Top 6 Things We Learnt Heading Into TI11 Finals Weekend
With The International 2022 (TI11) coming to a conclusion with the Finals Weekend, the final four teams are preparing for the biggest matches of their Dota 2 career. However, the five day break period meant that the teams would have time to either recuperate or grind hard in pubs. During the break period, AFK Gaming had the opportunity to converse with the teams before the Finals Weekend in a press conference session hosted by Valve.
With the exception of Tundra Esports who were unavailable due to personal reasons, here are the top six things that we have learnt from each team.
Six things we learnt from TI11's Press Conference
Team Secret’s captain Clement "Puppey" Ivanov gave his opinion by saying that the five-day break period is bad for all teams involved as it distracts players from their ultimate objective of winning The International.
“It’s really bad, because you start to not focus on your main objective, which is winning TI and playing Dota but because you have a five-day break you start to think about your life and other things, which then leads to you feeling kind of depressed. I've been here for almost a month and now you have a break [before the Finals], but this does not feel like a break for me to be fair. I just want to finish this thing and go home but instead you have a break for no reason.” said Puppey.
The team were asked about the possibility of having substitutes to swap with players in the main roster during games as seen with League of Legends and general sports such as football.
Puppey was fairly amused by this idea. “For example, if Resolution misses his Black Hole I will be like “Get the **** out of here,” he said, with a smile on his face.
Roman "Resolut1on" Fominok also agreed with this, by laughing and added, “We’ll put the game to a pause and get someone to come and let him do his keybinds. I would love to see that! But on a serious note, it should be implemented [by Valve] because it could help to see someone behind you all the time and help you improve yourself so that the other guy couldn’t replace you.”
However, Puppey mentioned that it would be difficult due to rules as well as financial income to implement such a thing. “I think the main issue lies within our financial income, as we can’t afford that many players you know. Obviously I would love to scrim against other players within the organization and help each other to be better, like what football teams do,” said Puppey.
Many people & professional players alike have stated that Southeast Asian (SEA) public matches are the worst, however that does not seem to be the case with Team Aster who said that they enjoyed playing on the SEA server.
Zeng "Ori" Jiaoyang: “I enjoyed playing the pub games in SEA because it’s full of noobs.”
Cheng "Mad" Han, Team Aster’s assistant coach : “LaNm [team coach] also really enjoyed the SEA pubs, because everytime he plays in the SEA server he tends to yell really loud from the practice room!”
Du "Monet" Peng: “I actually really like the pubs here in SEA, I’ve gotten a lot of free MMR [matchmaking rank] because of it.”
Most of the Team Aster are veterans from previous TIs, with Yu "皮球/pí qiú/Siamese.C" Yajun being the exception as this is his first ever TI appearance. He revealed that while he is nervous about his first TI appearance, his teammates gave him good advice to keep his composure during matches.
“One advice that they gave me was that TI is Dota’s biggest stage, but one key factor is to just play in the way that you won your previous matches, don’t be afraid of anything and just play the best you can. Don’t think about the consequences, don’t think about winning or losing, don’t think about what happens next and just play your heart out,” he said.
TI11 will mark an end of a journey for Lasse "MATUMBAMAN '' Urpalainen, as the Finnish carry announced earlier in the season that he will be retiring following the conclusion of TI11. When asked about his plans after TI11 regardless of the team’s result, he revealed that he will be spending his retirement by constantly grinding his character in the MMORPG game, World of Warcraft.
“I don’t know, I’m gonna be grinding [smiles] my World of Warcraft characters. I’ll have no time, it’s back to 14 hours a day of grinding for me. [laughs] I just want to keep farming, for stats and stuff.” said MATUMBAMAN when revealing his plans after retirement.
When asked about the things that he will miss the most after his retirement from Dota 2, he replied by saying “the old friends that I made along the way, catching up with them at events or even the adrenaline rush I feel during my time playing, succeeding sometimes. You can’t really tell what things that you’ll miss until you missed it”
Team Liquid had a tough journey to get into the top four teams at TI11, as the team had to qualify from the Last Chance Qualifiers (LCQ) as well as the Group Stage. However, team captain Aydin "iNSaNiA" Sarkohi said that going into the LCQ was a blessing in disguise for the team.
“I think going into the LCQ was probably a big blessing for our team, because it allowed us to think of new ideas and see what works in the game. Some of the stuff that we have planned in-game ended up not working as well as we thought it would and vice versa, and because of the LCQ we managed to test these ideas out against high level teams and I think if it weren’t for the LCQ we definitely would not be here today.” said iNSaNiA
The Finals Weekend will be held at Singapore Indoor Stadium on the 29th & 30th of October as the final four teams, Team Secret, Tundra Esports, Team Liquid and Team Aster fight to crown themselves as the champions of the biggest Dota 2 tournament of the year.