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Alexey Kondakov: «There will be changes in our Dota 2 roster» 12.11.2016 Author // Ace

Vega Squadron CEO Alexey Kondakov wrote a blog about how our roster was created, what are the reasons of our failures and what changes will be made to fix it.


I'd like to begin with how our roster was created last summer. After 2 players left, we decided that Fn, CeMa and Mag will stay together and the new roster will be built around them. We needed a captain and Fng was the best choice here. It was an obvious decision, unlike midlane position. We were choosing between Iceberg, G and 633, but eventually it all went down to Bogdan and Sergey. We were thinking together with the team, the management: of course I have the last word, but I never make decisions without listening to the players. In the very last moment we decided to take Iceberg. He got himself the reputaion in Polarity and everybody said he has potential, he's hard-working and is always working for the victory.

We were also thinking about bringing some totally new people. There are difficulties with finding new players in CIS. It's a huge risk, first of all. You should take a player with no experience and you never know if he'll fit in the team. The season was about to start and we had no time to try it out. I believe you need 2nd and 3rd rosters for such cases. But noone is doing it in CIS while the talented players are there, waiting for a chance. There are no schools or organizations that would help players get to the pro-scene, this is why it only can be done via "academy" rosters. We are planning to make it happen, when we find funds for that. It's all about money, unfortunately.

What goes to the training process, we tried to do it systematically. We tried our League of Legends coach, psychologst and analyst, and our team had a long-term bootcamp. It's like our current LoL team works, and it's doing great by the way.

But everything didn't go as planned. Psychologist and coach were working together for around 10 days only because Sharkz arrived later than he wanted because of his personal issues. Maybe this time was a little bit not enough.

Physical condition was also taken care of. Guys went to the gym, had a coach there as well. There were also day-offs with players going to the quests, shooting range, as you've seen on our YouTube channel. We tried to make it not only productive, but interesting as well. The main idea is here to do everything together. It's not just entertainment, it's teambuilding. There were many CW's and it looked just great at start. Results were good, we were on the same level with tier-1 level teams in Europe, were beating VP on a regular basis, but closer to the Boston Major there was a downfall if it can be called so. We were not playing worse, it's just the opponents were improving more quickly.

If someone from the team doesn't pay much attention to the practice, the performance will definetely go down. We had such moments as well. Not everyone were thinking that systematic approach was necessary. Almost everyone were ready to work with a coach and a psychologist but someone wasn't really a fan of the idea. I believe this is one of the reasons for our failure.

There were also issues between players that we did not manage to fix. Small problems slowly, but steadily got bigger and bigger. We have players that feel the atmosphere inside the team more than the others. There are players, that are not really sensitive in that way. At the same time, there are players that lose control over themselves quickly. So, this particular roster isn't that great.

So, we decided to go for 2 replacements. You'll hear of them very soon, after the contracts are signed.

We decided that players that are not ready to work on themselves are not welcome in our team. Dota is not just about 5 players that are playing computer game in a team, it's much more. It's a complex of offline activities, including P.T., trainings, diets, daily schedule and all the others. It's important! The progress is incredible. Now tier-2 teams are capable of winning almost any opponent. And that is not 5 years, it's just around 1 and a half! The point here is that semi-professional teams cannot use all the resources that we possess, and I dno't see why some players don't find it useful. And if someone doesn't realize that, he will be forced to do it, and it's not as effective.

This works the same way with schools and universities. If you were made to go there because your parents told you and they control your every step, you'll not be motivated to do something there. The profit will be close to zero. You may enter a non-famous university and become a great specialist because you wanted it yourself, or enter a prestigious one and get a diploma that doesn't display anything. It's all the same here. There should be desire to progress. If it's not present - the progress is not as well. So, a coach, a psychologist and an analysts are vital components of the team.

From the other side, I can't blame it all on our players. For example, our coach didn't have any experience in Dota. For example, he works as a coach for our LoL guys and helps them with ingame stuff. He can't do that here. At some point his motivation was going down when he saw no wish in players' eyes. Probably he had to be more persistent. It's hard to judge now. If everything was the other way around, we might still have not qualified for the Major. But you know, the results would not be that catastrophic.

We might hire a new coach and a new psychologist, the last experiment wasn't the most successful. The ingame coach is also good to have, but we're mostly aiming for a guy that takes care of the discipline, daily schedule, diet, correct practice process. Daily schedule is extremely important here. Any doctor will approve my words: staying up till 4 a.m. at your computer is harmful. We already have an amazing analyst, and if our team can sit down together and take care of their mistakes, then we don't need an ingame coach. But discipline should be there. This is the weak spot of the CIS Dota.

Speaking about management, both Sasha and Gosha are doing their job great and even more. They take the initiative, and it's always great. For example, drAmer brought a lot of new things not only in team management, but also in social media as well. Generally speaking, it's great to work with him.

And I would also like to apologize to our fans for not meeting their expectations. We really wanted to win, but it did not work out.

And a couple words about our LoL roster. Next week our team will be on bootcamp together. We finally have our AD Carry to work with up until the end of the spring split. Our coach arrives to our base today and the preparations for LCL Open Cup and IEM Gyeonggi are going at full speed.

Hopefully our renewed Dota 2 roster will join them with the same attitude. And maybe it's not limited to it.