Nine with Tundra Esports at TI11


Nine Talks About Playing Position Four for Tundra Esports

Rakshak Kathuria
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Tundra Esports' Leon "Nine" Kirilin discussed his experience as a position four player for the team, having recently been asked to move from the midlane.
Nine acknowledged the limitations of the role and suffered hardship as he couldn't carry his teams to victory, but eventually he quickly adapted to it.
Nine has overall found playing a new position in Dota 2 refreshing and insightful, enjoying the change from his long-standing midlane role.

When Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen joined Tundra Esports to replace Martin "Saksa" Sazdov, the team’s midlaner Leon "Nine" Kirilin was forced to move to the position four role. The player has now gained some experience in Tundra's position four role, which he discussed in a recent post-game winner's interview during DreamLeague Season 21. Nine acknowledged the limitations of the role and suffered hardship as he couldn't carry his teams to victory, but eventually he quickly adapted to it.. While there are areas of his game that he needs to improve, Nine also mentioned that it has been an enjoyable learning experience for him to play a new position, since Dota can grow stale if played in the same role for years.

Nine embraces the new position four role at Tundra Esports

Following Tundra's victory over Talon Esports in the DreamLeague Season 21 group stage, Nine welcomed the new support role with the team during the interview.

"It feels good honestly. The role is a lot of fun and the biggest thing is learning again. I am actually learning again in Dota a lot day by day so it’s very exciting.”

Nine, who has spent his entire career in the midlane, stated that he can carry over his spellcasting skills from that role but it is just about spending time as a support to get better overall.

“It’s hard to say honestly (on if the past midlane experience helps in any way). Probably I feel I can be better at spellcasting than most supports but I just don’t have the experience yet so I think that is the main thing I need to work on.”

Having emphasized the learning aspect of transitioning to a support role, Nine was asked if moving positions is something he would recommend to players in order to have a more comprehensive grasp of the game.

“I wouldn’t encourage them to do it if they like sticking to their position but if Dota is a little bit stale for you, I think learning a new position is extremely fun. I just feel like I am playing Dota again as a beginner, you know. When you started, you are learning so much now. I have new heroes to play, I have new habits, and a new game plan and it’s just something that I need to work on every day. But if you already played a role for a couple of years, it becomes more stale. Obviously, you can always learn. It’s not the same as going through a new role.”

On the other hand, this transition was not easy for Nine from the start and he would get agitated at times. He has gained a better understanding of his position and its impact. “I just focus on position four and I don’t even think about playing mid. I think I have played one game of mid since I switched to position four. I pick four every game,” he said.

Tundra has made a strong start at DreamLeague Season 21 with both Topson and Nine appearing to be at ease in their new teams and roles.

After eight games in Group A, the team has five victories and will be aiming for an upper bracket finish in the playoffs when it plays its final series in the groups against Team Liquid.

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As a passionate Dota 2 fan for eight years, Rakshak has indulged himself completely in its esports circuit for the past two years as a professional. In addition to covering major news developments, he takes a keen interest in understanding team strengths and player personalities.

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