'The devastation hits much harder': NatTea's 'crazy' first time hosting at a Dota 2 Major

The Australian host shares about her experience at the Arlington Major in 2022

It was her first time hosting a Dota 2 Major in person, and 26-year-old Australian Natalie "NatTea" Mahoney was almost overwhelmed with emotions.

As Team Liquid were knocked out of the competition, NatTea couldn't help but feel caught off guard with what she was feeling as she empathised with their loss while still having to host the panel.

"You can see it on camera and you can feel it, but when you see a team lose and the devastation, disappointment in their face hits so much harder in person," said NatTea.

"We saw Matu [Lasse "Matubaman" Urpalainen] just like having his head in his hands and it came back to the panel and I literally just had to like, try and compose myself 'cos I felt so much for him, like seeing him on the stage right behind us."

But the overall experience, she said, was "crazy".

It was her first time in front of a crowd, her first time with players actually there – she had been mostly working from home or a studio prior to this gig.

NatTea in her stream set up. (Screenshot: Yahoo Gaming SEA)
NatTea quit her full-time job to be a talent in esports. (Screenshot: Yahoo Gaming SEA)

Having quit her full-time job to be a talent full time, she's so far encouraged by the positive experiences she has encountered.

From fans to other talents, she's been getting supportive messages after the Arlington Major and during TI11 as well.

"It's definitely been really supportive and uplifting. Everyone wants to help each other out as much as possible, so it does feel like a little family, which I definitely was taken back by. I didn't know really what to expect, but the support was definitely insane," she said.

"Anyone is willing to talk to you, reach out to you, offer feedback, you just have to ask – definitely very much family vibes."

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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