After finding incredible form at the end of the regular season of last year, Tundra Esports narrowly missed a place on The International 10, the largest dota 2 tournament ever. If they had won just one more game in qualifying round, they would have made it to the top, and given their form at the end of the season, many would have eliminated them as a team expecting to take a high place in the tournament. It was a crushing blow, but the core of the roster stuck together, determined to make it to The International 11.
Tundra bounced back from disappointment with an impressive season in the dota Pro Circuit and now the team is entering The International 11 as one of the top contenders. While there is a lot of pressure on them to perform in their first appearance at The International Level, the players are confident that their preparation over the past few months will give them the edge they need in the tournament
“The preparation we’ve done for this TI has been one of the best boot camps we’ve had,” said team captain Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun. “We were mostly focused on ourselves, both in strategies and mental strength. Dota is as much a mechanically adept game as it is a mental game. Without one or the other you can’t get very far in the tournament because it’s a very stressful tournament with the best teams in the world competing against you.”
The mental side of things has been a major focus for Tundra in recent couple of months. No one can question their mechanical prowess, but improving their mental play and teamwork was an important part of their preparations for TI, and one of the main reasons why former TI winner Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling was bought as the coach for them.
“Our main historical weaknesses have been our mental game and team cohesion and I think we worked a lot on that,” says Ling. “Our boot camp went as smoothly as one can hope and hopefully the preparation will lead to good results.”
Aui_2000 helped the team prepare for TI thanks to his experience winning the event in 2015
Both Jingjun and Ling identified Chinese team PSG.LGD and reigning TI champion Team Spirit as the two teams they really want to meet in the tournament. Both were finalists at the tournament last year and have looked strong all year round, making them the teams to beat for most of the other contestants.
A win against either team would be a big confidence boost for any roster, but knocking out Team Spirit, who are in the same group as Tundra, would be extra sweet as Ling revealed that she’s been the main scrim partner for the past few years. Tundra were. a few years.
“I think most teams in this tournament are most looking forward to challenging Team Spirit and PSG.LGD,” said Ling. “Spirit has been a key scrim partner of the team for the past two years and the team also has some history playing against PSG.LGD. These two teams, coming from Riyadh and the Arlington Major, also just seem to be the strongest, but honestly the overall level of competition for this TI should be very high.”
Being able to compete consistently with the reigning TI champions is certainly a strong way to prepare for the biggest tournament of the year, and the Tundra roster is confident going into the tournament.
Tundras are laser-focused on the task at hand and expect to take a high place at The International.
They have recently arrived in Singapore, ready to kick off their tournament in a few hours with a game against North American team TSM. While many of the fans at home have complained about many aspects of the tournament so far, Tundra is not concerned that potential problems with the tournament and its organization will affect them or their chances of winning.
“TI, no matter what happens to the community, will always be the most prestigious tournament in dota and I’m excited to be a part of it,” says Jingjun. “There are definitely some quality issues with PGL, but Valve has quickly fixed all the issues we’ve had so far.”
Now all you have to do is appear in the game. While many of the players have played at TI before, this is the first time this roster will compete on the biggest stage of them all and no matter how well you prepare, there are sure to be some surprises.
That said, Tundra is confident, and given their success all through the year, you certainly wouldn’t take them out of a top finish. If that does happen, and Tundra walks away with a serious sum of money, the first thing Jingjun does is buy gifts for his family, thanking them for their support over the years.