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Natus Vincere released an interview done by them with the position 5 support player Ilya “Lil” Ilyuk who, as he says in the video, is “still in Na’Vi.”


Lil has recently moved with his girlfriend from Russia to Kiev, Ukraine and was visited at his new home by the organization’s content creator Yana ‘b2ru’ Khymchenko. Asked about his decision to move and if it’s related to the fact that now he is closer to the Na’Vi offices, Lil talked about lower day by day costs in Kiev compared to Moscow. “Living is relatively cheap here: food, entertainment, so it’s fine,” he said, adding that he can “live comfortably even without salaries.”   


Yana touched on the sensitive subject of Na’Vi’s failure in the DPC season and asked Lil to share his take on what happened with the team. “I don’t remember who, maybe Dendi or someone else said a phrase that perfectly describes what’s going on: we couldn’t become a team within the team,” Lil answered and explained that a “team exists when people want to play together, spend time together, and it comes naturally. In Na’Vi it was a bit different, a lot of things were done unnaturally, because of politeness and stuff.”


He didn’t go into details of where the synergy problem was or what internal problems led to what he calls one of the worst seasons of his career, but he did have a lot of good remarks about Na’Vi’s offlaner Victor “GeneRaL” Nigrini with whom, he says he “bounded the most with, and Vladislav “Crystallize” Krystanek, who “has great micro skill and he plays quite a lot.” Lil also talked about the lack of synergy between the players and expressed his frustration with having to play the sacrificial position 5 support.


“I switched to position 5 only for the sake of the team, I wanted us to do well, but it didn’t work out.[…] The main takeaway is that I don’t want to play position 5. […] Position 4 is more reliant on the play style and the way different teams operate.” He explained the big differences between the two support roles and how being someone who only focuses on warding and provides the dusts and the sentries simply doesn’t fits his play style.


“Your main focus is warding [and] on the heroes and their movement. For instance, you are going into the opponent’s jungle, and you have vision on an enemy hero with let’s say 2-3 wards entering your jungle. Based on the timing of where the enemy hero shows up next time you have to figure out what spots they might have warded. This is really difficult and you have to do it every game.”


Unlike position 5 which is “responsible for vision”, Lil explained that position 4 is “a full-fledged core that doesn’t farm in early game.” However with how the meta shifted back to dual lanes, Lil think that right now shouldn’t be a clear distinction between the two support roles and sometimes the drafts demand all five heroes to find farm somewhere, giving two examples: Sand King which is more of a position 4 who needs his Force Staff to start making an impact on the game and Disruptor, who is usually ran as position 5, but sometimes is forced to build a fast Aghanim’s Scepter.


As they started to talk more about different metas in the DPC season, Yana asked Lil about the TI8 meta. “TI is going to be really fun, I watched some pubs and I noticed a lot of pro players practice some weird stuff. The oddest thing was a position 4 Ursa running around with Orb of Venom killing people.” Then he gave a few warnings about Dark Willow which was constantly buffed through the few last patches.


“She is most viable in a trilane scenario” Lil said, however, despite the current preference of 2-1-2 laning, he mentioned that he saw’s Rodjer playing it and “GH had a few pages of playing Dark Willow too,” he added. Nature’s Prophet and Bloodseeker were also two heroes named by Lil for everyone to expect them to be very present in the TI8 meta.  


Towards the end of the interview, Lil revealed that he will have to watch TI8 closely and that he will have to go on a trip. “I won’t say what kind of trip until August 28,” he said leaving room for interpretation that he is either part of the Russian broadcast team or might be going as a coach for some team.


The video is extremely insightful into his time with Na’Vi, his future plans and what kind of impact this past year had on his personal life. The full interview can be watched below.

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