The International 12 has come to an end, and the period of reshuffles and new lineups has begun. In November, a new team appeared on the professional Dota 2 scene, a mix of young talent and renowned "powerhouses" of the game. Team Falcons signed up the newly formed squad.
Stanislav "Malr1ne" Potorak is one of the players on the new team. He is known in the Dota 2 community for playing Timbersaw, his friendship with ATF and his funny streams between official matches. In 2023, Stas played for Nemiga Gaming. His team was praised by experts this year, but the team only won two Pinnacle Cups. Nemiga Gaming failed to qualify for TI12, and Malr1ne began looking for a new team where he could compete for victories in Tier 1 tournaments.
In an interview for Cybersport.Metaratings.ru he talked about:Bet on eSports with 1xBet
- the problems at Nemiga Gaming the influence RodjER had on his development as a player;
- his reasons for leaving Nemiga Gaming;
- joining Team Falcons;
- meeting ATF and getting to know his teammates;
- qualifying for ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023 and his upcoming trip to LAN;
- meeting Miracle;
- the new patch.
We just didn't deserve those wins
- How would you rate 2023 in terms of your personal results?
- I don't really focus on tournament results, more on personal achievements in terms of abilities, improving my skills, growth and stuff like that. But overall it's not bad. There is always something to strive for. The most recent achievement for me was reaching a LAN tournament. Before that, I won two Pinnacle Cup tournaments. It feels good, but going to a LAN is something else.
- Have you progressed a lot as a player in 2023?
- I think so. The biggest turning point for me was qualifying for The International 12. We failed, but meeting RodjER made me fully realize some aspects of the game and changed my mindset. I'm really enjoying my progress at the moment and I think I've grown a lot.
- Throughout the year, Nemiga Gaming has been labelled as a team that is about to skyrocket. Why haven't you been able to win important leagues and qualifications?
- We just didn't deserve those wins. Our team was stagnating and not progressing. For some reason, people had high hopes for us, but knowing what was going on behind the scenes, I can say that we just did not grow.
- You said that there were some internal problems at the qualification for TI12. Can you tell us what they were?
- When we talk about team problems, we had different visions of the game and these issues were never resolved. When we found a certain problem, we would talk about it and find a solution, but nothing really changed. It was a kind of mindset where we couldn't do anything to solve a problem. And a lot of micro problems turned into a big degression.
RodjER taught me the meaning of a "team" outside the game
- Did changing 'so bad' to RodjER help Nemiga Gaming reach the next level?
- There was a short period of two or three days with RodjER when we were winning. When we started to lose, everything went back to normal. Not better, not worse - just the same. Rodjer gave me a very big boost regarding my understanding of Dota 2 and my attitude towards it, as well as the perception of my team.
- What do you mean by a "boost" from RodjER?
- First of all, RodjER made me understand what a "team" means outside of the game. It means going for walks together, going out to lunch together, talking to each other - being with your teammates outside of the game during boot camp. That's when you become not only "co-workers" but close friends. Then it's easier to talk about Dota 2 and things unrelated to the game. This helps to unite the team and gives a boost to morale, positivity in the team, and easy communication. In any case, when players open up to each other, they will talk more about the game and say what they feel. If you talk about the game moments, the people around you will be a little more tolerant of criticism.
Second, RodjER was a person in Nemiga Gaming who I really respected. I thought he was cool since the days of Virtus.pro, where he won a lot of trophies. When he joined my team, I listened to his opinion. He gave me a push and I started to use my head more in the game. It's important for a Dota player to be able to think. A lot of people don't think during a match, they rely on feelings and instincts. To understand the macro game, you need to think, but not overthink.
- Wasn't there a friendly atmosphere in Nemiga Gaming before RodjER?
If we take the period after Kiritych left, we just didn't have a team spirit. Roughly speaking, we split into groups and just socialized within them. A lot of players are reserved and it's hard to get along with them. We used to communicate a lot with Kiritych, and we still keep in touch, sometimes I visit him. It's just that Ilya knew how to open up and understood everything, you could always find a way to get along with him. Sometimes I had to find common ground with some people. The atmosphere in the team looked good from the outside in the vlogs, but in reality things were a bit tense. I'm not saying everything was bad, just that the atmosphere was far from consistently good. It was mostly me who tried to improve it.
