The International coverage hub
More interviews from TI7:
Bulba: "I want to find [what went wrong for us in the group stage]"
Mason: "I didn't know if I wanted to play Dota for a living"
7ckngMad: "I've never believed in the metagame, the word to me is bullshit"
Fly: "I wouldn't call myself as ruling with an iron fist"
Capitalist: "PPD is the best possible analyst that Dota has"
GH: "A bad day is no reason to lose confidence"
Kuroky: "Sometimes you hit a wall and you have to work through it"
s4: "I've always wanted to play these mid heroes, like Puck"
Resolution: "Objective-based Dota is the most important thing I leaned in NA"
ArtStyle: "It was the Chronosphere that killed us [in the LFY match"]
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This is your second TI, you were here last year in the wild cards. How did it feel this year. You are past the group stage, going into the main event.
Before we came here, we were pretty confident that my team would have a good chance here. But when we played the group stage, we performed so bad. Basically our performance overall, individually, it's not good. But maybe if we play in the main event it will change.
So you thought you underperformed in groups?
Yeah, I am really disappointed how we played in groups. Maybe we were nervous, that's why.
Do you like the way Valve has structured the event this time around? You have three qualifiers, no more wild card. Is it better than the old system?
Yeah, it's much better I think. It's fair.
You've been with Execration since the very beginning and you've played with a lot of players -- DJ, 343, all these C players -- a lot of whom are at this event. How do you feel about that experience?
I am really grateful to have played with them. They taught me so many things.
Last year, Nando and RR were playing on your team when you played the wild cards. Then they left team, and got back after. What changed in order to bring those two players back?
Me and Arvin, our manager, are the ones deciding who we'll get. When we were deciding if we're going to get RR or Nando back, we take into account that we're a Filipino-based team, so we're looking for players that have LAN experience. That's why we got them back.
What does it mean to you being able to go on the big stage this time around, with the whole country watching.
This is my dream, I've been waiting for this the entire year. Last year, I told myself that I really want to go back, to play on the big stage. Last year, me, Tims and Abed were sitting together, saying that we wasted this opportunity and said "let's get back here next year". Good thing it happened.
Do you feel more comfortable this year since you've made roster changes? RR is now playing position 5 rather than 3, for example. Does he actually like it better playing as a support or did you make the move because you it was necessary?
There's just no other Filipino player we can pick. RR is the best player for that 5th position.
Do you think your nerves will get to you on the main stage?
I am 100% sure that I will do my best. I learned a lot how to control my nerves playing in LAN. I am actually more nervous doing this interview than playing. *laughs* I am my team-mates be calm as well, I just want them to be themselves, do what they are always doing, that's it.
What do you say your team does best then?
It's always dominating all the lanes, all the tri-lanes in Dota. If we keep doing it, go as five, get more team-fights than our opponent. I think that's our best, that's how we always win. But in groups, we couldn't really execute that.
You get some more time to practice before you get to play in the playoffs. How are you utilizing it?
We're discussing how we want to proceed, but we are going to focus on how to beat our opponents, that's what our preparation will be like.
Would you be disappointed if you go out early, or are you just happy that you're here?
For myself, I think maybe I deserve more, but because of what happened to us in the group stage, I don't think we can keep on advancing. Still, my team feels confident, we always want to win. That's it. For me, being top 16 is really a lot already. I think we're the only team that played the open qualifiers and reached the main event.