Keyd Stars managed to qualify to The International 2023 after an incredible showing at the South American qualifier. They took down the favorites in Thunder Awaken and got their spot at TI12 without dropping a single series.
They are currently one of the invited teams playing in the Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #3 and will try to get as much practice as they can.
Esportsheaven had the chance to talk with Danylo "Kingrd" Nascimento, Keyd Stars' Position 4 and one of the most veteran players in the scene.
Author's note: this interview was conducted in Portuguese and translated to English.
First of all, how have these last few days been since you knew you were heading back to TI?
I was really happy for being able to make that dream of participating in TI come true again. It's not that easy to do it as a 31 year old who's been playing since DotA.
You returned to Keyd Stars a decade after you represented the Brazilian org, when they made their return to Dota 2 for the first time since 2016. How has that experience been for the past 9 months?
The experience of playing under Keyd for the second time has been quite surprising. I talked a lot with the owner of Keyd, Edu Kim, and the mentality is wonderful. He explained what Keyd's objective would be in esports, especially in Dota, which isn't Brazil's "main" esports game.
You’re qualified for TI. An amazing 2-1 upset against the favorites in Thunder Awaken and two clean 2-0s take your organization to TI for the first time ever. How was playing the South American regional qualifier for you and the rest of the squad?
We had a year full of irregularities for multiple reasons and we always lost to Thunder [Awaken] in BO3s. I think our mentality changed when João "4nalog" Giannini and Gustavo "fcr" Ribeiro joined.
Before that, we had some trouble to change our playstyle, but after two young players joined that became easier.
Now, in the most important tournament of the year [so far], we managed to win easily.
In your last interview back in 2018 at ESL Birmingham, you said that “If you are only winning, you are not learning anything — it makes it harder to see your mistakes.”. That was the last year you participated in TI. What have you learned in the five years that got you back to the biggest stage in Dota?
I remember that interview as if it had happened yesterday. [Back then] we only lost scrims against European teams. I think that, when we have the mentality to learn with our mistakes and improve, that shows that sentence is pure reality.
You’re the oldest player at the tournament at 31 years old. What experience does your age and twelve years of professional Dota bring?
Honestly, I didn't imagine myself playing until this image hahaha. I just wanted to relax without the stress of having to get better and to play non-stop!
It is quite complicated, nowadays most players have much quicker reactions [and mechanics], but the experience of a player in important games and the map movements are something positive I see in myself.
I can move well around the map and I almost don't feel the pressure of important matches.
South America is well represented in this TI. Keyd Stars, Evil Geniuses and Thunder Awaken, What do you expect from your region in the tournament?
For the first time ever having so many South American teams in the main tournament of the year is unbelievable.
I know a lot of other players and fans don't think our region deserved this opportunity, but I know that players always evolve and grow in [these] tournaments.
The world better be ready because we won't come last place!
Moving from a regional to a national scope, what does it feel like to be representing Brazil in a Brazilian org with a full Brazilian roster?
I am really happy to show the international squads that Brazilians still have it in Dota!!
What expectations do you have for you and the rest of your Squad? Will we see Keyd Stars going deep in this TI12?
With three very young players I feel like we're going full throttle to show the international scene the power of South America and to show the best Dota possible to go far into the Main Stage.
You’re about to participate in the Playoffs of Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #3 between the 14th and 17th of September. Are you guys heading into the tournament as favorites?
We're quite confident in our abilities and I believe we are one of the strongest teams [there]. Due to the high-ping of playing from the European server I wouldn't say we're the favorites, but we're top three.
What team(s) do you believe will be your biggest challenge(s) there?
We've scrimmed a lot against the strongest teams at this tournament and I believe that One Move, Storm and Level UP are the ones who'll bring the biggest challenges.
We haven't played against Navi yet, but I think they're also a pretty strong team.
Thank you for the interview, Kingrd! Before we finish, is there anything you’d like to say to your fans?
Thank you to everyone who supports our team, wait and see, we'll achieve more and more!! Love, friends.
Images courtesy of Keyd Stars.
Did you enjoy this Kingrd Keyd Stars TI12 interview? Check out our Dota 2 Directory
for more interviews and news!