The ESL Berlin Major has been one of the most anticipated Dota 2 events of the year, and for good reason. Day 2 of Playoffs saw OG lose out to EG, 9 Pandas misstep against Gaimin Gladiators and finally, South America’s last hope fell to Team Liquid.
Among the players on the main stage was Boxi from Team Liquid, a Dota 2 veteran with years of experience under his belt. The ESL Berlin Major isn’t his first rodeo!
We got the chance to sit down with him before his game on day 2 of the ESL Berlin Major and get his take on the city, the Major and all things 7.33b!
How are you enjoying Berlin so far?
Boxi: Berlin has been nice. I haven’t been outside that much, mostly just at the hotel or the venue but I’ve been walking around, I don’t know what the park is called, but next to the Brandenburg Gate there’s this really big park so I’ve just been walking around it like 20 times. Gotta get some sunlight but 99% of my visit here has been the park and the hotel.
How is your experience of the Major in Berlin compared to Lima so far?
Boxi: The experience in Lima was a little bit different than the other Majors. I think with it being the first time the tournament organisers planned the Major, there were some minor hiccups but there were a lot of passionate people involved, people who really wanted to help out and things like that. ESL runs things a little bit more structured, there’s less hiccups in terms of travel or food or the venue. I know people at Peru complained about the venue. The first couple of days there weren’t that many people there unfortunately but the crowd was very loud and it sounded like there were a lot more. In Berlin, there are a lot more people but maybe they make a little less noise.
Peru was really great and it’s nice to go to a new part of the world. I’ve never been to South America before. The food and the fruit…the fruit is so-so. But I’ve never been to Berlin either so it’s fun to go to a new place and the tournaments themselves. I mean both are cool, you show up to a LAN and there are a lot of passionate fans!
Your run in Berlin has been a little different to Lima. How does it feel to be going through the lower bracket instead of storming through the upper bracket?
Boxi: I think in Peru we were more dominant or rather now, we’re less dominant because a big patch dropped and the game changed quite a bit. I think sometimes you need to lose to learn as well about what works and what doesn’t work and I feel like now we’ve figured it out a bit more so far in the lower bracket run than we did in the group stage. In Peru, I guess the game was a little more stale due to the nature of the patch so there wasn’t as much to figure out. In earlier tournaments, it was about honing what you already know.
When the patch dropped, we weren’t given a lot of notice. How did that change your approach heading into a Major?
Boxi: I think you have to be very open minded and maybe abandon what doesn’t work so great. You need to adapt ideas that are good or are working for other teams. In a patch that’s so new, you’re never going to figure everything out right away but in an older patch, I would say, you don’t wanna copy other teams as much. You have to do what works for you and find your own strategies. Now it’s more like this thing is balanced, this thing is very strong or this thing is very bad. You kinda have to accept that you’re right or accept that you’re wrong.
You’re going to face off against either EG or OG later tonight. If you could pick one, who would you pick?
Boxi: I think OG seems like the team we’re more familiar with. Perhaps from playing in the European DPC and we’ve played against them a lot. But they do have two stand ins, which seems to be a buff to their team. I don’t know, I was a little amazed that they lost their first game against EG. But then they won the second one easily. It was a crazy draft in game one. I feel it’s better for us to play against something that’s less wild. I would like to play against OG but I wouldn’t say I really have a preference or that one team is better than the other, it’s about what we’re familiar with.
After our interview with Boxi, Team Liquid went on to play Evil Geniuses in the lower bracket semi finals. They came out on top with a quick and decisive 2-0. Boxi himself put on an impressive performance as Oracle and Mirana in both games.
Now, Liquid heads straight into the lower bracket finals against 9 Pandas. If Team Liquid win, fans will see a repeat of the Lima Major grand finals with Liquid’s full team ready to take on GG. There’s still a long day of Dota 2 left to play at the ESL Berlin Major!