Team Liquid discuss days of Dota past and their own journeys to the main stage at the TI Finals Week press meet.
Team Liquid, are one of the four remaining teams in Singapore. All five of Liquid’s lineup — Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen, Michael “m1CKe” Vu, Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg, Samuel “Boxi” Svahn, and Aydin “iNSaNiA” Sarkohi — were present. Liquid’s coaches William “Blitz” Lee and Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka were absent, but the team was in full flow with their answers.
With TI 11 almost at its end, we asked Liquid to look back; both at Internationals past, and their own careers, to learn a little bit more about their journey into professional Dota.
The journey to Pro
Do each of you have a specific moment in the past where you decided you'd go pro with this Dota thing, or did it just happen without you realizing? If there was such a moment, what was it?
iNSaNiA: I know for myself at least, it was an active decision to switch from HoN to Dota, and it wasn’t like I was gonna play Dota for fun. So yeah, there was a very specific moment when I decided to switch. It was like either switch or go study or do something else, and I decided I wanted to play Dota. So it was always… with a goal in mind to make it.
m1CKe: Yeah, pretty much the same.
zai: I guess for me, by the time I went to my first Dota LAN, I was 16, I was still in school, but we played some… it was at South by Southwest… It was some monster tournament with like four teams. *inaudible*… probably Team Liquid at the time. We played BuLba (Kanishka Sosale) and some dudes, and like two other teams. We just went through this four-man tournament and we won, and I think after that it was just like I was on EG.
What are your favorite heroes to play 1. in your role 2. outside your roles?
m1CKe: Rubick, probably. Most fun Hero in Dota. In my role? Now probably Pango.
iNSaNiA: I agree. Outside my role, Rubick, in my role, Rubick.
Dota players in general have more creative nicknames than CSGO players, a lot of whom use their own names or initials. You guys have pretty interesting handles. What is the story behind each of your nicknames?
m1CKe: It’s “miCKe” with a 1 in it. That’s it. My nickname.
Boxi: I just copied my brother’s friend’s nickname when I was 8.
iNSaNiA: I chose mine at my cousin’s. I was making Guild Wars characters and my cousin had Latin nicknames for all of his… and I wanted to be cool like him. I also wanted Latin words so I just looked up a bunch of Latin words and this was the one that people got to know me by so I stuck by it.
zai: Mine was kinda just random… no meaning, really. Just… cool letters.
MATUMBAMAN: I answered this question like 30 times! I can say my first nickname actually was from Latin, too. In Warcraft III I played under the name “lacrima,” which means “tear” I believe. It’s still my Warcraft III nickname.
Looking back at past legends
If you guys could go up against any TI lineup from the past, what team would you want to play and why?
zai: I would play against TI4 Newbee, because I think… I don’t know, they kind of just won the tournament and disappeared, never came back again, and I think we had a good shot at winning that year. I’ve been salty ever since. Especially Banana (Wang Jiao)… I’d like to play against him again.
Whether or not Newbee could make a return to face Zai and grant that wish will have to wait until next DPC season. In the meantime, there are three current line ups for the team to contend with.
Next up, Liquid will face Team Aster during Finals Weekend, beginning October 29.