" Taavitsainen was kind enough to sit down for an interview with Esports Heaven amidst his busy schedule for The International 2019. Topson talks on the roster changes OG went through this DPC season, the challenges he faced to stay motivated after winning TI8, meta and more.
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Hey Topson. Let's get straight to the point. OG started this DPC year on a rocky note. It wasn't until MDL Paris Major and Ana rejoining when the team started stabilizing. To what do you attribute this condition after winning TI8?
It was extremely difficult for us to find working dynamic without Ana. I had to change my playstyle drastically when playing without him.
But there was Pajkatt -- one of the talented players in this game joining after Ana left. Where did it go wrong in finding work dynamic with him?
It was difficult for us to find our playstyle with Pajkatt. He has been in many different teams and he has his own ideas about the game and how to play it. Sadly they were different than what we believe in and it was difficult for us to adapt to it. And also for me I had to play a very different style than what I was used to when playing with Ana. I had to play more farm heavy oriented style and it put a lot of pressure on me.
ILTW seemed to fit better than Pajkatt though. What are your thoughts on that? Did that have any effect on your playstyle as well?
ILTW is a great player. He is a young player but has a lot of talent and motivation. We had a bit of a language barrier with ILTW and it was a problem sometimes. Overall playing with ILTW was a great experience but it never felt as natural as it was with Ana.
You won a TI on your debut. That is an extraordinary feat in itself. Normally after winning a TI, players/teams tend to lose their motivation on performing better or rather go into relaxation mode. Did the same happen with you or OG?
Winning TI is every pro player’s dream so when it happens it hits you hard. I’ve had to fight hard with myself to keep going and keep giving my all after TI. Sometimes it feels like it would be easier to just give up and start doing something else because Dota takes almost all the time if you want to keep staying on the top. I think we have fought very well against that and we are ready to fight till the last breath this TI =)
You mean to say you're confident on winning another TI and possibly do what no other team has done before -- win 2 TI's in a row?
Yes I am very confident in our team and we definitely have what it takes to win another one. I don’t put any extra pressure on myself overthinking about winning a second TI. We just go there to do our best and see how far that gets us. Being confident plays a big part in how far we can get.
I don't mean to pry but OG's performance hasn't been up to the level we all are used to seeing. OG is getting better after a slow start and slowly picking up the pace but most people think OG isn't at par with other top level teams such as Secret and VP. What measures are being taken to address this issue?
I think we are very close with all the other top teams. All we need is a good bootcamp before TI and we can easily become the best team again.
Fair enough. There has been a lot of talk going on the top heavy prize distribution at TI as compared to other DPC events. It is, in a way, detrimental to the Tier 2-3 scene as more players are finding it difficult to stay put. Give your views on this issue and a possible solution, if any.
I haven't given it too much thought to be honest. But I do see it as a problem that needs to be dealt with. Probably cutting some money from TI and giving it to minor and major qualifiers would be a good start.
Let's talk about Sockshka. How has he been helping the team as a coach?
Mostly he helps Johan and Sebastian with drafting. He also helps us if we get problems with the dynamic shifting in the wrong direction or if someone is feeling that he is being disabled by someone, etc. It’s easy to share these issues with a coach and he helps solve these problems.
That is cool. Let's talk about the meta now. How do you see things in the current meta especially after scepter upgrades on all heroes?
We haven't started our bootcamp yet so I'm not really sure what's good yet :D. But what I see is that teamfighting supports have become way more powerful with the addition of the second tome and the team with stronger early timings usually finds it easier to execute their plays.
Some teams also play very defensive and are always looking to have the late game timing and heroes that are very good at relieving pressure, and defending towers so their core heroes get to where they need to be. So overall I feel like teams are looking to be more greedy with their drafts this patch.
Interesting point you've made on teams looking to get more greedy, Topson. We are nearing the end of this interview. Tell one annoying habit of each team member at OG.
Hmmmm .. *thinking*
Okay i got one for Jesse -- getting coffee every time we are about to leave and thus we end up waiting for him longer.
Ana -- shouting DUUUUD every time he’s playing pubs.
Seb doing gasp every time something mildly interesting happens.
Tituan speaking in his french accent *laughs*
I don’t know if I have any for Johan :(
We've seen a lot of teams changing/booting players right before a major tournament which doesn't seem to be fair. Would you like to add any insights on this particular situation since it has generated a lot of heat?
It’s very difficult for teams to find a good moment to change players because the schedule is very strict. Of course it is unfair to the person that is getting kicked and not able to play in the event that he helped qualify. But in the end every team just wants to succeed and sometimes they feel that change is necessary.
Teams besides OG that have the potential to lift the Aegis this year in China?
My top 3 would be Team secret, LGD and Vici Gaming
Alright Topson that's a wrap. Anything you'd like to say?
Thanks to all the fans who keep cheering for us even in our hard times. It gives me the much needed motivation to keep going =)
Topson and his team, OG, will be going into TI9 as the reigning champions. Esports Heaven wishes Topson and OG the best of luck!
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