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We had the chance to talk to Artour “Arteezy” Babaev on the finals day at ESL One Hamburg 2018. We took the opportunity to ask about how Evil Geniuses dynamic changed after Fly and s4 arrived at the team, he gave us his prediction for who will win the event in Hamburg, and he also voiced his concerns going up into the Kuala Lumpur Major.

 Hello Artour, and thank you for taking the time to talk to us so early in the morning and on such a cloudy day. It’s the finals day here at ESL One Hamburg 2018 and before we go into other questions, I’d like to hear your prediction for who is going to win the whole thing here.


Because of the matchups, I will say that will beat Secret and most probably they will beat Vici Gaming the grand finals. But then if Secret beat VP now in the lower bracket finals, then Vici will win the tournament.


Ok, let’s go a bit back to TI8, where I think you did very well, top three is a pretty good result considering that you shuffled so close in time to the event. What are Fly and S4 bringing to the team, why did you guys feel the need to make that change?


First of all, there is a natural connection between Fly and Bulba, the way they think about Dota is very similar, so it’s pretty easy for them to collaborate. All we had to do was to just play a few games to get some synergy going, to tune with each other and that was also very easy to achieve because, at some point, all of us played with each other on different teams or even previous EG rosters. Cr1t and Fly played together in the past, me and s4 played with each other for a while.

But I think, the big thing of why we were successful so fast after we made the shuffle is because we find a solution to all the things we lacked with the all the other teams that we played with. With Fly and S4’s arrival we finally had a captain and a super strong offlaner, we have someone to make the calls in the game and just these few things helped us to become successful right away.


Unfortunately, you couldn’t show the team’s full potential here at ESL One Hamburg, because of SumaiL’s visa problem. Is he good to go for the Kuala Lumpur Major?


Yeah, I think it’s all good for the Major because he just came here, in Hamburg today, so he solved this visa. He wanted to watch us play in the grand finals, but we had to tell him “sorry bro, it won’t happen.”


What are the expectations for the Kuala Lumpur Major?


Well, we haven’t practiced at all. We were hoping to use this event as a practice tool but then Sumail couldn’t make it so we are going to try to practice as much as possible once we get to Malaysia. We will arrive there five days before the event and we will use those days to get a small boot camp going on in an internet cafe there, I think. We actually learned a lot from this event and we aim for a top-three finish at the Major.


The new DPC season has just five Majors and these events have a lot of points to offer. Basically, winning a Major now is pretty much enough to qualify for TI9. What’s your opinion on how the DPC system works now?


I feel like the system is pretty good for the tier two teams, I think that the Minors monetary value will help them a lot as it’s very unlikely that we will see many top-tier teams playing in those. The Minors are also a good way for these tier two teams to get the experience that they need to break into tier one ranks, but for tier one teams I’m not sure how effective this system will be.

For example, we get to play qualifiers for the Majors and then there is a big gap between those and the actual LAN, and I would have liked to play a Minor and then a Major, or anyways more LANs before the Major to get more tournament experience on the patches before playing in the Major, because it is like you said, this season one Major victory can potentially send you to TI.

I guess the biggest concern for me regarding this new season is when the patches will be released and how frequent they’ll come. It was said that after TI8 the patches will slow down and right now it’s definitely like that, I mean we are still playing on the TI patch and although I think everyone is kind of bored with this patch, as far as I know, the Kuala Lumpur Major will be played on the same patch. And to be honest, this is something I’m struggling with right now. At this tournament I didn’t feel very motivated, I feel that all the heroes I play got nerfed and nothing really got buffed, so it’s not very exciting for me.


Ok, then what would be the changes you would like to see in the next big patch?


I don’t really want any mechanical or economy changes. There’s a lot of people saying that kill gold needs to be changed, AOE gold for when you get two people around the kill, but I’m not really concerned about these aspects, I’m more concerned about the heroes and the viability of the heroes because right now, it feels like there are just six carries that are way better than the other ones. And from these six, four are getting banned so you are left with two heroes to spam over and over again.

Understood, I hope you will find the motivation in Kuala Lumpur and I wish you and EG safe travel there. Any shout-outs you might want to make at the end of our interview?


I will, of course, give a shout-out to my sponsors and to the EG fans, we just had a signing session early in the morning here, in Hamburg, and we were super impressed with how many of you showed up, so shout-out to everyone who was here in Hamburg cheering for us!

More interviews from ESL One Hamburg 2018:

– Saksa: “After I left Planet Odd I made a lot of bad decisions team-wise”
– Universe: “Moving to SEA was a pretty crazy decision”
– Kpii: “Mineski was the best offer that I had”
– Solo: “ArtStyle had no fresh ideas and he realized this by himself”
– Fenrir: “I and Fy are in fact inseparable”

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