An interview with Blizzy

Dota 2 / News / 10 September 2018 — 12:43

Let's learn more about Blizzy!

NAVI.GG.BET team is for the coming season. In the months to come, kg Evgenii "Blizzy" Ree, the player of the third position, will join the ranks of the Born to Win. In an interview with the team website, Zhenya told about professional experience, development of esports in his home country and first impressions of the game with new teammates. 

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- Let's introduce you to fans of NAVI. First, tell us a little about yourself!

- My name is Evgenii, I'm 23 years old. I started playing DotA back in 2006, but I've been playing Dota 2 since 2012. I played for kg MVP.Revolution, ru M19, ru Vega Squadron, and at the moment I am a part of ua NAVI. I used to play position 4, but after some problems in kg MVP I switched to off-lane, and didn't change my role ever since.

- There are not so many players from Kyrgyzstan performing at the professional level. Is esports, and specifically Dota 2, popular in your country?

- Esports itself, I would say, is not developed, but there are a lot of those who love to sit in an internet cafe with friends and play different games. The fact is that we have a small choice of entertainment, so the games are that attractive. As for Dota 2, it is more popular. Many play it themselves and, accordingly, follow it.

- Often, players remember how they went with friends to an internet cafe, participated in local tournaments... And what were your first steps in esports?

- Perhaps, my story will be the same as with everyone: I played with friends for fun, then, with the same friends, began to perform on small local LAN-tournaments. Perhaps, that's how I started to love the game. You know, this particular atmosphere of the tournament: a lot of people, everyone is playing Dota 2, friends gather together... It was very nice to be there. Such events were always giving a good mood and hyped everyone up.

- At what point did you realize that you really can become a professional and reach certain heights?

- It happened back in time of The International 2012, when the finals had ua NAVI . I was in love with this team! The things ua Dendi was doing as Rubick seemed miraculous. And since then I began to dream of playing there - on the same stage, with the best teams in the world. At that time, of course, it appeared as something unattainable, but I just continued to work hard, and after many years I became closer to this - no longer a dream, but a goal.

When we just assembled a more or less good team, kg NoLifer5, and began to show some results in online tournaments, ProDotA Cup and different qualifiers, I realized that I can become a professional.

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- In Kyrgyzstan, you found like-minded people, and you teamed up. Will you tell me more about the creation of the national team?

- I met all the guys at local LAN championships. We chose the best five players in Kyrgyzstan and just started playing as one team.

- Was it difficult to find players for competitive Dota 2 in Kyrgyzstan? Why didn't you invite the guys from the outside?

- In fact, we always had 6-7 good players with whom we could build a team. If someone wasn't doing too well or left because of problems with discipline, we replaced him with another. We did not think about calling the players from somewhere else, we wanted to play with our guys.

- What goals did you and your teammates set for yourselves at that moment? Can you say that you achieved something that you aspired to, back then?

- At that time, the global goals for the team was not there: we just strived for victories in those online tournaments, where we could play. Of course, we tried our strength in qualifying matches of The International, but nothing was coming from those attempts. True, I won a couple of championships with $ 2,500 prizes, and I was very happy (smiles).

- Do you remember your debut in professional esports: from which tournaments, leagues, did your career start? What would you call your first success?

- I have never played in leagues, but I remember my first experience. It was WESG 2016: we revived the ex-roster of kg NL5 and passed the regional qualification stage for WESG in Central Asia. Honestly, we did not really believe in great success, we thought: if we get into the top 8 and in the main stage of the competition - it will be cool.

But, you know, how it happens? We came up with a good strategy, caught a wave of victories and so, reached the finals. We played very confidently, until the Chinese team destroyed us in the finals with its strategy Naga Siren + Keeper of the Light. We were very upset because we started the finals in the best of 3 format with the win on the first ma[, but lost with the score 1-2. Nevertheless, we won $ 17,000 and got to the next stage from the second place, so this, probably, was our first success.

- Did your relatives and friends support your initiatives? Over time, did any of them reconsider their attitude to esports? If so, what was the turning point?

- To be honest, I never discussed with my parents that I wanted to become an esportsman: I thought it would be difficult to explain to them all this, they will not understand me. So there was no substantive conversation, I just said that I'm playing without any goals, for the sake of pleasure. Of course, when I started winning the first prize money, flying abroad, when I got to well-known teams, I became a full-fledged player with a salary, they realized that this is a serious matter in which you can succeed.

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- Your team was approached by representatives of kr MVP. After you joined the club, did any global changes occur in your life?

- I wouldn't say so. Since I was always independent, it was not a problem for me to fly away from my country and live there for a long time. We lived about half a year in Korea, in one apartment with all the teammates.

- Do you consider cooperation with kr MVP a valuable experience? What did you learn from the time that you represented the club?

Yes, of course! Even if we take into account that we have not won anything while on kr MVP, this was our first serious organization. We trained a lot with good Chinese teams, which we could not afford before, because none of the experienced rivals were eager to practice with us. I think we all grew up as players. I do not want to say much about the club itself: there were bad moments, there were good things. In general, this is a useful experience.

- When you parted ways withkr MVP, did you want to stay in Southeast Asia? Why did you continue to seek your place in the CIS?

