Ahead of Blast Bounty Hunt, Sumail talks to GosuGamers about moving to Europe and how he’s finding OG.
The Blast Bounty Hunt tournament is well underway and OG is now sitting in the upper bracket finals with Team Secret standing in their way. Ahead of the event, GosuGamers spoke to Sumail about how he’s finding the move away from LANs and possible relocation to Europe.
How have you found transitioning into OG?
It has been great so far. This entire corona situation messed us up a bit but I guess it is the same for everyone in a way. Other than that just waiting for all this stuff to go away so we can actually give our 100% under our proper circumstances since everything is off for some people. For myself and others.
How do you think you’re prepared for the Blast Dota Tournament?
Personally, for me, I’ve been playing on a really weird schedule for two months so I’m a bit exhausted. I’m taking a few days off and then after that we’re going to be scrimming a lot and hopefully we’ll get our form back by the time the event comes around.
Are you looking forward to the Blast Bounty hunt event?
This is the first Blast Dota Tournament, how did you react when you found out?
I thought it’s cool to let new people see and explore Dota. I watch a decent amount of CSGO so I know you guys do CSGO a lot and the tournaments are fast and smooth.
Along with the prize pool announcement was how the fans can get involved in more — it’s a bit different to how it’s normally played. Are you looking forward to that element?
Oh that’s pretty cool!
How are you staying motivated during times like this?
Mostly it’s the teammates, we’re motivating each other. But at the same time it’s not really there fully for everyone. When you’re traveling you do other stuff other than just travel, so your mind is more open but right now it’s just gaming and sitting at home 24/7 it’s been a bit difficult.
Do you think there positives to being online or is it mostly negative?
There are definitely both (positive and negatives) and I’m sure certain people like it very much. I, myself, am not a big fan of online. It just doesn’t feel the same for me. But I’ve been trying. In a way there are too many tournaments at the moment. You never just get to sit and breathe, you’re playing everyday. It might sound like a positive but it’s a negative, it’s too much.
What’s it been like playing with N0Tail?
It’s fun, a lot of energy and positive vibes all around. Just a lot of energy.
What was about it OG that you chose to go with them? Obviously winning two TI’s is enticing, but you already have a ring from when you were just a young kid! So what was it about them that you found most attractive?
It’s the leadership aspect. After last year, I only wanted to play with a certain number of captains, 2 or 3. I’ve said it before N0Tail was one of them, it just looked like a perfect fit.
You have had little time to compete with the full team since joining and were even playing from NA with them – have you felt like you even had the time or opportunity to really get integrated into the team?
We’ve had our moments, we managed to bootcamp before the LA major and the qualifiers before. We gelled before, it’s not ideal to be playing from 3 different regions, everyones on a different timezone.
Do you think you are able to gauge the difference between playing for NA or EU region just yet?
No, EU is definitely way more competitive and I think it’s better Dota. Everybody tries hard and you have 10-15 teams who can take a game off you. I don’t think NA has the same thing, out of 3 teams you know who’s going to win all the time. It’s really competitive compared to NA.
Now with the Valve going full regional league next season would you have made a choice to stay in NA had you known that in advance?
I think we knew but I’m not sure, it’s a bit blurry. But I think I would have done it even if it didn’t know. I’m thinking of moving to Europe for this, so we’ll see. I’m looking to move to Portugal with N0Tail.
What do you think about the system that Valve has announced for next season?
I think it’s really nice for tier 2 teams but it punishes the top teams. It’s more work than it used to be for a lot less (money). For the overall growth of the scene I think it’s a good move but for certain teams/players it’s damaging in a way.
What’s one patch change you really hope that Valve will implement in the near future?
Make more kills more valuable, I’m not a big fan of the patch right now.
In true sight, the fans saw a special bond between you and Phil, how has that changed since your departure?
It has changed a decent amount. We don’t really keep in touch anymore.
erkaSt joins NG
NG continue to add to their international roster with the signing of another high-profile player in the Asian scene, Erdenetsogt “erkaSt” Gantulga, bringing the player count in the starting lineup up to four, each one of them from a different country.
Now a household name in Asia, erkaSt first made a name for himself in Oceania, where he was part of the Grayhound squad that played at IEM Sydney in 2018 and 2019, made two ESL Pro League Finals and competed at the IEM Katowice 2019 and StarLadder Berlin Major’s New Challengers Stages.
The Mongolian player then had to return to his home country after not being able to secure a work visa in Australia following the StarLadder Major, where he achieved moderate success with TIGER, winning the first Regional Major Ranking tournament, the Weibo Cup Asian Championship and making the final of the latest RMR tournament, Perfect World Asia League Fall.
Since returning to Mongolia erkaSt has accrued a 1.15 rating and has had strong performances at all of the RMR tournaments with a 1.20 rating at ESL One: Road to Rio Asia as well as 1.19 and 1.14 ratings at the PAL Summer and Fall events, respectively.
“For the past year since Grayhound, I’ve been playing with and giving my experiences to my fellow Mongolians and the community there as a player”, erkaSt says, “but from today onward, I’m very excited to call NG a new home and really looking forward to play with my new teammates and the journey ahead of us. Thank you for all your support and especially NG for giving me this opportunity!”
NG are now:
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XTQZZZ on Vitality’s six-man roster: “We’re going to make substitutions mid-series depending on the map”
Vitality coach Rémy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam has revealed that Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom will start practising with the team this week as part of a rotation system that will be employed moving forward. The 19-year-old is expected to make his debut in the BLAST Premier Final Series — the perfect proving ground for the former Heretics player as the team are already qualified for the BLAST Global Finals.
“The team will make substitutions mid-series depending on the map,” XTQZZZ wrote in a Twitlonger post. “It will allow some players to rest on training days (very few until the end of the year), to rotate, to be able to make decisions and to remain as competitive as possible.”
XTQZZZ gives three reasons for the expansion of Vitality‘s roster, starting with the congested fixture schedule in Counter-Strike. “We have had a much higher number of tournaments, matches and weeks over the years,” he said. “This is essentially related to business, where we’re looking for a profitability that does not currently exist.”
The second reason he gave is the team’s struggle to perform consistently in a packed schedule while facing constant pressure to obtain results. This, according to him, affects “preparation ahead of intense matches”.
The French coach also talked about mental health and burnout, a hot topic as several players have requested medical leaves this year due to the heavy workload. “These problems are essentially created by a loss of balance, a loss of fulfilment, a loss in the professional life and a loss of pleasure,” he explained. “We must pay attention to each one of our players.”
Regarding the addition of Nivera to the roster and the effect that it will have on the group, XTQZZZ insisted that the Belgian player will not be claiming anyone’s spot in the starting lineup. “Vitality’s objective is to continue training young talents while keeping the experience of our legends. Nabil doesn’t come to bench anyone.”
The French coach also shared his thoughts about jumping into uncharted territory, saying that Vitality will “give the project a certain amount of time to see if it can be effective, well-received and beneficial.”
“We will try to adapt to the system in the short/medium term,” he added. “In six months it may be different or perhaps even more complicated, but none of us can predict the future with the current situation.”
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