Resolut1on: “If Dota dies tomorrow, I die with it!”

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Resolut1on: “If Dota dies tomorrow, I die with it!”

Team Secret talk about food in Sinagpore, +30 and dying with Dota at the TI 11 press day.

When Valve's press conference for the DOTA 2 International begins, Team Secret have already arrived.

They sit comfortably in their chairs with the air of a team relaxed about their place in the top 3, joking about whether they should wear their masks or cover their faces because they’re not wearing makeup.

The team is riding high after taking out several strong contenders. They sent Chinese favorites PSG.LGD and South American Thunder Awaken (formerly Thunder Predator) to the lower bracket where both teams were subsequently eliminated.

For a team so close to obtaining the Aegis, there’s no sense of nervousness or apprehension about Team Secret as the questions begin. They offered their thoughts on TI's current format, their journey to the event, their favorite foods in Singapore and more.

Jill Valentine, ESTNN: Favourite Singaporean food so far?

Michał “Nisha” Jankowski: Spicy chicken!

Roman “Resolut1on” Fomynok: McSpicy!

Baqyt “Zayac” Emiljanov: Yeah! M.C. Spicy. And Laksa! Singaporean Laksa soup, it’s very cool.

Resolut1on: Yeah, I love Laksa too.

ESTNN: Puppey, you've played support pretty much all of your pro career. If you could play any other role, which would you take?

Puppey: Right now I don’t envision myself playing any other role. My first role ever was playing carry, but carries back in the day were a little bit different, you would play Leshrac as carry. Lone Druids and Leshracs and Spectres and Anti-Mages, those were the types of heroes you would maybe envision back in DOTA 1 days. Overall, midlane I would stay away from the most probably, because that’s just some zoomer stuff and I can’t handle that anymore.
If anything, I would probably choose offlane.  It’s most fun to beat up a support constantly, and be like “Haha, you don’t want to support your carry. And your carry runs away once my strong offlaner is so strong!”

Kurt Lozano, Yahoo Esports SEA: Puppey, Resolution, and Heen – As the only ones on the team who have played in the TI finals before, how will you be preparing your team for a possible TI finals appearance?

Lee “Heen” Seung Gon: Same as always. Prepare to win the next match. It’s not like the Finals is so different from the games leading up to it. It’s just more games.

Clement “Puppey” Ivanov: There’s nothing to really say. You’ve gotta play with the same freedom as you’ve played always. Remco has the best analogy for it, playing for +30, you know? +30MMR. Zone out all the other things that don’t matter, what you really want is that +30 so you play like that.

Jill Valentine, ESTNN: If DOTA died tomorrow, do you think any of you would move over to a different game? Or is it DOTA or bust?

Resolut1on: If DOTA dies tomorrow, I die with it! Straight up, put me there. [Points to the ground.]

ESTNN: Puppey, you said TI8/9 OG was the epitome of TI playstyles, but is there any iteration of any TI team from the past that you didn't get to play against that you'd love to have locked horns with?

Puppey: I would like to play this OG, at this TI, for example. I don’t know, it’s too far [in the past]. I can’t really remember that well… I’m an in the moment type of guy. Like, I’d have only wanted to play against OG if we could this year too.

ESTNN: Crystallis, did you imagine you'd be going this far so quickly when you joined Secret? How does it feel to be at this point and are you feeling any nerves going into the WB final?

Remco “Crystallis” Arets: I try not to expect anything in the first place, because I don’t think in the end it’s going to make you feel any better. The goal is to go to TI, but I don’t really expect it to happen or not to happen, I just go in and play the game. As for if I feel any nerves going into the Winners Bracket final…not really, actually. For me the Winners Bracket Final will be less stressful if anything.

Resolut1on: Another +30!

Puppey: It’s a double-down!

Resolut1on: No! Don’t put that pressure on him!

