— Hello, friends. So you’ve been asking for it, and here he is—our captain. Captain Solo is with me right now after an exciting, absolutely insane game. All of us lost voice and we’re still shaky a little bit.
How do you feel? — Honestly, I don’t feel anything yet. We were extremely happy yesterday when we won. The games were difficult, and our opponents prepared really well to play against us. And today I’ve probably made up my mind to play for the final.
I mean, semi-final, then final. So when we won the semi-final, I didn’t feel anything. The most important part is coming. — You know, both analysts and casters said that the most important thing now is to win this game and the final will be easier. What do you think? — I think you should always lay yourself out. It’s single playoff.
You have to lay yourself out in the first, second, and third—in each round. It just happened that we played one game a day. Today we knew that we would play both in the semi-final and the final. So I subconsciously prepared to the final. — I hope all of you had enough sleep today. I spoke to Ivan yesterday before you went to bed. He said: “They definitely need to sleep today.” I want to ask a question about ArtStyle.
As the captain you can precisely assess his work. Besides the results that we can witness now, what are your inner impressions of Ivan? — Ivan helped the team a lot. When he came, we had no tournaments at the time, we were boot camping. He joined us at the boot camp, and we started trying out new strategies, working on our game play, psychological aspects. Ivan’s contribution to the team has been enormous throughout the time we’ve been working together. — You’re on a large scene now. Crowds of fans support you.
Every time an important fight begins, each move you make causes so much noise, shouting, and support. What do you feel at such moments? Do you feel it? Does it help you? — Yes, we feel something. In fact, cabins here are really good, and we can hardly hear anything from there. When the entire audience starts chanting “Virtus.pro”, we hear it, of course. I haven’t seen a single tournament I’ve been at where any team received so much support. I don’t remember anything like this even when Na’Vi played in Kiev.
There is a cool guy who galvanizes the crowd. And something crazy happens. We’re really pleased and happy that Kiev welcomes and supports us like this.
— We already spoke about your teammates in Boston: how they got into the team, how you recruited them. Briefly describe each of them now, when a lot of time has gone by. — Vladimir [No[o]ne] probably tries hard and plays the most. He is always motivated. Vladimir is a workaholic. RAMZES... is still young, childish. He’s always in a good mood and he can cheer up the team.
He can be inconsistent in the game. He’s a cheerful lad. Pavel is the most mentally resilient, I think. Pavel does everything safely. — He is reliable. — Yes, he is reliable. Pavel is reliable and stable. It’s a good quality.
All of the guys are good. It’s really important for Ilya [Lil] that the team believes in him and supports him. Then he plays the best. Ilya is kind of an executive. He does a lot of work in the game. As for his personal qualities, Ilya is a really honest and open person. — Do you prefer talking to them as to colleagues or friends? — When we play, we’re colleagues. When we practice, stay together at boot camp or a tournament or in everyday life, we’re friends though.
I don't know how ith them. I don’t pay a lot of attention to it. I just talk to them. We tell each other what we think. We’ve been together for a long time. — Do you have such situations when they help you as friends? For example, you can call and say: “Ilya, I need your help here. Let’s do something not related to practice today.” — We don’t talk a lot when we’re on vacation, when we don’t practice together.
We don’t communicate a lot awhen we don’t play tournaments or boot camp. Probably, Dota mainly connects us. — Okay, let’s talk about the boot camp then. You spent a lot of time there. . Everyone’s heard of how wonderful it is there, what a wonderful pool you have.
Besides the swimming pool, what did this boot camp bring in during the time you were there? — The situation with the boot camp is pretty funny. There were a lot of arguments and outrage on why it was in Krasnodar. “Probably, Solo brought his wife and dog there.” In fact, all of us are happy with the boot camp. Firstly, we had a great house. We had connection problems. Yes, we encountered them and we weren’t ready for them a little bit. But I don’t think it’s the most important thing about boot camp. It is important to have a working, productive climate.
It’s also important to stay in a city. So, apart from practicing, we can go out once a week—go to the cinema, to the café, on a quest, or just stroll. It’s not like in Moscow when you’re 40 kilometers away from the city. The weather is amazing in Krasnodar: it’s warm and fresh. You can take a walk. So, I think they choose the right place for boot camp. — And football! — Yes, we play football. We do a lot of things.
— Speaking of football, are you ready to face the Brazilians? — Not yet. I’ll have to run a bit with my friends for a month or so. Because I haven’t played it for a long time.
It should be interesting. I still can do something and remember something about football. — I think your teammates should support you and go out for a run with you every morning. Which previous tournament gave you the most experience and motivation before The Kiev Major? — Boston. — Boston? — We made a lot of conclusions. You can’t get this experience anywhere else. It was a Major, single-elimination playoff.
It’s a different level of play. Both you and your opponents have a different level of training for matches. It’s totally different pressure, responsibility. It doesn’t compare to practice, other tournaments—online and LAN ones. You can get this experience only at international tournaments like Majors or The International. So we made a lot of conclusions and worked on a lot of things after Boston. And it’s been working out yet. — I know that apart from esports you tried different things in terms of your career.
If you could change something in your life and career by using a time machine, for example would you choose anything else? — I’ve never been attracted to any work activities. There were some interesting things. I wanted to become a lawyer at some point. It was before I went to the university. I dedicated a lot of time to football. But it was specific… I stopped playing at the age of fourteen. . I trained a lot and was really captivated.
I don’t know. I probably wouldn’t change anything. I like the way my life is going now and what it used to be previously.
— Most importantly, all of your fans and esports followers think that you’re at the right place. — I think so too. — Yes.
And if Dota 2 ended as a discipline, were would you go? What game would you find interesting to play? — I think if Dota 2 ends, there will be Dota 3 because of the genre. Dota is the ancestor of of MOBA games. I used to play CS well. But I wouldn’t do esports if Dota ended.
I wouldn’t play another game — How do you feel before the final? It’s a milestone that you didn’t manage to reach in Boston, for example. — We’re definitely ready. Our opponents are very strong: both OG and IG. We lost to them. We lost to OG at the Dota Pit and to EG in Boston. We prepared and made a lot of conclusions. The final will be difficult anyway. Both opponents aren’t really comfortable for us.
We’ll see what’s going to happen. — I’d like to remark fans’ incredible, particular love to you. I haven’t heard a single person say: “Solo isn’t good.
He’s mediocre.” So I know that a lot of people have been waiting for this interview. They’re waiting for some words from you. You can tell them everything you want now. — It’s really pleasing. In fact, I’ve met people who don’t like me, but it’s normal. You can’t win everyone’s favor, can you? You can’t be liked by everyone. When I read comments, I see some people who have been supporting me for a long time, since I played for RoX.KIS. It was back in 2013.
It’s really pleasing to read all of that support. I can see how people root for us in Kiev and in the entire CIS. It’s really amazing and motivating for my teammates and me.I’m less likely to be influenced by such things though. I’d like to thank everyone who cheers for me and the guys. It’s really important.
There is not much time left for my dream to come true. I’ve said many times that I play Dota to win a Valve tournament like a Major or The International. All the things that are happening here, in Kiev, are amazing.
I can see that people root for us and support us. I know that it’s not just in Kiev —people from the entire CIS support us. I’ve been trying to achieve this for a long time.
I’m really glad and proud to have such a team. I’m proud for my teammates. Thank you a lot for rooting for us. — Thank you! — Thank you!.