Tundra Esports' 33: 'We all felt like Stockholm was our major to win'
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Tundra Esports’ 33: ‘We all felt like Stockholm was our major to win’

The Stockholm Major will be a learning experience for the future

Tundra Esports has been one of the best teams to come out of the Western Europe Dota Pro Circuit ever since their inception in early 2021 when they first signed mudgolems. The team has soared to the top of Western Europe standings and has remained at the top, performing admirably and ending up with a third-place finish at the most recent Stockholm Major 2022. Despite that top-three finish, the goal of any Dota team is to end up at the top; and with a new season approaching, Tundra’s offlaner, Neta “33” Shapira, discusses the team’s recent run at the Stockholm Major, their attitude towards the new season, and the impact of the newest patch 7.31d.

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What happened to Tundra Esports at Stockholm?

The Stockholm Major was a monumental event; the first in-person LAN event attended by fans since ESL One Los Angeles was canceled in 2020. The last two years of Dota were played online, and this online era was where Tundra Esports really found its stride. Tundra has attended two LAN events since the departure from online play — GAMERS GALAXY: Dota Invitational 2022 and the Stockholm Major, where Tundra placed third and second respectively. The difference between those two events? The presence of a crowd; despite two high placements, 33 believed Tundra could’ve gone further in the most recent Stockholm Major.

“We played quite poorly in front of the crowd,” 33 explained. “I’m not sure exactly what caused it, but we felt a lot more pressure and couldn’t really play to our full potential. I don’t think it was the first LAN for anyone on the team, but it has been a while for all of us, so it almost felt like the first time again.”

While top three is not a bad result, Tundra initially believed that the Stockholm Major was theirs for the taking. They topped the group stage and were able to start in the winner bracket of the playoffs, only dropping 1 game on the way to a winner’s finals bout against TSM. Despite this strong start, they would lose their next two series to be out at third place. Tundra’s carry player, Oliver “Skiter” Lepko, even acknowledged the difficulties of playing in front of the crowd in the first week of the DPC tour 3.

 

“We had a really strong and smooth road to the top three and didn’t really get to play our best in the final 2 series,” lamented 33. “So, in general, it was a good result, but we all feel like this was our major to win and we ended up underperforming near the finish line.”

33 believes they will do much better next time, as they now know what to expect and can prepare accordingly. If Tundra Esports are able to finish in the top four this season, they will be able to attend the final major of the season, July’s Arlington Major, increasing their chances of attending the International 11 significantly. However, Tundra will still need to play their best in order to qualify from Western Europe, one of the most competitive leagues in the DPC.

“The Western Europe DPC is always really competitive, so it’s a big challenge,” 33 said. “You really have to bring your A-game to every single match, or you might miss out on the major or even play for relegation. It feels like almost every team can win vs any other team. You might play for relegation with a 3-4 record.”

33’s thoughts on the 7.31d changes

Dota’s most recent patch, 7.31d brought with it many changes. However, to most of the Dota community, there weren’t enough to make a lasting impact; a sentiment shared by 33, as he said that he could barely remember any changes from the last patch. One thing he is thankful for are Chaos Knight’s nerfs — the hero dominated the 7.31c meta, and was played in almost every game for the last few months. In the Stockholm Major, Chaos Knight was picked or banned 113 times during the two-week tournament.

“Honestly, I don’t even remember the changes from 7.31d; I am trying to remember a big change and my mind literally goes blank,” 33 said. “I am just happy none of my favorite heroes got nerfed so I can still play pretty much anything I want. I am happy CK got nerfed — I hated playing versus that hero every single game.”

 

Author
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Kenneth Utama
The resident Dota player of the Upcomer Team that dips his toes into League, Melee and Pokemon. A chinese-indonesian living in Vancouver, Canada. Enjoys food, fashion and movies. Just another adult who decided it would be a good idea to start their own podcast