Interview with AnatoLiy: "The three new players in the mix for SPL makes us all rejuvenated and hungrier than ever"
Sun 31st Aug 2014 - 11:58am: Smite
Anatoliy 'AnatoLiy' Alekseyenok has been with the team since their Root Gaming days and after a coveted run with the team including 2nd place at the Smite Launch Tournament he turned to a coaching role with the team.
AnatoLiy at the SMITE launch tournament.
AnatoLiy, after spending such a long time with the team was it difficult switching from solo lane to a more analytical position?
AnatoLiy: It’s not as hard as many people may think. I’ve managed a very talented NA WC3:TFT (1v1’s, not DOTA) team for roughly 3 years, as well as managing ROOT gaming for a short period of time for both SC2 and SMITE. Although I love to be in the battlefield, this position is not something I’m unfamiliar with.
How do you feel your new position will benefit yourself compared to your old role on the team?
AnatoLiy: Since we’ve been together, we never had that 6th person perspective from the outside looking in giving us unbiased/unfiltered feedback that we can trust and respect. With me now in that full time position this will escalate our team to a higher level.
With three new players in the mix for the pro league how do you think the team will perform in the SPL and have they been performing well in scrims?
AnatoLiy: The three new players in the mix for SPL makes us all rejuvenated and hungrier than ever. I think our team will perform very strongly with a new found passion unlike we’ve had in a long time. For scrims, with our old and new roster we usually go 50-50 in scrims since this is the time to experiment with picks/bans, item builds, and/or opening strategies.
Was it difficult losing TheBest and ShadowQ, both of whom have been with you since being sponsored by Team Dignitas?
AnatoLiy: It’s never easy to have to say goodbye to friends that you’ve known in the scene for longer than two years and to be on the same team with them for over a year. Traveling with them to multiple LANs and sharing a lot of experiences together, both good and bad. All of us were extremely saddened losing those two but we’re still friends at the end of the day and I’m sure we will all get to hang out again in the near future.
You have recently been working out a lot at the gym, how much do you feel your health impacts on your play in gaming?
AnatoLiy: There are some similarities when it comes to training at the gym and training in a competitive game like SMITE. For both, in order to progress there needs to be a goal, a realistic plan to reach the goal, consistency and a lot of self-evaluation. After a gym session I feel very refreshed and ready to take on whatever the rest of the day throws at me. Also by taking a two hour break a day by going to the gym helps me not get burned out on SMITE and adds a little more balance to my life.
As a coach, what does your job entail and do you feel it will impact on the teams performance having a coach keeping an eye on their play?
AnatoLiy: When people think about coaches, they think probably of a guy that barks commands and draws a bunch of x’s and o’s on a clipboard. For me, I observe a lot of what we do in ranked games, in scrims, outside of scrims and try to fine tune anything that can be improved upon for the progress of the team as a whole. Also I will observe other competitive players from other teams to see what they are up to and if it’s something that should be payed attention to or not for our players.
AnatoLiy at the Smite NA Pro League Kick-Off LAN
As a solo laner what is your favourite god to play in the solo lane as of the current meta?
AnatoLiy: In the current meta I like gods that have burst kill potential and can bully people away from the lane. Anubis, He’Bo, Vulcan, Ares (against Tyr/Hercules). By putting a lot of pressure in the solo lane and dominating it, this will force the jungler to come to your lane which will alleviate a lot of pressure from mid and duo lane.
Do you think it would be good for the team if there was a big meta change before worlds?
AnatoLiy: I think it would be good for all of SMITE if there was a big meta change before worlds. This will allow the Chinese and South American teams to be a little more caught up and should bring some more entertaining games. For our team specifically, we have always prided ourselves on being able to adapt fast to meta changes and wouldn’t mind to see a meta shift before worlds.
Are there any teams from EU or NA that you feel could cause difficulty for the team at worlds in January?
AnatoLiy: Any team that makes it to worlds is a serious threat and should not be taken lightly, whether it’s NA or EU.
As with all team changes the team will come off with a big change to their play style, do you think the team under your guidance will be able to do this successfully?
AnatoLiy: The team as a whole has been adapting with each other rather quickly and we are all really confident moving into the SPL.
Gnaw is relatively new to competitive gaming, do you think there might be trouble with nerves when playing live in front of an audience when at LAN?
AnatoLiy: Although Gnaw is new to top-tier competitive SMITE, he does have LAN experience with Counter-Strike 1.6. Even if he didn’t, once you are thrown to the wolves that’s when everyone plays their best. The crowd pumping adrenaline into players makes them play that much better.
AnatoLiy with the team in China for the showmatches.
Thank you for taking your spare time to let me interview you and the very best of luck to you as you continue to coach the team and help the players improve. Do you have any shoutouts youd like to give or anyone you wish to thank?
AnatoLiy: Thanks to all the SMITE fans that continue to support us through thick and thin. Meeting and having conversations with new, and familiar, faces at events is always a treat and a pleasure. Without your passionate support, there would be no competitive SMITE and we wouldn’t be able to put a show for you, [VER] - You Rock! A special thanks to Alienware, Team Dignitas, and all our sponsors in always believing in us as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we will fear no evil for thou art with us. Also a big special shoutout to Red Bull, it gave me wings. No seriously, my lats are growing.