Blog by Brax #1
We never thought that we’d be returning to TI4. Every single one of my teammates were inactive in the professional scene, including myself. It took 31 days from our very first game together to winning the Americas qualifier and guaranteeing our place at TI4 to compete for 8 million dollars (and counting). If you had told me this a month ago, I never would have believed you.
Our plan from the beginning was TI5. We thought we were too late; we thought we were too rusty; we thought we would never get an invitation to play. Our goal was to become a stable North American team that would grow through our commitment to each other-- I’ve had my fair share of roster changes and scapegoating, and what we all wanted now was some stability.
North America has never been considered a Dota powerhouse. Due to inconsistency, roster shuffling, player compatibility, and a lack of discipline, the immense talent coming out of North America is stifled. When we created this team, our intention was not to piece together some left-over players to make a miracle run at TI4, it was to build something from the ground up; to go back to the basics of teamwork and hard work and create the solid foundations of something great. I truly believe in American Dota.
When I arrived in China, I thought I knew what discipline was. I had a passion for the game, and could easily spent 18 hours a day watching, playing, and studying the game. Chinese teams are well-respected-- and even feared-- for a reason. They are incredibly disciplined and controlled; a good Chinese team has no wasted movement and they play like a well-oiled machine. I admit, I was intimidated. My greatest regret from China is not having the courage to step up and try my hand at leading a team. I was a comparatively new player among some of the best players in the world: the players that I grew up watching and admiring at distant tournaments.
Upon winning the qualifier, we were shocked. We had the confidence and we believed in ourselves, but this was something different. It’s difficult to wrap your mind around the fact that we went from inactivity to the biggest tournament in Esports history in a little under 5 weeks. Our success drew a lot of attention, and without naming names, we had almost a dozen organizations reach out to us. But we were looking for something different-- we were looking for the proof that we are not just another temporary American squad.
When ZeroGravity approached us, it felt like a dream. Here was the owner of the most successful Dota franchise in history; and he wanted to invest in us. This was something different than the last-minute TI pickup… After all, who can say that Na’Vi doesn’t have presence at the International? But what’s more, he shared the vision of creating a team “roots before branches”. With my experience, I have to say that I think teamwork and long-term dedication to each other goes farther than raw talent. And here, I found four amazing players, each with their own strengths, who were willing to go the distance with me. Here I found an organization which would help us build from the ground up-- every step of the way.
We will undoubtedly have our ups and downs as a team; we are new and we are learning. I cannot guarantee that we will win every match we play… But I do guarantee that we will make you reconsider your stance on American Dota. We are Na’Vi US, and we are ready to game on!
brax 3 June 2014, 15:39 44385 7