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TI8 Profile: Beware of paiN Gaming

photo credits: paiN Gaming

TI8 Profile: Beware of paiN Gaming

This TI8 team profile focuses on paiN Gaming, the Brazilian team that has all that it needs to stir the pot in Vancouver, Canada.

 

The International 2018 will remain in the history books as the first one to have a Brazilian team competing. Before talking about this important moment for the Brazilian Dota, we should remind you that paiN’s captain is the man who brought the Brazilian flag for the first time ever at a Valve Major as well.  Danylo “KINGRD” Nascimento was part of SG e-sports in April 2017 and qualified for the Kiev Major. Back then, he and his team took down Team Secret and advanced into the quarterfinals of that event. To some extent, we could associate the Kiev Major with the moment when KINGRD and Brazilian the Dota began to truly flourish.

 

KINGRD is a regional star and a living legend in his country. He is one of the few players to be around since DotA days. He has now over 10 years of experience under his belt, but as himself said at ESL One Birmingham, it was only very recently when he found the confidence in his own capabilities to lead a team. KINGRD is not playing now for the first time under the paiN Gaming colors. He is in fact at his fourth enrolment with this organization which, interestingly enough, is the one with which he made his Dota 2 debut back in 2011. His first journey with paiN lasted nearly three years. He returned to paiN in September 2014 and spent another nine months with them. The third time he joined the Brazilian organization was for 10 months, from January to October 2016.  After trying to run a team of his own, Kingao +4, signed by SG e-sports later on, and after going through a few other organization, KINGRD came back once more where he feels like home. He joined paiN Gaming in November last year and he set a big goal ahead: The International 2018.

 

Tavo and KINGRDAt some point in this long journey of his, KINGRD met someone that would become his best friend. It was during the 2014-2015 paiN Gaming period when he played alongside Otávio “Tavo” Gabriel for the first time and since then the two became inseparable. In many aspects, they are the Brazilian equivalent of the Fly-N0tail friendship. The two became a trio when William “hFn” Medeiros joined paiN in 2015. Since then, KINGRD, Tavo, and hFn became the core, the mechanism of all the Brazilian teams they played for.

 

In a scene where, unfortunately, more often than not, we talked about drama subjects, team disbandment, breaking rules, lifetime bans, bad manners, etc, KINGRD, Tavo, and hFn were there to show everyone that SA Dota is not only about that. These three tell a story of dedication, friendship, trust and more important than anything else, a story about respect for the competitive scene and for their fans.

 

paiN Gaming that we know today as the team that qualified for TI8 had its fair amount of struggles to maintain a fixed roster. Four of the current members of paiN begun the DPC season at Midas Club Elite. The full roster of Midas migrated to paiN at the beginning of November 2017. They came at their new home with a qualifier spot already secured. The team was the winner of SA qualifiers for Captain Draft 4.0 Minor, however, by the end of the same month, November, Leonardo “Mandy” Viana decided to return to Midas. This is when paiN started to have a constant problem: the lack of a mid laner. They went to Captains Draft with their CEO, Arthur “PAADA” Zarzur standing in as a support while KINGRD switched to mid. KINGRD had to play in the mid lane for about a month, time in which paiN didn’t qualify to any other Major or Minor except for Galaxy Battles II: Emerging Worlds, which at that time was featured in the DPC system as a Major.

 

At the end of December paiN Gaming announced Aliwi “w33” Omar as a stand-in for the event, but a week later Valve revoked the Major status of that tournament. Nonetheless, the four Brazilians and w33 went to the Philippines but took only 5th-6th place. Although Galaxy Battles was a total mess in all aspects, one good thing came out of it. It was at this specific event when paiN met w33 for who he is as a person and w33 got to see a little bit of the Brazilian spirit. From there on, the Romanian mid laner, who went against all odds to place second at TI6, became over the months, the catalyst in paiN Gaming’s ascension through the DPC season.

W33 officially joined paiN Gaming and moved to Brazil mid-April and since then the squad made it to three Majors out of five possible.

 

paiN Gaming roster:

 – William “hFn” Medeiros
 – Aliwi “w33” Omar
 – Otávio “Tavo” Gabriel
 – Danylo “KINGRD” Nascimento
 – Heitor “Duster” Pereira

 

At their first Major (DAC) with w33 as a full member, paiN placed bottom four. After that, they went top 8 at EPICENTER XL. Their last Major appearance was at ESL One Birmingham where to everyone’s surprise they defeated Team Liquid twice in the group stage and took down Mineski and Fnatic to finish third in the main event.   

