Interview With Tundra skiter: "I Have a Lot of Respect for MATUMBAMAN and Ame"
In his long career in tier 2 competitive Dota 2, Slovak carry player Oliver "skiter" Lepko has evidently found his way into the upper echelons of the game with Tundra Esports. Since joining Tundra, skiter has shown great consistency and synergy with the team, which has made him arguably the most improved player on the team. As a result of Tundra’s excellent performance in the Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) 2021-22, it is on the verge of qualifying for The International 11 (TI11) as well, which shall make skiter appear in a TI in his Dota 2 career for the first time.
As part of our interview with skiter at Riyadh Masters 2022, we discussed his journey with Tundra Esports so far, his time at the Riyadh Masters 2022, and the carry players he admires.
A conversation with skiter from Tundra Esports at the Riyadh Masters 2022
Hey skiter, thanks for joining us. You are virtually guaranteed a TI11 appearance. How have the emotions been in the Tundra camp lately?
Skiter: We are for sure happy that we are probably going to TI but not too much has changed for us. We are still working hard. We don’t wanna lose motivation or anything like that. Just grind as many pubs as we can. We focus on each tournament as much as we can so honestly, nothing really changed. Of course, it puts me more at peace that we are probably going to TI but nothing really changed in our structure, practice, and all of that.
How do you assess Tundra’s current form? What are your goals and expectations for the Arlington Major?
Skiter: Since we won the European DPC, we have very high expectations. Honestly, speaking for myself, I have had very high expectations with this roster ever since we started. But, again, we are mostly focusing on the journey and on the practice itself so when we actually get to the tournament, there’s no nervousness or anything like that. Again, generally, we tell ourselves that we are the hardest working team in the tournament and hopefully people will get to see the results of that.
How has the time been at the Riyadh Masters so far? What do you have to say about the fans at the event?
Skiter: I have enjoyed it so much, the hospitality of this country and the organizer of the tournament is amazing. I would love to return again if they make a second one. Unfortunately, we had to play with a stand-in and we didn’t really achieve the higher results as we expected which obviously is disappointing for us but what can we do? Life moves on and we will learn from this experience.
The fans are very nice. They ask for pictures. I am not sure just yet because we are about to do our signing session so we’ll see but I am happy to take a picture with anyone or sign anything.
Have you been surprised by any team's performance in the Riyadh Masters?
Skiter: Yeah, I think Team Secret surprised everyone. They struggled to qualify for the Major, right, and yet they are in the semifinals right now playing. They won the first game against Spirit and are looking very strong and confident. So, we’ll see. But yeah, they are definitely the ones who surprised me the most. Spirit and LGD, I kinda had high expectations from them. (Spirit went on to defeat Team Secret 2-1 in the semifinal and eventually played in the grand final where it lost 2-0 to PSG.LGD)
Could you describe the difference between Tundra before and after Saksa's arrival?
Skiter: I think, mostly outside of the game, things have changed. I think I am more structured than we have been before.
How do you think you have evolved as a Dota 2 carry player after joining Tundra?
Skiter: For me, the biggest thing I have been focusing on is consistency and the mental aspect of the game to not take losses in a bad way. But mostly, it’s the whole…play as many pubs as possible. Try to always learn from other people, take criticisms in a constructive way, and yeah, expand the hero pool I guess.
Heading into The Arlington Major and likely TI11, what are some aspects of your play that you hope to polish or improve?
Skiter: I think since we played with a stand-in now, we are gonna be back to playing with Neta (33). We need to kinda gel together again so we are mostly just gonna focus on the fundamentals of the game in our team. Probably add a couple of heroes in, some surprise heroes for the Major and TI. And yeah, that’s it. Nothing too special, I would say. Just the basic stuff.
Are there any carry players you look up to?
Skiter: I have a lot of respect for MATUMBAMAN and Ame from LGD Gaming. I think these two are big inspirations for me. Yeah, I think, those two.
On a lighter note, what do you think about the memes that compare you to xQc? Does it annoy or amuse you on some level?
Skiter: *Laughs*. Honestly, it’s pretty annoying because I used to have white/dyed hair and that’s literally the only thing we have in common so I don’t know what else people see. But now, I have my own hair but I don’t know why that meme is still alive. I think it’s pretty annoying because I am my own person but at the same time, I am a big fan of xQc so I guess you can also take it as a compliment.
Anything that you would like to say to your fans?
Skiter: I am very happy about all the support from the fans, the sponsors, and everyone. Hopefully, everybody had a good time in this tournament.
Rapid Fire With Tundra skiter
Which hero would you like an arcana for, possibly during TI11’s battle pass?
Skiter: Faceless Void
How often do you rage quit?
Who do you think is the GOAT of Dota 2?
What is your favorite voice line in the game?
Skiter: I actually don’t use voice lines so I don’t have any right now.