European power squad OG have been fan favorites since their conception, through Monkey Business post-TI5, and leading the charge is Tal "Fly" Aizik. The Israeli captain has helped the team capture four Major victories out of the five Valve has offered, but now, their quest for Dota’s biggest prize has led them into a tough lower bracket run.
We talked to Aizik before the commencement of the main stage about the journey—both coming up this event and throughout the season.
The Flying Courier: OG is in the lower bracket, but you’ve done pretty well in it before. What’s your mindset going into it this time?
Tal Aizik: The best mindset you can have is, take one game at a time, because if you take a look at the whole thing you have to go through to win, then it looks like a mountain that you have to climb, and you’re never gonna get there. So, all I can think about is each game, hopefully we get through that, and then I’ll look at the next step.
TFC: You guys have been pretty consistent throughout the year; you’ve performed pretty well. What do you feel is the key to it, as a team?
TA: I think this team in particular, we have a pretty good mindset, even though we might not win everything. But I’ve never felt like the mentality’s wrong. We’re always looking for a way to win, we’re looking for a way to enjoy it with each other and have fun, and that’s kind of what matters. And we still have a goal for ourselves, which is the biggest thing for me. So overall, the personalities on this team are very good.
TFC: The hero pool this time is looking pretty broad; what are your feelings right now on that?
TA: I think the meta’s in a pretty good state, because, obviously, when you see so many heroes, and they’re actually working, it means something is good. Because, in the end, the goal is that every hero in the game should be able to be played at a competitive level. And I think we’re pretty close to that, so I think it’s good. It allows for teams to have their own unique style. I think now that the group stage has ended, teams will look at what’s been successful and what hasn’t, and try to adjust, and we might see kind of a more narrow hero pool, but it’s still pretty good.
TFC: How’s the new Red Bull sponsorship been going into TI?
TA: It’s been good! Obviously, when we’ve partnered with Red Bull, they’ve been very supportive of us, help us set up a nice boot camp and everything. You know, they’ve been with us even though we’ve lost the last year and everything—like, not officially, but they’ve always been there for us. So, we really see that, and they’re doing anything they can to help us in any possible way.