Alexei "j4" Lipai has been known by Dota 2 fans for a while. This player knows how to gather a true team around himself. After qualifying for The International 2017 and getting his team signed by HellRaisers, we've got lots of questions, answers to which you'll find below!
Hello, Alexei. We're glad to interview you for the first time since you joined HellRaisers!
Hi, so am I!
You are at bootcamp in Los Angeles right now. Have you been to the USA before? How was the flight and acclimatization?
No, it's my first time visiting the USA. The flight was good, it usually goes worse for me. As for the acclimatization, we haven't adapted completely yet, I haven't at least.
Have you ever met the other teammates before the bootcamp?
I have, expect for Swiftending, whom I saw at the bootcamp in Turkey in May.
You played for Power Rangers for a while, and that was a rather fruitful period, during which you played in a multi-language team. Is it difficult to readjust and play on the team, speaking English?
No, it's not. The communication generally satisfies me more than it did in my previous teams.
(Bronze at WCG 2012 on DevilMice – j4 is experienced in performing at big tournaments)
How does it feel to be a captain in a team the players of which represent five different countries?
I don't think about countries they represent. Personal skill and qualities are what matter.
You've come a long and difficult way to The International. Do you consider qualifying for the event itself a big victory?
It's considered as a result of the work done, though we aren't going to stop here. We understand that we need to work hard to stay competitive at such a high level.
Tell us how your joining HellRaisers was?
While taking part in the qualiifers, I got contacted by a representitative of the organization who informed me about their interest in our roster. We had a more specific talk after the qualifiers. At first we were more interested in other options, but we were taken by the organization's desire to make compromises and communicate. We believe that both parties are interested in a long-term and fruitful cooperation.
Now, when there's only a week before TI, do you need to change something in your play, fix some problems or do you just need to pull yourself together and show your play?
We won't change the style itself much now. We'll focus on improving what we've got during this time.
Do you feel a lot of pressure before TI? Do you manage to calm the players down?
I feel no pressure at the current moment. Something might change right before the event's beginning, but as of now we're working as usual. I don't think it will be a problem. We usually perform better in official matches. The importance of the game makes us mobilize and do better.
(The International has its atmosphere. Hardly anyone can bear a burden of responsibility, seeing thousands of fans in front of you)
There are both favorites and dark horses at the tournament. HellRaisers will be the latter. What's your approach to the upcoming fights? Are you analyzing the opponent's games together or is it what you are doing alone?
We haven't analyzed anyone yet, we're focusing on our play. When the groups are revealed, then we'll gather more information about the opponent, but in general all teams will have some new strategies, so it's better to be ready on a particular day, and also be able to adapt as the tournament goes.
A victory at a CS:GO Major tournament was celebrated by a CIS team not so long ago. The result is truly pleasant but unexpected. In your opinion, does a CIS team have a chance to raise the The International trophy?
Why not? Virtus.pro are very strong right now, I see them in the top 4, and then it all depends on many factors. They can fight for the championship.
Taking about your personal gaming achievements, which one is the most important to you right now?
For sure it is a slot in the current TI.
(HellRaisers at bootcamp in Los Angeles)
What are your plans for the week, will you have enough time to come to TI being calm and confident in your play?
We're adjusting to the time zone right now. I think that by the time the event begins, we will completely adapt and will be able to focus on our play.
Thank you for the interview, we wish the team to show their strength! It's time for classic shoutouts to the fans, isn't it?
Thank you! Hello to everyone watching and cheering us, we'll do our best to live up to your expectations.