 

paiN Gaming by numbers in the 2017 – 2108 DPC season

  • Games played: 159
  • As Dire: 83
  • As Radiant: 76
  • Win rate: 57,86 %
  •  Wins: 92
  •   Losses: 67

 

Most of the paiN Gaming players have a fairly good experience in the competitive field. Their years of grinding developed them in versatile players, with great understanding of heroes limits. At the same time, they all excel with particular ones. hFn, for instance, is a beast Luna player. He is somewhat the type of a carry who prefers the illusion based heroes, Terrorblade, Anti-Mage, Morphling and Phantom Lancer being some of his all-time most played and most successful.

 

Tavo is a godly Sand King , however, he found the most success with Abaddon, Omniknight and Enigma, heroes that he played through this DPC season regardless if they were good in a  specific meta or not. He is also boasting over 70% win rate in this season with Nature’s Prophet and Doom.

 

One player who doesn’t exactly have the same level of experience with his teammates is Duster. But his talent is ridiculous. Duster is the youngest member of the team. He started his competitive career only towards the end of 2016 when he was 16 years old. He will turn 18 years old a week before TI8 commences, but after getting to know him a bit better, one would clearly see that he is already an extremely mature individual. After w33, he is perhaps the player who gets the least emotional while playing.

 

Duster is playing the sacrificial fifth for paiN, but, more often than not, he ends up to be the decisive factor in the team fights. Looking at his very recent Dazzle, Disruptor and Jakiro plays from ESL One Birmingham or at his Warlock plays in the TI8 qualifiers makes us understand that with the right guidance he can get far. Duster’s most played heroes during the DPC season are Disruptor, Ancient Apparition, Bane, Chen and Witch Doctor, but the ones on which he holds over a 70% win rate from at least 10 games played are Bane and Warlock.

 

KINGRD is in charge with the more aggressive support role. However, he is an extremely special player and perhaps one of the most versatile ones as well. From Invoker, Ember Spirit or Queen of Pain, to Lycan, Axe, Broodmother, Io, Earth Spirit orTusk there is no hero available in Dota 2 right now that he is afraid to play. After he reverted to the support position, in this season, KINGRD’s most played heroes are Sand King, Naga Siren, Tusk, Earth Spirit and Clockwerk.

There is one very interesting interaction between KINGRD and paiN Gaming’s new mid laner, w33. Earlier in the season, when w33 was trying to make a team of his own, MidOrFeed, he played support. And if paiN Gaming want to truly mess with someone, they potentially can at any time to come up with some wicked drafts given these two players’ hero pool and their ability to play different roles.

 

paiN gaming’s most played heroes from December 2017 – June 2018:

 

Hero Total Count Wins Losses Win Rate
Sand King 43 21 22 48,84%
Gyrocopter 30 17 13 56,67%
Disruptor 28 17 11 60,71%
Tiny 24 14 10 58,33%
Bane 24 17 7 70,00%
Death Prophet 24 14 10 58,33%
Ancient Apparition 23 13 10 56,52%
Naga Siren 18 10 8 55,56%
Tusk 18 14 4 77,78%
Omniknight 17 12 5 70,59%
Puck 17 11 6 64,71%
Razor 17 12 5 70,59%

 

paiN Gaming’s most successful hero combos December 2017 – June 2018

 

Heroes Total Count Wins Losses Win Rate
Gyrocopter + Disruptor 9 6 3 66,67%
Sand King + Death Prophet 8 6 2 75,00%
Bane + Sand King 8 6 2 75,00%
Tiny + Gyrocopter 7 5 2 71,43%
Sand King + Natures Prophet 7 5 2 71,43%
Naga Siren + Gyrocopter 6 6 0 100%

 

With w33’s arrival at paiN Gaming , the Brazilian squad started to visibly improve their performance.  Yet, for many skeptics the team is still a complete underdog going into TI8. But what we should take into consideration is what w33 brought to this team: confidence, a cool and clear mindset and a huge boost of morale. Since his arrival, the four Brazilians became from a gang of dudes playing with tons of passion, a true team that is aware of what needs to be done in order to win. W33 went public saying that he felt at the beginning of his journey with paiN like he was playing in a pub where four are yelling in a  language he doesn’t understand. Now, he calls the paiN Gaming guys his family, in which he puts a lot of trust.

W33 is known for his incredible ability to stay calm and collected regardless of who is his opponent. With this kind of attitude and mindset he won the Shanghai Major and then reached the grand finals at The International 2016. He is the block of ice that calms down the Brazilian volcano and with his presence at paiN Gaming it won’t come as a total surprise to see this team doing more than well in Vancouver.


Related:

TI 8 Profile: Team Liquid, on the Verge of Making History

TI 8 Profile: Newbee – Rise and Fall of a Chinese Giant

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