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photo by: DreamHack

The DreamLeague Major came to an end with Vici Gaming finally breaking the second place curse. At the end of a thrilling bo5 grand finals that went all the way down to a decisive match between VG and Virtus.pro, the Chinese team, who less than a month ago were close to making a roster change, are today the Major Champions.

Right after their impressive victory in Stockholm, we caught with Vici Gaming’s mid-laner Zeng “Ori” Jiaoyang. The interview wouldn’t have been possible without  Jack “KBBQ” Chen who was kind enough to help with the translation for us.

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Big congrats on the Major Victory, Ori. Let me start by telling you that in Kiev, after you guys won the Minor I spoke to Paparazzi, who back then declared that a realistic goal for this Major would have been top 6. When did that goal change, when in this event did you started to feel that you can win it all?

After we played versus PSG.LGD we realized that we have a pretty good chance to actually win the whole thing.

Were you ever scared about a possible grand finals matchup with Virtus.pro or did you have Team Secret as being the end boss?

They are both very strong teams and I’d say we were equally worried about one of these two getting to the grand finals. You might be a little bit worried before the match, but once the draft is going and the game starts you forget about all these things and you just play.

We saw how Virtus.pro and, more precisely, Ramzes defeated PSG.LGD with the Terrorblade always being able to Sunder the right Naga, so he clearly he is one of the greatest TB players. The hero was an important piece in the last three drafts of the grand finals as well. My question is, was the TB pick from VG side in game 3 and 4 actually a counter-pick, like you don’t want to ban it but you also didn’t want VP to play it either?

No, we didn’t really think about that. Terrorblade is just one of our comfort heroes and rOtk felt like it was a good opportunity to pick it.

We, in the western scene, tend to believe that rOtk is drafting whatever he wants, and then he tells you “look, this a good draft, go win”. Is it like that or does he actually consults with you guys, tell us, what is happening in the VG booth during the drafting stage?

Most of the times he has the openers prepared and he does them without talking to us. But when it gets to individual heroes in certain situations we give him feedback, we kind of suggest what we would like and from there on he is more of a guide in some sense, he guides us to how the final draft should look like.

At the end of the grand finals tonight, when you came out of the booth to lift the trophy, he gathered you in a circle on stage and he told you something. Can you reveal to the fans what did coach rOtk tell you guys in that moment?

He told to us that this is a new chapter, a new beginning and he encouraged us to keep fighting together down the road.

This makes sense for a couple of reasons. One is that you finally broke the second place curse and the other one is because of the storyline behind this victory. I’m talking about the Fade story. He left the team after you failed in this Major qualifiers, he came back when you lost the first series in the Minor qualifiers. He didn’t travel with the team at MDL Macau and then he comes back for the Minor LAN in Kiev, you guys won that, came here in consequence, and won the DreamLeague Major.

Yeah, after the Major qualifiers we felt like something has to change and it kind of happened to be at the same time when Fade felt a little bit down. I think what we learned from this whole situation is that everyone has to calm down and pick up the momentum, take it one game at a time and figure it out on the way.

I’m glad to hear that you guys had the patience and wisdom to go through this entire situation without losing a player. Let’s drop the serious tone and let me ask you what kind of flavor had that lollipop that rOtk brought during the drafts?

I actually don’t know. We didn’t even know he had a lollipop at first. When we saw him, we thought it’s really dumb, that you know, it’s ridiculous.

A new patch was released immediately after the grand final was over. I guess you didn’t see it yet, but I would like to hear from you what changes do you think should have been done.

I hope that Guardian Greaves and Oracle got nerfed.

I have good news, IceFrog read your mind, both are nerfed. Thanks a lot for taking this interview, once again congrats on the Major victory and if you have any shout-outs to make at the end of our chat, please do.

I would like to thank all the fans and all my teammates for trying hard and doing our best to break the curse together.

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We are grateful to KBBQ for helping with the translation for this interview and we wish him good fortune with the new Forward Gaming line-up!

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