DotaBlast talked to Alexander “XBOCT” Dashkevich about his Natus Vincere bow-out, his plans to join an all-CIS team in the immediate future and his straightforward views on the current scene and the new players who have made it to the top.
If we were to put together all the tiny pieces of information XBOCT let slip – like pieces of a puzzle, we would probably get a lot closer to digging up his future plans.
According to XBOCT’s own words, he is planning on joining an organization – not simply a mix of players. The team’s lineup will be comprised of CIS players and the move has already been foreseen by the community, so it will not come as a shock to anyone.
The official announcement is expected very soon: “one week after the Frankfurt Major”.
The interview was conducted on Friday, November 20, at the Frankfurt Major.
XBOCT interview (VIDEO)
XBOCT interview (transcript)
DotaBlast: You are here on the analyst desk for the Russian hub. How’s that been going?
XBOCT: It’s good so far. It’s a new experience. I’m not going to say it’s the best thing I ever did in my life, but it’s still fine. I’m having fun with friends and working with very nice people.
DotaBlast: Do you see yourself doing this in the future?
XBOCT: No, I don’t think so, I will continue playing.
DotaBlast: Are you still a stand-in for HellRaisers right now?
XBOCT: No, I tried that for like five or six games, but it didn’t work well, so we pretty much broke up. I wish them the best of luck, but I’m going to play with other people.
DotaBlast: Who are those people you’re going to play with?
XBOCT: I cannot tell that for now, because it’s not 100% sure, but you’ll see soon.
DotaBlast: So you pretty much have something planned.
XBOCT: Yes, a couple of things.
DotaBlast: Are we going to be shocked about it?
XBOCT: Not really. A lot of people are talking about it, but as I already told you, I don’t know yet if it’s going to work out.
DotaBlast: Is it going to be an all-CIS squad?
DotaBlast: Alright, and when are you planning on announcing it?
XBOCT: Maybe one week after the Major?!
DotaBlast: So you’re going to register the team for the next Major.
XBOCT: Yes, probably we’re going to do that. I mean, 100% we’re going to do that! We aim to be a good team again.
DotaBlast: Did you already recover from the Na’Vi break-up?
XBOCT: I can’t say anything about recovering, because I wasn’t shocked and it’s better for me – losing a lot hurts you. It was much better for me to leave the team and stay friends with the others, instead of keep losing, start flaming each other and break up as enemies. So, it was a really good decision for all of us.
DotaBlast: Were you a part of the decision making process?
DotaBlast: And you agreed with the fact that it was better for you to leave the team.
XBOCT: I told them that I wanted to take a break and that I could play as a stand-in, but I didn’t want to be a stand-in. So, we decided that I leave.
DotaBlast: But you’re not actually taking a break.
XBOCT: I am. I haven’t played for a long time. I tried a little bit with HellRaisers, because I had time. Maybe if it had worked out, I would have continued playing without a break. I had one week of doing nothing and then I started playing with HR. It didn’t go well and for now I’m casting, having fun and not playing, actually. After watching the Frankfurt Major games, I feel like I want to play again, I’m willing to do it right now. I will start practicing more.
It will be hard for me in a new organization, because I spent five years with the same people and now I will make a lot of new friends – at least I hope so.
DotaBlast: What is the one thing you’ll miss the most about Natus Vincere?
XBOCT: The team, overall the organization. All the people who surrounded me throughout those five years were great – not all of them, but most of them. I’m going to miss speaking with them, having fun together. It will be hard for me in a new organization, because I spent five years with the same people and now I will make a lot of new friends – at least I hope so. I’m going to miss the old people. I don’t want to say that I won’t meet them from now on. The memories are great.
DotaBlast: What would you say was your best period together?
XBOCT: Between 2011 and 2013, during those two years we pretty much won everything – two second places at The International and one first place. That was a great time, we were a great team. Those two years made me who I am now.
DotaBlast: What about the past two years when you went through kind of a rough patch? Did that wear you off, did it make you lose motivation?
XBOCT: Sometimes, maybe yes, but overall I’m still fine. It was hard losing a lot and changing players. One could easily lose a bit of motivation, but after a short break – even with Na’Vi, you come back and you see that everyone wants to win. One day that didn’t happen anymore, so it wasn’t really good to continue to play together. That’s what happened.
The overall level doesn’t look really good. Some of the players are doing very nicely and some of them are almost useless.
DotaBlast: You’ve watched a lot of Frankfurt Major games. What do you think about the current scene?
XBOCT: I watched 90% of all the games and I really liked most of them. People have very different mindsets and that’s very interesting – every strategy is very nice, they thought about them a lot. I really like how people play now, but that only applies to five or six teams. The overall level doesn’t look really good. Some of the players are doing very nicely and some of them are almost useless.
DotaBlast: Some of the players are useless?
XBOCT: Yes. Almost. In most of the games.
DotaBlast: I suppose you don’t want to name anyone.
XBOCT: No, of course, but they know about that.
DotaBlast: Okay, well, I tried. Do you think there are better players out there who didn’t make it to the Frankfurt Major and would deserve to be here?
XBOCT: No, I don’t think so. Maybe IG.
DotaBlast: Because they actually qualified but had travel issues.
XBOCT: They would’ve been nice instead of Newbee.Young who pretty much didn’t do anything. IG could have probably shown something. Other than IG, all the good teams are here.
DotaBlast: Those are the best teams in the scene.
XBOCT: Yes, of course.
DotaBlast: If you were to name one player who is the MVP of the Frankfurt Major, who would that be? The best overall performance throughout the tournament.
XBOCT: It’s either Eleven or CTY from EHOME. For example, if we talk about Team Secret or EG, it’s mostly about the team play. Of course, w33 is really good for now but his style is similar to pub games – different from what I would expect from a professional game. Yeah, it works and I’m very happy for him, but the MVPs are either Eleven or CTY.
There are few people who can get to the top. It would maybe be CTY, w33 and Miracle- and almost all of them are mid players. It’s easy to show your skill being a mid player.
DotaBlast: You’ve mentioned w33. There are a lot of new players out there who have made it to the top in the past couple of months. What do you think about that?
XBOCT: Actually, there are few people who can get to the top. It would maybe be CTY, w33 and Miracle- and almost all of them are mid players. It’s easy to show your skill being a mid player – to show your microskills, and that’s what we’re seeing, every mid player is a new one. And SumaiL, of course. They’re all pretty young and pretty new to the scene. It’s hard to be a new support, for example, because you need to think a lot and you need to see and realize how it’s going to happen, but it’s really easy to be a new player if you are mid or carry – like Miracle- is, he switches from mid to carry.