Interview with V-Tune: Move to NA, TI12 Qualifiers & Insights on European Carries in Dota 2 Esports
Dota 2 Esports is not just about the Tier 1 events and tournaments. Players are constantly challenging themselves by participating in other smaller events, polishing their skills, and looking to stay on top of their game. The Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #4 is one such Tier 2 tournament organized by Eden Esports, Pinnacle Esports, and GamingMalta where sixteen teams from Europe battled for the lion's share of $50,000 USD.
At the start of The Pinnacle Cup: Malta Vibes #4, AFK Gaming had the opportunity to sit down with Dota 2 pro Alik "V-Tune" Vorobey, who was a part of Level Up, which lost in the Decider round to Luna Galaxy in the event.
V-Tune rose to fame in Dota 2 esports during his time in Natus Vincere (NaVi). Having made his debut in 2018, V-Tune has racked up impressive achievements in Dota 2 within a short span of time. He reached an impressive 12,000 MMR last year and has won multiple online tournaments including Parimatch League Season 2 (2020) and OGA Dota PIT Season 4: Europe/CIS (2020). He also placed second in ESL One Germany 2020.
We spoke in-depth about the state of North American and European Dota 2, picked V-Tune’s brain about the state of Dota 2 as an esport, and his future goals and ambitions. We also touched upon the scrapping of Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) and got some exciting insights into the role of a carry player.
V-Tune Talks about European Carries & Their Dominance
With V-Tune being a carry player from Europe, we were tempted to discuss European carries and their dominating playstyles at DreamLeague. V-Tune emphasized the diverse playing styles that each European carry player brought to the table. He pointed out how Nightfall tends to play a less risky game, while Yatoro is known for embracing more daring strategies.
However, while reflecting on his playstyle, V-Tune was unsure. He said, “It's hard to say. I really think I can play on a good level, but I didn't play versus tier 1 teams a lot of time, so it's hard to say. Need to check how it's going to be.” He expressed a strong desire to compete against stronger teams to accurately evaluate his performance.
Many pro players agree that Europe is the most competitive region for Dota 2 and V-Tune was no exception. He explained his decision to switch from the Eastern European region to North America with B8 Esports for TI qualifiers was due to the prevailing situation in his home country, Ukraine. After having played in North America, V-Tune stated that Europe is just a stronger region overall.
V-Tune went on to say, “I’ve played pubs in a lot of regions like SEA (South East Asia), NA (North America), and SA (South America). I think the only region I haven’t played in is China, But if you notice, everyone wants to play in European pubs because they are like most high-skilled players. If you also notice and see how pubs work in Europe, there are already some patterns. Even the 1K-ranked immortal players are making your games harder. It's really good if you play in tough pubs like these because you're practicing all the time and improving yourself in these pubs.
Reflections on TI12 Qualifiers with B8 Esports
V-Tune was a part of the B8 roster that had a good run at The International 2023 (TI12) - North America Qualifier. Unfortunately, it failed to qualify for TI12 after a heartbreaking 3-0 loss to Nouns Esports in the finals. V-Tune candidly acknowledged that the team overlooked its core issues. He opined that this issue greatly affected B8’s performance. He said “Nouns prepared for us very well. They made good bans, they played well versus us. I feel like maybe we could have won some games, but it was really hard to play against them because we had not enough heroes for offlane. It's one of the reasons. If we had prepared better and paid better attention to our main problems, I think we could have given them a good fight.”
With V-Tune playing with Level Up in the Pinnacle Cup, questions about his future with B8 Esports arose. Talking about the next season, V-Tune said, “I don't know, we will see how it happens,” mirroring an uncertainty about his next step with B8 Esports. He also shared his thoughts on the favorites for The International, where he expressed his support for Team Spirit due to their unique playstyle and exceptional comeback abilities.
V-Tune’s Thoughts on DPC, Future of Dota 2 Esports
With Valve’s decision to discontinue the DPC, many pros have welcomed the change and V-Tune also agreed with this. He shared his optimism and emphasized the potential for a positive impact if the competitive structure shifted more towards tournaments and LAN events, akin to the previous minors leading to majors. He acknowledged the excitement of having multiple opportunities to showcase his skills and experience the unique atmosphere of LAN tournaments.
When reflecting on the broader esports scene and Dota 2's place within it, V-Tune noted that esports, in general, was on an upward trajectory, with growth occurring worldwide. Despite a perceived lull in Dota 2 during the previous year, he highlighted the game's resurgence through updates, the introduction of new tournaments like DreamLeague and ESL, and increased attention from Valve in terms of patches and support.
V-Tune on TI12’s Fierce Competition & the Phantom Assassin Debate
With TI12 just around the corner, fans and pros alike are excited to witness the pinnacle of Dota 2 esports. V-Tune revealed that some of the favorites for this year’s The International are Team Spirit and Gladiators. He opined that Betboom could also be in good contention if it fixed its problems. However, V-Tune noted that he would be cheering on Team Spirit and commended the team’s playstyle. He added, “[Team Spirit] just knows how to come back, they know how their heroes work, I really like their playstyle. But you know it's The International, anything can happen. It's a big tournament, even the favorite teams, who should be top 3, can take last place and go home.”
Phantom Assassin’s resurgence in comeback games was a topic that needed to be addressed. Talking about whether Phantom Assassin (PA) needs to be nerfed, V-Tune said, “Yeah, PA actually is a broken hero for now because there is a meta where good counters of this hero can't work. And his Aghanim’s is literally the most broken item.”
To defeat Phantom Assassin, V-Tune said that one has to stomp this hero in under 20 minutes and prevent him from farming.
According to , Phantom Assassin currently has an astonishing 50.78% winrate in the Immortal bracket. V-Tune acknowledged the hero's power and highlighted the need for potential nerfs to Aghanim's Scepter and Blur, shedding light on the ongoing debate within the Dota 2 community regarding game balance.
In a parting piece of advice, V-Tune encouraged aspiring carry players to master a select few heroes, focus on efficient farming, and make informed decisions about joining fights based on their power spikes. Touching on personal goals, the carry player said he reached 12K MMR on his smurf. He added that his current goal is to reach 12K MMR on his main account.
It will be interesting to see where V-Tune ends up going in the upcoming off-season.