MVP Revolution or how a lifetime friendship turned into a Dota 2 team
When the WESG qualifiers began back in April last year, the Kyrgyz team was playing under the NoLifer5.Reborn tag and although they finished second in the APAC regionals, no one really believed they would have a significant impact on the professional scene. There’s still reason for most of the Dota 2 fans to consider them a tier two team that’s trying to break out.
Despite the aforemetioned doubts, someone clearly saw something in them and with the recent "Spring Shuffle" the Kyrgyz roster was acquired by a South Korean organisation named MVP. Coming to China to compete for the $1.5M prize pool offered by the World Electronic Sports as MVP Revolution, the boys are expected to start a new chapter in their lives. They are set to move to South Korea after this LAN finishes to start working in a professional environment which should eventually bring them to the level of fame and recognition MVP Phoenix acquired in the past few years.
Like most of you, I didn’t know much about MVP’s new team. Except for their age (which ranges from 18 to 22), nationality and a few of their recent performances, I couldn't find too much info. The evening I arrived in China, the first thing I heard from other players was that MVP Revolution is looking scary. They were crushing in scrims for the past two days and even some of the main favourites got beaten up by MVP Revolution. So, obviously I was extremely excited to see them in action on the first day of group stage, which proved to be almost a perfect one. Day one ended for them with two won series and a draw score which put them at the top of the group.
They are already like a family.They are very connected with each other you know, they are friends since childhood.
After their first two series I ran into their manager and ended up having a conversation about the team over a coffee in the dining area of the venue. The first thing he told me was “I’m so happy we found these guys.” Why, I asked, what makes them so special compared to any other tier two teams? “Because they are already like a family. They are very connected with each other, they grew together, you know, they are friends since childhood” he told me.
This got me intrigued, so we booked an interview with them.
The interview took place late in the night after the first day was finished. MVP Revolution had the last game of the day. It was past midnight when I texted their manager trying to see if we should reschedule for the next day but the response came fast with “ we just arrived, 10 minutes in the lobby?”.
Downstairs I found the team’s carry Bektur 'Runec' Kulov and the position four support, Džoni 'Blizzy' Ri. They seemed beyond tired after playing three series and over 12 hours spent at the venue. But, despite all the obvious signs of exhaustion, they were all smiles .
We could have talked about their training for this event and how they prepared against so many teams that don’t exactly have a competitive history, but instead I wanted to find out more about how they met, when, how far back their history together goes.
Runec: We formed the team as it is now, two years ago...
Blizzy: Yeah, but we know each other for 10 years now. We all live in the same town Bishkek. Some of us went to the same school, some have been in the same class even. But we started to play Dota as a team in this formula two years ago.
We went through who was better or worse in school and then we got back on the Dota 2 subject and to discuss a bit about the scene in their home country. Apparently, it doesn't exist at all. So, I asked them if there are other eSports titles that are more popular or if there is any interest at all in eSports in Kyrgyzstan.
Runec: No, not at all, nobody actually knows what Dota is or what are we doing for example.
Blizzy: Once you get to win good prize pool money everyone is interested, and they acknowledge your work, but before that, when you are just a team playing in semi pro series, no-one looks at you. There are no sponsors or organizations interested in semi pro teams or willing to support a team unless they win something
“What do your parents think about what you do? How do they feel about you moving to South Korea to play computer games?” I asked.
Blizzy: They are not sure what should they feel about all this. Right now they are taking it like a regular job, they choose to take it like that. My son is moving to South Korea to work there.
Runec: My parents are proud of me moving to South Korea to pursue my dream and at the same being able to make a living out of it. They always told me that whatever I choose to do, they will not interfere. They let me take my own decisions and yeah, I think they are proud now, considering how things turned out for me.
It was almost 01:00 AM by the time we got to this point of the interview. There was nobody left besides us in huge hotel lobby, and the front desks personnel were starting to give clear signs of losing their patience with supervising what we were doing there. So, we went quickly through MVP’s Revolution current performance in China and I asked them to tell me their impressions of the New Journey patch.
Blizzy: The new patch is good, and it’s comfortable. I don’t know if it is for everyone else, but for me, as support, it’s just amazing. I now have so manys way of getting my levels and gold, the bounty runes, the way camps are spread, the talents, they are all so good for the supports.
Runec: What I like the most about this patch is the starting runes change. Because before the starting rune was like 100% dedicated for the mid player but now you can actually have anyone taking the two runes, of course depending on your laning strategy
And in terms of heroes? Is there a carry that you believe is really good right now ?
Runec: Oh yeah, definitely the Lifestealer. He has a very good talent tree and he is very strong in the early game, mid game and late game as well.
Any team you’re afraid of here at WESG?
Both: Cloud 9.
Blizzy: They play together for a long time, they are really good, you know they are these tier one slayers from tier two teams. So definitely we are afraid of them.
What goal did you set for WESG?
Runec: Top four
Blizzy: I’m confident we can get top three
That’s about where we had to end the interview. I wished them the best of luck on the second day of group stage, which actually just ended with them advancing in the playoffs stage.
So, tune in starting tomorrow and see how far MVP Revolution will get at WESG.