Black: "It doesn’t matter how many teams you have from each region, quality is more important than quantity"
The first day of The Chongqing Major ended with groups A and B matches, first teams got upper bracket seeding and the others will start with “one live” in the lower bracket. We asked Dominik “Black^” Reitmeier to share his thoughts about the games and his predictions on the following groups.
What can you say about the first day of The Chongqing Major?
Today is my first day in Chongqing. Usually, I’m working on tournaments be held in Shanghai. Nice to be here. First, when I heard about it I just thought: “Oh, it’s just a random small village”. But it's actually a super-city with 30 million people living here. It’s as almost as my home country [laughs]. That's very interesting, for sure.
For sure not a village. And what about the games?
The games were… You know what to expect from Day 1: The favorites won, the underdogs… almost won. Everything went as expected, predictable. So in terms of Dota there were no surprises. And the food is really good.
Yeah, hotel food. It's probably the best hotel food I’ve ever eaten. So, I might have eaten too much.
Have you made some predictions before the Major? Maybe, you expected some surprises from the beginning?
I expected EHOME and VP to make it through. And then Secret and LGD to make it through the Group Stage and both happened. So everything went as expected. But the other groups are not so predictable, so I’m looking forward to some interesting outcomes.
I think Groups C and D will play much better in terms of the teams because they are closer to each other. Teams are very even and there were a lot of interesting teams with stand-in’s, who did not bring the whole team here. It should be a very interesting day of Dota. Maybe not the best one, but very interesting.
Let's talk about stand-ins. Could it be a problem for the teams or there is a chance to see even better performance?
It is very hard to play with a stand-in because you have no time to prepare together. Not enough, at least. Nowadays, teams play together for months to become really good. I’m not sure if it will be terrible for them. A team can be very bad with a stand-in and really good, it depends on how well they mesh with each other, how well they communicate. I think Liquid with Chinese player, who cannot speak English well, should have a big problem on paper. But Liquid is a very strong team and they can make it work anyway. I think it will be the most interesting - to see if they can make it work or not.
Seems like this new patch is very suitable for Liquid. And losing of such an important player as Miracle could be crucial.
If Miracle were here, I would say that Liquid is going to win the tournament. But with these problems, they may fail. Shadow is a good player, he won TI before, but I think Miracle is too important for the team. He is like a core piece of the team and I don't think anyone can replace him. So they have to find someone to play around because usually, he is the one who ends the games for them. So not having him around could be a huge problem for Liquid.
And what about favorites, like VP? Have they showed something new?
VP definitely did not show anything. It looked like they were just playing around with their enemies. And then, when they’ve finally decided to play seriously, they just beat opponents easily. I think VP definitely was a lot more prepared for the main event than what they showed in the Group Stage. They just played with food, because they know they are much better than their enemies.
What about the other teams, which of them can allow themselves to play same, with only skill?
I think no other teams can do this, because in Groups C and D the teams are very close in terms of skill level. So I don't think the other teams can relax if they want to reach the Top-2 in their groups. VP was a clear favorite in the group and that's why they could do that. But, for example, in Group B, we have LGD and Secret and nobody can afford to go easy on an enemy, because they both are world-class teams. In Groups C and D, everyone should show the best they have.
This will be the first Major with the new patch. Before we saw few new heroes in meta while qualifiers and the Minor. How do you think teams will show us some new tactics with new heroes?
Definitely, we will see a lot of new heroes coming up, especially if the tournament goes longer then the Minor. In the beginning, everybody will play very strong and safe, just to get out of the group. And then new heroes will show themselves up while in the main tournament. It's hard to prepare for crazy strategies because there still some amount of heroes which are very good and some are not so good. So we will see a lot of the same heroes and then maybe one odd hero in time. Most of the time it is going to be a standard Dota. For the better teams, they will always perform well, does not matter what patch it is. And there is always a couple of weaker underdog teams, maybe even not underdogs, but teams you never expect to do well, for example, Thunder Predator. This teams could surprise in a battle.
What can you say about regions represented here? We have four teams from China, three from Europe and North America, and only two from the other regions. Does this sample show the real power of the regions?
I think that South America is the weakest region here. Thunder Predator and Chaos were pretty shaky like they aren’t ready for the teams yet. And in the last tournament, there were only two CIS teams and VP won quite easily. So it doesn’t really matter how many teams you have from each region, quality is more important than quantity. The best team will win, but I’m not sure where the best team comes from. It could be VP again, could be Secret, could be Liquid, could be LGD. We have many contenders on the top spot. It will be very interesting to see who is the best in the end.
What can you say about the format of The Chongqing Major?
I know that a lot of people don't like the GSL format, but I personally like it a lot because it seems to me that the best team always gets to the upper bracket and the teams who lost twice will go to the lower brackets, so they have like three lives basically before leaving the tournament. I think the best teams always make it far if by having three lives. And this system ensures it, in my opinion.