For the first time ever, a CIS team made it to the World Championship group stage, finally overcoming their three-year streak of 2-3 Play-Ins finishes after Unicorns of Love beat SuperMassive in a 3-0 sweep. Upon their victory, they were slotted into Group D, set to face off against Top Esports, DRX, and FlyQuest for a chance at making it to the knockouts.
Kirill "AHaHaCiK" Skvortsov spoke with Inven Global about UOL's strength and how it might change going into Group D that features such strong opponents, like Worlds favorite, Top Esports.
Congratulations! You just got into the Worlds Group Stage for the first time and you beat SuperMassive 3-0. Did you expect to be this dominant today?
First off, thanks! But yeah, I think SuperMassive is probably our best scrim partner - or not best, but we played a lot of games with them. So we knew a lot about each other, what we can do, what they can do. Stuff like that. So yeah I expected it.
Three teams made it from Group B, but only one from Group A. So considering stage games and scrims, plus just watching everything, do you feel like Group A was harder?
I don't know actually. Maybe 50/50. Group A had Team Liquid, MAD Lions, and SuperMassive. Our group had LGD, PSG Talon, and us. I thought LGD would be stronger than they played against us though.
This roster was together last year for MSI 2019. Then you went to a new team without Gadget, but then he is back this year. How is it on UOL, how are you developing with them specifically and how are you even better now than before?
When we were with Vega, it was this roster, but we were just playing on our limits because we didn't know much about macro. And when the Vega squad went to Unicorns we got coach Sheepy. He helps us a lot. I think Sheepy does a great job, and now we know a bit of macro.
There was another roster in the CIS that was almost as dominant as you. RoX in Spring went 14-1, then you beat them in playoffs. Then the roster went to Gambit and went 12-2, then you beat them in playoffs again. So do you think they'd be performing well here at Worlds like you are?
Oh, how do I answer this... The CIS region is just about three real teams, so the regular split is nothing. It's really only about playoffs. We don't even have a stage, we just play online. And what you said about RoX, they're just kings of online. I think if we were on stage... For them, it's harder to play on stage than online.
So you feel like you were definitely a tier above that roster?
Yeah, I think we are each individually stronger than them.
My next question was going to be, do you think there should be two teams from the CIS that get to come in at Worlds going forward, or no, not yet?
It's just that the second team would be too free. It was what, three years in a row where we were 2-3 trying to get into Groups. That's so bad.
But you made it this year! And they just did the Group Draw, you're in Group D. You have Top Esports, DRX, and FlyQuest. What do you think about it?
I think it will probably help us a lot. It's basically just practice for us because these teams are super strong. They could even get first place in Worlds, so... Yeah, we'll try our best!
Do you think you could make it out? Maybe over DRX and FlyQuest?
I mean, we have a chance, right? So we'll try.
Yeah, and you have a really strong draft, especially with Ilya "Gadget" Makavchuk playing mages. Do you think that's something you can keep pulling off against these stronger teams? Or are you going to have to play more comfort and safe?
I think it can be helpful for us, but at the same time, it could be bad for us... But anytime we can flex mages botlane, that's always good, just because flexing helps a lot in the draft.
Of course! and before we go, do you have any hot takes for Worlds? Any predictions on winners? Anyone you think is overrated or underrated?
Ah, I don't care, I just play the game, nothing more.
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