Good day to everyone! First of all, I take this opportunity to congratulate all the readers of this blog as well as the readers of the website on the upcoming holidays. I wish you success in all your undertakings, my dear readers, great mood and health to you and your relatives. This blog covers the eSports recapitulation of 2015 (I mean those achievements which are credited to me). Here we go!
Part 1 — Dota 2
I began 2015 as Dota 2 team manager. In the very beginning of the year I got acquainted with the team closely due to the finals of Starladder held on 15-18 January, followed by a "mini international" — DAC. Frankly speaking, working with the team was hard. The work of the manager isn't as easy as it might seem at the first glance. You seem to follow the players all over the world, work hard to promote. In reality you are responsible for the achievements and atmosphere in the team to the top management. And not only to the top management. If a team fails, how could a manager look into the eyes of the fans? That's when you begin to treat your job in a very different way. It puts certain responsibilities.
Speaking of the first two tournaments, my job was rather introductory than productive then. I didn't know the team, and the team didn't know me. Furthermore, as you enter new group, "showing yourself" is not the best idea. Anyway, after DAC, we had a "tournament-free" month. The team replaced Funnik with DkPhobos and went to Fallout Major Allstars which was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with one replacement, . The poor organization of the event coupled with poor performance of the team had unpleasant aftertaste. The team was reshuffled again, Sonneiko and ArtStyle joining it, Funnik returning. Then mid-April came and thus, we are moving on to the second section of my blog.
Part 2 — Heroes of the Storm
I began playing HotS before Na`Vi signed contract with the guys from Team Tomorrow Big. Being an old fan of Blizzard's games, I got involved in the new MOBA little by little. I couldn't help feeling happy for the fact that my organization acquired a powerful team in a powerful game. Coming back to Dota 2, I'd like to tell the reasons of my "transfer" from one team to another. After the reshuffle, the team required some kind of psychological support by the third person. Eugin "ugin" Erofeev became such person for them.
As a result, after short discussions, it was decided to give me the HotS team. Frankly speaking, I was depressed during the first weeks. Was it a demotion? Yes, partly it was. Was I disappointed? Yes, I was. On the other hand, I understood that I need to work with what I am given. Our first true acquaintance took place at DreamHack Tours. I am sure that the guys had mixed impression from our first meeting, because:
I overslept the air flight;
I bought the ticket to Munich, where I hoped to "catch up" with my plain, but I was told that my ticket was canceled, as well as the return one;
After I have reached Paris from Munich, I lost my luggage, which was left in Germany (overall, the system of luggage transportation remains unclear to me). There was the team's uniform in the luggage. Fortunately I had the hoodies for the players;
I missed the train from Paris to Tours. I got there with the guys from Team Millenium, with whom I got acquainted straight in the airport. I am very grateful to them for it;
I failed to bring devices due to the fact that Victory Day is celebrated on 8 May in France (unlike in the countries of former Soviet Union, where Victory Day is celebrated on 9 May). The post office didn't work on that day.
I am very grateful to our sponsor SteelSeries, which helped us in this hard situation and gave us the necessary devices straight on the tournament. I also express my gratitude to everyone who helped us on that tournament.
Next were DreamHack Summer and DreamHack Valencia. The achievements at the tournaments were disappointing, especially the summer event, at which we took third place. In Spain we defeated Gamers2 and lost in a match against Liquid. Meanwhile in Sweden, we managed to take only two maps from Fnatic in losers brackets. By the way, JayPL was with us on those DreamHacks. You might know him for his brand report videos, which he publishes after the LAN-tournaments. Breez left us after Valencia and we decided to invite AlexTheProG. Frankly speaking, I wasn't sure about this step. Then AlexTheProG was a guy who showed no outstanding performance, as he played in Team Nihillum. Furthermore, he needed to change role as he joined us. Long story short, I was scared for the results of the team, which soon were made.
We successfully passed the first BlizzCon 2015 European qualifiers and were able to go to WCA EU Finals, where we took the third place again. Overall, we didn't succeed at LANs. Later we understood why. We had about a month and a half to get rest and prepare for the European finals. Frankly speaking, we had never gathered to train before the bootcamp we had in September. I think the work we did in Kyiv was fruitful and resulted in the team's achievements in Prague. On the first day we outlined what we wanted and how we would be doing it, etc.
I think everyone remembers the performance we showed at RoadToBlizzCon 2015 EU Finals. Total score of the maps was 10:0. New combinations we applied are still used by the players, saying: "Oh, you have The Butcher — lets go Na`Vi. I'll take Falstad". It's pleasant. Moreover, it was our first major victory, so it's twice as pleasant. Long story short, we went to the US in order to represent Europe and Na`Vi at BlizzCon 2015. I wish we could've gathered for another bootcamp before the trip, but we couldn't due to visa issues.
All is well that ends well, after all, so we, proud, went to the US with our visas. The results of BlizzCon 2015 was quite ambiguous. On the one hand, we took 3-4 places, shared with Team DK, so we didn't fail. On the other hand, 2 players left our team and transfered to Team Dignitas straight after the event. So the end of the year is a bit confusing.
Part 3 — Plans
One shouldn't speak out loud about his or her plans. Soon enough, we will announce the new line-up of the team. Some players have already played in our team at HBA. There might be surprises as well, I don't know for sure as of now. Anyway, I express my gratitude to those who stays with us both in sorrow and in joy. I can assure you that each player of our HotS team will do his best. We don't need slackers here.
Once again, Happy New Year, everyone! See you in 2016. Thanks!