Andrey "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko is a veteran of the CIS' Dota 2 scene and the captain of Gambit Esports' first-ever Dota 2 squad. The team just recently moved into a new gaming house and are making preparations ahead of the International 2017 qualifier.
After his move, ALWAYSWANNAFLY took the time to talk to theScore esports about joining Gambit Esports and the young talent he has on his team.
First off, congrats on being signed to Gambit Esports. It’s been a little while since we’ve seen you with an established organization, which was Team Spirit I believe. How do you feel being part of an organization again and what are your first impressions of Gambit, since this is their first time getting into Dota 2?
Thanks a lot. It's very cool, to be a part of an organization, which motivates you to achieve and win more!
Despite the fact that it's their first experience in Dota 2, we have a good team. There are two experienced players and two young players, so we will work and try to improve.
The team’s roles seem pretty set, in terms of positions (support, carry, etc.), but who’s the team captain and who is in charge of the draft and shot-calling?
Yes, I'm the captain and I'm responsible for the draft, but we try to pick and decide on the characters together. Each player has his input.
You’re pretty well known in the CIS scene and the general Dota scene, and same goes to Eugene "chshrct" Kastrama and Danil "Bignum" Shehovtsov since their time with Power Rangers, however, who are Nikita "Daxak" Kuzmin and Zaur "Cooman" Shakhmurzaev? How did you discover them and come to form a team with them (Thug Life)? Are they the next SumaiL/RAMZES?
I knew Daxak and played with him in pubs. I noticed Cooman when he played as a stand-in for Team Empire. It's too early to compare them with SumaiL or RAMZES, but the potential is there!
Since the release of 7.00 in December last year, there’s been at least one patch every month and we’re now in patch 7.06c. What are your thoughts on so many changes? Is it refreshing to have a constantly evolving game, or is it frustrating to have such an unstable game?
I personally like everything done to Dota, apart from talents. I think they are imbalanced, but generally it's a pleasure to observe and play.
What are your thoughts on the meta and perhaps the direction IceFrog seems to be taking the game? How have the changes been affecting your gameplay, and how has they affected gameplay for your team?
Unfortunately, I can’t provide a specific answer, but we like this patch.
The International 2017 is on the horizon and likely a big goal for you guys, how are you and Gambit planning to prepare for qualification? Any big bootcamps planned? Are you guys looking for more support staff (coach, analyst, etc.)?
We have recently arrived to our gaming house in Kiev and are practicing in anticipation of the qualifier. We don't have a coach, but a proper one would be relevant addition to our team.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Dennis "Tarmanydyn" Gonzales is a news editor for theScore esports who enjoys whiskey, D&D and first-picking
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