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"I went to play mid because I liked concept of '1vs1', and now it became a bit useless". 9 Pandas Kiyotaka on his growth and patch 7.33 Exclusive

We caught up with Gleb "kiyotaka" Zyryanov ahead of his match against Gaimin Gladiators. Mid player of 9 Pandas talked about the upcoming game, his feelings on mid and this patch, and commented on people comparing him to Danil "gpk" Skutin.

— You are playing extremely well this Major. Had any special preparation to the event?

— Things as usual, just pub games. I even played less than usual, because there was going to be the patch so close to the Major, so I was just relaxing in Dota. And when the update was released, I started playing more.

— Basically, patch 7.33 moved all attention from mid to the side lanes. How much did it influence the macro game?

— I was talking recently how mid didn't get changed at all. Zero global changes, just one rune that doesn't influence the gameplay. To be honest, that's quite sad. I was hoping they would change anything, like denies. Something that would influence the lanes, give you opportunities to outplay the opponent. Right now you both come to the lane and just farm for 10 minutes, and after that the Dota starts.

I'm prioritizing the individual skill. I went to play on mid because I liked the concept of "one-vs-one", and now it feels it became a bit useless. It doesn't matter if you outplay your opponent or not, it will impact 10% of games, at the best.

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"I was always on horrible teams that got very poor results".

— Is there a player who makes it hard for you to play mid against him?

— Everyone who is still in the tournament are quite good. Especially hard to play against SumaiL. Lucky that we didn't meet him. Quinn is also quite good on his heroes. Overall, everyone are good on the lane among those who are still here, no-one is slacking.

— After Team Spirit exit from the event, community criticized Larl a lot. Can you evaluate his game as another mid player, do you think it's true that he is the problem?

— I don't know the specifics of what is going on in Team Spirit. Maybe they are just having such period, when nothing goes right for the team. Maybe, they lost their idea of the game. Maybe, they got confused by the new patch, because Larl played well before it. He was fitting the team right, and they had results — maybe not the highest, but they were working on it. So yeah, maybe it's the patch.

On his heroes Larl is good during the laning phase. He comes there on Dragon Knight, Viper, Tusk. Those are strong laning heroes, it's not that hard to win the lane with them.

Source: 9 Pandas

— You had a slump in your career as well. How did you fix that?

— I worked on all sides of myself a bit after Pari Parni. I got more confident, started tryharding pubs. I thought that if I will get a high rank, which I did, I will get a lot of offers. I'm a young player with a high rank, and teams were looking for new mid players. I thought I will be very popular. But it went as it went, only HellRaisers were the ones who needed me. Overall, I'm not very disappointed with how it went.

— You had a reputation of a player who isn't very stable, who can tilt sometimes. Did it bother you?

— No, I was always confident. I didn't have moments where I thought that I can't do something, or I'm in a slump. I understood that sometimes you can have a bad day, where nothing was going right in Dota. I just accepted that as a fact, and was thinking how to fix that. I never was too self-conscious.

— You said you worked on "all sides" of yourself. Which ones?

— Started with the mentality. I evaluated why I'm playing and what I want to achieve. Asked myself that question, and started grinding pubs. Stopped wasting time on useless stuff.

"Team Spirit is in a deep crisis". Manager Korb3n refutes rumors of bad sleeping schedule but admits serious issues within roster

— Do you work with psychologist in 9 Pandas?

— No. They offered every player to work with one. If a person doesn't want to go to psychologist, it's pointless to send him to one, it won't do anything. If I don't have any issues, I don't go to one. Everyone decides for himself if he wants to work with one.

— People often compared you with gpk~ in the past, mainly because he was kind of your mentor. Would you say now that you have surpassed him?

— No. It's just his current team situation is making his game worse. I don't know what exactly is happening in BetBoom Team. But it seems that it also impacts gpk game. When we were playing against BB, he won the lane both times. He understands the game well, I don't think he lost it. It's just right now they have this rough patch when nothing is going well. If BB will be able to overcome that, he will return to his previous level as well. Right now we are equals, no-one is higher in skill.

— Do you ask him for advice these days?

— Of course, we are always talking. When we have some questions, we ask each other. We don't think that one of us is better or something like that. [Any other players you talk to?] Among mid players I only talk to fn.

— You had a tie against Gaimin Gladiators in the group. What did you work on after that match?

— First game, they outdrafted us and left us zero chances. Second one, we won the draft and won the game. I can't say that they are an uncomfortable opponent for us, because we are not very similar in our hero pool. We have a lot of different signature heroes. Draft will be very important in this match. If it will go 50-50, it will be a good fight.

Dyrachyo before match with 9 Pandas: "They have strong mid, position 4, and meta drafts like Chen and Alchemist"

— On this Major you often either dominated the opponent hard, or lost quickly. Why your results were this unstable?

— We had to come back in a lot of games this Major. I don't know why. Maybe we were too relaxed. We are playing with a stand-in, and there is a new patch. Someone found some abuses, like we had one disastrous game against Medusa. After that we were finding our combos, and RAMZES was adapting to RodjER's hero pool. It was all affecting our laning stage. It's hard to overcome lost lanes now.

— Which team found the most imbalanced stuff so far?

— I think it's Tundra. We were the first who started to actively pick Doom, Chen and Alchemist on 5th pick. But overall all teams now understand which heroes are strong. Medusa is a good example, everyone understands the meta of this Major already.

— Will we see something new from the teams in the final matches of the event?

— I don't know, we will see. It will all depend on how confident players will be. If someone was training something special, he will pick it. Overall I think not much will change, everyone will be playing their heroes with some adjustments. Maybe there will be some surprises for last picks, nothing more.

Cover: 9 Pandas


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