I sat down with Kieran ‘DreadKnight’ Ghataora to go through some recent changes in the team and to get his opinion on the team’s upcoming chances at epic.LAN, starting this weekend, Friday the 14th February.
So, talk us through the changes in the roster that’ve occurred prior to epic.LAN?
Lahmage was unfortunate, we had to rush the pickup and it just turned out that he wasn’t the right player for us. I wish him all the luck in the future. This roster change however came with a shift in roles, we weren’t confident in finding a suitable offlane player quickly so we decided to redraft Antab into the offlane role which has worked really well. We ended up getting KHAAAN! to fill the last spot for LAN and eventually picked him up. KHAAAN! really fits in with our team’s personality & has been a great asset to us ever since i50.
Infernokoi unfortunately could not commit the necessary time to play Dota in a competitive team, he’s particularly busy with University right now and was a shame to see him go. I wish him all the best and I’m sure we’ll be seeing him in the future competing again, he was a particularly skilled player. We replaced him with our new Dutch player Gronors, he has been a part of the scene for a very long time, playing with the old Infused team prior to their sponsorship and he has been an extremely good pickup in terms of team atmosphere and skill.
With Geoph however the parting was not particularly amicable, I guess if I’m going to ever reveal the exact reasons to everyone this is a good platform to do so. Geoph was picked up on the basis that he had a good attitude & a large amount of potential, we had to rush the pickup due to impending deadlines (ESWC if memory serves me correctly). So it’s unfortunate we didn’t have a longer time period to test my initial assessment of him. His attitude quickly went down the drain when we were analysing replays, alongside having serious issues whenever he was criticised and seemed to refuse to work on the big gameplay and communication issues he had. His potential was something I mistook as well. I believe after being in a team with him for 4 months that he’d probably capped his skill long before and simply doesn’t have the potential to rise any higher. There were a lot of drama issues involving Geoph internally and his place in the team was not conducive to a good and friendly atmosphere which is such a major issue. I’d like to extend my apology to anyone that trialed for us back then and hope that it didn’t cause any long term ill will; as I will be the first to admit I made a massive mistake back then and then another mistake by not acting sooner with his removal from our team. The straw that broke the camel’s back per say however was that after the game against Fl.int in the ESL/epic.LAN TUP qualifier#2 I started to talk about what went wrong so that we could understand better why we lost so that when we would come across them again in the tournament we could fare better, however Geoph took offence to criticism and majorly blew up. This was not acceptable & after all the other issues I had no real choice but to remove him. At the end of the day, we rushed the decision to pick him up and I’m truly sorry to the people that it affected, including my teammates.
We currently do not have a particularly long list of people to replace Geoph, so this can serve as a recruitment tool – Come talk to me! Trial to be our new mid!
Why choose Ichigo to come back short-term?
“Finding a stand-in so late for LAN is actually a really difficult task, however when 1chiGo_ got back to us saying that he was avaliable I was extremely happy, I understand his strengths and weaknesses extremely well from being in a team with us for so long and he’s frankly such a pleasant character who always brings the morale up. The reason he had to part with us previously was purely down to his real life commitments so we’re still good friends and I’m sure he’ll do well with us at LAN.”
Are there going to be any changes in the team’s strategies or style because of Ichigo’s reintroduction?
“1chiGo_’s main weakness has historically been his hero breadth, however the heroes that are in his pool are extremely strong. We’ll have to draft mid-centric again although it’s definitely worth it, 1chiGo_ is just one of those players that can sometimes randomly win you games with that flare that only a few people seem to have.”
What’s your favourite part of attending events like epic.LAN?
“epic.LAN was actually my first competitive LAN event for Dota2 so there will always be some sentimental value there for obvious reasons. epic.LAN however is such a nice venue, it’s a small LAN so you’re always close to the people you’re playing with and the staff are very personable and overall it’s just a really relaxed place. Brilliant LAN honestly, I would come here just for the atmosphere and the meetup were I not competing.”
What are your expectations for the team in the upcoming competition?
“We always hope to do well however our practice schedule has been rocky recently with trying to find standins for practice as 1chiGo_ cannot commit to a full time practice schedule however I do believe in my players and scrims have been going well so I would hope we’re going to do well despite the fierce competition!”
Any particular opponents you’re looking specifically to play or avoid?
“There aren’t really any that fall into those two categories, however I am very intrigued by xy-‘s team and how good they are (xy- is a former top tier professional player playing for team Zenith) and fureur. Going to have to do a bit of research at the LAN, should prove to be interesting at the very least.”
Finally, anyone you want to shout-out to before you ride off to victory in epic.LAN?
Sure thing, I want to give a huge shoutout to our sponsors Steelseries, hitbox.tv (gogo UKDota, stream there!), Duality media and Esportclothing! Without them myself and my team couldn’t compete and have such wonderful experiences within Reason Gaming. Also my obligatory shout to my eSports boyfriend King Dave <3