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Optic Gaming’s offlaner, Neta ’33’ Shapira is a no nonsense, straight forward guy. He had a few words to spare with VPEsports when we caught up with him before the start of the TI 8 main event in Vancouver.

Hello 33! TI 8 will be your second TI. Last year, it was with Hellraisers. That didn’t go too well, you went out in the group stages. Was that more motivation for you to come back stronger?

Last year was like a bonus for the Hellraisers team members. We qualified, even though we didn’t think we could. In hindsight, the EU qualifier wasn’t so competitive. But we weren’t too upset about going out in the group stages.


But this year is a lot more serious for you. After day 3 of the group stages, you guys were at the bottom of the group. Were you nervous? What was the thought process there?

We were at the bottom of the group, but we still had two of the weaker teams to play against – Pain Gaming and Vici Gaming. In the moment, no doubt there was some nervousness there. But our initial games were against the best teams in the group, so I think it was ok.


You guys will be playing the first series at the main event and it’s going to be against Team Liquid. You think they are beatable?

Of course, they are beatable. We just need to play our game and hope for the best.


In the offlane meta that has developed here, now – we hardly see any of the typical offlane initiators like Tidehunter or Centaur. Instead, offlaners have switched to right click heroes. Why do you think that is?

Lanes are very important in this meta and the initiators just cannot win the lane. So instead, heroes like Weaver and Mirana are picked so you can win the lane. If you can get out of the laning phase in good shape, those heroes like Tide are really good. But most times, you will lose the lane with them and it is not worth it.


It is indeed a very laning phase focused meta. You are one of the best Broodmother players out there. What’s with the first phase Brood picks? Usually, it was a last phase, niche pick.

When you pick the Brood early, you force the enemy to pick a certain kind of draft. They have to pick heroes to counter the Brood. And ever since the change to the gold and experience given my the spiderlings, there isn’t a lot of punishment if the spiderlings die. Even while facing a hard counter in lane like Tiny or Monkey King, there isn’t a big level difference. Earlier, when the spiderlings gave away a lot of experience, Brood would be level 8 and the opposition mid laner would be level 11. You can just farm the jungle if the lane is not very favorable.


That makes sense! Are you nervous about playing against Liquid on the main stage?

I imagine I will get a bit nervous before the start, but not really right now.


Talk to me about how you got in touch with the Optic players, how you became a part of the team?

A month or so before I joined Optic, Zai added me on Steam and asked me what I thought about joining them. I obviously said I was interested. Then they went with Saksa for a while, but when that didn’t work out, for whatever reason, ppd contacted me and I got to be a part of Optic.


What about the switch in positions for you and Zai? You used to be position 4 and Zai was position 3 earlier. Why did you guys think this would be better?

Zai is a way better position 4 than me. Also, I played as an offlaner for Hellraisers before TI 7 and I’m more comfortable as an offlaner than a support.


What is your opinion about the season, the DPC system and the biweekly patches?

It was flawed, like a lot of people said. EG and Na’Vi being invited to a lot of events. The good part was there were a lot of tournaments taking place. Last year, it was difficult to make it to a LAN event. This year, all teams got a lot of chances. Coming to the patches, I don’t like the patch changing every two weeks. Also, I am puzzled with the last few patches. The heroes that need to get buffs are getting them, but the buffs are a bit weird. Heroes are getting gimmicks like don’t really fit them. Like Clinkz’s Strafe disjointing projectiles makes no sense. The hero is somewhat balanced then using Strafe he gets some crazy attack speed and dodges attacks and projectiles. I don’t know where these changes are coming from!


I hear you! If you were in charge, how long would a certain patch last? What is the optimum duration?

I would say two to four months.


You think next season will be better? There will be just Five Majors and Five Minors to decide the TI invites…

I’m not really a fan of that. The teams playing a Major cannot play the Minor connected to it. We will see how the prize pool and DPC point distribution will be. But there is a possibility of getting top three at a Minor may be better than placing badly at a Major. I am not a fan of disallowing a team to play at an event.


I had the same thought when I read the format. Let’s see how it goes.  What’s the story behind the name or number ‘33’?

There is no story there.


Keep the people guessing! Any shoutouts?

No, not really!


Thank you for taking the time, 33!

VPesports TI8 Hub

Don’t miss out on any bit of information regarding the biggest Dota 2 event of the year with the VPesports TI8 tournament hub. Head over here to find the latest news, TI historical plays, the records and stats registered over the course of seven years of TI history and many other interesting features!

More interviews from The International 2018:

Resolut1on – VGJ.Storm : “OG is still an interesting matchup for me”
Solo “I believe he [KuroKy] is the best leader”
Fly – Evil Geniuses: “I will get to my side of the story one day, but right now my focus is completely on TI”
Iceberg – Winstrike: ”If you are afraid to play someone here, then you just shouldn’t be playing at TI”
XinQ – Team Serenity: “I was wild and out of control”
No[o]ne – “I hate the mid lane right now”
KuKu – TNC – “If you are playing good Dota, there are no individual plays”
PSG.LGD – Chalice: “ drafts are not that good”
TNC – Raven: “We messed up the drafts”
Team Liquid – MinD_ContRoL: “We picked Optic because we don’t have a good history against Team Secret”
paiN Gaming – Tavo: “Every defeat is a lesson…I’d just rather not lose here, you know?”
OptTic Gaming – Pajkatt “OpTic is better than any of the teams I’ve played in before”

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