Team Liquid became yesterday at EPICENTER XL the second team qualified for TI8 by mathematically scoring the points needed for an invite at the most important tournament of the year.
We had the opportunity to talk to Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen a few moments after Team Liquid’s victory in the upper bracket semi-finals and we found out that the team goals for this season are not even close to be accomplished. See what Matumba wishes from this DPC season and what he would like to see changed heading into the second Dota Pro Circuit.
Congrats on The International 2018 spot, Team Liquid just earned the invite plus a top three secured at EPICENTER XL, how do you feel?
I feel really great and we are happy we already secured the upper bracket finals here. EPICENTER has a very special place in our hearts because we won this tournament twice already. The Russian fans are so passionate and they make us feel super good coming here each year.
So, it goes without saying that the main goal is to defend your title here
Of course, that would be my dream. I hope we can take this trophy home because that would be a new milestone for me, winning my first ever Dota Major. I’m still missing this achievement and it will be absolutely amazing if I can change that at this event.
You are one series away from the grand finals, and your adversary is decided in the VP vs PSG.LGD series, which happens as we speak. Who would you like to meet in the upper bracket finals?
We don’t really have a history with PSG.LGD, the Chinese players, so of course Virtus.pro is the team I hope we get to play against. We have this rivalry with them going on for a while now. We kicked them out from last year’s EPICENTER, we kicked them out at TI7, then they eliminated us from the Bucharest Major, they won three Majors this season while we didn’t win any, so yeah, given our history, I would very much like to play against them in the upper bracket finals here.
With the recent patches, the gold bounty nerfs from kills and towers, I see a lot of teams playing these team fight oriented drafts with a late game option. At this event a lot of the teams went with the minus armor starts, a lot of Venge – Slardar drafts, a lot of Dazzle is being played, while Liquid I feel is doing things slightly differently. You still go with pushing line-ups, the offlane Furion, the Lina, Kunkka mid, great heroes for clearing the creep waves, Death Prophet, the Radiance Naix, your ranged Lone Druid, of course, so tell me, is Liquid still favoring the fast objective Dota or is it something else behind these picks?
The meta changes very fast now and people find a few heroes in between the tournaments that seem to suit their play style better than others, but one thing remains the same. If you have heroes that do a lot of damage from early stages you can pressure with them and it makes it easier for you take the objectives very fast.
So you say it’s still an objective game, you still aim for that 20-30 minutes high ground push.
Yes of course. Although the towers give very little gold now, they still give you the map control, which is extremely important, so that’s why people want to take them down as fast as possible Map control is everything in Dota.
It’s been a very busy season for everyone, for you and Newbee especially, because you started with the very first minors. While for Newbee seems like it hurt them a lot to play all these events, they seem pretty exhausted judging on their latest performances, with you it looks different again. You’re 6-0 in this event so far for example, while they got eliminated in the group stage, so tell me how did you guys manage to keep the energy up, to keep the fuel going?
Although you say it like that, we feel like as a team, we didn’t achieve all we wanted from this season. We didn’t get a Major title and that’s something we really want to have. Yes, we are second in the DPC rankings and we are very glad that we technically qualified for TI8 but we feel that we could have done better. But all in all, when you lose, you learn. And I think we learnt a lot from all this season. And as I said, the main goal right now is to win at least a Major this season.
We are very close to the DPC ending, do you have any suggestions for the next season? Let’s say this one was a trial, how would like things to happen in the second Dota Pro Circuit?
I think the amount of Majors should be decreased. Have only four-five of them, give a better prize pool to those. I mean, we had like what, 7-8 Majors this season, put the prize pool of those in just 4 and have a better points distribution. Have top eight teams in a Major earn points, and keep the Minors exactly as they are now. If top eight will earn points by attending a Major, most probably the teams choosing their events will come naturally and the lower tier teams will have more chances with the Minors.
Alright, I see you’re itching to go to see what’s happening in the VP vs PSG.LGD series so I won’t take much of your time. Thanks a lot for talking to us and best of luck in achieving the goal for this season. Shoutouts you wanna make at the end of the interview?
Shout out to our fans. Team Liquid FTW!
More interviews from EPICENTER XL:
BreakyCPK: “I Hope TOs Will Realize There is More Talent in the Scene”
Duster – paiN Gaming: “Dazzle is a Very Good Hero This Meta”
PSG.LGD Coach QQQ: “Virtus.pro is a Very Tough Opponent”