N0tail Expresses His Thoughts on KuroKy and Puppey’s TI11 Qualification Scenario
As the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22 draws to a close, it is clear that the game's greats - Kuro "KuroKy" Takhasomi and Clement "Puppey" Ivanov - will have to go through the arduous qualifiers with Nigma Galaxy and Team Secret respectively in order to make it to The International 11. (TI11). For two players of such fame and reputation to not have qualified for TI11 will be challenging, and former OG captain Johan "N0tail" Sundstein spoke about what KuroKy and Puppey shall be going through on the OG's Monkey podcast 30.
According to N0tail, who was in a similar scenario last year but finally qualified, said it is the point at which you start to question your "state of life" and why it's so difficult to live and compete at the same time. As such ideas pass through your mind and the pressure mounts, it is critical not to crumble, N0tail remarked, adding that the only way out is to make it to TI11.
N0tail feels KuroKy and Puppey are under a lot of pressure right now in regards to their TI11 qualification
KuroKy and Puppey were unable to accumulate enough DPC points to gain a direct invite to TI11 and must now participate in the regional or last chance qualifiers to play at TI11.
N0tail stated on OG's Monkey Business podcast, with JMR Luna and Mikhail "Misha" Agatov, that both KuroKy and Puppey have the drive to compete right now based on what he has seen and heard, but given the stage they are at, it is natural to ponder about why the competition is becoming more difficult.
N0tail stated that it becomes exhausting for players at certain points due to the amount of time and effort they invest, as in Nigma's case, they have been bootcamping for a long time now, whereas Secret on the other side has been trying its hardest to figure out the right gameplay, players, and other aspects to achieve the right balance.
“I think it’s inevitable questioning the state of your life - what you are doing with your time and so again, it impresses me that there’s a sign of high motivation from both of them, I have heard it, I have seen it and they are obviously still there, playing. But undoubtedly, they must also be thinking like - wow, it’s been so long. Why is it getting harder and more intense and why was it easier back in the day? Easier in the sense like - easier to kind of live still while being a competitor and now I can imagine that Nigma, they have been bootcamping I think from the start till the finish in the Second Division. And I think Secret, they have been bootcamping, they have switched players, they have been adjusting, adapting, and really trying to, you know, make it turn before it was too late for them.”
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Regarding KuroKy and Puppey's scenario, N0tail said that thinking too much takes a toll on you and that you feel like something needs to change, but the only way out is to qualify for the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year.
“But hey, you go over those things in your head, you think think think and I think they have dug themselves in a hole where the only way out is - you have to prove everybody wrong. You have to go to TI and you have to show that f**k, you f**k the system, f**k everybody. I am gonna go here and I am gonna play and I hope they have the strength to keep it together and not crumble, but I do think that with all the stuff going in on your head, you are always on the verge of saying, “F**k it. I can’t anymore. I need a break or f**k, this needs to change.”
Based on the recent performances of the two players' squads, N0tail believes KuroKy is under less pressure than Puppey. Nigma regained its status in Division 1 following a string of dominating performances in Division 2, whilst Secret, despite remaining in Division 1, found it tough to keep going and stay consistent in the league. Secret also had to deal with the departure of its long-serving position four player, Yazied "YapzOr" Jaradat, who took a prolonged leave due to health concerns.
“I can imagine there’s a lot of pressure, probably, even less so for KuroKy than Puppey right now because of just the nature of things right? You are moving up instead of moving down even though Secret is Division 1 and Nigma, they are back to Division 1 but they just finished Division 2 season. Now it’s all about the qualifier right? I think once you go over all that, all they think about is the qualifier, all they think about is TI.”
Prior to TI10, only KuroKy and Puppey were present at all TIs. As KuroKy's Nigma failed to gain a seat at TI10 last year, Puppey now stands to be the only Dota 2 player to have competed in every TI.
As N0tail stated, KuroKy and Puppey’s sights will be set on the qualifiers, which are anticipated to take place after the PGL Arlington Major ends on 14th August. For the time being, the two players will focus their teams' efforts on earning vital match practice against the finest teams in the world at the Riyadh Masters 2022, which begins on 20th July.