A very long time since I last wrote something but I haven’t found the time or felt like it since we started to bootcamp around a month ago. My mind has pretty much just been on TI until now.
Posting this now so you guys have something to read while you are waiting for some great games to be played tomorrow! :)
Before TI we bootcamped for around two weeks in Sweden. We rented a house that was big enough for us all to be able to stay there so it was nice and good to live together to discuss strategies or just hang out in the evenings. EGM told us about the Ursa + WD Roshan strategy that we later on used against Navi and we found out another trick as well that we actually didn’t get to use because there wasn’t any game that it suited so at least we have that left for the future ^^.
Moving forward to TI it felt great to be able to go there again. Last year when we didn’t make it through the qualifier was rough, it’s hard to sit at home watching everyone else compete when you want to and have really tried to be there. We stayed at a hotel in Bellevue – I really like that area in Seattle. It’s the forth time I’m staying there (TI2, TI3, TI4 and TI6) so I know the place quite well where there are places to eat, shopping mall, Starbucks etc. You recognize a lot of the staff from Valve that are working with the event, it’s great to be able to see them again as well! As usual the whole event was very good, really nothing to complain about as a player and from what I’ve seen on the streams everything has been very good there as well. I really like the segments with Purge, he is just the perfect guy for that kind of thing!
The group stage where we played in 2 groups instead of 4 (as it was during the Majors) was in my opinion a good decision. When there are 4 groups with 4 teams each there are more room for mistakes with seeding before the tournament and less games to prove that you deserve to be in the upper bracket. I was really happy when we managed to get into the top4 of our group since it’s the first big step in the tournament and can mean everything for a good placement. We spent the next 3 days to prepare for Ehome to see what we wanted to play against them, how they drafted, how they played and stuff like that. We managed to have a very good start against them in both games but failed to use it to our advantage when we went into the midgame. The second game against Fnatic where we had Naix, Puck, Enchantress, Prophet and Rubick felt very good in the early game as well but we probably gave away too much when we took a bad fight on the left side where I got grabbed by Batrider and some pickoffs after that. We had somewhat of a snowball lineup so we needed to be able to shut them down more then we did.
Finishing “only” in the 9th-12th place is both an accomplishment and a failure at the same time. It’s a failure in the way that I hoped and thought we would do better and you obviously enter the tournament with the mindset to win but at the same time it’s an accomplishment itself to just have qualified and played at The International and to be able to say that you are one of the best teams in the world. The thoughts and feelings are split but in the end I’m trying to be happy and satisfied with what we managed to accomplish after not even qualify last year.
If you guys have any questions you can ask them here and I’ll try to answer as many as possible! :)