Na`Vi.XBOCT in pre-DreamHack interview

Posted by Ulrich "KongoTime" Hanten at 16 June 2012 15:54

Shortly before boarding his flight to Sweden, we got a hold of Na`vi's Alexandr 'XBOCT' Dashkevich to talk about what happened in the past weeks leading up to DreamHack and take a deeper look inside the most successful Dota 2 team at the moment.

During the announcements of the TI2 invitations, I read on ComeWithMe’s twitter he would consider retiring, should he not make it to Seattle. Imagine you life far away from the Kiev arena and get to attend only one or two LAN tournaments a year. Would this be a reason for you to step down?
I dont think that I would retire from playing Dota 2. Personally, I would be upset if I didn't get invited but I don't think this would make me leave professional gaming.

What do you think of the teams that got invited. Do they match with your top 14?
They are close to the top 14 of the world, but there are about 30 teams who can compete with each other for top 3, so it's hard to decide who is the best.

Before the first invitations were declared, Insiders mentioned that a stable lineup of players would be the main criteria to get invited. Chances for teams who make a lot of changes would weaken or die at all, even though they performed well. Do you think this policy is justified?
This is the best policy, but due to all European teams changing their roster it's hard to find teams who didn't do that... and not inviting European teams at all comes close to discrimination.

Blind understanding of each other frees room in your brain for thinking ahead of your opponent
As we know it was an attempt to enforce consistency among teams, however dont you think that Valve almost achieved the contrary. The more teams recieved invitations the more substitutions happened, driven by pressure and the will to improve. Now its unlikely that Na`Vi will swap a player anytime soon but, do you experience a pressure to succeed as well?
Well, 80% of the Dota players are still kids, who leave teams or kick somebody from one with close to no reason. That just leads to a lot of substitutions. People dont want to play with each other, but everybody wants to get a TI2 invitation.

You have certainly no reason to worry, but in other teams like Mouz, quarrel between players escalated and reached the public. Have you ever been involved in significant arguments with team mates? Arguments after which continuing to play together is not an option.
Yeah, I was in the same situation long before Na`Vi, but now we are all like a family and everybody understands that if he acts stupid, the other four won't support him, but instead will try to explain his mistakes. When we argue we try to solve problems fast, that's why we probably were the most stable team of 2011.

Imagine, you are on a fulltime salary in pro-gaming and you have no other shot at a job. Is it possible to successfully play with people who you can't stand, despite them being highly skilled? Or do teams like described just not work out.
If you don't like people with whom u are playing, you won't win anything and as a result won't get high salary. Such teams will go down in two to three months tops.

.. there are about 30 teams who can compete with each other for top 3 right now
What does a team need to reach your level? Members of the LGD of 2009, the EHOME of 2010, or the Na´Vi of 2011/12 seemed to have established a blind understanding of each other like soul mates when in game. Is it just the time of 5 excellent players spent playing together or does it take more than that?
I can't explain it 100%, but it depends on sympathy towards each other, on Dota understanding and on personal skill obviously, but despite all that you will still make mistake. However if your team covers it you win. Also, people need to play alot together and stay in the same roster to adapt each to other's way of thinking, so you know what to expect from your teammates all the time. It will make the game easier and will reduce spam in voice chat, which again will clear your mind and make room in your brain to think ahead of your opponent.

Are you getting tired of each other once in a while? If yes how do you deal with it?
Sure we are. Then I go on holidays, or my native town, or some other resort, spend one or two weeks without Dota and return very relaxed and ready to win again and again. So does every other member of the team in his most comfortable way.

What would need to happen that would make you leave Na`Vi by tomorrow?
If MiSeRy will invite me to a team, I would leave Na`Vi in no time.

I dont feel as the favourite before any tournament, I can feel it once I'm in game, when opponents are weak, or me and my team very strong.
We are at DreamHack at the moment. How do you like being regarded as the favourite ahead of tournaments. Do you think it adds to your morale and makes opponents unconfortable or does it put pressure on you that you may not like.
It doesn't put pressure on opponents, or maybe just a bit. I dont feel as the favourite before any tournament, I can feel it once I'm in game, when opponents are weak, or me and my team very strong.

Who of the others would you consider your biggest threat?
Mouz, CLG, aL and EG. Plus, all Swedes are unpredictable, so it will be hard to win this time.

If you were to have the ressources of a big gaming company. What would your perfect tournament be like?
I would make TI3 (XBOCT EDITION)!

Is there anything out there in the Dota universe that you like to achieve? Winning a certain tournament or having a hero named after you for instance. At the end of your career what would you like to tell everbody about?
I would like PotM or AM with my name, but probably I'm not good enough for it (*smiles*)
Shoutout to Merlini - best Zeus in my life!!! (even when he is Leshrac)

Thanks for your time, do you wish to throw any shoutouts?
I would like to thank Antec, Steelseries and Kingston, also ZeroGravity for giving us such a good perspective, thank you my fans, you make me play better and prevent me from giving up after losses. Cheer for Natus Vincere, and we won't dissapoint you :)

Na`Vi will enter DreamHack Summer tomorrow. The Ukrainians share their group with CLG, as well as two undetermined teams of the BYOC qualifier.

Links - Natus Vincere Official Homepage - Natus Vincere Official Youtube channel - Natus Vincere Official Fanpage