After his team picked up wins in their first two matches at the EU & CIS WESG Regional LAN Finals, we sat down with Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk to hear his thoughts and expectations for the tournament.
Ukraine kicked off the event with wins over North Academy (16-8) and NOREG (16-9) taking the first place in group A for the time being. To do so, the team decided to lean on their Natus Vincere core, using Yegor "markeloff" Markelov and Vladyslav "bondik" Nechyporchuk to fill in the gaps.
Ukraine is obviously a mix team, but did you have any preparation, talk about what you want to do, either at home or when you got here?
To be honest, we didn't have any preparation before the tournament, we talked about it a lot of times and we really wanted to practice. But the thing is, Na`Vi is going to DreamHack Winter after this tournament and they have a new player so they had to spend time with him so it was impossible for us to prepare for this tournament. Our preparation finished with who will play which spot, who will go drop, or B long or stuff like that.
Now I see that we are pretty strong and it's because of our communication probably. Everyone communicates properly, we are doing the right things and we are winning rounds. I feel like we could do some damage at this tournament.
Originally, ANGE1 was a part of the team, but he couldn't go and you decided to have markeloff join the squad. How did you decide on to pick him, not someone else?
We knew about that HR would probably qualify for ESL Pro League finals, and ANGE1 told us that if they would qualify he wouldn't be able to come with us here to Spain. So we knew about this before, it wasn't a surprise for us. We had some options and everyone wanted to try to play with markeloff, because he is our friend, he played a lot with the Na`Vi guys, he played with me, with s1mple. He is a part of the team, a guy you are comfortable to spend time with. Everyone wanted to try him and here he is.
Tell me about your goals here as a squad, and for you particularly. You seem like someone that is proud of his country, patriotic, does this mean a bit more to you than the average player?
For me it means more for sure, because I "dodged" China Top with TyLoo to come here. We had a deal, I told them that I have to go and play for my country. They knew about it, they gave me this chance and I really want to say thank you to them because they gave me the option to come here and represent my country.
Our goals for this tournament... first of all, it's to go to the playoffs, qualify for the World Finals and then we will see. We didn't talk about it, we just thought that we should play our game, no matter what happens. Just play, have fun, that's all. We can talk about my feelings for the tournament, I think that we can grab top four for sure, but it's a tournament, it's sport, you never know what will happen, just focus and play your game, that's all.
It started pretty well for you guys, picking up two wins, how did you feel the first two matches went?
For me, personally, it was pretty bad. Basically, we are trying to fit into Na`Vi's positions, we had some gaps, so I played, for example, the B guy as T, I had to pressure the site and it was something new for me. My whole career I played on A and basically it was a bit shaky for me, I didn't know what I could do, it was something new. I tried some things and it was decent, but not the game I want to show to everyone.
But it's a team game, if me and markeloff are going to fit the Na`Vi guys, since they have the core, we are trying to fill the gaps, that's it. We are trying to fit in for them, they are tying to fit us in, trying to communicate properly and that's all.
When the team was announced, a lot of people were talking about you vs s1mple, some bad blood existing there. You cleared it up on Twitter before, but can you tell me a bit about that, for people that are not up to date?
First of all, I don't know where the rumors came from, we didn't have any bad blood, he wasn't leaving FlipSid3 because of me. I don't know, I think it was just some hyped thing that someone made a rumor of, but it's not true. Basically we can communicate with s1mple, we can go to a restaurant, we are just normal guys, we don't have any bad blood inside or outside of the game.
Anything to add to finish off the interview?
First of all thanks to all the guys that are supporting us, team Ukraine, and those who are supporting me as a player, I think we will manage to achieve some goals here and that we we will show our best here to represent our country and our fans. Also, I this is the first time in a year and a half that I'm communicating in my native language in a team, which is great but it will take some time to get used to, since now I'm still using some English callouts every now and then.