Natus Vincere on the European scene: "It’s getting worse and worse."
The stage is set and top European team Na'Vi is well prepared to take on the likes of other major teams in their region. The day before tournament play began players AlextheProG and GranPkt took some time out of their schedule to talk to us not only about the state of the scene right now, but the state of the game as a whole
Natus Vincere is a very big organization in esports and we’re very lucky that they’re in Heroes of the Storm, considering the size of the scene so far. For a short while it seemed like you guys weren’t a team any more because a lot of people left and only you and ethernal stayed. Were you ever worried that you would have to find a different home or were you always given the confidence to create a new team?
AlextheProG: We were always confident in Na’Vi staying in the scene. They gave ethernal and I the opportunity to create a new team. We were at the time ethernal, splendour and I and then we decided to remove splendour from the roster and start an almost new roster.
Were you involved at all in picking the new members? Did you do tryouts?
Alex: Yeah I was the main guy. Ethernal and I did it together, but I was the main one contacting the people. We first came to GrankPkt and Crozzby because they were pretty obvious choices but with our fifth player we had problems. I don’t know how many players we tried, I think it was 4 or 5, but it was a bit too many and one week before boot camp we decided to stick with Danatan.
Are you confident that this will be the roster after this event and after Korea?
Alex: I think it will depend a lot on our performance. If it seems to work out, then we will of course stay, but if there’s problems we will remove players.
Do you think that will happen in the whole scene?
GranPkt: This will keep happening again and again and again because most of the players play for a team for a spot to the Global Championship. If that team doesn’t get the spot, they disband. It’s always the same.
Most of the players play for a team for a spot to the Global Championship. If that team doesn’t get the spot, they disband. It’s always the same.
If you think about football or basketball, it happens as well. The teams get together to get the maximum prize possible and if they make it they remove players they make changes, it’s completely normal.
You don’t think there is some point at just sticking with one roster and just practicing a lot and fine tuning it?
Gran: I would love to do that, but reality is that most players would rather change and find a better place.
Did the team dynamics change a lot when you got the first two and then the final player from the old Na’Vi to the new Na’Vi?
Alex: It was really different back then. Ethernal and I were the second and third shot caller, then I moved up to being main shot caller and main drafter. So it’s a lot of me talking and less of the rest of the team.
You feel like this is going well?
Alex: On long term no, but for now it’s the best choice in my opinion. We have to be on the same page for a LAN event. And we will not be on the same page if five people are calling different things and we haven’t had the time to get the synergy yet.
Right now you can lock in a roster then change one player. Do you think it should be changed to two or three players for substitutes?
Alex: I think it’s a really good rule. It makes sure that if you have a problem on the team and one player doesn’t want to play anymore then it’s really really helpful. But in some cases it’s really sad. Because a player qualified for an event but then he got removed for someone better. It would be really unhealthy for the team [if 2 or more players could switch]. The team that would qualify for Korea would be like two dream teams, like the two best teams with the best players.
Granpkt: I think one change is good. It protects the players and at the same time protects the team.
You just won Enter the Storm and you played The Sandwich Monkeys, do you think they deserve to be here?
Alex: You don’t deserve to be here if you don’t qualify. But I think they could have done it easily. I think they tilted and they had a bad day. They had some problems.
You don’t deserve to be here if you don’t qualify.
It was really surprising to see Piggys [Pigs in Blankets now Reason Gaming] get number one. If they would qualify you would expect them to get like the second qualifiers spot but they just went through the bracket.
Were you happy with your performance in Enter the Storm as a team?
Gran: We played more or less good but the final games, the best of five against Sandwich Monkeys we were a bit shaky.
Alex: I don’t really think we showed our best performance in any of the games. 50% of the games were pretty good, the other 50% were us randomly dying.
Did winning ETS give you a big confidence boost going into this event?
Alex: I was not too happy after Enter the Storm. I think we played not so good. So it was not a confidence boost from my side at least. It was nice winning the prize.
Alex: We haven’t played them too much. We feel confident that we will do good. Our first match is versus Dignitas we’re really not sure how their skill level is and how their meta is. So it will be a tough match for sure but I think we will come out on top.
Do you think Blizzard or ESL could have done anything better setting up this event for you to be more prepared?
Alex: If there was a big tournament and let’s say one month before the qualifiers I think the teams would have been more stable. People tend to create a roster right before a tournament. They want the best players they try and try and then at last they have to settle. If they have to settle some time before it would be better. But it’s still very hard for Blizzard to do anything about it.
Gran: I think that making an announcement earlier than they did, would have helped a bit. Because it was one week, you cannot do that.
How do you feel about the European scene in general? Do you think there is more and more talent coming into the scene compared to last year?
Alex: It’s getting worse and worse. If you compare it to the rest of the world, players are getting worse. Other regions are improving a lot. I think in half a year Europe will suck a lot.
Do you think it will get bad for you as one of the top teams because you will have no one to play against?
Alex: I think it’s already the case now. There’s not enough good players on the team. We couldn’t make a 5 man roster because there weren’t any good enough players.
Do you think that Blizzard should take action helping acquire new talent and showcasing new talent?
Alex: I think it’s really hard.
The players really have to shine on their own, they can’t just be like rank 5 in Hero League and “I want to join your team”.
The players really have to shine on their own, they can’t just be like rank 5 in Hero League and “I want to join your team”. They should be on the leaderboard and they should play good and be dedicated to the game.
Did you check the leaderboard a lot when you were checking for new players?
Alex: Yeah we have the number one ranked player on the team (Danatan).
GranPkt, as a support player you keep having to adjust with Rehgar week after week, patch after patch he keeps changing. Do you feel like he is getting better with every week? Do you think the first re-work was good for him. Do you think he was good at that moment or too strong?
Gran: I think bringing him back to the meta game was good but the numbers were completely broken, they didn’t make any sense. After a few patches it seems like he’s getting better, he is where he deserves to be more or less. I think he’s still a bit strong. The main problem for me is he was so broken that everyone wanted to play him and I just couldn’t practice. I play Hero League and half of the games, someone is going to pick Rehgar, the other half, if i’m not first pick, i wouldn’t be able to practice Rehgar I would have to play another support. So it’s good to have super players back on the meta but I want to play with him, I want to practice and they need to be more careful with the numbers. Also I think it’s a great move from Blizzard to make the last patch two days before the tournament, it’s great, it’s amazing.
No sarcasm at all?
Gran: No sarcasm.
Do you think Grandmaster would be a good edition?
Gran: If the matchmaking keeps being the same, it doesn’t make any difference to have a Grandmaster League or not. It would be just an icon. Things that need to be fixed is match making. Right Now.
Alex: I don’t completely agree. I think if you have Grandmaster you can see number one all the time, people will take it more serious. It will give a clear indication of skill, you will see the leaderboard once a month and daily you’ll be able to see if you’re top 10 in Europe.
Gran: My point is in the current state of the game, you can abuse the system. There are few pro players that are doing that to raise in rankings, for me it doesn’t make any sense. You que up with someone which is way way way lower than you, and you get a lot of points per win. They need to change the whole ladder system, and then add Grandmaster.
Do you think the addition of Grandmaster would get more tryhards into the game that maybe not want to play competitive but they would want to get a high rank and maybe get moved to competitive?
Alex: Yes, and I think more players would hate the game less. I don’t know any players that say “it’s fun to play hero league”, because it’s not fun.
Natus Vincere will start their fight for Spring Champions Saturday at 1200 CET where they will face Dignitas in their first group stage match.
Follow @GosugamersHotS for all the European Spring Regional updates!