ESL One Hamburg 2018 was a rough first big LAN event for Mineski, who are starting the new season with nearly a completely new team. Perhaps one of the most surprising acquisition of theirs this season is Damien “kpii” Chok, who is now back to the SEA region after two years and a half spent in China with Newbee. We took the opportunity and talked to Kpii in Hamburg after the group stage matches, trying to learn about his reasons for leaving China, about what happened at this event with Mineski and what are the team’s plans from here on.
Hi Kpii and thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start with an easy question, how do you find Hamburg overall, how is the event set up and how is ESL treating you?
The event is really nice, very well organized, and yeah the hotel and the way ESL took care of the players here exceeded all expectations. We haven’t been out, to the city so far, but I guess we will have some time for that now.
Alright, could you walk us through what happened after TI8 and why did you decide to stop playing in China?
Obviously, when a team has bad results at TI there will be shuffles. It was Newbee’s case as well and I felt like I need to play in a different region. I wanted to play in a different environment, but of course, there are not that many options, so it was either SEA, NA or Europe. I guess Mineski was the best offer that I had and at the same time, it was the team I believed in the most, so I just chose to go with them.
It’s been almost two months since you joined them, so what would you say is the big difference between Mineski and your former team, Newbee?
To be honest, it’s not that much of a difference in the end. I feel like in SEA things are less strict and so it’s in Mineski compared to Newbee.
Did you actually have time to boot camp, to gather and practice for this event or is this just the starting point for the team and you will begin the actual practice after ESL One Hamburg?
We actually had quite a long time for practice. We had like a month to prepare before coming here, but we took a break at some point and after we came back from vacation we had about two weeks or so to prepare for this and for the Red Bull event. So, I would say that although we had a decent time to prepare, we just didn’t show it here.
Well, the Red Bull Guardians event went very well for you, congrats on that win, by the way. But what would you say happened to you guys here, what was the problem, what could you have done better as a team?
We didn’t play to our potential, and I would like to look at our performance as a team, and not point at individuals. We felt the nerves kicking in, we simply didn’t execute as well as we know we can do it. Before coming here, we definitely played better in scrims and stuff. Again, as a team, we are pretty new and I think we just need a bit more experience together, LAN experience, but I’m confident that by the next event we will improve a lot.
In the new Mineski you have one newcomer to the scene, JT who is also your carry, while Mushi transitioned to support, then there’s you and Moon who strike me as the calm, collected guys and then you have this ball of energy Febby, who is just next to us right now. How is the synergy going between all of you, and how do you deal with the always joyful Febby?
Oh it’s hard to not get along with these guys. It’s always nice and very good to have someone like Feby on the team, someone who can keep a good atmosphere in the team. It’s like a natural thing, when you see him happy, when you see him so joyful, you are happy.
What are the Mineski’s plans after this event?
The same thing, we are going to practice and practice and we will play in the next Major qualifiers, which I think will take place right after the Kuala Lumpur Major and of course we will watch the upcoming Major.
A lot of the players we’ve talked to here said that they are kind of expecting a new big patch because they got bored with this current one. How do you feel about this, are you on the same page?
Yeah, I want a new patch, Dota is very stall right now. It’s kind of the same heroes picked over and over again, everyone is playing the same way, the same style so I think a new patch will be refreshing for everyone, the players and the viewers. I hope the new patch will come as fast as possible, wished it could have been just after this event but I guess that will not be recommended because the Minor starts this coming Monday.
One last question, is there a certain change you hope it will happen in the new patch?
There are a lot of hero changes that have to be done, nerf some, buff others, as I said, I think that right now we got stuck with a very small hero pool.