Black^: «My personal favorite region is China»

Let’s start with the qualifications to TI7. You played with Team Faceless and did not qualify. What was the problem? Why did this happen?

The problem was we were not prepared enough. We had got really lazy before the qualifier, we had a lot of problems that we hadn’t solved, so we did not play well at all.

Were you lazy because you thought you were the best team?

No, I think we got lazy as we did not enjoy playing with each other anymore at that time.

You were an analyst at TI6. Did you expect that your team will get invited to TI7?

At the start, maybe as we played very well right after TI6. But throughout the year we did kind of ok, and later every tournament was kind of fail so I didn’t even expect that we would be invited.

And maybe you expected to get invited as a TI7 analyst?

I did not get invited as an analyst because when you play a lot, you don’t have enough time to cast the tournament.

Any ideas about the new patch? What do you expect from it?

I'm expecting the meta of the game to change from a five-men push to team fights, fighting in general, and ganking around the map rather than five men pushing and of course, a lot of fusion with buff and nerf, maybe the map will get changed, maybe Roshan position will get changed, I think there are many changes that may get happened.

Can you name top 3 points what will be changed with the new patch?

I think the meta of the game, the team fighting should turn more to ganking.

And second should be hero battles of course, like nerfing and buffing heroes.

And the third one... It would be very cool if they could do something with Roshan, like changing Roshan’s position again, like they did in the past, that brought a lot of new elements to the game.

What heroes will be the highest picks in this patch? Like now Viper, Pugna, Necro.

I think highly picked heroes at the next patch might be Clinkz and maybe Tiny, I have heard they are gonna be very very strong and if they get buffs that will make them the strongest heroes in this patch because Pugna and Necro got nerfed. And Clinkz and Tiny, when they get a buff, they will become really strong even in the first phase.

Many professional players say on Twitter that the force staff is OP. What is your opinion about that? Is it really OP, maybe there should be some changes for this item? Must it be more expensive?

I think, if you have two-three force staffs it's like a blink dagger so you can get almost out of every trouble. I think they should make something like the range may remain the same, but it will work slower, so you get pushed a little bit slower, so it's still strong but maybe not such strong, but that could be a nice change. Or they can nerf a range a little bit, by 50 or something like that. The item is definitely too strong right now.

Making it more expensive will also work, but I think that the price should stay the same, while the operating should get nerfed.

You are without a team now. What happened? Why didn't you find a team?

I got a lot of offers from very short-term teams like teams that wanna get together to play a little bit while my goal is to be in a long-term team, in a team that stands together for a long time and works really hard to improve together. I don’t like these ideas of the teams that spend together a month or two, so that I have not got the right offer yet as I have not found the right people to play with, but I definitely will keep looking, and probably I will make a comeback at the end of the year.

You played in many regions. What regions do you prefer, what players?

My personal favorite region is China, because I think China is hard working, and they understand the way to reach the best, even in the TI7 you could see 4 Chinese teams in the top 6, and it was pretty crazy, and I really think that Chinese people are the best environment to improve as a player. So that’s my personal favorite, but I don’t know what’s going to happen and I can’t really tell yet.

But isn’t it too difficult to speak and communicate with Chinese players?

I have actually learned Chinese for 3 years, so I can communicate with them in Chinese.

You play a lot of FPL, can you say something about a system?

I think FPL is quite good because you get a very serious game with Сaptains mode like practicing with your team, of course not as serious as an actual practice game, so you can play with many different items and heroes and people who get angry with you but you still have a proper environment for a game, I think it’s still better than a matchmaking and I really like it.

Should it get changed somehow to be better?

I think FPL is good the way it is, and one change that I did not like was that recently they introduced a merger to have more games, and I didn’t like that because the quality of the games dropped a lot, so it’s not as fun as it was before. But of course, they want to have more games to promote their system. I don’t understand why they did that, but I’m not the big fan of that.

You say a MMR is not pretty good right now, but maybe Valve will change it in the new patch?

Maybe. But I don’t know how they would change it though. Because that’s always only one guy in every game and that guy does not really want to play, he doesn't like something.

Valve can’t really do much about that, so I think it’s just people who need to grow up, as I think that’s very challenging what they’re doing.

What will be the best for MMR, like matchmaking by roles for every player, or seasonal?

I would like if both combined, like every three months they reset the MMR, and everybody starts with MMR again, and when your queue comes, you need to choose your position. I think it would make a lot better as people come from playing what they getting on the draw which is a big problem right now, so I think it will be a good change.

You stream a lot now. Do you like that?

I’m streaming a lot because I’m playing some meta games, just train myself, and I’m streaming to pay back the players of mine, as I can’t do anything more for them. I just thought that streaming for them would be nice so we could interact a little bit.

Streaming is quite fun, it brings you closer to your fans, But I don’t think I could be a full-time streamer because I would miss a competing too much.

Now we’re watching ESL Hamburg. Are you going to visit it?

I would be glad to do that, but I could not get the ticket, but I’m watching all the games online.

How it’s going on? Do you like it? What do you think about teams and their playing?

I’m a bit disappointed with EG. I thought EG would be a lot stronger, and I hope that a Chinese team King Gaming will defeat LDG, and I hope that they can win this tournament.

What is your opinion about the new system of tournaments? Is it good or bad, and what should be changed? 11 Majors and 16 Minors, isn't it too many?

I like the system because further one team, like maybe Liquid or Newbee or whatever, they can’t go to all tournaments but it appears more chances for less known teams who playing at these tournaments, and that helps them show how good they are. So actually I'm a big fan of the system.

We will have 5 Majors one by one from April untill June, isn’t it too many?

I don’t know, that’s for me. The best teams can’t attend all tournaments but that gives more chances for the weaker teams. So, I`m a fan of this system. 

But the top teams will still play there, they will get the invites or in the qualifiers. Will they get tired?

I think that might be a problem after a while because if you play so much without a break you can get very very tired mentally,  but we have to wait and see first. Maybe some teams will choose not to participate in all tournaments and rest before the next tournaments. I’m not sure what the best decision would be.

Your opinions about new Captains Draft, a new tournament in the system. Will it be like a minor?

I think it's ok to be a minor because it’s a unique system, a tournament like that is a very rare, and it gives the viewers a lot and I think that teams can also learn a lot from that mode because they should play the heroes they usually don’t pick. I think everybody has to play seriously, even though they can’t pick the heroes. That will help them play under worst condition, which would help them I think.

What were the best tournaments of your whole Dota 2 career?

I think of course all TI tournaments are very good, and the Majors are good, and all the tournaments organized by Valve are usually flawless and don’t have a lot of problems and take care of you. And outside of them I think EPICENTER is really good, DIC, the Chinese tournament, and usually ESL is good, but this time ESL Hamburg is not, I think because it’s overloaded, but usually, they are good.

And what about Summit?

It’s also very good, but it’s different. It’s not very professional it's very relaxing, it's not very serious, it's for people to enjoy, so if you like that kind of tournament more, for many it would be a better decision.

What are you doing when you don’t play Dota, don't stream, and don't watch Hamburg games?

Usually, every morning I wake up at 9 am, and go to the gym at 10 and till 12, and then Dota day starts already, I do some solo practice, try to find some strategies in Dota, new items, then I watch matches, and at 6-7 pm I start streaming, so basically from 12 till midnight it’s all Dota for me.

Maybe you want to say something to your fans?

I want to thank all my fans who support me even though the time is quite rough right now and I hope that future has something to offer me and them, and I really want to thanks them for sticking with me.