Interview with swedenstrong


AFK Gaming

1win’s Georgii "swedenstrong" Zainalabidov Talks Dota 2, Team Dynamics, and Future Ambitions

Vignesh Raghuram
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In the fast-paced and fiercely competitive world of Dota 2, emerging talents are the lifeblood of the scene, bringing fresh strategies and invigorating the sport. One such talent, Georgii “swedenstrong” Zainalabidov, has swiftly captured the attention of the Dota 2 community with his rapid ascent from casual player to a key player for 1win on the international stage. AFK Gaming sat down with swedenstrong to unveil the makings of this new star in the market.

Starting Steps for swedenstrong

Swedenstrong’s journey into the realm of Dota 2 began in a rather unremarkable way—playing casually with friends in 2014. Yet, what started as leisure quickly turned into a passion fueled by the game’s strategic depth. “After the first few games, I got hooked,” he recounts and began on his ascent to becoming a pro player. 

However, it wasn’t an easy path; it involved grinding through lower-tier teams and relentless practice. His persistence paid off when he received an invitation to join Eastern European powerhouse NAVI. This milestone marked a significant upturn in his career. Being part of NAVI wasn’t just another team change—it was stepping into a legacy. The expectations and exposure that came with being part of such a prestigious team were immense. 

Swedenstrong’s experience at NAVI not only honed his skills but also gave him a glimpse of what Dota 2 looked like at the zenith of professional play. “First media activities, big tournaments, LANs—it all gave me useful experience on how to build team relationships and understand the workings of large esports organizations,” he reflects. 

New Challenges at 1win

With his tenure at NAVI setting a robust foundation, swedenstrong’s subsequent move to 1win represented a new set of challenges and opportunities. At 1win, the dynamics shifted significantly—here was a younger team with a fervent desire to carve out their place in Dota 2 history. “We practice a lot more here,” he shares, emphasizing the rigorous training schedule the team adheres to in order to compete at the top level. This transition underscores a critical phase in his career where adaptability and continuous learning are key especially as a support.

Playing the support role in Dota 2 isn’t just about being in the background; it’s about enabling the team, setting up plays, and often, being the strategic core. Swedenstrong explains the intricacies of being an effective support player: “You have to step over yourself a lot and adapt quickly.” This involves not just following the meta but actively predicting and influencing it, a skill that he has continually developed through constant analysis and gameplay.

As a result, to stay ahead of the curve, swedenstrong dedicates nearly all his waking hours to mastering the game—playing, reviewing, and strategizing. “In order to keep in tone I spend almost all of my time playing the game," he says, describing his rigorous routine of playing ranked games, participating in team scrims, and studying both team and individual replays. This dedication ensures that he and his team are always prepared for whatever the competitive scene throws at them.

Looking Forward

Looking to the future, swedenstrong is candid about the growth areas for 1win. “I think we still lack stability and composure, because some games we can play as a top team, and some we play just terrible,” he admits, pinpointing exactly what needs to be addressed for the team to climb higher in the rankings and compete at the highest levels. 

Swedenstrong's journey is as much about personal achievement as it is about community and support. To his fans and the broader Dota 2 community, he offers a heartfelt thank you: “Thanks to everyone who supports me and our team, you guys are the best. It's always nice to read positive comments and opinions. And we will continue to try to please you with good results, so cheer for us and see you soon,” he expresses with genuine appreciation. 

As swedenstrong continues his journey with 1win, his story remains a beacon for aspiring players and a testament to the dynamic and ever-evolving world of Dota 2. Each game is a step towards greater achievements, driven by a community that thrives on the excitement and passion of its players.

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Vignesh has been covering the esports industry for nearly 5 years starting with the early days of the DPC. His industry expertise includes experience in Dota 2, CS:GO and Mobile Esports coverage.

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