- No, I did not like South-East Asia because of local pubs, it's just awful! Yes, and I wanted to play in the CIS with Russian-speaking teammates.

- Finally, a significant stage in your career is the time with ru Vega Squadron. Was this cooperation a step forward?

- Of course, I learned a lot there. You know, I often think that I play well, but every year I understand that actually, it turns out that a year ago I did not play as well as I do now. In general, I feel constant progress, and I really like it.

- Training on bootcamps, work with a coach, trips to LAN-finals - was it a novelty for you? Do you like such a fast pace? How do you handle high loads?

- All this was not just a novelty for me, it was exhilarating (smiles)! I got unreal pleasure from everything that was happening. I'm in the same room with legends of Dota 2 like ee Puppey, de KuroKy and others, I can play against them in the tournament. Really enjoyed it! I liked it, although we did not achieve outstanding results. But I don't really feel the workloads. The only thing that is not so easy for me is commuting: since I live in Kyrgyzstan, there are not so many direct flights. We have to fly and wait for transfers at airports for a long time.

- The history of Dota 2 knows many examples where teams without coaches, analysts and months of training have beaten eminent rivals. Does this mean that the importance of staff and special conditions is overrated?

- The usefulness of trainers and analysts is undeniable, but still the main role is played by five players. Nevertheless, I believe that it is better to be with a coach and an analyst than without their help.

- With "sharks" you got a solid experience of playing on the international stage. Tell us about the tournament that was the most memorable!

- The brightest tournament is, of course, StarLadder, where we took the third place. We flew to the competitions unprepared, since we were given an invite at the last moment, when one of the Chinese teams refused to participate. There we showed a relatively good game, knocked out eu Fnatic, but lost to cn VGJ.Thunder later and became bronze medalists.

- Now you officially joined ua NAVI. Tell us about the invitation! What emotions did you experience when you learned that you will represent the yellow-black?

- I think, like everyone else, that ua NAVI is associated with the beginning of my way in Dota 2, because it was my favorite team at that time. Of course, it's cool to get here, but I do not have a surge of vivid emotions. I am a rather serious person, and I understand exactly what I want, I know the goals I'm going to. Becoming a part of ua Natus Vincere is not an achievement in itself, it is very important for me to show a worthy result.

- Who were the first people to hear the news from you? How did they react?

- I told my friends, parents, everyone congratulated and wished good luck (smiles).

- Do you have a sense of responsibility, given that ua Natus Vincere players are under constant attention from Dota 2 fans?

- There is a little pressure, of course, but I think that there will not be any problems with this, it should not significantly affect my game.

- In the team, you value responsibility and a professional approach to business. As far as you can judge, does ua NAVI have it? Are you comfortable with the Born to Win?

- Of course, very comfortable! The management and the players are very good guys, the atmosphere is excellent. I can not judge the responsibility and professionalism, as I spent little time in the team, but I am sure that everything will be on the level.

- Let's talk a little about your teammates. How long have you known each other? Did you find a common ground quickly?

- I had previously crossed paths with ua Crystallize: back in 2015 we played in one stack for just a couple of days. At that moment I was position 4. I played with ua MagicaL in a test roster of ru Vega Squadron a week before joining ua NAVI. As for the rest - didn't know them personally, just met in-game.

- What qualities do you especially appreciate in each of ua NAVI players?

- We didn't get to play so many games, but so far I can highlight the following. ru SoNNeikO knows the game well and constantly tries to coordinate the actions of players, find a way out even from the worst situations. He has leadership qualities. ua Crystallize - a very strong player individually, you can always rely on him if the team is having troubles. ua MagicaL never gives up: even in matches where something is not going according to plan, he can quickly rehabilitate. In general, Idan is a very strong mid player. I played with ru Chuvash the least, but when I did play with him, I noted his good mechanical skills and ability to set up kills. It is important to know for the position 4 player where he should be in a particular moment.

- Is there anything other than Dota 2 that unites you?

- I do not know yet, but I think there will be common interests.

- You actively play matchmaking, but do not stream on Twitch. Have you never been interested in this?

- Somehow I did not bother, and I need to constantly talk with the audience while streaming, answer their questions, but in pub games I like to be concentrated on the game; external factors prevent me from giving it my 100%.

- Is it likely that you will reconsider your attitude to the streams and will, from time to time, please the fans?

- I don't even know, maybe one day I will, but not yet.

- Will you address the fans before the start of the season?

- I would like to ask support from the fans of ua NAVI, while we promise to work hard, work a lot to deliver as many victories as we can!


- A movie that made a strong impression on you?

- I didn't really watch anything for the past 5 years, not enough time. However, I enjoyed all but last part "Pirates of the Caribbean" - very positive movies.

- Favorite dish?

- I love Italian pasta and a medium steak.

- The place you'd like to visit?

- The International, wherever it would be.

- Your insta-ban in pubs?

- Phantom Lancer.

- The best TI in the history?

- The International 2012

- Your credo?

- "Time is not waiting". Time does not wait, everything needs to be done, so do not be lazy and procrastinate, you need to act here and now. I even have a tattoo with that inscription.

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