Crystallis: [Laughs] If I double-down in a pub it’s serious! If I double down I lose my mind. But yeah, Winners Bracket Finals, eh. LCQ finals were probably scarier for me.

Ray,  Asura World: Coming into TI11, you guys had some major obstacles to get over, especially the LCQ, do you guys feel more pressure now or during the LCQ? 

Resolut1on: I think it was more pressure during the last chance qualifier. Right now we are free. We’re already here, there’s no pressure on us. Nobody expected us to do anything, right?

Zayac: They booked me a flight home on the 14th of October. I was just like “What the hell?” [Laughs]

Ace, Dota2Bra: What did you think about your group when it was announced?

Heen: Honestly? Not much about it, because these groups don’t really matter. You can never trust anyone to predict anything correctly in DOTA. They’re all wrong. You’ve just gotta play your group. Even if one group is stronger it’s an advantage. If your group is stronger, you’re probably learning more, and then in the playoffs you’ll get a match against a supposedly weaker group, right? And the reverse is like…maybe you’re in the weaker group and you smash everyone and learn nothing, maybe lose like EG. [Pauses] That’s just a joke…

Michale, Esports Heaven: What elements do Resolution and Zayac bring to the table which has reinvigorated the team to an extent that it’s now guaranteed at least a top 3 finish at TI?

Puppey: I think Reso and Zayac bring a lot of confidence to the team …the conversations end up like, thinking with confidence, running in, trying to get the kill. I think these are the reasons why a team can end up feeling very free when playing DOTA. You don’t really think about other things than just going in – even if it doesn’t work out, we’re going in and we’re going in together.

Andreea, GosuGamers: Heen, Do you think we will have another Korean roster anytime soon in Dota?

Heen: No Korean roster will achieve anything.

[Heen doesn’t elaborate, but the comment is clearly tongue in cheek and the team laugh at their Korean coach’s deadpan humour.]

Resolut1on: Oh my god! Straight up put the scene into the grave.

Ton, Truth Esports: We've seen Yatoro and Arteezy shave their heads for the Aegis, can we expect anyone from Secret to follow this?

Resolut1on: Nobody from Secret’s gonna do that. We’re not gonna follow someone else’s path. We make our own path.

Puppey: It’s called ‘we’re not posers'.

Nisha: I’m a poser. I wanted to do it but…too late.

Heen: But not bald bald though, right?

Puppey: He said he would do it if we won Qualifiers. But then at least you’d have been the first. The first poser, at least.

Kit, GamerBraves: What do you think of this TI format, being much longer than previous iterations?

Resolut1on: I think it’s cool. It’s cool for the people because there’s much more games to watch, but at the same time I heard from people that during the group stages there was like fifty games a day or something and it’s really hard to follow up on all of the games, so people have to choose which ones they want to watch. For us as players, we went from the LCQ to playing group stages to playing Playoffs which was a lot of games for us, but I really enjoyed each one of them because it made us stronger with each series. We figured things out and became better as a team.

I enjoy playing DOTA and the more the better for me, honestly. But this break that’s happening right now is kind of weird because we can’t really practice too much because there’s not a lot of teams left and you can’t really scrim other teams that are left in the tournament, and those who are already out don’t really want to play. So the break time needs to be improved on in later TIs.

Franz, ClutchPoints: If there's any changes you'd like to make to the DPC and/or TI format, what would it be?

Puppey: I would want to see more tournaments. More majors. I do not like the fact that there’s only three chances, which means that teams usually get to….kind of…human beings tend to give one chance, a second chance for everything so if the first one doesn’t work out you can go for the second run but by the time the first and second one work out you don’t even have enough points to even win the third major and go to TI.  So I would like to see way more majors, and way more chances. At least five.

Heen: Also they should increase the points given at Majors compared to Qualifiers.

Puppey: I agree.

Heen: It’s creating too much imbalance to the point where you can’t even win the last Major because the majority of points are being farmed up at regionals.

