At the end of the group stage matches at The International 2018, we had the opportunity to catch up with the OpTic Gaming mastermind Peter “ppd” Dager. OpTic were heading into the main event of TI8 from an upper bracket seed after three hard-fought days in the groups. We discussed how he and his team managed to make the spectacular comeback on the last day of the groups and what kind of results are they expecting going forward. ppd even gave us an optimistic and a realistic prediction for OpTic’s TI8 main event run.
Hi Peter, congratulations on the group stage run and the nice comeback through the last day. How do you feel now that you guys have actually made it into the upper bracket of the main event?
I feel relieved to just continue to be in the tournament. To be actually in the winner’s bracket is almost a surprise to be honest considering the rough first three days we had in the groups. I feel excited to play the first series on the main stage and it’s an honor to have the defending champions as our first opponents. It’s a prestigious and exciting series for all of us.
You just said that it’s almost a surprise to be in the upper bracket. Could you tell us what happened with you guys through the first three days of the group stages and what was the catalyst, what changed on the last day for OpTic Gaming?
We had a lot of the tougher opponents at the beginning of the group stage which maybe shook our confidence a little bit. We started to question some of the heroes we were picking, to question the way we were playing them.
To be honest, coming to Vancouver we didn’t have the most successful bootcamp and after the Supermajor we’ve become a weaker team. TI qualifiers were a struggle for us as well, but going into the fourth day of the group stage here, we had to play against paiN Gaming and Vici Gaming, two teams that we were very confident to go up against. We were also very confident about the tiebreaker with Newbee so we just reminded ourselves that everyone has players that excel at certain heroes and that you have to find something within the meta that works for your squad. That’s what we were really focused on going in day four.
The group stage meta kind of took the community by surprise. Nobody really saw coming those cheesy, almost pub strats, with Wraith King, Venge-Weaver combos and the many right click heroes. Would you say that was just an easy way to hide strategies for the main event and did you expect the group stage to unfold the way it did in terms of heroes picked?
I don’t think we look at any of the strategies as cheesy anymore. I feel like everybody in this tournament should be playing what it takes to win.We don’t view any hero as being cheesy. We look at each hero as being a different type of tool that helps you to win the game. Maybe some teams have some more talented players like, for example, 33 plays an incredible Broodmother and that’s a tool that we have and other teams should worry about. We are not afraid to use it if they are not going to respect that and we view the other teams exactly in the same way. We do our best to understand the strategies and the weapons that they have to use against us and we try to prepare for that as much as we can.
Would you say Techies might be a tool that will be used in the main event?
I don’t think we are going to see Techies at all. If he would have been just a little bit stronger, maybe people would have taken the time to practice it.
You said it’s an honor for you guys to play against Liquid, but is there any team that you would rather avoid to play against?
There is not really anybody we target in a way or another. We just want to progress as far as we can and hopefully we will play against the easiest teams, hopefully we get good matchups. I’d love to play against a bunch of Chinese teams because that’s kind of where I, and we as a team, excel. Maybe LGD. I feel like we have a better chance against them than versus VP.
You had a couple of matchups with Virtus.pro recently and none went your way. Is there a mental block that has been created when it comes to this team?
I don’t know if it’s a mental block but I know that Ramzes is probably the most talented player right now and he puts so much pressure on anyone. They are a really, really good team and when they play their best it’s very hard to say that anybody is better than them. We haven’t had a series against them where we felt that we are the better team, but this TI is going to be a journey of upsets for us throughout the entire event.
What’s an optimistic result for OpTic Gaming at TI8 and what would you say it’s a realistic one?
Optimistic would be, beat Team Liquid and get top six at least and realistic I feel like we lose to Liquid and play in the lower bracket against either Fnatic or Team Serenity and I feel like we can definitely beat any of these two. So, realistic it’s probably top eight and that would actually be an incredible result for us.
Alright, I wish you the best of luck through the entire event and we are looking forward to see some of the possible upsets happening. Any shutouts to end of our interview?
Shoutout to anybody who is reading this, taking the time out of their day to see what do I have to say. It’s an honor for me so, thank you so much for taking an interest and hopefully, you watch our games and hopefully you will enjoy them!
More interviews from The International 2018:
– xNova – PSG.LGD Interview: “I wouldn’t say this meta is suitable for us”
– N0tail – OG Interview: “The deny mechanic takes some of the fun away from the game”
– Sylar VGJ.Thunder – Interview: ”I will retire when I’ll feel I’ve become a burden to my teammates”
– 33 – OpTic Gaming: “I don’t know where some of the changes to heroes are coming from”
– Resolut1on – VGJ.Storm : “OG is still an interesting matchup for me”
– Solo – Virtus.pro: “I believe he [KuroKy] is the best leader”
– Fly – Evil Geniuses: “I will get to my side of the story one day, but right now my focus is completely on TI”
– Iceberg – Winstrike: ”If you are afraid to play someone here, then you just shouldn’t be playing at TI”
– XinQ – Team Serenity: “I was wild and out of control”
– No[o]ne – Virtus.pro: “I hate the mid lane right now”
– KuKu – TNC – “If you are playing good Dota, there are no individual plays”
– PSG.LGD – Chalice: “Virtus.pro drafts are not that good”
– TNC – Raven: “We messed up the drafts”
– Team Liquid – MinD_ContRoL: “We picked Optic because we don’t have a good history against Team Secret”
– paiN Gaming – Tavo: “Every defeat is a lesson…I’d just rather not lose here, you know?”
– OptTic Gaming – Pajkatt “OpTic is better than any of the teams I’ve played in before”
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