KuroKy, zai, and Puppey Talk About Playing With MATUMBAMAN
It's no secret that Finnish Dota 2 carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen has played for some of the most successful teams in the world, notably Team Liquid and Team Secret. At the ongoing ESL One Malaysia 2022, some of his present and former teammates - Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi, Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg, and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov - shared their thoughts on playing with him and talked about his strengths. Zai also revealed that MATUMBAMAN was originally set to retire after placing third with Team Secret at The International 10 (TI10), but decided against it later and joined Team Liquid with him instead.
KuroKy, Puppey, and zai share their thoughts on MATUMBAMAN
It was under KuroKy that MATUMBAMAN got his first break into competitive Dota 2 playing for 5Jungz and then Team Liquid. It was from 2015 until 2019 that MATUMBAMAN and KuroKy enjoyed a great deal of success for Liquid, most notably being crowned champions of The International 7 (TI7).
KuroKy was full of appreciation and had fond memories of playing with MATUMBAMAN as he spoke. “Matu, as a player and a person, was an excellent teammate - professional, reliable. No complaints. He was a great teammate. We share so many good memories - him and the team.”
Just a few months before TI9, MATUMBAMAN and Liquid parted ways in an unexpected move. While KuroKy said he has explained the reason behind this before, he added that it was simply a mandatory change at that point.
“If you wanna ask why we part and stuff, feel like it always comes up, it was so long time ago too, people never let go. I did explain it at some time but it just had to be done, even he himself understood that," KuroKy said.
After leaving Liquid, MATUMBAMAN played for Secret where he achieved similar levels of success from 2019 to 2021. According to Puppey, who captained him at Secret, the player demonstrates a lot of qualities, including confidence. MATUMBAMAN had some negative aspects, but Puppey felt that these were outweighed by his positives.
“The difference between new people and Matu perhaps will be very similar to what I have with new people is that - the confidence of you know how things work at least. I think he’s very experienced, he’s lived through very many types of variations of how he should play the game.
He’s the kind of carry player who gives you confidence. I mean, there are a lot of things, his strengths, it’s hard to just name all of them. There are also negatives but the positives are way stronger.”
In the aftermath of TI10, MATUMBAMAN decided to leave Secret and move back to Liquid with a different roster this time, but it was ZAI that paved the way. In Liquid, zai said they wanted MATUMBAMAN, but he had chosen to retire; however, he changed his mind and then, a clear call was made to invite him as their new carry. Additionally, Zai emphasized MATUMBAMAN’s strengths on niche heroes, such as Lone Druid.
“I think after I joined up with Liquid, we were looking at a few players and initially, we all kinda thought Matu retired so he wasn’t a part of the picture but then, he changed his mind and obviously if he’s available and he’s willing to play, he’s a hard player to [[]]] and we got very well along in Secret.
He has a niche of heroes that I think, he is just the best in the world at and probably, people don’t come close to it. And I think when we set him up to play his game and play his heroes, he always delivers.”
In regards to the difference between Secret and Liquid, Zai explained that MATUMBAMAN has more responsibilities with Liquid but has done well to meet the expectations of the role.
“I guess one of the differences between Secret Matu and Liquid Matu is that now he has a more senior role in this team compared to before. I think, on Secret, he was very much left to do his own thing. That was beneficial for us both but a little bit more is required from him which I think, he has done a good job with, living up to that role as well.”
With Liquid, zai and MATUMBAMAN have not achieved the level of success in the current season as they once did with their previous teams. Recently, Liquid failed to advance past the group stages of ESL One Malaysia, and will now focus on TI11 qualifiers. Due to the fact that MATUMBAMAN previously mentioned that this year would be his last as a competitive Dota 2 player, he will greatly desire to end it on a high by participating at TI.