No[o]ne interview @ The International 2019
Source: - (16.08.19) (by Maincast)
Vladimir “No]o]ne” Minenko talked to Maincast’s Vitalii "v1lat" Volochaiab before the event about his team’s preparation to The International 2019. Virtus.pro midlaner shared insight on the change in their approach to practice, effect of Anatoly "boolk" Ivano joining as their second coach and how it’s impossible to hide strategies and heroes..
— Comparing to the previous year, when you had an extensive bootcamp in Moscow and then a shorter one in Canada, what is the difference this time around?
— We had two stages of preparation. We changed the way we prepare a bit: played less scrims and analyzed more replays every day for an extensive period of time, figured out what we should and shouldn’t do. It was more of a strategic kind of preparation this year.
— Looking at the season itself, with the current Major/Minor system, it looked like you prioritized some events over others. Was that intentional?
— I wouldn’t say we approached any event in some kind of special way this time. It’s just that the teams this season put a lot more effort to prepare for Majors and they performed better. We had the same approach as last year, we didn’t change anything regarding Majors. We always want to win everything, try our best and enjoy the game.
— Still, last year it felt like the season itself was important for you, whereas this time it looked like The International was the main and only goal.
— Of course. We kept this roster for a reason. First and foremost, we believed in each other and decided that we are capable of much more. TI was the main priority. It’s difficult to judge how our mindset changed since last year. I guess it did, but I can’t say how.
— In the current reality of being in the spotlight and having many top players in friends list on Steam, etc., how does one prepare new heroes in pub games and keep it hidden?
— It is impossible to hide everything, but when you’re not showing anything new, people tend to not notice and at some point simply forget about this. Prepared heroes and strategies are only properly showed during the events themselves. There are players who have been around and have their signature heroes. There are players who just enter the pro scene and show something new, like Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen last year. Everybody knew his hero pool, but you can’t ban it all. To show something new, to have something prepared for every single stage of the game, you need to be ultra-tryhard. You can’t hide anything anymore. There is even a site like DotaBuff, but it shows even your hidden games.
— How and why did Boolk end up in your team during the last stages of preparation to The International 2019?
— We are friends with Gambit Esports and Boolk even hung around in our practice room a few times at the EPICENTER. We simply talked and realized that the guy is very knowledgeable of the game. Around the time when he left Gambit, we’ve re-evaluated some things since this year wasn’t all that great for us. We had good results, but we weren’t the absolute top, there were better players and teams. We thought that bringing something new would be refreshing and have a positive effect on us. It was about bringing a fresh point of view.
— Are there any clashes between your two coaches, similar to what happened in J.Storm last year which ultimately lead to a big conflict?
— Nothing like that so far. The coaches separate their work responsibilities. They are smart, they know what they’re doing, so nothing like that at all.
— Does VP have a specific strategy for this TI? I know a few teams that have one, something like: “We will play the groups and try to avoid ending up with Team Secret and Team Liquid in the bracket”.
— It’s about winning the game and then winning the next one. We never did anything like what you described before, I’m even curious which team you meant with that. Maybe… But no, if you want to win the tournament, you must be ready to win everything.
— Three main favorites of this even for you, excluding VP. You have to have played with someone by now.
— We played scrims with LGD.PSG. They are very strong, hungry after last year. Team Secret, Team Liquid, Vici Gaming… I can’t really highlight anyone except LGD… not even them. Any team can end up in top 6 this time, TNC could win the whole thing no problem, Alliance could be in top 4. All these teams are so competitive with each other so a single map can make a lot of difference. You lose bo2 in groups then go play bo3 in Upper Bracket next day, lose it, and someone is already in top 6 and you’re in Lower Bracket. All of the current top 12 of the DPC standings deserve to win tournaments.
— What about Na`Vi?
— Judging by the games we had back in the TI qualifiers, they were completely capable of top 6-8. We played against them in Kiev a week ago, so I can’t judge their form at the moment, a week is a long time for things to change.