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"Some people here do what they want, and neither I nor the organization have control over it". BetBoom coach analyses the loss in Berlin Interview

BetBoom coach Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov gave a straightforward interview to Russian caster CrystalMay, after his team's elimination from Berlin Dota Major 2023. The coach appeared very critical of his players and of himself, pointing at a lack of unified vision and a chaotic approach to strategy.

Ivanov sounded quite disappointed — understandably so, finishing top 13-14 for a team of such caliber is a major failure. His explanation of failure at Major in Berlin could be boiled down to BetBoom not having a real leader, who is able to control the direction of the team. That really hurt the adaptation to the new patch on the fly, which players have to do due to very close release date.

With every tournament day, I felt like it was harder to play. And our opponents did nothing for it to happen, it was as if we pushed ourselves to that state. We were kind of mentally drained, giving away too much energy. We have way too many views and opinions on what to do or which heroes to pick, and these [takes] are shifting daily. You try to use a certain pool and develop these ideas, but half of the team thinks that everything should be drastically changed.

For example, Gaimin Gladiators pick something, and someone says: "Let's follow this idea". That creates chaos, takes a lot of energy to deal with. So, that's why I had this feeling that every day it was harder and harder to draft and play. I think some players would agree with me. And not because our opponents were prepared, but because we were confusing ourselves and losing confidence.

Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov
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BetBoom started the group with decent results, having a lot of ties against good teams. But on day 4 they lost to a group outsider Execration, and ended up in tie-breaker. And judging from Boo1k's words, the team was trying too hard, instead of sticking to what was working.

We were trying to do more than necessary, so we're always stressed. We were on second place in our group, everything's fine, let's develop what we have, but in the end, we're constantly jumping around. One guy says to do one thing, another thinks otherwise, and a third one says we need to draft like that. As a result, we have a shitton of opinions in the team. And you need to filter them, wasting too many resources.

We were saying every evening that we need to focus on our game. [And every morning things were starting over?] No, it's just you can try to push this, but in this team it doesn't work this way. If someone has an opinion, he will say it and will try to push it forward. It doesn't matter what's going on, what's the result, what's going to happen next. And there is nothing you can do when you are already at the event.

Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov
Source: BetBoom

Boo1k and BetBoom cannot bring players to order

New patch caught players off guard, and they were coming up with different ideas on how to play, but as the interview was unfolding, it became obvious that Boo1k thinks that the issues are not just about the patch adaptation.

We will always have a lot of opinions, that's just the nature of these players. [How to turn this into something productive?] It will come with experience. I think, it is all decided by the game itself. It doesn't matter what's going on outside, you could hate each other outside, but if you know how to win and able to do it, you will get the result. For that you need to believe in each other and move in one direction in terms of the ideas. You have to understand things as one being. And sometimes it requires a lot of time, a lot of losses, for these things to click. People don't change without reason, it happens in critical conditions, and everyone has the limit where it starts to happen.

Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov

And to make things worse, Ivanov also thinks that even second failed Major will not help the players to change yet. He thinks they are not at this limit right now, and he can't help them reach it or strong-arm players into playing as a team.

I don't think the players realized it. We ended up in the top 16 for the second time, but I don't think this is the limit that will trigger any changes. This is my opinion. And I don't know anyone who could've helped the players with this. Maybe there is someone who can, but I'd be honest saying that's not me. I'm trying, but it is what it is.

Some people here do what they want, and neither I nor the organization have control over it. Because they simply do not care. They have a whole life ahead of them. They are sure there will be a lot of tier-1 Dota for them in the future, and the competition won't destroy them because they are the best in the world.

Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov
Source: BetBoom

On drafting

It might appear like Ivanov was blaming this loss on the players, but he was actually quite critical of himself as well.

When the new patch came out, I didn't have an opportunity to prepare well enough. I wasn't ready in knowing which heroes are good, our best pool in the meta, what to expect from lanes. We drafted as a team, I avoided too much responsibility, was trying to implement things that were told by the players. I'm not trying to say that my drafting was good. It's the opposite: I was poorly prepared, and now it's hard for me to deal with.

Anatoliy "Boo1k" Ivanov
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Boo1k stresses that the point of this is not to flame or blame the team, but to fix the issues, starting by sharing an honest opinion. The coach admits himself partially guilty as well. He mentioned that he wasn't at the second team bootcamp, which always had someone missing due to visa issues and other problems.

ESL One Berlin 2023 became the second Major in a row where BetBoom couldn't get out of the group. Even though the team had to use a stand-in due to Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko visa issues, they were expected to do better.

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