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photo by: StarLadder

Chinese outlet uuu9.com talked with Vici Gaming’s coach Bai “rOtK” Fan after his team series in the MDL Disneyland® Paris Major upper bracket quarterfinals where they got bested by Ninjas in Pyjamas. Coach rOtK answered a few questions regarding his team performance so far in Paris, talked about TI9 and the importance of this year’s TI for the Chinese scene and he also revealed a few of his plans for the last month before the biggest tournament of the year.

The interview was conducted and published in Chinese by uuu9 and we have their permission to share with the Western readers the English translation of their interview. Special thanks to Yuhui Zhu who provided the translation for VPEsports.

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As Major winners, VG got knocked down to the lower bracket by NiP in the first round of main event. Did you expect this to happen before the series?

Yeah, how should I put this, our lineup in game 1 was not good. In game 3 we had a draft that we are familiar with, but our lane strategy, as well as the whole laning phase, were disastrous. It was not supposed to happen. After the series, we watched the replay for hours and hopefully, this defeat can teach us a lesson so we don’t repeat similar mistakes.

The skill gap between teams at the Majors is getting smaller. Who do you think are the strongest teams right now?

The strongest and most stable team is Secret. VP dropped to the lower bracket at the last Major as well, but they still managed to make it to the grand finals, so they are also pretty strong. For now, Secret and VP are the strongest and most stable teams.

All 3 Chinese teams are in the lower bracket now, what went wrong?

Chinese teams haven’t been in their best shape for a while. Most Chinese teams were in the lower bracket in the recent tournaments and barely won against top tier teams. We did achieve some good results earlier, but it was because of brackets and good seeding.

There are rumors saying that you have the intention to organize a pre-TI bootcamp for Chinese teams, how does that go?

If I go to the other teams now and I tell them: ”Hey, let’s bootcamp together and practice 12 hours a day”, I don’t think they will agree. I don’t think it’s necessary at the current stage either. When the last Major ends, I will contact other Chinese teams that are already qualified for TI9 to scrim together with longer practice hours and higher practice quality.

Do Chinese teams have a shot winning this TI? Will failure to win TI this year have some negative impact on the Chinese Dota scene?

I can’t say for sure, but if a Chinese team doesn’t win TI this year, it will be really unfortunate. After all, it’s the first TI held in China. So what we can do is to try our best, the 1-month long bootcamp before TI will be very important.

The theme color of TI9 will be purple, just like TI4. Are you confident to reach the grand finals this year just like you did at TI4?

I can only say I have the confidence, I will try my best and leave the rest to fate. Before TI I plan to encourage our players to dye their hair purple. Just for ceremonial purposes.

credits: uuu9


In Liquid’s game against EG, they pulled out something unorthodox: Lv1 4-man mid and tried to take down tier one before the first wave of creeps. Have you tried or experimented similar strategies?

It’s creative but has little practical value. Many western players/teams do have more strategies and are more creative comparing to Chinese teams, but the one you mentioned is a little bit too “creative”. Had they played normally and Abaddon skilled Coil, Morphling would have had a great game. But Abaddon skilled passive which directly cost Miracle’s lane.

By observing your recent games, I’d say VG is a late game-oriented team. You have really high win percentage when you put Ori or Paparazi on ultra-late game cores. But it does make your draft more one-dimensional. Have you thought about making some changes?

While we do pick some late-game heroes like Medusa, most of the times we are more likely to pick a fast-tempo lineup. We picked Nature’s Prophet twice yesterday, although this hero becomes irrelevant once the laning phase is lost.

Why do you always pick Lina for Ori?

Sometimes things are more complicated than they seem to be, take this question as an example: For a while Ori was in a bad shape and Lina is the hero he feels comfortable with. When a player is in a bad shape, you should let him play heroes that make him confident. And people see this and say “rOtK picks only Lina for Ori” which is not true. In the drafting phase, I would pick any hero for my players as long as they are confident with it.

A lot of people are comparing Ame to Paparazi, because both of them are Chinese top tier carries. Which one of them is stronger or what’s the difference between their respective playstyle?

I think they share similar playstyle and are equally strong. If you have to choose a stronger one, well, in Dota it’s also winner takes it all. The player with better achievements should be considered stronger. Ame was the TI runner up last year, therefore he’s stronger. To put it plainly, players with better TI result are stronger.

Anything else you’d like to say to your fans?

Thanks to all Chinese Dota fans for your continued support throughout the years. Please be a little more tolerant and patient. Sometimes we win, sometimes we don’t, but the only thing we can guarantee is that we will always do our best.

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