PRB blog: Author column. June
Hello, everyone! I've been planning to write this blog for quite a while, that's why it'll cover various periods of time.
It's 12 AM, as I write these lines. I'm sitting in Natus Vincere office and I'm the only employee, who stays at work so late today. It's noisy though: the builders are finishing one more storey of our new office. This very moment a thought comes to mind that it is a symbolic moment: the unsuccessful time for the teams (in terms of the results) combined with a noise of the construction, that symbols the renovation and building of the new. Well, one can see relations in every aspect of life. All you have to do is to combine two situations of your life in the respective moment. So let us not distract and to move on to the events I wish to share with you. I wish to emphasize, that the format of the blog is a bit chaotic, as there's much I want to tell you about.
New Natus Vincere office — new Born to Win:
I once mentioned that Na`Vi office would soon change its location. This happened for the sixth time now. The new club office has two storeys. It includes the office, the mystery studio and a room for bootcamps of the players. I'd like to note, that Na`Vi combined office and bootcamp zone before. However due to small area of the premises the presence of the players interfered with the working process of the employees. Now, as we have more space we return to this format. However, these are not the last changes. The expansion continues.
Four years ago Natus Vincere staff consisted of 4 people (ZeroGravity, ZooM, xeo and prb). As of now, this is a huge business-machine, which confidently works notwithstanding anything. When I spoke to the fans of the organization, it seemed to me that people noticed these changes (for better or for worse - it doesn't really matter). They say that Na`Vi are not what they used to be, implying either staff or the performance of the teams.
I'd rather agree with them. However, I think that it'd be more correctly to say that Na`Vi just changed. Changes always happen in real life. When there's no progress, there's always regress. In terms of development, we've undergone undoubted progress. In terms of approach, "outer" perception, it might seem in a different way.
As of now office has 24 employees. However, if we add freelancers, total quantity of employees is over 100. By the way Virtus.pro staff has roughly the same proportion of office/outsource - 30/70. Frankly speaking, it would be very interesting to compare it with the quantity of other organizations. If you know, please write in comments. Team Secret does not count! :)
It happened so, that Andrew "xeo" Yatsenko left the organization. I guess, no one can explain the reasons of his actions better than he can. One thing I can tell - his contribution to the life of Na`Vi can't be overestimated. Everything new always bases on the grounds of the past.. I am sure that we'll meet him at eSports scene (on-competitive) many times. Vitaliy Tarasov aka sCOPe has taken Andrew's position of Head of Video Production.
Since we haven't made an official announcement, I wish to inform you in this blog about the appointment of new Editor-in-Chief of our website - Rostislav "Andersen" Grubi. I think that this change wasn't unnoticed: the website's visitors enjoy much more content now. Additionally we made a small change of the main page of the website. This reform was necessary, since it is ineffective to work on many directions simultaneously.
Meanwhile Yana "b2ru" Himchenko has joined us as a reporter. You must have noticed that as you watched our videos.
I'd like to point out that there are many new people in Na`Vi now. Each of them introduces something new in the project. I started a series of articles "Staff profile" when I still worked as an Editor-in-Chief. Thus, you'll learn about our staff from those articles.
Moreover, I can't help sharing this information with you: soon a documentary movie about eSports club Natus Vincere will soon be released. The author is a good friend of mine - Moritz "Moose" Zimmerman. Besides, this is a very talented person. You'll learn many interesting things from the movie: about the inner life of the organization, about the history of the project and its development. In my opinion, this will be a great excursion to the past and a fine reason to meet everyone, who is related to Na`Vi.
As per moment I'm in charge of live broadcasting, in particular, I'm developing Storm Studio. The project is about 5 months now and it's still developing. However, we've achieved the first results.
I take this opportunity to announce the open vacancies of the project:
- director (director of live broadcasts),
- programmer (development of website and web-interface for streams),
- designer (experience 2+ years),
- CS:GO caster (ENGLISH),
Heroes of the Storm caster (ENGLISH).
As per moment these vacancies are published in my blog. The full-scale search of our future employees at the big head-hunt websites will start this week. If you are interested in employment or if you have any additional questions regarding employment, please be free to write me on: firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach your CV and the examples of your work.
In general, if you have cool ideas or simply propositions on how to improve the project or introduce original ideas, we'll be happy to take into account your propositions. By the way, I'm not planning to stop recording videos and interviews. I have an idea of shooting a series of documentary movies, which I will surely implement. Frankly speaking I've always had lots of ideas (like the video quest), but I didn't manage to implement all of them. I hope to do it this year within the framework of Storm Studio.
I believe that with the feedback of community we'll manage to make a studio, which would bring only positive emotions with its content.
Na`Vi.CS:GO squad is little by little returning lost positions. I recall the period when the teams began transferring from СS 1.6 to CS:GO. If you remember Na`Vi was trying to remain in its comfort zone as long as possible and postpone the inevitable transfer. This step by step transfer lead other top teams far ahead and was the reason Na`Vi fell behind.
