Coming into this week, the Atlanta Reign is on the cusp of qualifying for Top 6, meaning not only rest, but momentum heading into playoffs. The first step to qualifying for Top 6 was defeating the Dallas Fuel.
At the KitKat Rivarly Weekend following a 3-1 victory, Andrej "babybay" Francisty, Nathan "frd" Goebel, and Dusttin "Dogman" Bowerman talked to the press about their improvements going into Stage 4, and how they will take their momentum into playoffs.
Babybay: The homestand brought this energy to us that we didn't have before. It made everybody take a step back and realize this is serious. There's a lot of fans that we have - it wasn't just about us anymore - it was about playing for something better, our fans.
I think our coaching staff stepped it up a lot on how to manage us having fun and still being serious with strategy. They found a really good balance on how to realize that giving us freedom is good and still implementing how to play the game.
frd: It was a bit of fun factor too. Everybody had a ton of fun at Atlanta. When you're having fun at something rather than taking it serious, you perform a lot better. That was one thing for our players during Stage 3 - we lost five in a row.
We came to Atlanta, it was a hell of a time, and it got everyone out of that rut. We put a good foot forward for us having a good time, enjoying each other, enjoying teamwork, and enjoying winning in this stage.
Honoring TI Champs
For the Reign’s support Dogman, his inspiration goes beyond having fun. Mentioning the prestigious Dota 2 tournament "The International", Dogman is inspired his favorite team, OG:
Dogman: If any of you watch Dota 2, there's this team called OG. Last year, they won TI. They are a team that just likes to have fun and very friendly with each other. n0tail, who is their team captain, I think I share a lot of values as him. He values a lot of respect for teammates, seeing where the person comes from, and having fun with the game is the number one priority.
Without looking at that, we have adapted that similar mindset, where we want to have fun with the game. Sometimes, it leads to losing. For the most part, it leads to us being free with what we want to do, being quick with our rotations, and having fun with the game.
Tomorrow, the Reign needs one more win against the Boston Uprising to qualify for Top 6. However, babybay thinks Boston should not be underrated:
Babybay: I actually think it is going to be harder than today. Boston is try-hardy, not that it's a bad thing, but they're really going to come out and try to win. Every time you see a team with a huge win streak, you want to be the team that ends that. We're not going to let that happen.
Dogman, however, is confident that the team can make Top 6 and focus on playoffs.
Dogman: We don't have that much preparation,” Dogman refers to the current patch, “but we're confident in ourselves as a team to push for this weekend and get that Top 6 spot. Whereas, we can start focusing on the playoffs because that what matters most. If we can get a deep run in playoffs, then we'll be happy with that.
frd shares identical sentiments that the Reign is a team that should not be underrated.
frd: We were very confident in this meta, in particular. Mostly, with the Orisa, Reaper, and Mei comp, Pokpo and I communicate very well together and made a lot of pull-hook combos. As far as fundamentals go for this patch, we're a well-oiled machine.
Confidence is a huge factor that can take a team from being underrated to grand finals. Challenges are ahead for the Reign as playoffs are on the horizon next week.
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