Team Liquid’s performance both in the ESL One Los Angeles Major qualifiers and in the online format of the event has been lackluster. However, the world lockdown brought a plethora of online events for the professional scene and Team Liquid can redeem themselves at the upcoming WePlay! Pushka League.
While the regional qualifiers are underway, WePlay! Esports have been able to talk to Team Liquid’s Tommy “Taiga” Le about the team’s performance in the ESL One league, how he shakes off after an underwhelming competitive period, idols, players to follow, memorable plays and more.
“I almost left the team after TI,” he bluntly states when talking about the infamous miss click that led to Alliance elimination from The International 2018. He admits that he is the one more emotional from the team and that the loss in the lower bracket versus Royal Never Give Up had a strong impact on him. On top of it, the loss versus Alliance at the Leipzig Major got him pretty down. “ I spent four days inside the hotel not doing anything, just watching movies. I did not want to do anything pretty much, not to think about Dota at all, take time off it, think about stuff, he remembers.”
However, Taiga also finds the value of a loss and that motivates him to play even more and fight to get better at his role. “Usually I just want to play more to get better, because if we lose — we are just not good enough. Why are we not good enough? Because we are not playing enough? Or we are not taking this seriously enough? I just keep playing Dota till I improve. But the team is another thing. We can tilt and be sad for a moment, but then, the next day we are like, ‘okay, we need to grind, let’s go grind more Dota’. You hate losing? Play more to get better. And that’s how you stop losing,” he declared for WePlay! Esports.
Asked to give a few tips to casual players who are tired of losing, Taiga has a rather simple solution:
“If you want to win games, play like ten heroes that win the lane. If you win the lane, you will pretty much win the game. People with low MMR usually struggle, they don’t know what to do after the laning phase. Win the lane and it’s 90% to win the game. But if you want to practice and win, it’s going to be a lot harder.”
For position 4 support players he advised to simply pull the lane.
“Let’s say I play Willow, I just pull the second wave and then I keep pulling. I don’t lane, I just get XP for myself. And then I go gank mid and safelane. My offlane is going to cry a little bit, but you can tell the offlaner to also pull. After you pull the second wave, he pulls the next one and you guys just don’t lane — keep pulling. And then I connect it to the way behind your tower. That’s how pulling works. If you can do that, then you will pretty much always, have levels and XP. Both of you will need to do it right, it’s not that easy. You’re going to need practice for it,” he explained.
When talking about good memories and favorite moments from his career, Taiga has a special place in his heart for the Virtus.pro match-up from Leipzig Major. “We won against Virtus.pro with my Dark Willow and that is my best memory, like the best one I’ve had in Dota. That was insane. I didn’t know how I did that, but yeah, that Virtus.pro game was definitely the best.”
Taiga looks up to players such JerAx, GH, Miracle and some of the Ti6 Wings Gaming players, such bLink. He calls them his idols. But, he also watches other players too. “I learn for myself mostly,” he explained but he does state that he is also watching GH and YapZor, perhaps two of the best position 4 players in the world.
As someone who is used to traveling a lot, Taiga admits that he can’t wait for the pandemic to be over and for the esports scene to come back to normal. “LANs make Dota a lot more challenging and fun. LAN experience is unique, all the pressure and everything. I just like being in front of the crowd, to be honest,” he said to WePlay Esports. The interview touches a lot more subjects. His starting days in Heroes of Newearth, the Alliance break up, his decision to move from Norway to Denmark, living in isolation and the next Dota Pro Circuit season leagues format and more can be read on the WePlay! website, here.
Taiga and Team Liquid will start their journey in the $250,000 WePlay! Pushka League on the second day of the tournament, April 24 with a best-of-three series against the yet to be announced new Ninjas in Pyjamas roster.