paiN Gaming were this year at their first ever The International. They did start well in the group stage and after the first three days they were in the run for a top four finish in their group.
However, on the very last day they lost all their matches and experienced a heart breaking consequence. paiN didn’t make it to the TI8 Main Event. We had the chance to chat with the South American legendary captain Danylo “Kingrd” Nascimento on the press day at TI8 and tried to find out what happened with his team on that last day, what’s the plan for the next season and what we should expect from the SA scene in the near future.
Hey Kingrd and thanks for showing up at the press day here at TI8. I must admit I wasn’t expecting you guys to come given the group stage result. So, I’m going straight to the subject and ask you what happened on the very last day of the groups where you lost all the matches and the playoffs seed all together?
It’s so hard to talk about it. We had to deal with some internal problems at the beginning of the day, before our first match, and because of that, I think we lost our focus. We wanted so much to beat OpTic, but because we started the day badly, we lost 0-2 to PPD. After the first game we gathered and talked, we tried to solve our issues because we knew we can win, we knew we can do better, we knew we can fight for playoffs, for a top four in our group even. But yeah, I guess this is how life is, sometimes, you’re going to have a bad day and unfortunately for us, that bad day came on such an important one…
Right now I just want to put aside that last day in the groups, forget it happened and think about the good stuff we did here. I mean, we took games from some of the best teams in the tournament. We took a game from Virtus.pro, one from Secret, before the last day we really had a shot at playoffs, so I want to think of us going in the next season fighting again for the SA region.
I don’t know for sure what everyone in our team thinks right now, I know some of the guys are really upset. I am super sad for what happened, but at the same time, I consider these guys as my real family and I want all of us to stay together.
I know you as a super joyful person, and I must say I don’t think I saw you this serious. Let’s talk about the games where Tavo was simply wreaking on a core Winter Wyvern. Did you guys actually practice that or it was a last moment call to TNC’s Drow-Enchantress line-up?
I actually have a good story about that. Everyone in the team likes to try all kind of heroes in pub games and Tavo played Winter Wyvern in offlane for like 15 or 20 times. And every time in an official game he is like “yo, just pick Wyvern for me, I can carry you guys with it.” At the same time, me and Omar (w33), we want sometimes to pick these crazy, unusual heroes as well, but then when we are in the draft and we discuss, the entire team is saying don’t do it. Because of that, we didn’t really practice these unusual picks. We practiced this core Winter Wyvern just once or twice and we knew she is really, really good only against Drow, so yeah, here we picked it only when we knew she would be good.
Overall, I think our problem with this meta lies in the fact that some of our players don’t like to play certain heroes and you can clearly see when someone is forced to play something that he really doesn’t enjoy. And to be perfectly honest with you, I can understand my players. You play at TI for the first time in your life and you want to play the heroes you are confident with.
With that in mind, it’s been a bit difficult for me to find the right drafts to play against these big teams that we have here. I know that this hero would be so good in the hand of this player of mine but at the same time, I know the hero is nothing in the current meta and yeah, that’s why we had some problems with our drafts here. I would say that all in all, this TI8 meta was not good for us. Not good at all. But I put my faith in the next season. I’m sure that all the TI8 popular heroes will be nerfed like it happens after each TI.
You know, I want to play more Sand King, for example.
Are you hoping that before TI9 Valve will implement some new heroes, even heroes that nobody ever saw before in DotA , heroes that perhaps will make their first appearance in Artifact, for example?
Definitely. I want to play new heroes. Look how big, how important these two, Dark Willow and Pangolier became at this TI. Everyone is fighting now for Willow while Pango is a respect ban for so many players. When Valve puts a new hero in Dota, everyone starts to play it, everyone is looking for what can be done around that hero and that’s exciting for any pro I think. When you have more than one hero added, the game changes a bit and that’s’ very good for everyone, for us, the pros, for Valve because they can attract more players, for the casual players because they also have something new, something exciting to learn.
Will you give Artifact a try?
Yes, Valve I want to play Artifact so much, but I don’t have a key yet! Look, I never played any card game before in my life and I really don’t know what to expect from a game like this, but from all I saw so far from the small videos, the few cards revealed, it looks so exciting and I want to find something else to play when I want to relax. I usually play Counter-Strike, but I hope I will be able to play Artifact.
Let’s talk a bit about the next DPC season which is pretty different from the previous one. Just 10 events down from 22, no roster lock, all the teams participating at Minors and Majors will earn points, how do you feel about all these changes?
I’ll start by saying this: I’m so sad… I want to play more Dota, what’s this five Majors and five Minors? I want more tournaments. But, overall I think that the new season will be better for everyone and especially for the lower tier teams. From what I understood everyone will have to play qualifiers for this events so, that’s already good for South America. Majors will have two slots in the regional qualifiers and that means we will have more than one SA team coming to these tournaments and hopefully us, the South Americans we will be able to show that we have more than these three big teams, paiN, SG and Infamous. Probably not all the big teams will be interested all the time to play in the Minors qualifiers and I hope that smaller teams will have better chances at showing what they can do.
We need more tournaments in South America, because the scene is not developed yet there and the young players, the small teams have no real environment where to develop. We still lack in sponsorships. A talented, young dude can’t commit to a pro career because he can’t afford it. You can’t really just drop your day by day job or convince your parents to put on hold your studies if you don’t earn anything.
Regarding us, me and my players, I have mixed feelings because yeah, when we had to travel a lot between Europe-Brazil-China we felt a bit tired, we missed the comfort of our home, at some point each of us got a bit too sensitive, a bit cranky, but at the same time, all the boot camps we had before the tournaments, like those 10 days or two weeks, all the time spent together at events, all the time we spent practicing together, one next to each other, helped us so much. I feel like we improved a lot having the chance to live together, to practice together. So, less tournaments mean fewer boot camps, less time spent together and that makes me sad. I love my players so much…I want us to be together… ahhh [he takes a deep breath] … this is so hard…
You mentioned the young players from home, the smaller teams. Does SA scene still has more up and coming players, do you have more pub stars who wait for their chance? Duster is a pub star, right, you gave him a trial and now he is an amazing top-tier support.
Yes, we have very good players in the scene, players who are ready to show themselves if you give them the opportunity to do so. The problem is that they need, they really need to go to a big tournament to really understand how turning to a professional Dota career can change their life.
As you said, this year we only saw paiN Gaming, SG and Infamous and nobody else from the scene got to understand how these Minors and Majors prize money can really be a life changing thing. So, as I said, I think this rule for Majors which says two spots per region will help the SA scene even more. I hope that one of the big teams in SA will be able to get the invite to a Major via a Minor victory and then we will have another two teams coming from the regional qualifiers. I’m excited to see how all these things will happen. I can’t wait to start the new season, to be honest!
Alright, then I wish you all the best and I hope we will see your team in the same formula fighting for TI9. Thanks for taking the time to talk to us and if you have any shout-out to make at the end of our interview, please do.
Yeah, I’d like to apologize to all our fans. I’m really sorry guys for what happened on the last day in the group stage, I know it hurts. But, I promise you guys that we will play more, we will try harder and we will be stronger. We want to show you all that we can do better. I hope that you guys will continue to cheer for us in the next season.