During the Katowice Major weekend, we caught up with OG captain Tal "Fly" Aizik to discuss the bringing in of Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok, OG's slow start to the DPC and what keeps him motivated to play and compete in Dota.
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Unfortunately, you've been eliminated from the Major. Speaking of your performances in the DPC, in comparison to last year, it hasn't been so hot. Have you guys been able to determine why that is?
I definitely feel like we just didn't click so much in the beginning. We were not on the same page regarding all things. What we really needed to do is just play a lot of games together and kind of stay together and learn more about each other.
We had a really long break after TI, which was definitely a big mistake, as everybody started playing before us. When we came back, we were already pretty behind and then we ended up playing all these qualifiers. I got home and a couple of days later I was playing qualifiers. It was brutal. We had to make up for it. We went to a bootcamp, we started playing together more and I think we've been on the right track since, just obviously a bit late.
Maybe you didn't have necessarily enough time to practice in comparison to all the qualifiers and tournaments, is that what you're saying?
Definitely, we didn't have time to prepare individually or as a team. It's on us in the end, but the schedule is pretty brutal as well.
After TI, you swapped out ana for Resolut1on, the latter of whom has had an amazing performance considering the situation at TI7. Now, you've played with him for a good while. Is there anything you've learned about him that makes the team work or something you want to improve on?
I think Reso is very talented as an individual. I do think that sometimes he has a hard time seeing the entire picture. He sees a lot from his position, which is why he's so good at carrying. But we want to be able to connect all the dots together and it has taken us a while to make that happen; not just with him, every player has to see the same thing, and I think he was definitely the farthest apart, because the rest of us have been playing together for a year, year and a half.
It is getting better the more we play and the more time we spend with each other, though.
Speaking of Reso, he looks most comfortable playing a hard carry. How much do other cores have to sacrifice to give him all the space and farm that he wants?
In most games, you're going to have this one hero that will win the game, and a lot of times it is the Resolut1on hero because that's what he's good at. That's why you see n0tail doing things that some people find questionable but they are actually towards the goal.
For example, n0tail would be playing these heroes like Viper, DP middle and buy certain items that would not make much sense. You see the same thing happening in Team Liquid with MATUMBAMAN, who's playing all these heroes, trying to make space for Miracle-. Sometimes it is different — for example they played a Tiny game yesterday, and it was completely different form what they play usually and completely failed to be honest. Role-wise, it wasn's so good for them.
You were once these stellar Major champions in the previous circuit, now trying to prove yourselves once more. Now Team Liquid seem to be on a pretty good roll, if we're to be honest. From where you are and looking at Team Liquid, why do you think they are so successful at this point of time?
I think Liquid are definitely very special in the sense that most of the players just love the game so much that they would play it no matter what. They are super good at it, super skilled, and they found the recipe for success — now they just keep repeating it and they haven't really stopped. Usually after winning TI, a team starts playing less, they are getting lazy, playing other games. I don't feel the same about them: they love the game, they keep playing it. Every day, I see MinD_ContRoL playing like 10 pubs. That's what you need to do to stay on top.
It's interesting you say that. We talked to ppd and he also expressed the same things about his team, what he learned playing with his new OpTic Gaming line-up. The guys are so young, they've rejuvenated his interest in Dota 2 that he has because they're non-stop playing and talking about Dota. Is this similar for you with OG?
I've definitely always had the love for the game and for me the biggest thing is competition. Not doing so well, not beating these top teams like Liquid, is what motivates me the most. That's usually something a team needs to grasp, you need to find some motivation. Sometimes it is the love for the game, sometimes it's just to win this tournament, beat this specific person. When one person has it, it's usually enough to reinvigorate the whole team.
I just think there are not enough heroes played as position 5.
You've had a lot of success with Resolut1on playing hard carries like Terrorblade, Medusa and Lycan, sometimes even going for a 4-protect-1 strategies. But against Liquid, you chose to play without a hard carry in both games. Why?
The first game against Liquid we had Resolut1on on Storm and in a way Storm is the hero that wins you the game often. We played this sort of strategy where we had Chen, these early heroes that can take over the map. The plan is obviously to get Storm an Aegis and from there he usually snowballs the game. I think in that particular game we just got outplayed and we were definitely not playing our line-up to its full potential. We were not waiting to hit certain timings and we ended up shooting ourselves in the foot. Liquid, on the other hand, played their strat pretty much as they should.
In the second game, we made a drafting error with our Razor. It's something we don't play as often. We didn't really expect a first phase Terrorblade. We thought they might want to take it, but not in the first phase. That's the first game they've done it, I think. We responded with Tinker and we ended up playing this catch-up game to counter what they were doing, instead of focusing on our own plan. In the first game we had our own strategy and it was totally fine. The second game, we played their own game in terms of drafting and we lost the draft, to be honest.
Moving on to one last question: The most recent line of patches have been great for supports. The timings for supports are getting much quicker, the role is much more active. Do you have any kind of wishlist for future patches for any particular role?
I think in general, position 5 just needs to change heroes at this point. Crystal Maiden probably comes to mind. Phoenix, too — he's not bad, but might still need slight changes.
I just think there are not enough heroes played as position 5. Right now, you have Bane, Witch Doctor, Disruptor in pretty much every game, and there's almost nothing else. It's kind of a shame. The heroes themselves are too weak or too slow — literally, in CM's case. You pick these heroes and you're like, "Why did I pick this? I could've been a Bane, Enfeebling some guy mid and winning his lane."
More Katowice Major interviews
— LeBron: "I feel disappointed with our results, but we have more time to improve"
— Kyle: "We got drunk and bashed our heads against the keyboards"
— zai: "NA used to be very strong because of cocky players"
— 9pasha: "We didn't learn how to properly use RodjER yet"
— Solo: "We've known that RodjER is a very good player for a long time, even before TI."
— EternaLEnVy: "We definitely outdrafted Team Liquid pretty hard."
— Puppey: "Fata thought about switching his role for a while."
— Resolut1on: "I haven’t seen my girlfriend for a month and a half now."
— YapzOr: "It’s cocky to feel bad about a loss you didn’t even practice for."
— Arteezy: "We probably would've won TI5 if I was a better team-mate, honestly."
— Fly: "Not doing so well [...] is what motivates me the most."
— Matumbaman: "I would like us to be the most dominant team in Dota 2 history."
— PPD: "I can be the loser. Somebody’s gotta play the villain, right? I’m just a competitor."
— Kyle: "I want to build a team that succeeds as part of compLexity."
— Nahaz: "The pro Dota 2 scene is eunambiguously in a better place than it was a year ago."
— MISERY: "Nobody really cares if Secret or Liquid are winning, but if EG does anything, everybody's all over them."
— UNiVeRsE: "I never thought I'd see myself moving from America to another country just to play Dota."
— Patos: "We need to step back a little and not try to play everything."