XBOCT: "Swiss System is great and it looks quite interesting"

Dota 2 / News / 2 March 2018 — 10:15

Interview with Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich

As we are drawing closer towards the spring's first major, we got a chance to sit down with ua Alexander "XBOCT" Dashkevich, our Dota 2 coach, to talk about the team's preparation for the coming Dota Pro Circuit events and the difficulties which the lineup has been facing. Also, Alexander shared his thoughts on the format of and spoke about ua NAVI's plans for the near future.

— Hello! Your long series of tournaments continues. You spent some time bootcamping before the Katowice event, don't you feel tired?

— Of course, we feel the fatigue. Being together for fifty days straight is not the easiest task generally, but we really do our best in adapting and helping each other. We now have some smaller bootcamps in between the tournaments, which helps us approach our events with a sense of responsibility, as we are training and improving gradually.

— Not all players of the team are accustomed to such a busy schedule. How do you and the players handle flying so much? In particular, how our less experienced players adapt to this?

— Regular 3-5 hour-flights are not that difficult to handle, but when you have like two 10-hour flights a week, of course, it gets pretty tough; it can cause even an experienced traveler considerable stress. Our less-experienced players don't tend to complain, at least I've never heard anyone complaining about long flights.

— Do you think that such a big number of official matches in qualifiers and LANs can negatively affect results?

— Of course, no. To get good results on LAN, you have to come well prepared. Sadly, not all teams now have the time for thorough preparation. What's more, I'd say that none of the top teams have this time. If you try to qualify for all the LANs and participate in every major, the travel schedule can get quite intense, and if you choose to also take part in some minors, you'll end up traveling to a new event every week, so most of the top teams are pulling out of those.

ua NAVI have just recently introduced lineup changes, and your first appearance in the online qualifiers has not been the most successful. What went wrong?

— For a long time, our players had a captain behind their backs, a person who could help them out in tough situations. They all asked for some freedom and now they have it, but they don't know how to use this freedom yet. It's very difficult to find a leader who the team would follow. I can't talk to the guys during the games so many mistakes are made, and they can't be fixed instantly. We are working on that and hopefully, everything will work out.

— Next up came . What was the atmosphere within the team? Do you think that the guys have learned from the defeats against top teams?

- It doesn't matter which team you lose against. There's only one lesson to learn: you have to practice and get ready for the next event. Our players were devastated after ESL One Katowice 2018. We were heavily outplayed and couldn't get to do much. But the boys got past the defeat after a few days and were ready to continue working, so we started practicing and then had a three-day bootcamp in Romania. Now, as another event soon starts, we've got a chance to work on our strategies and practice those aspects that we want to see in our game. Because they see some things differently, and we have to reach the common ground or at least borrow a decent idea from someone and adapt it for ourselves.

— You watch all the games and probably notice the aspects which you'll have to work on. Perhaps, there are some problems with communication or drafting? It has been noted by casters that ua NAVI never get the Roshan, is this just a coincidence or there really is something lacking in this regard?

— "Noted by casters" is an interesting statement, of course... They can note whatever they like, but in reality, it's not always like that. In fact, all of the mentioned aspects can be considered problematic. To some extent, our drafts and communication suffer, plus there are some other difficulties. This is a new team, where the things didn't go as smoothly as we would like them to, so we have to work everything out first. Some difficulties occur because we don't have a clear leader, we just don't have such a person on the team. ua Dendi said that he wants to do that - that's how faith in the team is strengthened; and even with an unsuccessful first attempt, he could still be given several more chances. That's what we are doing.

ua Lil and rs LeBron often switch roles. Is it one of your advantages or you are just trying to adapt to the hero pool of each player? Is this versatility useful?

— It's difficult to say what's useful and what's useless at this time. We do what we think is best, try to find our game and read our opponents to see what works better. Initially, ua Lil played the fifth position because he wanted to help with coordination, but then the guys started switching things up. We need some time to find the best option, and that's what we are doing now.

— You have been coaching for over six months already. Has your approach to the training process changed over time? What are the points of your main focus?

— We speak more, pay more attention to details, people, and discuss situations first individually and then with a team. Of course, I've learned some ways to improve and gained some experience. Also, I've read some books which helped me. I'm almost through one of those right now. It's about the player psychology. We'll see how it works. Because, you know, all the conversations are meaningless if the people don't want to listen, and in that case, they will do nothing. My task is to make them want to do that, but it's not always easy.

— The Bucharest Major is right around the corner. Did you manage to do all the necessary work over such a short time?

— Of course, it's not enough. We had only five days to get over the defeat, but we tried to narrow down the range of works as much as possible, focusing on the most pressing issues and trying to move them into a more positive perspective. We'll see how it goes. There have been some changes, but I can't say how significant they are.

— What's your opinion on the Swiss System groups?

- As I've already said on , Swiss System is great and it looks quite interesting. I like it because a team can afford three mistakes, while also playing against a bunch of different opponents. It's a competent approach.

— Is it more convenient to prepare for the opponents you know than be in suspense?

— I think the best format is Round Robin because it gives maximum practice. In general, the team can show something against any rival. The Swiss System is my second favorite, and double elimination is the last one.

— Is your preparation for the Bucharest Major different from other events?

— Not really. We prepare the usual way, but in this case, we don't know whom we will face.

— Who would you prefer not to meet in a bo1?

— Perhaps, there are no such opponents. It's possible to beat any team, we just have to show our own, decent game, so it's worth working on it. That's what requires efforts during the preparation.

— And what about those teams which you would like to meet?

— Of course, it would be interesting to play against eu Team Liquid, eu Team Secretru, eu OG or cn Vici Gaming, in other words, play against those who are currently showing the best results. The tournament and praccs are different, so we'd like to meet them in a real battle. We practiced against all these teams, and I wonder how well we'll do in official matches and whether the results will be much different from the praccs.

— Only eight strongest teams will be awarded the prize money. Is this fair?

— I was never concerned about the prize money, and I wouldn't advise anyone to do so.

— We've noticed that teams (especially the CIS ones) have been replacing their players in the midst of the qualifiers, which means they are ready to fight in the TI open qualifiers. Is it worth it?

— If the team has 10,000 points, they won't make roster changes. But in all other cases, there's no difference between open and closed qualifiers. If we look at CIS, almost all teams will have to pass the open qualis, except ru Team Empire and ru Vega Squadron, if I'm correct, so there's nothing special about that. The teams are trying to find the most viable method to get a TI spot. Even if you end up in a closed qualifier, but with a weak lineup, you won't do anything there, so I see only advantages in such roster moves. I'm genuinely happy for these teams because they are brave enough to make changes which in any case are for the better.

The Bucharest Major starts on March 4, when Born to Win will have the first game. We hope our team puts in a decent display in Bucharest and this will be a tournament to remember for the Born to Win fans! #gonavi