all options with Reso.
— There won’t be any risk that a new patch will come out and make that model ineffective?
— We evaluated all risks, everything is under control.
— Let’s talk about Anatoly "boo1k" Ivanov [VP’s second coach at TI9, who stayed with this new roster]. In the VP’s TI9 documentary, you said: “We didn’t realize that we didn’t need anyone from the outside, be it a coach or someone else.” Why did you end up keeping the coach that “wasn’t needed” back then?
— The documentary was about our former roster. Right now it’s completely new: we changed three players, more than half of the roster. It’s silly to compare that period with right now.
In the TI9 documentary we showed how things worked in that roster: how me, Roman "RAMZES666" Kushnarev and people from outside coordinated. Right now I am 100% sure that team didn’t need a draft coach. We had more than enough ideas as it was, me, Ramez and No[o]ne.
Right now our concept changed. I am not sure that someone from this roster will be able to help me with drafts and ideas as well as Ramzes used to. So I think that having a coach from the start is the right thing. If we’ll end up having more initiative as time goes on, we will be able to reduce boo1k’s influence on drafts. Better safe than sorry!
— But Arsenij "ArsZeeqq" Usov was the one drafting at TI9. Why did you give that role to boo1lk and not him?
— Ramzes was the captain back then, he was the one responsible for the drafts above all. ArsZeeqq was his consultant and they figured out their own way of coordination. I can’t and don’t want to make any conclusions about how it worked for them. It’s better to leave that to them, let Ramzes decide if ArsZeeqq was helpful or not. Let ArsZeeqq answer the question whether he achieved his given goal or not.
I talked to boo1lk, he left a very good impression. He has a deep understanding of the game and a big statistics base that I like. I decided that it’s worth giving him a chance to prove himself in our team.
— Many had a question after watching the documentary: “Why did you leave such freedom to Ramzes?”
— People don’t know the whole picture, what happens inside the team. During these years Ramez was often the one who got me back on track when I was losing focus during drafts or something else. The same way I was having a giant influence on him.
After losing TI8, we realized that we are repeating the previous year’s situation. The same kind of problems stopped us as before. So we all decided that there is only one way to keep the roster. We were confident in each other game-wise and we knew that everyone plays well on their respective positions. The problems was in team coordination, a much deeper problem than if someone was just playing poorly.
To keep our squad, we had to change the model. It was the only possible options - to let Ramzes be the captain. That way he could feel comfortable again and build our game. Otherwise we would’ve had to say goodbye to him right there, at TI8. It was obvious that our model wasn’t working and likely wouldn’t again.
We made that change to keep our squad and try our strengths one more time. Nobody knew that it would turn out like this. We had hopes. But right now we realize that it was a mistake.
— So now you’ll become the leader and have the authority, you will hold the whole game in your hands?
— I think that is not the best model to have, judging by the results of the last three TIs. I talked to Team Liquid a lot, I know how things work in their team. I know LGD well too, they don’t even have a captain, which they mention a lot. We’re friends with OG, who also don’t have a nominal “Puppey”. All those teams achieved extraordinary success without an authoritative leader.
It’s very important to be able to listen to your teammates and hear them. It’s a fragile thing, it’s important to find balance. Sometimes you have to take a stand and make people do what you want them to do, but at the same time you can’t leave them without initiative, it’s always important to let them speak out.