Zayac: I also feel they need to make more Majors or at least even just more prize pool. Coz everyone is playing only for DPC. To be honest players are not playing for money because it’s like before in Kiev Majors, it was like “Oh, it’s the Major” and it’s a lot of pressure. Now it’s just for DPC and that’s kind of sad.

Puppey: Also you don’t really care who wins. In the third Major I can say from my experience, and I think everyone here that we didn’t really care who wins that Major…we’re not even looking at who’s the winner, we don’t even care. There’s like nine teams that are green already…

Heen: In the final two days it was just boring.

Puppey: Super boring. Like, who cares if they win? It’s pointless.

Resolut1on: Also the length of the qualifier could be shorter as well, right?

Puppey: Yeah. It’s three weeks right now instead of six but I still feel like it should just be like a Group Stage of TI almost. I don’t understand. Why do I need three weeks to qualify to a tournament? I need literally three days to do it.

Resolut1on: That’s how I feel too.

Puppey: I understand you want content or whatever, but you’re just stealing time from DOTA. There’s a lot of tournaments to be played you could have a fruitful area where a lot more tournament organisers come there and make more tournaments and you would have your content. You would have breaks, and you would have a good system where you would work out and take a break. But instead, you just sit there and play DOTA games every 3 or 4 days. I don’t think DOTA functions that well like that.

Ron Fruel: Puppey – you have been chasing the aegis for 10 years since your first win and created many different rosters. What is important to you for a team to win TI?

Puppey: What’s important for you to win TI? What’s important is to win TI! To play good, to win TI. That’s pretty much it, guys. To be honest I’d feel very happy if I could achieve a win not only for myself but my teammates who have been working very hard this year coz this year has been pretty shit for me so to go this far and like help me out and be part of this experience that I’ve gotten to TI and be able to win it would mean a lot to me. It’s not necessarily all about me, I actually would feel a lot more for the others.

Zeyar, Gaming Noodle: Since you are one of the two teams from LCQ, how important was Valve's new LCQ system?

Puppey: I think it’s very, very important. Apparently they’re not going to do it again but I would want to convince them otherwise. The issue with really stacked regions is that you won’t get some of these teams into TI and I think it’s really valuable for any of these teams – let’s say we win the regional qualifier. To be fair, Entity does deserve to be in TI. Liquid does deserve to be in TI. They actually need a fair fighting chance to qualify. Obviously, life is not fair, but we can actually make something fair happen here. The LCQ is a chance for a lot of teams to show what they’ve got.

Resolut1on: It also shows which region is the strongest.

Zayac: Also it’s kind of strange that all regions in the same spot…you get too many points from your place in the qualifier and that’s kind of it. You’ve got a lot of teams from weak regions and not a lot of teams from strong regions. That’s why LCQ helps.

Puppey: It’s a good way to thin down who’s bad and who’s good and get the correct teams into TI without any kind of crazy system.

Michael Hassall, If you could pick which city/country hosted TI next year, where would you host it?

Nisha: Poland.

Puppey: Poland. I’m going for Poland. Poland in my heart.

Resolut1on: That’s gonna be boring. There’s many tournaments that have been in Poland already.

Nisha: Australia!
[Nisha points at the chat screen, referencing a question posed by Jill Valentine of ESTNN as to whether they’d like to see a TI in Australia.]

Resolut1on: Australia is sik!
[The team nod in agreement, offering murmurs of “Australia”.]

Resolut1on: New Zealand!

Zayac: Why Australia, guys? I’m gonna die.
[Zayac makes a plane flying gesture with his hands]

Resolut1on: Thirty hours!

Puppey: I think I’m gonna die more than you, actually.

Team Secret will be taking on Tundra for a spot in the finals on Saturday 29 of October, 4pm Singapore time (GMT +08:00) at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.

Be sure to stay tuned to ESTNN as we continue to bring you updates on all the action at The International 11.

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Jill Valentine