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EPICENTER XL: a big Crystallize interview

07 May 2018 1647
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Crystallize: "When the match starts, all I think about is the game"

At the end of EPICENTER XL tournament in Moscow, we talked with ua NAVI.GG.BET carry player ua Vladislav "Crystallize" Krystanek. In an extensive interview, Vlad described the main problems of the team, shared his impressions of the past tournament, talked about the new heroes on the professional stage, and also evaluated the personal progress during his stay at ua Natus Vincere.

— Hello, Vlad! How is the mood after a really upsetting defeat for you in a match with br paiN Gaming?

— It's a shame that, in fact, one match separated us from the playoffs and we lost - also, so to speak, to somewhat of an underdog. At the same time, we won against the favorites in the group, but even that didn't get us into the playoffs.

— By the way, about the victories. You defeated ru Virtus.pro. Was it an unexpected emotional upsurge, a leap forward, or a victory that you really deserved by careful preparation?

— I think this victory went to us deservedly. We really did prepare for ерыш particular encounter for a long time, put a lot of effort into it, analyzed the games of ru VP. So we've been adapting, even improvising a bit more during this match.

— Let's talk a little bit about the choice of heroes. Do you do all the picks based on what ua Dendi is planning? Or, say, when picking a carry, does your opinion matter a lot?

— It's a bit different. I participate in decision-making, but to a lesser extent when it comes to choosing heroes for the other guys. But I suggest the main carry, as well as ua XBOCT suggests an idea sometimes.

— Do you listen to the words of the coach?

— Of course. I do respect ua XBOCT a lot.

— Sometimes there is a feeling you don't play some heroes on the same level as other. Do you just have less practice with those?

— In our drafts, there would never be a hero which I can't play well.  I immediately marked those that I am uncomfortable playing. Our picks are my conscious choice, even my requests to a certain extent.

— Techies, Pangolier and Dark Willow appeared in Captains' Mode. One way or another, all three had their spotlight. In your opinion, how do they fit into the professional Dota 2?

— Until the recent patch, Dark Willow was too strong; she was nerfed, which decreased her pick rate, but overall, she still fits nicely. Pangolier, by contrast, has become quite a bit stronger, since the ultimate can no longer be interrupted by a root or a stun. This is a serious improvement. Techies, in my opinion, should not have been added to CM at all. The hero does not fit into the concept of a competitive discipline.

— Now that Pangolier has been buffed, can he appear as a carry or a midlaner?

— Hardly. Personally, I do not see that kind of potential. He does not deal enough right-click damage, is mediocre in lane, his abilities do not scale that well.

— And what about Techies? The hero was picked by eu Team Secret. Did you think that this was a joke of some sort? There you saw: Techies, Wraith King. What thoughts did the team have at that moment?

— Frankly, I had a feeling that ee Puppey and the team decided to have fun. Looking at the first two picks, we realized that they had no way of winning.

— Did that provoke a sports anger?

— No, we kept our concentration and a sober view of things.

— I can't help but ask you about the tournament. What impressions did you have after the EPICENTER?

EPICENTER XL is a very comfortable tournament in the sense that the training room is located in the hotel: you play there, you do not need to go anywhere. There were, however, small internet mishaps, it would be disrupted periodically, but it was only in the first days.

— You guys looked rather confident compared to the other teams. What was missing for ua NAVI in the lost matches, that was needed to win?

— In the first game against eu OG, we did not approach the preparations correctly. We did not manage to pick what we were preparing. We came to the match, began, for some reason, improvising, too many different proposals - the chaos ensued. Perhaps, the stress has done its job. And after ru Virtus.pro we were already pretty good at improvising. With that in mind, we felt a lot bolder than before, even picking those heroes we did not practice. Perhaps, that was what did us in.

— I had a chance to talk to the fans of ua NAVI. Many of them believe that the team lacks teamwork and in-game coordination. Do you agree that you have such problems?

