Interview with Na'Vi.SoNNeikO
The Dota 2 roster from Natus Vincere has undergone a lot of changes in the past. Not only the players but also the performances of the players have changed and varied. One of the most stable and solid performing players from the roster is Akbar "SoNNeikO" Butaev. Since there have been new announcements and changes in the Dota 2 community or the game itself, like the Frankfurt Major invites, a new patch and a relatively new roster for Na'Vi, we decided to sit down with SoNNeikO and have a little chat with him.
Hello Akbar, how are you doing?
Hi, I am fine.
First and foremost, let’s discuss the new patch. Icefrog has the tendency not to kill off popular heroes, but buff others into the meta. Do you think the same thing happened with 6.85?
Yes. Players began picking Doom and Necrophos. I think, we’ll see other heroes being picked soon.
Which heroes do you consider to be looking the best as of now? Which hero are you looking forward to play with this new patch?
Doom has become the most powerful hero. I’d like to play a Kunkka support.
Andrew "PSM" Dunaev joined Na’Vi a couple of weeks ago. How did he influence the playstyle, the movements the team is doing in matches? Is he the man making the calls in the game?
it's far too early to answer this question , I would say, so I will leave it open for now.
You mentioned in an interview after the TI5 qualifiers that as Artstyle joined, you were more confident to speak up and communicate. Is this still the case? Are you guys feeling comfortable as a group?
Yes, it’s still the case. And I hope it’ll remain that way in the future. Each of us speaks up, so you know what they’re thinking about. It is very helpful.
You said that you love playing support, and that you always enjoyed the role. During the reshuffle period, did you ever think about swapping roles?
No, I’m not going to change it in the nearest future. This role fits me very well. On other positions, I won’t be able to do what I could do for a team.
Who is a fiercer leader Ivan "Artstyle" Antonov or PSM, what is the main difference between them?
Vania (Artstyle) was more aggressive. He mostly picked dominating heroes and build the game on their basis. PSM tries to draft, which would be useful in both early and late game.
Could you talk us through a drafting? Do each of you participate and brainstorm during draft or mostly the captain and drafter makes the calls and assigns the heroes?
PSM drafts on his own. If he needs assistance in picking heroes, he asks us and we help him.
Unfortunately, Natus Vincere is going through a rough patch at the moment. Do you think the new patch can turn the tides around?
I’d like to believe that it’ll be so.
How are you guys dealing with the pressure from fans?
I rarely read comments, so I don’t feel any pressure.
Do you know what causes the lack of results?
It might sound funny, but we can’t reach synergy.
How long are you planning to bootcamp?
We have considered a few options and decided to go for ten days to bootcamp.
What do you expect to improve upon during the bootcamp?
First, we need to understand what we want and later start building our picks and game style.
Did you settle in nicely for the bootcamp?
I can't complain about anything at all and we are doing just fine.
Did you manage to play some games already?
We played quite a few games already and could practise a bit.
How is the bootcamp going?
All our bootcamps were effective. I hope this one will be no exception.
Focusing on the main event now, what do you think about the Majors? How did it change the usual training period? What measures did you take to adapt to the schedule of the new season?
It’s just a tournament. Anyway, the main thing now is to begin playing and achieving results. Afterwards, we can think about the tournaments.
What do you think about the invited teams to the fall Major?
I think the list of invites is fair and all the invited teams deserved it.
Natus Vincere was not invited directly to the Major, but you will be playing in the qualifiers. Do you think the team is ready to fight for a place at the main event?
We will do our best and try to achieve good results soon.
Let’s talk a bit more personal. Do people recognize you on the streets?
They actually do, it is pretty cool.
Do you ever think about starting to stream?
Yes. I wrote about it in my group. I’ll begin streaming as soon as we start winning and I’ll have some spare time.
You made some great plays on certain heroes like Earthshaker and Winter Wyvern, but which hero do you consider to be your favorite and why?
That would be Earthshaker because he is an initiator hero. You can make much action on the map playing him. When you are getting blink dagger on him, he can change the course of the game to his advantage.
What is your view on the Reborn client? Are you a fan of custom games? If so, what games do you enjoy playing?
I like to play a few custom games such as Grand Magus or Sf wars.
Thank you for doing the interview! Any shout-outs?
I would like to thank Natus Vincere and all of its sponsors for supporting us! Special shoutouts to our fans for their endless support!
(Author credits: Ferenc “Sarkane” Fodor)