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photo by: Igor Bezborodov -StarLadder

We got to sit and talk with Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao at the end of day one at the StarLadder ImbaTV Dota 2 Minor. He was fresh out of a 2-1 victory over the crowd favorites Old but Gold, and despite the late hour, EE-sama was a bundle of excitement and energy given the fact that he and his Flying Penguins finished first in Group A, therefore they have already secured a top four in the event.

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It’s been a super long day for everyone, but especially for you. You played the first and the last series here and both went to game three. So, you could say it wasn’t exactly smooth sailing. How do you feel at the end of the day, are you satisfied with how the games went?

It feels great, to be honest. All the members of this team are really motivated to play. When they are in the game they really wanna win, you can feel it and that’s really a great thing. They’ve never experienced something like this and everyone has a really positive mindset. They are fighting like crazy for the win to happen. Usually, I am the one who screams a lot when we are in late game, but with this team, there is no room for me to do that. They are screaming so much, and there is so much energy and so much hype, I’m sometimes not talking at all.

This must be something new to you, indeed. How about decisions and call making? Who is responsible for that now, and I’m asking this because watching you guys playing today, from the outside, it kind of looked like there is more than one person making the calls.  

Dota, in general, should be multiple people making calls. That’s the ideal scenario, people should always talk about what’s going on around them. Of course, not everyone should make calls, but everyone should talk about what’s happening, which in the end is quite the same thing, to be honest.

Alright, so I take it that everyone is communicating a lot in the team right now.

Exactly.

The team is pretty new, but you and Sneyking had been together since the beginning of the season. Could you walk me through your journey together from the post TI shuffle to how you formed Flying Penguins?

We kind of just got unlucky this season, honestly. Especially myself. Or maybe not unlucky, I just made some bad decisions, he made some bad decisions and we ended up joining a bunch of mediocre teams. We didn’t expect compLexity to be mediocre, we just took a  leap of faith and it didn’t work out. But, we both think we are good at our respective roles and we both have a good grasp on the game so, we’ve just been trying to work together.

I know you were looking for a sponsor before coming to the Minor, did you find one?

No, we did not find that individual sponsor. When I made NP I did the same thing and it worked, but with Flying Penguins, I think we are still way too new, I don’t know. The only other time I’ve seen a team getting a sponsor for one event only was with Thunderbirds, a few years back. But they were a tier one team, just placed second at TI and were fresh on a new start, same roster but without an organization, Misery, W33 team.

Yeah, the TI6 Digital Chaos roster.

Yeah that one, but when they got that sponsor for one event it was for a Valve Major and as I said, they were TI runners up. We didn’t get any important result yet, there wasn’t enough time.

How about the logo? Is it something that a fan of yours, a member of the community created and sent it to you, or, how did you end up with this new one? I haven’t seen it before StarLadder actually put it on the group stage graphics.

So, we used like three logos. One was an actual penguin and the second we one that we used was some funny penguin that I just stole of Google. And the third one, the one we have now, in this event, was actually made by someone from StarLadder. I think he or she made the logo for Old but Gold as well, and it’s really well made actually. I think our logo was just too bad and they didn’t want to put it on so they made one for us.

[ed. Note] The two logos were created by Artemyev Alexandr, graphic designer at StarLadder who told to us that both teams can use his work for future events, without a problem.

Ok, so if one of the fans would send a good logo for this team, would you use it?

I mean, that’s what I usually do, but this time all of them were just way too bad.

Let’s go back to talking about the tournament. Day two will have only group B matches, who do you expect from there to join you in the top four here at the SLI Minor?

I feel like Vici Gaming and Gambit are the favorites for top two here, really. But, Gambit have a stand-in, so you don’t know for sure what to expect.

Is the recent patch changing dramatically the meta we saw at MDL and ESL One Katowice?

Things are always changing even if there is no patch and you have to keep up. If you can’t do it, then you just have to trust your instincts and that’s what we do right now. We barely practiced because it’s hard to do it in NA. There’s barely any good teams in NA and playing with bad teams is actually detrimental to your game. So, we just came here and we just used our instincts. Me and Sneyking are veterans, so we have the experience while the rest of the guys are very smart, especially Lelis. I think he has a great future ahead of him. He is very new, he is still kind of learning from us but he understands the game so well, and he is super good.

What’s your plan from here on with Flying Penguins? I mean you’ve been in quite the same situation before, you kept NP going on your own for a while, how do you see this new project moving forward?

I really don’t know what to say. I have so many plans in my head but at the same time, I guess we just have to wait. For now, we enjoy playing together so whatever happens, happens.

Alright, I wish you a great second half of the season and I hope to talk to you again at a Major. It’s close to midnight here and the team is waiting for you to go back to the hotel. So, thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to us despite the late hour. Any shout-outs at the end of the interview?

Shout-out to my stream viewers who’ve been there to see me raging and not really talk to them ever. Shout-out to my girlfriend, to my team and shout-out to Lee, he really owned. He played a single hero today, but he really owned.


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