A little more than a year has passed since the last interview with Leonardo " LeoStyle»Cifuentos from the Thunder Predator team. During this time, the online era began, which hit South America hard, but the region suddenly rebelled – Thunder Predator collapsed at Singapore Major. So I decided to talk to Leo again.
– Leo, how was your flight home from Singapore?
– It was an exhausting journey to be honest, going to Singapore we had two scales at Madrid (10 hours), Abu Dhabi (2 hours) and back to home one at Amsterdam (4 hours approx) and that made it feel so long. After de Major I felt calm even when I thought we could have got more, it’s because we are satisfied with our performance there considering it was our first tournament as a roster.
– If it's not a secret, who did you make up with before the tournament for a month without games? I've only heard about Quincy Crew. How was the preparation for the tournament going?
– It’s true, we only had scrims against Quincy Crew because most of the SA and NA teams were resting or playing other region’s tournaments. We would’ve liked to have practices against other teams from other regions but that wasn’t possible at that moment.
– How do you like the Major, the conditions of the event? Did the team have a sense of LAN-event?
– I think it was pretty well organized. I won’t deny it was kinda strange to play it with covid19’s restrictions like social distance at every moment or without leaving our rooms but I’m glad that we were part of it and overall I really liked how it was, it felt like a LAN-event.
– What can you say about the overall level of play of the teams in the tournament? Do the results correspond to the balance of power of the regions?
– In my opinion, the player's individual skill level and team level was pretty high, I think that if they got to the Major that was the reason. Results vary a lot but I think that everyone guessed that a China or EU team was going to win the Major, however I think EG was the surprise without losing any series before the finals.
– A little more about your performance. Did the result exceed your expectations?
After the group stage my objective was to get into the top 2 or top 4. I couldn't make it, however I feel satisfied with my and my team performance.
– Do you think you pressed your line and didn't worry, or did your opponents prepare poorly? Maybe some other factors played in your favor?
– I was a bit nervous in our first match against Liquid, I did not play well but I feel good with my performance after that, playing the phase lane relaxed trying to do my best (pushing towers or doing ganks). I loved playing with 2 PING at a LAN-event. That was definitely something for me and my team, we are used to playing with 100-200 PING against NA teams haha.
– I can notice that emotions definitely interfered with you in some situations, there were some quirks. For example, 1st map against VG in the group stage.
– Yes, I consider that I could’ve done better that game, I made silly mistakes and tried new things like Ember’s orchid and that was my personal mistake because the game went through forward and we needed more damage from my hero.
– How is your hand? It’s fine right now, sometimes it hurts when I play more than 15 hours per day but then I do my therapy (exercises) and I get relief. Nothing special haha.
– Speaking of health problems. What is the situation with COVID-19 in Peru?
– Peru’s situation about covid19 is not good enough, we are always trying to take new recommendations but our numbers don’t decrease in great quantity. There are people getting vaccines but it’s not fast enough, it’s getting slow to reach everyone.
– Can you tell us how the pro-scene in South America survived for a year online?
– There were many regional tournaments (NA, SA), no matter the ping, Peruvians and Brazilians played on US EAST server and that helped us to maintain our level and competitions. I think today Peru is better than Brazil if we talk about results. Probably our best rival have been Beastcoast.
– Let's return from global problems to DPC. At the end of the 1st season, you managed to break through from the 2nd place. Beastcoast, unfortunately, could not play in the Major. And other teams made spot replacements. Do you think it will be more difficult or maybe easier to pass season 2 for you and for other teams? Are you afraid of someone other than Beastcoast & Infamous who beat you?
– It’s gonna be rough, SA level between teams doesn’t vary too much. Everyone can beat everyone. It won't be easy but will be doing our best and more than that everybody saw at the first Major. I’m not afraid of any team but No Ping could be rough because they haven’t made changes on their roster and got good results in regional tournaments.
– You can say that you are almost guaranteed a place on the TI10. Do not relax because of such thoughts?
– No, quite the opposite, I'll need to be more focused than ever ‘cause as Thunder, every team wants to qualify by DPC points.
– It's no secret that during the Major, Thunder Predator and you have personally added a fan base. What role did the words of support play in your direction?
– Unconditional support is always well received, it’s even lovely. There were so many people from CIS who supported me on my social media and I really appreciate it.
– And the question that I wanted to leave for the sweet. What is the mascot in the form of French fries? Is there any history with him?
– It is my sanitizer and was a gift from my girlfriend. She gave it to me three weeks ago and she always knows what’s perfect for me. When she bought it, she got a necklace to put it on me so I could use it whenever I needed. As I said, she always gets the best for me and I love her because of that and for so many more reasons.
– Finally, do you have any greetings or wishes for fans from all over the world? I'm thankful with all the support I’ve got from everyone who supports us now and when things didn't go well. We’ll always do our best. Thank you for this interview.
* * *
I hope many of you who enjoyed the performance of Thunder Predator and Leostyle at the Singapore Major will continue to follow them as much as I did. As one famous Imagine Dragons song says: "Feel the Thunder!»