RodjER taught me the meaning of a "team" outside the game
I graduated from the Nemiga Gaming School in a year and a half
- The manager of Nemiga said that the roster for Pinnacle Cup 4 was created by you. Why didn't this roster last in the organization?
- At that time, two months had passed since we qualified for The International 12. I was already bored with matchmaking, I was sick of it. I wanted to refresh myself and play some competitive Dota 2 matches. RodjER gave me a push, I wanted to use it, but there were no tournaments. My manager asked me to play Pinnacle Cup and offered me roster options. I also talked to the CEO and he asked me as a friend to play in a tournament for Nemiga Gaming. I didn't refuse, but I wanted to choose the lineup myself.
We easily won the Pinnacle Cup. But I already knew that I wanted to see what the other teams had to offer. Let's just say that in a year and a half I have already graduated from the Nemiga Gaming School. I don't dislike the organization, but players in those teams have different desires. If I have the opportunity to move up a level and play with top-class players, I want to take advantage of it.
Let's be honest, Nemiga Gaming won't be able to get skiter, for example, or pay their roster as much as Team Falcons. They just don't have the funds.
- But you got RodjER before you qualified for TI12...
- It was a coincidence and I don't know the details of the contract. It was more a coincidence because he wanted to play the qualification. Before that he only knew me from Nemiga Gaming.
- You said that you wanted to play with Tier 1 cyber athletes. You played for Tundra Esports in summer. Did that experience help you grow in any way?
- It was more of a competitive Dota 2 experience at the highest level. How to communicate properly, how to pay attention to the little things during the game. Lower level players don't think about that.
- Why did you decide to leave Nemiga after TI12?Bet on eSports with 1xBet
First of all, my contract expired. I was in the organization for a year and a half, I wanted something new. I got offers from other teams. Nemiga Gaming couldn't afford big and tough players. If I stayed with the team, I would have to play with people who need to be trained in all aspects of being a Dota 2 team. I'm not saying I'm a genius, but I've already learned a lot of the tricks of competitive Dota: how to communicate, how to think, how to take and give information. I've gone through it and learned it in the last three years of my professional career.
The organization couldn't make the lineup with me and the people I wanted to play with. But I would like to take this opportunity to say that I have a lot of respect for the CEO of Nemiga Gaming. He has helped me a lot in my life, in my development as a player and as a person. Sergey [Sergey Voronovich, CEO of Nemiga Gaming] is a great guy!
I mapped out the future decision in my mind
- You admitted that you had offers from other teams. Where else could you have ended up if you hadn't joined the Falcons?
- I won't talk about all the offers, but I will say that I could have ended up at Entity Gaming with Dmitrij "Fishman" Polishchuk. This is the second option that I really liked. But I set my priorities differently.
Of course, it was not a situation where I had a lot of offers and I could just chose. I communicated, I talked, I mapped out the future decision in my mind.
- How did you come to the Falcons?
- I agreed with the players. Skiter and Sneyking solved the issues with the organization. Skiter wrote to me and found out about my plans. Then he told me that they were looking at me and another Mid Laner. It turned out that their second option just dropped out and they were waiting for my answer. I thought about it for a few days and agreed.
ATF is more modest in life
- I thought ATF called you into the squad.
- We talked to everyone, but at first the situation was like this: I agreed to play with skiter and Sneyking, and then we got Cr1t and ATF. The circumstances were good in that respect.
- You and Ammar have been friends for a long time, but this was the first time you met at a boot camp. How did that happen?
- We met before boot camp. I arrived at the hotel the day before and Ammar came out of the hotel. I didn't know what to feel because I had wanted to meet him for a long time. When you want something badly, you get overloaded with those emotions because you get all worked up. We met, we joked around, then we talked about our plans at his place and played Dota 2. It wasn't a big deal, but it was bound to happen eventually, so I'm not really surprised. It was really nice to meet him.
- Is ATF in Dota 2 different from Ammar in real life?
- Totally different people. He's more modest in life. In matchmaking I'd say he's whiny.
- The question on everyone's mind is how do you and Ammar share Razor and Timbersaw in clan wars and official matches?
- It's not a problem at all, especially since Timbersaw is not really a broken hero. It all depends on the draft. Three years ago, neither of us had a big character pool, so we had to make sacrifices.
I don't feel bad about giving him a hero, letting him play. On the contrary, I enjoy knowing that he'll play it as well as I would.Bet on eSports with 1xBet
My inner barrier broke down
- Let's talk about your other teammates. What kind of people are they? And how was the communication at the bootcamp in general?
