Interview with Maelstorm
On May 29, Natus Vincere will begin their journey to win a slot at The International 5. And while the players are training tirelessly, we decided to ask a famous journalist and Storm Studio commentator Vladimir “Maelstorm” Kuzminov about his thoughts on Na`Vi’s chances, main event of the year and some other things.
- Hi! How are you doing? Please tell our readers what you’ve been up to recently.
- Hello to all of the navi-gaming.com users! As you may or may not know, I’ve been commentating Dota 2 at Storm Studio since January 2015, and I’ve been doing great thanks to that. More recently I’ve been working on myself and on Dotascope series, since there’s not much to commentate. However, there will be a lot of games soon.
-Why did you start commentating? Is it a hobby that somehow turned into a job?
- Yes, for the most part. I’ve always enjoyed watching someone play more than playing myself, and also I have always loved computer games.
- Open qualifiers for TI5 have ended recently. What can you say about the winners? Do you think those teams can compete with others? Or could they even become a sensation?
- There’s nothing I can say, really. I’m surprised sQreen’s team (Dota AllStars, ex- sQreen’s squad) lost the qualifiers, and I don’t really know much about the rest of the teams. In my opinion, open qualifier winners can put up a fight, especially in Europe and US regions. But I don’t think any of them will become top 4.
- Following the qualifier winners, groups and their schedules were revealed. Do you think Natus Vincere are lucky not to be in the same group with Alliance, Burden United and NiP?
- I would say that there are no lucky or unlucky situations for Na`Vi. They should be forging their own success. I believe, they will be able to defeat anyone, should they find their playstyle. Otherwise they could lose even to an outsider.
- And who would you favour among the known participants?
- Vici Gaming. Those guys took the second place without preparing to the new patch and with a 6 hour time zone difference, having lost only to Team Empire. And right afterwards they had another flight yet again with a huge time zone change – and they finished 3rd, showing a solid, sometimes even phenomenal performance.
Vici Gaming with a cheque of Dota 2 Champions League
- Will the The International be better this year? Last time a lot of people were dissatisfied with the Chinese finals.
- Well, I don’t know. To my mind, game will be better than it was before with 6.83 still in place. I must say, 6.84 is looking pretty damn good at the moment.
- Was it right to invite last year’s winners, Newbee? We all know, their performance has not been great throughout the season.
- It was definitely not right.
- Are you planning to go to Seattle? If so, as who?
- If I get invited, I will go. If not – so be it. And I will surely go there as nothing else, but a commentator.
Mushi and Maelstorm at The International 3
- Let’s talk about other games. Are you interested in any competitive ones other than Dota 2?
- I watch CS:GO and Age of Empires (yes, it is competitive) from time to time. That’s all, pretty much.
- Do you enjoy playing yourself?
- Yes, certainly. I like to relax and play Dota 2 or some other game.
- Have you ever thought of commentating Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Heroes of the Storm professionally?
- I did think of CS:GO, but it was just a spur of the moment kind of though, nothing serious. Never thought about HOTS though.
- What is your opinion of the game, that most Dota 2 players don’t like, i.e. League of Legends?
- I’ve played it a couple of times. I really don’t like the graphics and after Dota 2 it is also very hard to get used to the system with no denying. Just in general the game is different and I don’t enjoy it that much.
- Let’s get back to your work. Do you like commentating at Storm Studio?
- Yes, I’m satisfied with everything, although much is still to be improved and I mean both the studio and myself.
- Do you prefer casting alone or with a colleague? Who did you most enjoy working with?
- Depends on the mood, but I would mostly prefer to work with a colleague. I’m very pleased to cast with Dmitriy “LighTofHeaveN” Kupriyanov. Also I’m quite comfortable with Yaroslav “NS” Kuznetsov. So, they are probably my top 2 co-casters. It usually takes some time to adjust, but after that almost any partner will be great.
LighTofHeaveN – frequent Maelstorm’s co-caster
- And what about English speaking commentators? Do you have any idols?
- I would rather not emphasize anyone. I listen to many of them and I like a number of people in the scene. Lately, I’ve been paying attention to the games, rather than to the commentators.
- Is there one game you commentated, that you remember in particular?
- Probably, Natus Vincere vs TongFu on the TI3 (The International 3). Although everyone’s been asking, whether it was me who commentated Orange vs Na`Vi.
First game of the best-of-3 series between Na`Vi and TongFu
- What is the funniest case of your commentating career?
- I fell off the stage. It was actually as funny, as everyone thinks.
Techlabs 2014 Moscow
- Tell us about your hobbies, do you read books, watch movies or is it something else?
- I am fond of movies and TV series, I’m not a big fan of books. In the recent months I’ve decided to work out and it takes me a lot of time to keep myself fit.
- Reveal us a secret of your nickname.
- I misspelled the word “Maelstrom”. This gave birth to “Maestrom” and “Malestorm” instead of “Maelstorm”. Originally I took it from the spell of dark archon in StarCraft: Brood War.
- Any greetings or shoutouts?
- Yes, all the best to everyone who knows me. And a separate greeting to the city of Oryol.
And a small questionnaire in conclusion:
- Favourite Dota 2 hero — Doom (there will even be my set for him soon).
- Favourite team – Na`Vi.
- Favourite player — Dendi.
- Favourite movie — Free to Play.
- Favourite song — Dota 2 soundtrack.
- Would you be a great president? — Of course, and even my name is Vladimir.
- Is there any question you would like to answer? — This one.
- What superpowers would you choose? — To be able to win every game of Dota.
- Which 3 wishes would you ask genie to fulfil? — Golden baby roshan, platinum baby roshan and diamond baby roshan, if such ever comes out.