Ninjas in Pyjams are back to Dota 2 starting with this 2018-2019 competitive season and their first LAN appearance was made at the ongoing ESL One Hamburg 2018. We caught with NiP’s support Martin “Saksa” Sazdov, who has briefly played with Peter “ppd” Dager last season at OpTic before moving to China to try his luck there. We took the opportunity to ask Saksa how was the Chinese experience, why it didn’t work out and how he got to join NiP.
Hello Saksa, and thanks for talking to us today, how do you feel, how is the Hamburg experience so far?
It’s been very pleasing to be at this event. What ESL did for us was better than we actually could have imagined. The people from ESL tried very hard to keep us happy and they succeeded.
Alright, I’d like to go a bit back in your career, at the point where you left Planet Odd and you decided to go to China to play with Chuan at Echo International. However, we didn’t see that much of that team, so could you tell us what happened with that project?
After I left Planet Odd I made a lot of bad decisions team wise, I chose to play with the wrong people. The problem with Echo International was that we had five people kind of similar to each other, we had no in game leader, everyone was the similar type of person, the quiet guy, you know and we played a few times and we realized how low we were compared to the expectations we had.
Did you learn a bit of Chinese while you’ve been playing over there?
No, not even that.
Fast forward to the present days, you are now playing once again alongside PPD. How did that happen?
I actually talked to PPD during the shuffle and I asked how is he doing eam wise and he said he just needs a position 4. So, I said ok, I’ll switch the role to 4 so we are here now.
At some point, you were the only support player to stay at 8K MMR by only playing supports in pubs and that’s why I would like to hear your advice for the pub players in regards to what can become a trend in pubs as well after this event. Should pub players take the ESL One Hamburg example and start to play LC, Brewmaster, Tiny, Ursa or any other beefy cores in the support role?
I think people are playing these kind of safe lane cores in the support position because Stout Shield is a very strong starting item now and they can play Ursa, Brewmaster, Axe, LC so they can protect their carry. These heroes are good just in the five to 10 minutes of the game, then their purpose is to buy wards. Because of the laning importance, these heroes are much better than the normal supports because they can tank more, but that’s only for the early game. So, I guess this will change with a new patch, in a new meta.
What would you like to see changed with the new patch?
I’m not sure. Maybe just buff my heroes if possible so I can play better, thanks. And I would like to see a change to the Bounty runes because I feel like they have to big of an impact on the game overall right now. Whatever team has the early lead, they can protect their lanes by getting the bounties, so yeah I would really want to see a change to that.
What would you say was the main problem for NiP here, at ESL One Hamburg 2018?
I think that we just had the wrong ideas on how should we play the games. We played much worse than we usually do, but I hope we learnt from this and we will do better at the Kuala Lumpur Major.
Just before coming here you won an online event, the GG.Bet Invitational where you didn’t have any other Tier 1 teams to fight against. Do you think the result there might have been deceiving, put you in a state of mind where you said, we’re strong, this was easy, etc?
Come to think of it, it’s probably true. It makes sense a bit. We were a bit unprepared for the teams here, maybe we underestimated them a bit, we perhaps thought this will be a walk in the park. But we took our lesson and I hope we will do much better than this at the Major.
Alright, then we wish you the best of luck there, and if you have any shout outs at the end of our interview, please do.
Shout out to the people who cheered for us here and to those who watched this event from home and thank you for the interview.
More interviews from ESL One Hamburg 2018:
– 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”