As of now, the players of the team have learnt their lessons and make progress. However, the team can be defined as grand, when it either makes grandiose victory (e.g. at the grand tournament) or wins at many tournaments in a row. If we analyze the results, we'll see that the team is slowly moving to their goal. Here's the proof:
6 - 7 June - Fragbite Masters - 3 place
13 - 14 June - DH Summer - 2 place
19 - 21 June - SLTV S13 - 1 place
As of now the most important tasks include: a) hold the positions and b) prove their superiority over other teams, apart from EnvyUs, HR & Flip Sid3.
The stats show that CS:GO is now ahead of Dota and is developing very fast. However, in my opinion the discipline doesn't look complete now. I assume that community is waiting for a global tournament, which will determine the future development of CS:GO.
Heroes of the Storm:
I must also mention the acquisition of Heroes of the Storm squad. There are many anticipations about the new title. I hope our squad won't repeat the fate of Infinite Crysis. On the one hand, the developer is Blizzard, which doesn't make "crap". On the other hand, the eSports success of one of their projects is changed with the total indifference of the users towards the other. It is important to lead the game to the right direction (as it is done with Dota 2, League of Legends, CS:GO), notwithstanding the commercial part of the projects. It is very interesting to read your opinion about this title, so leave your comments.
The International 2015 Qualifiers:
As you know, Na`Vi are going to The International 2015. The team hasn't received direct invite which is natural, since Dota team had been undergoing many changes until the last reshuffle. I want to point out that many people were very worried about it, since they got used to the fact that Na`Vi participated in every TI. Bitter reality however brings the dreamers back to Earth and proves - if you want to achieve something, you need to put much effort in it.
I wish I could get in time to the Analysts Studio during the live broadcast (I was recording the interview with Sonneiko). I could've drawn attention to some interesting (in my opinion) moments.
Well, this is my chance to do it:
- The team was living and training in one place (rented apartment), which was a very good decision. The players could play straight after they got up and don't waste their time for transfer. Well, SoNNeikO talked about it in his interview.
- The team began playing CS:GO together (1–2 maps).
- Dendi has determined this bootcamp as the most productive of all the bootcamps he had ever had.
- Storm Studio was planning to launch live broadcast with webcamera, however, the players requested not to do it.
- As per moment Eugene "ugin" Erofeev acts as a manager of the squad. Andrew "kimi" Kvasnevsky is now the manager of HotS-squad.
Upcoming The International is a main event of Dota 2 scene of this summer. However, some additional tournaments of Valve are planned to be held in autumn. I think it is a great stage of Dota development. Many say that Dota 2 has overcome the peak of its growth, but I disagree. It is a great mistake to make judgments on the things you can't influence or about which you don't have full information. You can analyze events correctly and make correct predictions only if you have information, statistics or you are a part of the events.
Valve employees is the most valuable source of the company. They are the grounds for the successful development of the game. How can one predict the emerge of the ideas, which can influence the development of the game, or predict that such ideas won't appear?
Changes in Dota 2 team:
I cooperated with Phobos for a long time - we were working on the website together. We've done a titanic project TWOP — The Way of Pro. He's calm and balanced, yet his character is very specific. I saw he craved to return to eSports during the two years we were working together.
Phobos can surprise
His return to eSports was subsequent. I think he determined his main goal as "getting to The International". One of the main reasons he returned was his experience (apart from his persistence). This person is capable of analyzing profoundly and in the smallest detail. He considers every action of his from the point of pragmatism and effectiveness. Such people don't like decisions, that lack logic. Notwithstanding they are introverts, they can react bitterly on some fails (sometimes these are inner reactions, unseen from outside).
As you understand it is of great importance to feel comfortable in the team. When you lose balance due to some problems, you can't play at your maximal capacity. In this case I assume that it was very hard for XBOCT and Phobos to work in one team. A team is a mechanism with many elements, which should work synchronously and accordingly.
I felt myself in manager's role during TI5 qualifiers. This is a very pleasant feeling, frankly speaking. This job might seem to an outside person to be a dream. However, this is not so in reality. Thinks about it - the team has changed 4 managers since 2012. Apart from enjoying the process, there's much work to be done. Not everyone can handle this work. Manager is not only the "executor" and a person, who fills in the tables. Manager is first of all analyst and psychologist, who predicts all the needs of the team beforehand. He is a friend and authority, who can calm down by talking to player in the critical moment.
By the way, I recently heard from Dendi great phrase: "You need to blame only yourself for all the bad things, which are happening to you". Having thought about it, I came to a conclusion that it would be almost impossible to make a global breakthrough without the events, which can only be construed as "overcoming oneself". I think that ArtStyle once did it. He might say that people don't change, still he did change for good.
In the interviews I recorded, I asked my interlocutors, what is necessary to achieve success or breakthrough to the so-called golden league. I guess Daniil Ishutin's words would be a part of the formula we got as a result.
This is where I finish sharing my thoughts. Thank you for your attention! I sincerely wish success to all the readers of this blog!
I am sorry for writing such blogs so seldom. I plan to write a couple of articles, that is why I try finding time and make interesting and useful content.
I wish you peace.