OG are set to commence the playoffs of MDL Changsha Major from a comfortable upper bracket seat. They had the exact same start in the EPICENTER XL Major but unfortunately, they couldn’t go further than top six in that event.
On the last day of EPICENTER XL, we were fortunate to find at venue Johan “N0tail” Sundstein who was kind to sit and talk to us about OG’s season, challenges they had to overcome, their decision to move Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs from coaching seat to actively play in the mid lane. He’s been also generous to give everyone a few tips on how to deal with the many time zone changes every player has to make this season.
It’s really refreshing to see you in very good spirits, all smiles and I can’t help but ask what’s your secret weapon to deal with all the negativity and all the community backlash OG faced this season?
For me, it’s all about looking at what’s right in front of you. Appreciate what you have close to you, the family and the team of course. If you only look at those, then the life is always going to be good. If you choose to look at all the past, try to picture the future, look at how this competitive season looked, all the things you lost or all the things you could have had but you don’t, then yeah, things don’t look good and they will affect you. They will affect you a lot.
So, what I’m doing, is to look at the good things, at the important things in life, not at the many Dota 2 games that we lost. Of course, it matters to me that we lost so much but, it’s not the end of the world.
Seems like this approach of yours is truly beneficial, not only for yourself but for your team also. I have to congratulate you on the amazing group stage run here at EPICENTER XL. After we saw a reborn OG many people had hopes to see you guys in the grand finals, but then you bumped into FlyToMoon, can you tell me a bit of what happened there?
Well, FlyToMoon proved everyone wrong. They showed us that they are a very, very good team and that they deserve where they are now. They are just playing with Team Liquid for a spot into the grand finals. [Editor’s note: FTM lost the lower bracket finals and finished 3rd at EPICENTER XL)
So, they were the better team in that particular matchup.
You see, the best of ones do tell only one side of a story and don’t give a team the chance to learn or to adjust. Yeah, you can say they were the better team, of course. But, for example right now, they won first game versus Liquid, if Liquid wins the series then they are the better team, right? But, if this would have been a best-of-one as well, FTM would have been the better team.
Yeah, fair point. I’d like to talk to you about what did you guys decide regarding Sebastian. He played with you a lot lately, I see him also spamming pubs and getting super high on the European ladder, he is top 5, top 4 right now. Is it fair to assume that he will stick as a full member or is it OG still looking for a fifth player and he will resume to the coach role?
This is the roster we are going to play for TI8. If there was more time, maybe we would have looked for a mid laner. Sebastian was a fantastic coach, probably the best coach that I could think of but, to find another player that could fit with the team? Sure, that could have been a possibility but, time is really short, and besides the point, Sebastian is, as you said, one of the best players on the leader right now but, he is also extremely mechanically skilled and his knowledge of Dota is better than anyone else’s.
Not to mention his huge experience as well. And talking about experience, OG has three more Majors after this one. The MDL in China, then ESL One Birmingham, then you have to back to China right after for the SuperMajor. While I understand that these are extremely important events to gather experience, to train for TI8 qualifiers, etc, aren’t you afraid that they will drain you out? A lot of the teams are saying that this schedule forcing a lot of time zone changes starts to have a big negative impact on their performance.
We are lucky to have had a lot of practice with changing time zones even before this season. But, it doesn’t mean it’s going to get healthy even if you are used to it. It is a very unhealthy thing for all of us and this season was a bit too much. The current system is not good for players, it’s not good for their well-being and it’s not good for producing high quality Dota.
Neither is the combination of the bi-weekly patches, all the time big patches, really big game-changing balance patches coming so often together with constant tournaments lead to a flawed system.
How do we deal with it, or how do I deal with it personally? Try to stay healthy, eat healthy, stay away from junk food and things like that, get really good habits with flights, because if your flights will always going to be mentally exhausting and you just have more and more coming up, then that’s when it gets really rough. If you have a good habit of making your flights comfortable then it becomes a lot easier.
Alright thanks for sharing those tips with us, have a nice flight to MDL, and best of luck in the TI8 open qualifiers. Any shoutouts at the end of our interview?
Shoutout to everybody who keeps cheering for us, shoutout to RedBull for helping us to prepare for all these events that are coming up and of course a big shoutout to my teammates!