Team Liquid's MATUMBAMAN 'just happy to make it' to TI11 before he retires

The International 11 will be the last tournament MATUMBAMAN will play in before he retires. (Photo: Team Liquid)
The International 11 will be the last tournament MATUMBAMAN will play in before he retires. (Photo: Team Liquid)

The International 11 (TI11) Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) concluded with Team Secret and Team Liquid as the two teams that made it through the gruelling gauntlet to take the final two spots at TI11.

After their victory over (VP), Team Liquid carry player Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen sat down with the panel for a post-game interview and talked about how he feels about qualifying for TI11, which will be the last tournament he will play in before he retires.

'I'm just happy to make it to be honest'

Team Liquid were one of the favourites entering the LCQ, having dominated the 2021-2022 Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) on the regional level, though their failures at the ESL One Stockholm and PGL Arlington Majors cost them a direct invite to TI11.

After losing to VP in the LCQ's upper bracket semifinals, Liquid had to defeat Vici Gaming and VP on the last day of the tournament to secure their spot at TI11.

"I am exhausted, preparing for these games is super stressful and you can see the other teams are playing for their lives as well. And you can sense it in the game, they really really care about the game and I mean, I'm just happy to make it to be honest. It's my last year of pro Dota, so [TI11 being my] last tournament is absolutely amazing," said MATUMBAMAN after the series had ended.

MATUMBAMAN also credited the team's coaching staff for their performance in the LCQ.

"[Jesse "JerAx" Vainikka] does the in-game stuff, he talks about how we play our heroes, [William "Blitz" Lee] does the drafting with me, helps me out with that. I mean we just tried to come up with better strategies than we did in the regionals, because Entity just came with better ideas than all the other teams and we just got stomped, like my boys Team Secret as well. What can Puppey and me do you know? They were too strong," said MATUMBAMAN.

MATU on the TI11 meta

The meta in Dota 2 has been predictable in the last few years. Teams focus on securing the map and then use their advantage to secure the first Aegis of the Immortal in the game.

With an Aegis on their carry, the leading team would further increase their net worth advantage until they take down Roshan a second time and attempt to close out the game.

MATUMBAMAN believes the meta of the game has remained relatively unchanged since TI10 due to the lack of map updates since then.

"I think it's gonna be pretty similar to TI10, I don't really see how the game would change that much because the map stayed the same. Because usually between TIs the map changes a little bit but now it stayed almost exactly the same, except the small camp next to mid so I feel like it's going to be pretty similar meta," said the Finnish player.

Another fascinating aspect of Dota 2 is that each team has their own approach to the game and what they believe is the right way to win. Some teams focus on late-game carries while others split push their way to victory.

MATUMBAMAN subscribes to a might-makes-right attitude, that the winning team is the one that is correct.

"Only at TI do you see the true Dota, who's the best team, and what their idea of Dota is. It's kind of like the winning team defines what is right in this Dota 2 game, you know? It's not the second place, or the third place, or the rest of like 18 other teams, you know? Like, who cares about them all, only the winners define it," he said.

MATUMBAMAN has stated multiple times this year that it will be his final year of competitive Dota 2.

After nearly a decade on the scene with multiple titles under his belt, including winning TI7, it looks like he is ready to step away from the professional scene.

When asked what he would tell himself if he could time-travel to when he started his career, MATUMBAMAN shared some bittersweet words.

"Enjoy every moment you have in pro Dota because it's fleeting and someday it will be gone," said MATUMBAMAN.

TI11 will be hosted in Singapore from 8 to 30 October and features a revamped format with the new LCQ and a longer schedule. For everything you need to know about TI11, check here.

Otomo is a long-time gaming enthusiast and caster. He has been playing games since he was 10 and is the biggest Dota 2 fan.

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