MinD_ContRoL Talks About Team SMG Scrimming With Puppey for TI12
Despite not qualifying for The International 12 (TI12), Nigma Galaxy's offlaner Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov represented Team SMG at the event as a stand-in. In addition to MinD_ContRoL, SMG was also rumored to be fielding Team Secret’s captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov at position five for TI 12, but that did not happen. According to MinD_ContRoL, who was interviewed on the "Our Game" YouTube channel recently, SMG had actually begun playing with Puppey in scrims. However, ten days into the scrims, the team's position five player Jaunuel "Jaunuel" Arcilla finally acquired his visa, which had been a long-standing issue at the time, so Puppey had no need to travel to TI with the Southeast Asian (SEA) side.
SMG has been eliminated in the 17th-20th position at TI12, currently in its final stages, after failing to advance past the group stage.
SMG scrimmed with Puppey before Jaunuel got his visa for TI12, says MinD_ContRoL
In addition to playing for Nigma, MinD_ContRoL also played for OG as a stand-in, then later for SMG, which made him adapt to different playstyles and players throughout the year.
While he was discussing this, he revealed how, at one time, SMG had just begun playing with Puppey before changes had to be made again with Jaunuel's return.
“Ok now, I am playing with MidOne, the next day…by the way we were scrimming with Puppey and then Puppey could not play anymore so now, we are playing with Jaunuel so even more players are coming in. It’s really fun (playing with many players) but at the same time, it’s hard for the mind. You need to be really strong in the mind to keep doing it.”
The days leading up TI are critical for teams, but based on how MinD_ContRoL described this period, SMG did not have the best experience because the team had limited experience scrimming in one flow before traveling to Seattle for the event. According to MinD_ContRoL, even if SMG advanced past the group stage, it might not have looked its best in the playoffs.
“In SMG, we started scrimming with Puppey three weeks ago (TI) online from Europe and Jaunuel got the visa one week before TI, before we came here. So, we had 10 days of scrimming with Puppey, something like that, and one week with Jaunuel so we did not have much time actually. I think it was even less. It was like - five days. Only five days with the new guy. I mean he is not the new guy. It’s enough time to play the group stage. If we played a little bit better, we could make it but I am not sure for afterwards. It’s really hard.”
At TI12, SMG was part of Group A, which also included Team Spirit, Evil Geniuses, 9Pandas, and Entity. Similar to Evil Geniuses, the team had two wins after eight games but was ousted in the tiebreaker series.
While MinD_ContRoL's time at TI12 turned out to be short-lived, he said that he was glad to have returned to Dota 2's largest stage after four years.
“I am just pretty lucky to be here honestly. I feel really happy that I was here, having a chance to play TI again. The International - it’s my dream always to play it. I don’t know how it feels like. It’s been a long time. Four years, I don’t play it and suddenly I am here again, getting some feelings, some nostalgia. It gives me motivation for the next season.”
MinD_ContRoL previously competed at TI9 with Team Liquid, finishing second. The offlaner went on to create Nigma Galaxy with other Liquid teammates but he has had to endure some trying times in these four years, missing two TIs and several Majors.