As Virtus.pro took their third Major trophy this season, their coach Ivan "ArtStyle" Antonov talked to us about their plans going forward, the current team chemistry and the secret behind Broodmother's strength.
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You have effectively secured a spot at TI8 now. Does that make any difference for your plans for the rest of this season? Are you afraid of burning out by the end of it, like OG or Secret did before some previous TIs?
Yes, our following plans are to continue participating in all Majors. We want to avoid relaxing and to try and adjust to the opponents: to observe all the way until TI8. We must learn everything we can about everyone before TI8. We might drop our drive a bit, but I don’t think we will — we still want to be beating everyone.
We won’t burn out until The International, it’s a unique kind of tournament, everyone plays differently there. You can’t burn out before it.
What was your plan in Game 2 vs. Liquid? Where did you feel things went wrong?
Our focus was on 5v5 teamfights with big AOE ultimates, so we needed to get quite a lot of important items, but Team Liquid played well and didn’t let us do this. It all fell apart when their supports started to trade a lot of kills in their advantage.
Is it difficult to keep people from getting annoyed with each other after being together for long periods of time? How do you solve that issue in VP?
It just happened that our guys are all grown up and realize that you shouldn’t break apart the team from the inside. Since we’re winning everything for now, and we're all good, there are much fewer conflicts than before, or even not at all. Sometimes when we lose something, some things come up, but it all get resolved by itself quick
How are the team’s cores able to switch roles and lanes when needed so much?
RAMZES666 and No[o]ne are really skilled and spend a ton of time playing pubs on different roles. They can even play support if the team would need them to.
What is your opinion of the 2-1-2 lanes meta that seems to be coming back?
The Bounty runes no longer provide experience, so supports have to find it somewhere else. I look at this change positively, since we’ve not been running 1-1-3 for a while now, we are used to playing like this so it’s easy for us to adjust. The only unfortunate thing to this is that some heroes fell off from the meta: those who are weak in lanes and who can’t roam, but we try to pick the heroes that can do both.
Do you think Broodmother is only good when picked last as a surprise or do you think teams will be able to normally fight against her regardless if they can counter her or not in the draft?
Ramzes is the kind of player who allows us to run Broodmother even on second pick like in DreamLeague Major again Na`Vi. The hero has specific counters, but not many know which exactly. For example, during the Katowice Major finals, Brood ended up facing Puck and we had no idea he could crush Brood so hard.
You can pick her in different stages, mostly depending on enemy draft: if they have only magic damage heroes without AOE. The rest depends on the player: how well he can execute and how much the team can swap lanes to give Brood space. This is all that maters. Even if there is some kind of super counter to it, you can just go gank it or zone it to give Brood a good start, so she might beat it later on.