Na`Vi.PSM: «We can do it!»
The new captain of Natus Vincere Dota 2 squad Andrey “PSM” Dunaev is not well-known among game’s viewers and fans. We decided to fix it and caught up with him for an interview, where he told a lot of interesting facts about himself, our favorite game and a lot more.
Both native cities of Andrey are picturesque and beautiful in their own unique way (Karaganda — on the left, Ulyanovsk — on the right)
— Were you concerned about all material aspects back then?
— At that time, gamers have already started getting solid salaries and prize money from the tournaments, and it was obvious that this profession could be profitable. If you did this and achieved good results, you could pay not only for yourself, but also support your own family. So I knew that the eSports job could become a main source of money to make a living.
— Why have you chosen Dota 2?
— I have always liked the strategy genre as well as those games which require multitasking and present an intellectual challenge.
— What about shooters?
— I have played Quake for some time, it’s a very quick and dynamic game, but it was more like a hobby, the way to have some fun. I have never treated such games seriously, whereas Dota 2 have always felt like a unique intellectual fight, something similar to chess which I used to like. But here everything is ten times more interesting.
— What can you say about the main Dota 2 competitor — League of Legends?
— I have never really played this game and don’t know anything about it, I am fully satisfied with Dota 2. If everything is already okay, what’s the need to change something?
— As far as we know, your full nickname is PheeSoloMeko. What does it mean?
— My nickname initially appeared as just a word, but then it received a certain meaning. Phee means easiness, Solo is individuality, and Meko, you can find it even in Dota 2 (Mekansm artifact), it's assistance. I believe that I have all these three qualities, and in some way they characterize me as a player.
— As you said, Meko is an assistant, a support. Have you ever wanted to try some other in-game roles?
— Of course, yes. Initially, I played as a mid-laner, but then I got to professional Dota 2, and a very good friend of mine has said: “Andrey, you’ll achieve the best results when you'll be playing as a captain and support. It doesn’t matter if you want to play a carry or a mid-laner, you should develop your support skills.” I did as he said, and I think that it was a right thing to do.
— Don’t you think that only support can be a captain, considering specifics of his in-game responsibilities? He has to control the map, coordinate the team actions etc.
— I think that every player can be a captain, no matter which role he plays on a map. The captain works more like a leader than a coordinator. I have seen the teams where the coordinating responsibilities are shared among a few players many times, whereas the main task of the captain is to lead a team, to motivate all players and make them confident about what they can. Coordination, all in all, can be done by someone else.
Invoker, one of PSM`s favorite heros, is included in the list of the most popular heroes
— According to your DotaBuff profile, you have played about 550 games as Invoker. Do you want to try playing him in professional matches, or it is your way to relax in pubs?
— I like this hero because of its versatility and a huge number of playing options that he presents, so I have played him a lot before I started performing as a support. I can’t see him used in professional games on my position. Of course, he can appear in our draft, but I won’t play him. Despite all fixes, Invoker is still a very strong and cool hero.
— Your second favorite character, with which you were shining at The International 2015 qualifiers, is Pudge. Is it a "just-for-fun" hero or you can pick him in professional matches as well?
— Of course, we can, but this character requires a very solid strategy and strong individual skills that have to be constantly improved. Actually, Pudge is a great hero but the main goal of everybody here is to win tournaments. Pudge requires huge amounts of time for practices, and this time can hardly be found. But, once again, if you will adjust your strategies to this hero, you can perfectly use it.
— Lately, Natus Vincere have been picking Shadow Demon a lot. This hero is quite unpopular even in public games, so the question is: is it your own strategic point or you think that this hero itself is very strong?
— He is a very versatile hero in today’s meta and generally against many different picks. He can attack the rival, save, and also deal a huge amount of damage. That is why I like to use him.
At first, Aui_2000 created a petition asking to delete Techies from the game, and eventually have shown a very strong level of play at The International 2015 with itc.
— What about Techies, what do you think about this character?
— I trust professional gamers that are picking this hero (for instance, Aui_2000), and thinking that he is too strong. I haven’t really played him, and wasn’t in many matches against him, but I think that he is a bit unbalanced.
— So can we expect him in Na`Vi’s drafts, in theory?
— Yes, of course.
— Overall, what do you think about the meta of the most recent patch? Don’t you feel tired of Leshracs and Tusks?
— I like the entire meta, except for the mid-lane. It’s just a disaster, there is a number of heroes that are extremely strong and it is difficult to come up with something that can counter them. Roughly speaking, there are only 10 heroes to pick from, and you will surely lose when you’ll be thinking too much and picking others. Apart from this, I like everything: constant fights, team play and so-called five-men Dota.
