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We had the opportunity to talk to Alliance’s offlaner Neta “33” Shapira at MDL Chengdu Major. We’ve touched a couple of topics with him, including the rivalry with Team Liquid, the result in the upper bracket quarterfinals versus TNC, and how qualifiers slots distribution should look like moving forward into the season.

The interview was conducted by Yuhui Zhu before Alliance’s lower bracket series against Team Liquid.


Hello Neta, thank you for taking the time for this interview and let me go straight to the subject: is TNC simply unstoppable or the upper bracket quarter final result versus is them is a mix of them being on point and perhaps you guys making a few mistakes?

I think we showed that they are not unstoppable, we took one game from them, and we came really close to winning the second game. I think we had a better draft there, but we made a couple of mistakes that eventually cost us the game. They had this Naga-Disruptor combo, which was really hard for us to deal with, but I think we could have easily won that game. We just failed to hit our timings, we played a little bit too slow and we got punished for it.

We all know Nikobaby as the Faceless Void master, but in this tournament, we discovered so many other heroes he is truly excelling on. This guy is crushing it with Drow, Leshrac, Night Stalker, does he have more surprises for us?

Niko is just a really good player. For instance, we didn’t really practice with Night Stalker before this tournament, but when we suggested trying it here, he was like “sure I can play it,” and he owned with it.

Is there a real rivalry between you and Liquid or is it just in the fans’ imagination?

From our side, there’s definitely no rivalry, because we just joined a new organization, we had nothing to do with the old Alliance, the current Liquid. Maybe, from their side, they might see it as a rivalry. Maybe they want to prove to the Alliance fans that they made the right choice. Maybe they want to prove themselves and that’s why they might feel some sort of pressure when playing against us. I don’t know, but for us, there is nothing like that, they are just another team.

You are now in this situation where the first direct confrontation between you two at the Major will happen in the lower bracket, with elimination on the line. What are your feelings going up against Team Liquid?

We scrimed with them quite a bit before this Major, so I guess both of us kind of know each other’s strats, or we know each other better than other teams I would say. We will see how it goes, but I like our chances. 

We’ve talked to Fata at DreamLeague Rotterdam last month, and he said that for now you guys aren’t looking for a coach. Has that changed after playing on a few tournaments or do you stick to the initial plan?

No, it hasn’t changed yet. It’s not like a permanent decision that we don’t want a coach, it’s just that right now we want to figure out things on our own. Of course, if any good opportunity shows up, if any of the tier one coaches wants to coach us, we will consider it. We are not against having a coach, we just don’t want to rush with this, and we don’t want to just try things out if it’s not really necessary.

In the past two seasons you played alongside PPD. What do you cherish the most from those years, what did you take with you after being side by side with him for a rather long time?

Just the experience overall. We had some good times and some bad times when we played together. We have some tournaments that we won, which obviously, was nice and that’s about it. 

We are going to have regional qualifiers pretty soon after this Major and everyone expects that Secret, the Kuro team, and perhaps OG, to be back for that. What do you think about the slots allocations, should Europe get back the extra slot starting with the Leipzig Major?

For these coming qualifiers I think three slots will be justified because the big boys will be back. But if us and the current Liquid continue to grow and do even better, and if all these teams that took a break come back, and will also be super good, as we all expect them to be, I think Europe should get even 4 slots with the third Major. I guess the Leipzig Major results will also have a say in that.

Alright, we wish you the best of luck going further in the season and thanks a lot for taking the time to talk to us.


More interviews from MDL Chengdu Major:

Ghostik: “You can always learn from your loss if you accept it”

Armel: “It’s really hard to make a case for SEA to keep the 3 qualifiers slots”

Dy: “This year, rOtk has given us an order“

Boxi: “I actually hope to go at least top 4”

K1: “I think we are a rather unique team for Peru”

Abed: “I want to see Ranked Roles gone with 7.23”

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