As specified, the team is yet ‘unsponsored’. Updates will be published probably in a couple of weeks on that topic, as all the players are still under their respective contracts
Hello everyone! As you may have noticed, this year’s competitions started a few days ago. It will be intense as all the teams are now eager to win and prove the world their skill and dedication. Whereas in Asia the doubts are still very present concerning what truly happened in Seattle in August 2013, in Europe the mindset is definitely changed. Indeed, the myth about the Asian teams being one step ahead the western ones got completely demolished by Alliance’s performance in TI3. Every competitive European DotA player already played with/against or knows very well the Swedish crew: where they come from, their level of skill and game understanding, their DotA background and past results…. And even though they have been crowned kings because their skill was way above everyone else last year, people do know they are not untouchable. And this is one of the main motivations of the scene right now; the model of success brought by the Alliance allows all the other players to identify themselves in it. It is the usual: ‘If they were able to do it, why wouldn’t I?’ To be honest, the top-1 position isn’t comfortable at all. Indeed, by becoming the best of the best you also become the favorite target of every other team.
I usually stick to the in-game aspect, but for today’s blogging, I will be mainly writing about the team, or what remains of it, and the on-going projects that are related to it. First of all, allow me to do a little bit of background analysis with what actually happened during and a bit before TI2:
The mTw episode:
Sockshka, Funzii and myself have always aim for nothing else than the top level. mTw was built to achieve that goal, basically. Unfortunately, and that is what’s common between all the team I have been in, we started playing together pretty late: around march 2012. Back then, NaVi was dominating the scene with an indecent ease. No team had been able to win them whatsoever, whether it was online or offline. They crushed everybody at TI1, of course, ESWC, Starladder(s) etc… It was actually me and Socks who decided to form that team and to contact SyndereN & Kebap-. We did try many other players, but this line-up looked to work. We tried to find the right balance between in-game skill and good team atmosphere, which we definitely succeed in, at first! So we started to practice, hardcore mode. We knew perfectly we had the skill & game-understanding required to compete with top teams, and to qualify for the International II. In a matter of two month we became a force to reckon with in Europe, as we won many online tournaments, and amongst those the TI Western qualifier. But the goal still wasn’t achieved. Indeed, it has always been very frustrating for us to witness matches between the dominating teams and the other high level teams. There are always openings as even the best make mistakes, and plenty of those. They are beatable with the right strategies and proper execution. Obviously it is easier to say than to do, but still. That is a factor of motivation for us. We understand their weaknesses, and also often understand that their opponents do not, and that is the cause of our frustration. After our win in the qualifier, we knew dreamhack was coming, and started to prepare for it. That is actually the biggest achievement for mTw, in my opinion. We were the first to defeat NaVi in a lan situation, when we won DreamHack summer 2012, But what comes next is a bit sadder, as full of hopes we went into TI2 and got completely destroyed. Indeed, forming a team only a few months before such events is very dangerous, as when problems appear, you do not always get the time to solve them, assuming there is a way to solve them. That time around, it was because of a very bad team atmosphere (I’m not even sure we went into TI2 as a team to be honest). Anyway, that year we learnt that team bonding was at least as important as in-game preparation and strategies.
Quantic Gaming :
After the big disappointment that has been the international II, we collectively decided to take a break from competitive DotA ( Funzii, Sockshka & myself that is ). This brings us to the mont of april 2013 basically, when, keeping nevertheless a close eye on the pro scene we came to the same conclusion we had in 2012 : the overall level of play has insanely increased, but the dominating teams and the metagame they instored hold many weaknesses… We then had to find the right players and avoid, this time around, the mistakes of the past year. This is why we decided to approach Silent & Goblak. We knew Empire was going through troubles, with the departure of Funn1k and the very bad shape of the team. Those two players were (and still are) skilled, smart and experienced. But one of the most important thing was that they both played in teams with very bad mindset & atmosphere during important events, Darer & Moscow5 at TI II. They basically had the same experience we had on mTw so we knew that we would all, as a team, make sure it doesn’t happen again. But again, the come back was made few weeks prior to the western qualifier, and about 2-3 month before the International III. The road to Ti 3 was exactly the same, we rapidly grew and started wining, we eventually qualifier to Seattle by placing 2nd. At this stage, the top team was Alliance, they had just come back from China where they dominated the G-1 tournament. We were able to defeat them in the groupstage of DreamHack 2013, but lost to them in the grand finals on a 1-2 score. That team building was very different, as we had almost no practice games before all those events, it was quite the opposite of mTw. We favored the drafting and team bonding over anything else, and it worked out to a certain extent. Unfortunately the tournament in Seattle showed us that it wasn’t enough, once again, and the approach had to be more serious. The drafting at TI was awful, and the youth of the team made it so we had no plan B.
The frustration was really big after TI III. We proved ourselves many times we deserved a spot, not only in the top 16 teams in the world, but maybe even higher than that. Every year something different comes up and forces us to learn from our mistakes. I would say that some team are relatively new, and although they play a bit “shaky”, good conditions a bit of luck allow them to place decent in huge events. Whereas others have to go through all the possible mistakes in order to secure their spot. We lost because of low level of plays, we lost because of the lack of team spirit, because of the lack of practice, because of individual attitudes… I feel like there isn’t much more reasons to lose anymore… It might be time to start wining on a regular basis. So here it what’s up today :
We built a team of 5 skilled, experienced and hard-working players. The open-mindness and the personal stability are the most important criteria for this long-term project. As you may have noticed, the practice starts now, unlike other years, no more 2-months-before-event-come-back. This will offer us the time to practice our teamplay like never before, to optimize the drafting and possibly change (once again!) the meta-game, and last but not least, to face any slump the team is going to go through before important events. That’s the aim, I obviously would never claim that I am 100% sure we will make it, that would be being arrogant & cocky, a behaviour I really dislike. But I am confident we can achieve that goal, else why would I even be involved?
Our line-up will be the following :
Brian “MaNia” Strandby
Mikkel “miGGel” Berg
Adrian “FATA-” Trinks
Titouan “Sockshka” Merloz
Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs
I wanna seize this opportunity to give a very special shoutout to Funzii, our mate but more importantly our friend! He decided to retire from competitive DotA and DotA in general. I wish him the best of luck, and thank him for all he has done during the past two years, he is very unique as player.
You will have to wait a bit more concerning the sponsorship, as it is still being negotiated at the moment. I’ll give updates as soon as we take a decision. Once again, I emphasize the serious of this year’s project. We will aim for nothing but top level plays and strategies, and I hope we can manage to offer the viewers some great DotA. Every team aims for that, but for once we’ll handle things differently, by starting off right now.
I want to thank Goblak & Silent for Quantic , we are still very good friends, and I can’t emphasize enough on how much I was impressed by their in-game sense. I really wish them the greatest success with their future DotA-related projects!
The next articles will of course be in-game related, that is what they are meant to be anyway. But I felt like I had to clarify the situation once and for all, as we already started playing official matches, in EMS cup one which we won, and with our second STLV day. We are not hungry for results yet, the more wins the better, but we have a very long-term vision on this team building, we will take it step by step. So arm yourselves with patience, and I can promise you that you won’t be disappointed. For all the Quantic-spirit fans, we are still Quantic. We will obviously keep thinking out of the box if it’s needed. Thank you all for the support, it really matters a lot.
PS : you can also follow me on twitter, @7ckngMadDOTA, and see you in the next matches =), Cheers!!