Both MVP HOT6ix and MVP Phoenix surprised Dota fans as the Korean squads made it past fan favorites Rave to take both first and second places at the TI5 Southeast Asian Qualifiers. While MVP Phoenix will have to fight through the Wild Card matches, MVP HOT6ix's win over their brother squad guaranteed them a spot at the main event.
Reddit user /u/VerbalB has translated a Korean interview with both March and Heen, former MVP Phoenix teammates currently playing for MVP Phoenix and MVP HOT6ix respectively. Here are some of the points that were covered.
When Lee "Heen" Seung-gon was a part of MVP Phoenix, there was no HOT6ix, but after a rough run at DAC, the team decided that it would be best for all to split up and MVP HOT6ix was created.
It was something that all of us had been thinking about. We were together for a long time, considering how quickly the scene shifts in Dota2. DAC was the final blow, but we thought it was best of us to split the team as our weaknesses had been surfacing. Looking back, it was a very good decision. We never thought both teams would be this strong.
There were just a short three months between the Dota 2 Asia Championships and the release of the TI5 qualifier invites, so MVP HOT6ix knew they needed to work hard if they wanted to be contenders. As Heen put it, "Even until two months ago, we were worried that we might not be even invited to the SEA qualifier. We just decided to practice without worrying about what would happen". That practice paid off.
Now that HOT6ix have made it to TI5's main event, the pressure is on. With so many strong teams in competition, it must be intimidating for a squad less experienced with international competition. Still, the team learned from their mistakes at DAC and have a plan.
Instead of us chasing the opponent or being dragged by their game plans, if our game play makes the opponent go “what the heck is happening?” I think we might have a chance. In other words, instead of following the “meta” or what is considered as the standard, we have to come up with our own strategy. [...] We will prepare thoroughly. We won’t be nervous and show everything we’ve got.
As for March, he described how MVP Phoenix dealt with the roster change and how they have worked to become stronger as a team before their next major challenge at the TI5 Wild Card matches.
We played in various positions, but nothing really worked out. We were unstable. It was a chaotic time. Looking back, we practiced like lunatics. I think that’s how we got the positions down. [...] One good thing we picked up from practicing a lot is that we became more flexible about the position. We didn’t mix up a lot during the qualifiers, but for the upcoming matches, we are going to try to pick good heroes and change positions according to what hero each player can play the best at. We have multiple scenarios in mind.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore eSports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.