— Our team lacks a person who simply says: "We need to do this." His words should not raise questions, but instead be a call to action. We lack a firm hand.

— What do you think, what stage of the game does ua NAVI play best?

— Usually, our laning is pretty good. Before the beginning of the match, we discuss the start, the first few minutes. We decide who will go where, who is going to face what heroes, whether it is necessary to go for some unconventional setups.

— As the game goes on, your decisions sometimes seem rash, as if you lose the thread of the game. Is this also related to the lack of a strong leader?

— There are a number of factors. Sometimes the lack of ideas, in some cases, too many options. For example, when a team wins, ideas emerge from everywhere, each one offers his own, the commotion begins, and the wrong decisions are made. We usually do not have one clear opinion.

— Do you make calls as well?

— When I see the optimal solution, of course, I say it out loud.

— For the time that you play in ua NAVI, you tried different methods of preparation, for example, gathering for bootcamps, or practising from home. In what conditions are you more comfortable?

— Of course, the bootcamp is the better option. We've got all we need to play, there are no distractions. There are parents at home, and I just want to talk, relax. The bootcamp is a completely different environment - you're focused on the task, and there are people to supervise you as well.

— Now you are in the top of the European ladder. What are the main differences between pubs and pro matches? Is your playstyle different?

— Yes, everything depends on aggression. In pubs, I play very aggressively, although it does not always give a positive result. Sometimes excessive aggression does not justify itself, but it does not hurt me much, because it's just a pub. In professional games, I'm focused on stability, I act so as not to hurt my team.

— Since you mentioned the aggressive style, I'll ask you about the CIS teams. ru Virtus.pro and ru FlyToMoon are now on the rise. Do you consider their playstyle victorious for the current meta? Do you need to adopt it?

— You see, there are different teams. Once eu OG was the top, although the members of that squad played a defensive Dota We prefer aggression because dictating the pace is easier. You feel more confident, you can bring more.

— Recently you began to experiment more with the laning. ua Dendi would go for the easy lane, and you, for example, would appear in the middle one. Are you comfortable?

— I do not particularly like it, but it all depends on my hero. In one of the matches, I was playing mid Outworld Devourer, and ua Dendi played Dragon Knight. Now I understand that the heroes should probably have been swapped; I have not practiced OD for a long time, but I played quite a bit of DK. Accordingly, with DK or Lina, I feel more confident.

— Does the side pressure affect you? You are a fairly young player on the professional stage. Are you worried when you play in front of the audience?

— I understood how to deal with this. When I first joined the team, the teammates helped me a lot. The coach played an important role in this. When I start the match, the excitement fades into the background. The game is all that excites me.

— What did you learn coming to ua NAVI?

— I began to play in a much more stable way. I think this is the biggest step forward. Now I try to play every game at the best level, I try to think more about the team, to bring more to the table. This has always been my problem: in other teams, I was told that I should actively take part in the discussions, but I am not the type of person to be comfortable like that. In ua NAVI, I opened up. Maybe not 100%, but there is potential.

— The most expected tournament of the year is coming, and many will fight for the right to become a member of the LAN-finals. Share your opinion about the regional qualifications - who would you call the main contenders for the victory?

— Of course, now it's ru FlyToMoon if they keep it on that level. I think we're equal with that team. Then I would put ru Vega Squadron, because this team did not change the roster for a long time, the players had time to prepare strategies, they found their aggression in the game. Yet recently, the "sharks" are not doing too well.

— Finally, I want to note that many fans consider you one of the best players of the competitive scene and in particular on the team. What can you say to them in return?

— I think this is not quite right. The whole team wins, not one man. I am pleased to hear such words, but, for example, when I review my own matches, I understand that not everything is really that good. Say, even the third game in the match against cn Newbee ...

— The people on the social networks were discussing it rather furiously. By the way, do you read the comments?

— Rarely. Only when we get good games. I do not like the negativity, I just don't take it, so I'll just thank everyone for their support! We work a lot, but so far this is not enough. We will try harder. #gonavi

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