Q&A: Kaipi’s ComeWithMe on Manila qualifiers, new roster and patch

Kaipi is a name with a lot of history for Dota 2 fans.

Back in 2013, the roster fielded up-and-coming players such as Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao and Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, who were just starting their professional careers. This was before they became the legends we know today. Despite becoming kings of the semi-pro tournament circuit, last-minute roster changes prevented the team from receiving an invitation to the qualifiers for the third International.

Now the team is reformed with two of its original members. After various changes to the roster after the deadline, the team will fight through a gauntlet of teams in the open qualifiers for the Manila Major. For more insight into the team’s preparations and opinions on the new patch, Slingshot’s Cameron Regan spoke briefly with the team’s captain, Alexandru “ComeWithMe” Craciunescu.

Cameron Regan: Kaipi recently removed Sébastien “7ckngmad” Debs and Mihai “canceL” Antonio, do you think it was worth it to make these changes even if it means going through the open qualifiers?

Alexandru “ComeWithMe” Craciunescu: To be honest, I don’t think we would have gotten an invite to the main qualifiers regardless, but I believe that even if we did, that wasn’t the most important thing. We’re aiming to have a healthy stable team for long-term improvement and consistency. The team, as it was, at that time, was nowhere near any of these goals, hence we felt it was necessary to make these changes. Whether these changes are good or bad time will tell, I suppose. But we did what we thought was best for the team in the long run. This doesn’t mean to disregard cancel or 7ckngmad by any means. They are good players with good potential, but in our scenario, unfortunately, we just didn’t fit well as a unit. Wish them best of luck in their future endeavors.

CR: In your last few series there have been different stand-ins for the team. What will your final roster be for the open qualifiers?

AC: Our final roster for the open qualifiers will be:
1 – Pittner “bOne7” Armand
2 – WehSing “SingSing” Yuen
3 – Alaan “SexyBamboe” Faraj
4 – Craciunescu “ComeWithMe” Alexandru
5 – Cosmin “Masakary” Nechifor

CR: How do you feel about the new patch being released so close to the qualifiers?

AC: I don’t mind the patch. To be fair, I’ve always enjoyed changes because if there are none, the game becomes too static really, and for me a fun part of the game is having to nerd things out all the time and learn new stuff. No patches leads to boredom. Assuming you’re more concerned about how much it will affect the qualifier itself this patch, then I would say that it really shouldn’t, versatility is a big part of the game as well so if you have none, then well… that’s your issue isn’t it?

CR: Were there any specific changes that you really liked or disliked?

AC: The specific change that I enjoy the most is the fact that this is maybe one of the first patches in a while where supports are slightly buffed. Over the time, supports have been indirectly nerfed constantly due to buffs on heroes like Bounty Hunter and Lone Druid. The game is very difficult to play as a support when you have to buy too many things that are actually expensive for a hero that doesn’t have much income throughout the game. Then you also have to constantly guess what these invisible heroes will be doing so you don’t get screwed by them. Other than that, I suppose it’s just balance and making the game slightly more user-friendly, which is alright I guess. And I love that there are cheaper items that can be very useful on supports for the early game now, like the new move speed item (Wind Lace).

CR: How do you feel about Scan being added as a team ability? Do you think it will be useful or does it hurt the game?

AC: The scan is definitely useful. It can be extremely useful if used well, but I suppose time will tell which teams will benefit more from it. I expect a lot of games being lost while smoking and getting counter-smoked because of the scans, but nonetheless it’s a useful feature that will bring more mind games between in-game leaders. Should be fun to see how it works out!

Cover photo: Valve/Wykrhm Reddy