The latest news about the merger between the European based gaming organization OK and one of the leading Chinese DotA teams - Nirvana - made massive waves. At that time we asked team manager Morten 'ZexTar' Knudsen to pull more information out of the hat for us. This is what he shared.
Editors Note: This interview was conducted shortly after the press release concerning the merger 20 days ago.
ZexTar, how is the team doing at the moment? One might say that the roster doesn’t seem as strong as before the big transfer period. Do you think you can beat EHOME and DK in the upcoming season?
Like in any other sport, professional gaming is unpredictable and that’s what makes it so interesting, swinging and exciting. You can’t say with 100% certainty that Team A will beat Team B on event C. From my experience that never happens. You can have a strong belief or wish that some team will beat another, but somehow it’s impossible to predict results. Having said this, the DotA team is really eager to keep doing what they have been doing for quite a long time: winning, performing well and being one of the most respected teams around the globe. Can we beat EHOME or DK? That’s the million dollar question. I feel it is possible as long as our players bring their A-Game and can overcome their capacity. If they can do it, then I believe both EHOME and DK are beatable. But let’s not forget that these are excellent teams, with a lot of talented players. We will see what the future brings on this matter, but one thing is certain:
If we beat them, we will stick to our normal routine, practice even more and try to perform better next time. If we lose, we will do the same; practice more and try to perform better next time.”
We only heard that the two parties [OK and Nirvana] will work together now. How does this cooperation look in detail?
As it said in the statement we issued on the matter a few weeks ago, OK and Nirvana will now work together under the Online Kingdom name. We have seen a few comments around eSports portals and on the blogosphere, but as you might understand, we can’t answer all of them. All I can say about this merger is, that we have been working on it for quite a long time and everything is settled so we can become one of the biggest eSports organizations in the future.”
From that statement you can take that now, together, we cover a broader area in the eSports universe. Together we house more teams in more games (Counter-Strike, Counter-Strike Source, Defence of the Ancients, StarCraft II, Heroes of Newerth and Quake Live), in different locations (Germany, Finland, China, Portugal, Benelux, Lithuania, Poland etc) and therefore expanded our influence.”
I would like to add that Nirvana's past won’t be forgotten. It will remain in eSports history, but now together with OK, the empire expands and will increase its domination. This is one of the biggest moments for everyone involved and soon you will all understand even better just why we have united into this huge force.”
Loveen is a kind of mysterious figure here in Europe; nobody knows much of him. As one who worked closely with him, what can you tell us about him? What drives him, what’s his vision, what kind of character is he and what is your work experience with him?
Loveen is a well-respected figure in Asia, but somehow he is quite unknown in Europe. The truth is that he is a very low-profile guy; he prefers to stand in the shadow and do his job calmly. He loves eSports, especially DotA. What drives him? I would say he loves what he does; he wants to do something huge for the DotA community and eSports in general. He is very methodical and organized, so it's really a pleasure to work with him. He has a futuristic vision about eSports and one could see that back in the times when he created Nirvana and hosted the WDC. He is a fantastic guy and I hope that from now on, he will get more attention and recognition from the European community. ”
Will you host another WDC together this year?
The World DotA Championship was one of the biggest moments in our history as Nirvana. Now that we are working together with Online Kingdom, all I can see is that everyone here has the same vision regarding big international events. Are we are going to host another WDC this year? No one knows (*smiles*)”
Do you know who the European OK team is going to be comprised of?
Ever since it was announced that Nirvana and OK would be working together, everyone has been asking if we will bring in a new DotA team and if that’s the case, whether it will be European. Based on OK's experience (we have housed a good European team in the past), there is the possibility to support a new team for this season and start preparing for the release of DotA2. Nevertheless, I won’t tell you who we have in mind yet, but it will be revealed soon. I can promise you one thing though: whoever it will be, is going to fight with MYM, NaVi, DTS or GGnet for Europe’s domination.”
Which tag will the team wear in upcoming events? OK or Nirvana?
Everyone has been asking about this. For us it’s not a matter of the tag, since all we care about is reaching our goals and do it as a collective, with the same ambition and excitement. Nonetheless we know that the eSports industry is ruled by sponsors, so we will use one common tag in all teams. With that said, the team will tag as OK.CHERRY.
Who will be the captain of the team?
Where and when will we see Nirvana/OK in action?
You will be able to see OK.CHERRY playing at the WCG China side DotA event and probably at the SMM competition. Later this year we will be at ESWC.”
Thanks a lot. Anything you would like to say in the last paragraph?
Thank you for having me here. I would like to state once again to all our fans that Nirvana’s history won’t be forgotten.
Shoutout to all the Online-Kingdom Staff, Loveen and especially Flow4v, DemoniC & Danny for the amazing help during WDC.
If you have any questions or wish to contact Online Kingdom about anything you can email me at: [email protected]”