Returned home with a second place finish at OGA Dota PIT Minor, Zhang “xiao8” Ning resumed his streaming schedule and just before the Major was about to begin in Paris, he took the time to give a few insights to his fans.
Xiao8 is EHOME’s coach, but for the time being, he also has to stand in for his team until Zhang “Faith_bian” Ruida fully recovers from a serious arm injury suffered back in February. EHOME went through several roster changes in the past few months and their impressive run in the Minor was somewhat of a surprise. Xiao8 explained during his stream what they learned and how they adapted through the tournament in Split, talked about Luo “Ferrari_430” Feichi and how he decided to recruit the TI2 winner, but also gave a few insights on a couple of teams playing now in the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major.
On EHOME’s form before the Minor and the practice in Europe:
“We were in terrible shape before the Minor started but the practice and the matches in the Minor itself really taught us a lot and helped us improve. For example, we learned in the EU pubs how strong Drow Ranger and Centaur are. The game mode they play in ranked is predominantly “All Pick” and we noticed that Drow and Centaur are heavily contested whilst managing to keep a high win rate. We decided to give them a try and it worked out pretty well. I played 5 games of Centaur in one day and after that, I picked him in the official match.”
On Ferrari_430’s form and work that needs to be done:
“430 has improved a lot comparing to when he joined us. We practice with him every day and analyze replays together to improve his laning skills. He’s much stronger now. Our goal is to reassemble this Ferrari.
We didn’t have many options for our mid-laner as most Chinese mid-laners are labeled “not-for-sale” by their team. At that time, Newbee took awen away from MGB, 430 got really pissed and wanted to leave. So, between the two options I had, Cty and 430, I picked 430.
After 430 arrived we had a long conversation, I told him that his skill, as well as map awareness, are not that good and that he should work harder. I took his phone away, banned him from playing mobile games and watching anime and he agreed to all that. So, just give him and us some time.”
On Team Liquid and OG before the MDL Disney® Major
“I have a feeling that Liquid will perform at the MDL Major, they booked rooms in the hotel where we stayed during the Minor and they rented a VIP lounge in the arena in Split, which they transformed in a training room. We saw them bootcamping there every day which does not happen much for western teams. So, I feel they are really determined to achieve a good result at the MDL Major.
We didn’t get to scrim with Liquid in Split, but we did practice with OG before the Minor started. We beat them 2-0, but I can’t predict their performance now. Just like us, OG are a tenacious team. For tournaments with a rather dragging schedule, it’s crucial to have the ability to adapt and evolve. We got stomped by RNG in our scrims, but they didn’t perform to their potential in the actual games. I think it’s because they didn’t learn from the games they played. Other teams are continuously evolving and improving as the tournament progresses, if you are not, you won’t get a good result.”