- At first I talked to skiter the most - he's the youngest, [besides ATF and Malr1ne] and I communicated with him the most when I played for Tundra Esports [in DreamLeague Season 20] and before Team Falcons. We laughed a lot. You really get to know people, their personalities and their boundaries through humor.
At the beginning of the bootcamp I talked to ATF and skiter, then I gradually started to get to know Sneyking and Cr1t. Now I communicate with all of them equally, there are no problems. They are all helpful and kind people, they help me morally and physically.
- Two of your teammates have won TI, Cr1t has always played at the top level throughout his career. Do you feel a sense of "greatness" in the team?
- On the contrary: I ask them about my game, about what needs to be fixed. They tell me that everything is good so far, that I will continue to grow on the Dota 2 competitive scene. I often get stressed out about having to play at a Tier 1 level like them. But so far so good. I'm not afraid and I'm not blinded by success. I play just the same, just more focused on the team.
- How is the training process in Nemiga different from the Falcons?
- If we talk about my previous teams, it's hard to focus on team play if the players aren't in good individual shape. You have to work hard to get into that mood and at least be good enough on the map. Personally, I had a hard time progressing in that environment because in those teams, people took personal mistakes as team problems. So there was a lot of miscommunication. In Team Falcons, we just play clan wars [practice matches] to fix mistakes and improve communication. First of all, our team has a good fusion, we tested the drafts, so we qualified for ESL One Kuala Lumpur right away. Now we are focusing on team development, because individually everyone is playing quite well.Bet on eSports with 1xBet
- After losing in the Upper Bracket final (2-1), you won the Grand Final against Quest (3-1). What conclusions did you draw about that team after the defeat?
- We could have won 2-1 in the first game, we just made a few mistakes. There were no whitewash wins, everything was decided in team fights - if you win, you are snowballing and grabbing the advantage. On the third map [of the upper bracket final] the draft was good, we just didn't win some fights. After the match, we talked about everything, both the game and the drafts, and we decided to change our approach a little bit.
The next day [in the Grand Final] we lost the first map. We reorganized, changed the drafts. When we won the first map against PSG Quest, I felt my inner barrier breaking down. I'm not an experienced player yet, I've played in lower level teams. There are some teams you just can't beat. Because you know that no matter how hard you play, they will still defeat you. When I played with Nemiga Gaming in the first division of DPC against Team Spirit, we were leading on some maps, but we would lose the lead and our throne would fall. There were a lot of close games against the favorites, but we couldn't beat them because the players there are smarter than you and they're one step ahead. And that's even if you're ahead in the economy. That's how I got that inner barrier. After I won, I was relieved.
Miracle is a legend of Dota 2
- In December you will travel to your first LAN tournament. What does it mean to you?
- My emotions have calmed down now, but on the first day I was very happy, I ate a lot of ice cream. I was kind of celebrating the victory. If I think about it rationally now, I'm looking forward to the offline factor of the game, where I'll see other players, fans, and the stands. Hopefully we'll get to the games on stage. This is my first trip with the goal of winning the title.
- Who would you like to see live at ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023?
- Most of all I would like to see and talk to Larl, maybe even exchange our jerseys. I'm not counting all the former Creepwave teammates, I always want to meet them. But if you take the players of a different level, I would choose Larl.
- After the qualification you posted a picture with Miracle. Can you tell us a little bit more about that meeting? What did you talk about? How did you feel about the meeting?
I didn't talk to Miracle about anything. We just had dinner at a restaurant after we beat PSG Quest. Miracle is a friend of some people in our organization and they invited him to join us. I didn't know he was coming. When I saw him, I couldn't eat and became nervous. I didn't know how to act. Then I asked skiter to take a picture of me with him, or rather I told him to ask if I could take a picture with him because I was shy. That's how we met.
I think I'll do the same thing next time because I didn't even talk to him. I just saw him as a fan. Miracle is a legend of Dota 2.
- What would you wish to the readers of Telecomasia.net?
- To eat delicious ice cream, not cheap. I also wish them good health and a lot of joy in life.Valve Cancels Dota Pro Circuit. What's Next? iGaming Crossroads Summit 2023: The Ultimate Festive Finale in Eastern Europe! Upcoming Wave of Global Gaming Events: What’s Next?