— The new patch 6.85 is expected to be released next week. It won’t bring drastic changes, but there will be small balance fixes. Which heroes do you think will get nerfed and buffed?
— Would be cool to see Leshrac and Bloodseeker on the list of the nerfed ones. Maybe, such characters as Lina, Shadow Fiend, Phantom Lancer will be modified, too. Perhaps, even Huskar, but I personally don’t think that there are any problems with him. Probably those are the main ones. As for the buffs, I don’t think that they are needed: after all above-mentioned fixes, all heroes will be okay to use. The items also seem well-balanced: Glimmer Cape needed some work, but now it doesn't differ from any other in-game artifact.
— Did you watch The International 2015? What did you feel afterwards? Perhaps, some sort of dissatisfaction with the way it ended?
— Of course, I did. The fact that CDEC Gaming stood out so much is cool, of course, but the performance of Evil Geniuses was better throughout the entire event. I felt a bit dissatisfied since there were very few interesting and unusual decisions at this year's tournament. The teams were experimenting at the second and the third TIs, they tried something new and came up with some new combinations and strategic decisions. This time, there were nothing like this, except for a few games. All teams were trying to outplay each other not intellectually, but manually, using the same well-tested heroes and tactics. But at the same time, they showed some incredibly strong plays, and I liked it very much.
Andrey believes that the victory of Evil Geniuses was well-deserved
— And what about Natus Vincere, what went wrong, in your opinion?
— To be honest, it’s a very difficult question… Maybe, there were some problems with team communication. The individual skill of all players is very solid, so I think that this factor can’t be a decisive one. It’s hard to say what else it could be.
— In a few of your last games, you guys faced DDoS-attacks: you had to look for a stand-in and delay games. How does it influence the emotional state of the players? Does it affect their morale?
— Undoubtedly, it does, and very strongly. You can still preserve the morale, but the playing rhythm is being destroyed completely. Just imagine the fight of two boxers, which are told to stop and wait for 2 hours to continue. The desire to play and the motivation vanish at once. But anyway, in most cases both teams are playing on equal terms, so it's impossible to say that it’s a main reason for our wins or losses. Nevertheless, DDoS-attacks definitely influence the results of the match.
— The last Dota 2-related question. Do you have a team which you like the most? Whose playing style and skill level are the example that you follow and seem perfect to you?
— Currently I don’t have such a team. I pay attention and analyze the strong sides of every single one of them. Perhaps, Evil Geniuses are the closest to being perfect, but they are still not there.
— As you have mentioned Evil Geniuses, we can’t forget about the Aui_2000 situation. What do you think about this conflict?
— Honestly, I admire ppd’s decision and the way he explained it. His arguments were clear and succinct. I think that the points that he mentioned are extremely important no matter if you win or lose. And even if the team is on top, if the captain needs to spend that much time, efforts and other resources to keep the team in optimistic state of mind, solving the problem the way he did is an absolutely right decision. The captain can’t do such things all the time, and if ppd felt that there were no other ways to fix the situation, he actually had only one option — to find a new player. He made a very courageous decision, considering that there is a possibility that the team won’t play as they did before, but he seems to be sure that his choice is the only right one. I have a great admiration for him because of this.
Peter «ppd» Dager is a great example for the captains of other teams
— So now let’s talk about something else apart from our favorite game. According to the information about you in Social media, it seems that you are a huge fan of tourism. Is it true?
— No, I am not a fan. But I really like living an active life: beach volleyball, different trips etc. For me, it's a very cool rest and I enjoy it a lot. I like sea, hiking, especially with a good company.
— Do you have a dream-place that you want to visit?
— Perhaps, the mountains, very high ones. Or the waterfalls. I would like to see the most spectacular creations of nature. But if you are asking about something concrete, I don’t have it.
— What about music? Do you like certain genres, singers or bands?
— No, I think that each genre has something solid, so I like all of them. My music-choice depends mostly on the mood: if I am happy, I like listening to something easy and positive, whereas heavy music helps in times when I am feeling tired and dull.
— Tell us about your cinema favorites. Are you interested in it?
— I often go to the cinema, and like the films of almost all genres. The only exception is probably horror movies, I don’t see anything useful in them and try to avoid them in most cases. All in all, I watch trailers, read about new stuff and simply like watching films.
Beautiful landscapes are one of the weaknesses of our new captain