MoonMeander Talks About Roster Changes, TI11 and SabeRLight-’s Departure
TSM’s newly appointed head coach David "MoonMeander" Tan recently hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on the Dota 2 subreddit, where he answered numerous fan questions regarding the team. MoonMeander was a part of TSM’s debut roster in 2022, as the North-American based organization picked up the former Team Undying stack after The International 2021 (TI10).
TSM enjoyed a great debut year in the Dota 2 competitive scene, as it managed to achieve a second place finish at the Stockholm Major. However, as the season goes on TSM faltered in terms of performance as it bombed out of The International 2022 (TI11) in the group stages leading to MoonMeander transitioning into the head coach position for the upcoming season.
MoonMeander answered fan questions on Reddit
TSM recently hosted an AMA session with its fans on Reddit featuring its newly appointed head coach David "MoonMeander" Tan. The head coach answered most of the questions posted related to the team, including its recent roster changes & its TI11 journey.
MoonMeander’s decision to transition to head coach in 2023
MoonMeander stated that he was supposed to coach the team at the beginning, as he previously mentioned in his announcement video. However, he was forced to play for one more year as he did not have the influence to recruit the likes of Tommy "Taiga" Le or Martin "Saksa" Sazdov at the time.
However, after being picked up by TSM in 2022, MoonMeander finally has his chance to fully focus on drafting as the team’s head coach following the recent recruitment of former Into The Breach (ITB) support player Matthew “Ari” Walker.
TSM’s offlaner debacle during the off-season
MoonMeander revealed that Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek was originally debating between staying with TSM or joining Shopify Rebellion with ex-Evil Geniuses players. However, MoonMeander decided to create a backup plan in advance as he believed that Kanishka "BuLba" Sosale would poach him from TSM.
Initially, MoonMeander wanted to have carry Enzo "Timado" Gianoli to play in the offlane position as he wanted to recruit Talon Esports’ Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon according to Matthew “Whitemon” Filemon’s interview with Esports.GG.
However, he ultimately chose a young Russian off-laner in Ilyas "kasane" Gainullin to replace the recently departed SabeRLight- as the player was highly recommended by OG’s Mikhail "Misha" Agatov, Additionally, Misha & kasane are close friends with each other.
MoonMeander thoughts on TSM’s TI11 journey
MoonMeander noted that the main reason for TSM’s disastrous run at its first ever International was due to peer pressure & fear from the players. He also stated that the organization is planning on recruiting a sports psychologist for the Dota 2 team to help combat these issues.
“The biggest reason honestly was that there was too much fear in people's hearts. TI is a monster that brings out the primal fear in players hearts. It’s something a lot of players struggle to overcome. I think that having a sports psychologist for 2023 will fix these problems as previous TI winners [OG, Team Spirit, Tundra Esports] had a psychologist when they won TI.”
TSM recently debuted its roster in the BTS Pro Series Season 13, as the team achieved 2nd place in the online tournament. However, Whitemon was unable to join the team at the online event as the player was involved with his national team’s championship win at the International Esports Federation (IESF) World Championship 2022 in Bali, Indonesia.