ALWAYSWANNAFLY Explains How He Joined Talon as a Dota 2 Coach
Former Natus Vincere captain and support player Andrii "ALWAYSWANNAFLY" Bondarenko recently joined Talon Esports as its Dota 2 coach. Since a player from Eastern Europe (EEU) coaching a team in Southeast Asia (SEA) is quite rare, the fans were rather surprised at this development. During a recent Twitch livestream of Ukrainian analyst Alexey "STORM" Tumanov, ALWAYSWANNAFLY explained how he came to join Talon. As per him, Talon's carry player Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon texted him on Instagram first and asked him to coach them. Despite his skepticism due to a potential language barrier, ALWAYSWANNAFLY said that a scrim overview helped him to clear up his doubt.
ALWAYSWANNAFLY says 23savage contacted him to coach Talon
Talon Esports went undefeated in the Southeast Asia (SEA) regional qualifier of The International 11 (TI11), taking down one team after another, including Polaris Esports 3-2 in the grand final.
Talon’s official announcement of ALWAYSWANNAFLY as the new Dota 2 coach came on 19th Sept, however, the player-turned-coach had already announced on Telegram shortly after the team won the qualifier that he had been the team's coach despite the five-hour gap.
Despite living so far away from SEA and having little in common, ALWAYSWANNAFLY explained the details of his new position.
"Texted me on Instagram 23savage. Said, looked at your Liquipedia, do you want to train us? I said, 'Yeah, go for it. That's it, actually. I didn't really want to at first, because I realized there might be some problems with the language, but then I went to a scrim and realized that they speak English normally. The language ended up being fine.”
Based on this statement, ALWAYSWANNAFLY appears to be doing well in the language department as he had previously stated on Telegram that some players had difficulty communicating effectively in English. All that matters, however, is that the team proved to be the best in the region and was able to reach TI11’s group stage.
ALWAYSWANNAFLY replaced Lee "Forev" Sang-don, who served as Talon's coach from February to August 2022. Despite Talon's slowly ascending regional league position, Forev's departure came after the team was unable to prove its might internationally. The question now is whether this can change with ALWAYSWANNAFLY as the coach at TI11.
Talon is currently on break, unlike many of its SEA counterparts. Talon will not be competing in the BTS Pro Series S12 which begins on 21st Sept. Beginning 15th Oct, Talon will participate in the group stage of TI11.