It's not well known, but Canadian/Malaysian Dota 2 pro and TSM captain David "MoonMeander" Tan, actually grew up and studied in Singapore before he gave up his PR status at 16 and moved to Canada.
Calling himself a "VS boy for life" – that's Victoria School for the non-Singaporeans, MoonMeander wants to go back to his secondary school to celebrate with his alma mater.
"Hopefully, if I win TI, maybe I'll go give a speech at my secondary school," said MoonMeander in an interview with Yahoo Esports SEA.
"I told my secondary school friends that if I win, I'll go back to VS and plant my VS flag. I never imagined I'd be back here for TI."
Like any proud VS boy, MoonMeander also easily name dropped the school motto – Nil Sine Labore – which means nothing without labour as something he remembers the school by.
A homecoming for MoonMeander
But in any case, MoonMeander is glad to have TI11 take place in Singapore.
He would love to see his friends and family, which he has not seen in a decade. He also misses the food, and plans to bring his team mates to Sentosa to check out the beaches.
"I'm also gonna make them all eat chicken rice and then the Michelin star duck noodle thing," the 30-year-old said, adding that he felt more "energised" when he is in Singapore.
MoonMeander originally competed in Heroes of Newerth (one of the original Multiplayer Online Battle Arena games that spawned after the Warcraft III custom map Defence of the Ancients), before making his way to Dota 2 in 2014. If given the chance, he said he would tell his younger self to move into the original DotA earlier.
"I took too long to switch. I switched when I was 25 at TI5 already. I would really like to have seen how far I could've gone, if I were at my teammates' age at 20 years old," MoonMeander said.
He was part of the original OG (Monkey Business) squad, which won The Frankfurt Major 2015 and The Manila Major 2016.
However, MoonMeander left the team after OG failed to make a splash at TI 2016, and joined Digital Chaos as an offlaner.
Since then, he has been in an out of various teams, before joining his current squad, Team Undying in 2021. The team was acquired by TSM in Jan 2022, resulting in a name change.
While he is appreciative of the TSM branding, MoonMeander felt that he still owed his Team Undying fans an explanation, especially given the support the team saw when trying to crowdfund their TI10 bootcamp.
"While we are now TSM and we are at TI again, don't think we have forgotten you guys. We are still team Undying, and we still use the logo and our discord name is still Team Undying," he said.
Aloysius Low is an ex-CNET editor with more than 15 years of experience. He's really into cats and is currently reviewing products at canbuyornot.com
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