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Get insight into Esports through the eyes of a Pro player!
AOC: How did you become an esports player?
MinD_ContRoL: I started competing in smaller DOTA 2 tournaments and already knew KuroKy back in the day. After I managed to win a bunch of regional tournaments, he suggested that I should play together with him, so I joined his team. Shortly after, the whole team got signed by Team Liquid.
AOC: What would you consider your biggest career steps on the journey towards your biggest success: winning TI 2017?
MinD_ContRoL: In 2016, we lost two Majors – Shanghai and Manila - which was quite frustrating in the first moment. On the other hand, me and the whole team took big learnings from it and wanted to prove that we could win a Major one day as we knew that we had enough talent within the team.
AOC: So coming to TI 2017 you dominated the group stage, but then you lost the first match in the upper bracket against Invictus Gaming. No one ever managed to win the tournament coming from the lower bracket, so did you think it was over then, and what made you believe that you could still win?
MinD_ContRoL: Directly after the match against Invictus Gaming I thought indeed that the tournament was over for us, but when we sat together and analyzed the game we realized that we just had a bad moment. Luckily the next match was not on the same day, so when we started to play the next morning, we all felt like nothing happened and didn’t feel pressure anymore as we knew that from this point on we could only win, which we did in the end.
AOC: Yes, that was really impressive to see, especially your final 3-0 win against Team Newbee, another thing no other team achieved ever before in TI history. So, what was your first thought in the winning moment of the final?
MinD_ContRoL: In the first moment, it was just a great feeling to have won against such a big team as Newbee and a little surprise that the games hadn’t been closer. I was still so focused on the game that I couldn’t even think about the importance of the title and what we achieved with it. This is something I realized some days after.
AOC: Ok that’s understandable. When you look back on it now, what does winning TI mean to you personally and what do you think it means for your team and for esports in your home country Bulgaria?
MinD_ContRoL: To me personally it means getting some kind of reward and acknowledgement for all the efforts throughout the years. For my team, it is the biggest success in our history and everyone is just happy and grateful to be part of this amazing story. When it comes to Bulgaria, I am truly astonished by all the support coming from there and just hope we could give them something back by winning TI. For young gamers, I think this can also be a motivation to see what is possible in esports already and what a great future lies ahead of us all.
AOC: Talking about the future, what will be your next steps after TI?
MinD_ContRoL: I want to keep competing and hope we can play a similar role in the upcoming tournaments, so I’m definitely hungry to win more titles now and optimally defending our title next year at TI.
AOC: Wow, that sounds like a plan indeed. To come to an end, what do you want to tell your fans and the community?
MinD_ContRoL: I would like to thank everyone who supported me, especially my family and friends, but also my manager and the whole Team Liquid, without whom all of this would have never been possible. And of course, thanks to all the fans out there supporting us all over the place: you are just amazing!