Saksa and his insane plays will be missed at The International 2023

Martin “Saksa” Sazdov went on an indefinite hiatus after Tundra Esports announced his inactivity ahead of DreamLeague S21 and the International 12 (TI12).

The first Macedonian player to win TI last year has a commendable history of amazing plays throughout his career, enough for a big tribute and a craving to see him again soon.


Saksa Airlines defined the Ti11 Meta

Saksa really broke the support role, especially during TI last year when everyone had something to say about Tundra Esports’ drafts at TI11. Saksa still deserves the MVP award for his contribution as a support player. Pos-4 support players are typically in charge of initiatives and making plays happen for the team.

Saksa’s Tiny performance has been one of, if not the most defining plays at TI11. As a Tiny player, Saksa’s spotlight comes on the moment he gets his hands on an early Blink Dagger, which he can go around setting up ganks. Tossing enemy carries into the company of his allies may seem like an easy combo, but oftentimes requires great positioning to pull such feet frequently.

While nitiating impulsively only puts him in the target of his opponents. Yet, with great coordination and leadership calls, Saksa makes elusive escapes seem like a breeze in every fight. Once his opponents overcommit, he just bids his time for his skills’ cooldown to refresh before becoming the opponents’ menace once more.

Banning a support player’s heroes

At some point, Tiny became a top-banned hero for any opponent going up against Tundra Esports. This indirectly reduces the drafting pressure on his teammates, notably Oliver “skiter” Lepko and Leon “Nine” Kirilin, to have comfortable hero options. This just goes to show that a support player of such calibre has an impactful role towards a team’s synergy. He was the pillar Tundra relies on despite not getting as much attention as his fellow teammates.

Another Saksa special is Windranger, which he spends more time playing in team OG. Regardless, it was one of those heroes, which he can truly utilize skill shots to execute mind-blowing plays.

Saksa’s TI History & Taking Break

Saksa’s glory days didn’t begin with winning TI11. Last time Saksa got that close to winning a TI was back in TI6. Digital Chaos’ wild card roster shocked the competition with overwhelming performances, which led them to the Grand Finals.

Unfortunately, despite the DC hype, the Chinese rival, Wings Gaming, had more to offer. Wings’ performance at TI6 was truly an eye-opener on how this team’s versatile hero pool won them the game. With no effective countermeasures, not even the brightest captain from Evil Geniuses, Peter “ppd” Dager could do anything. He also competed in TI7 and TI9, albeit with underwhelming results.

Saksa will take a break from the competitive scene due to health concerns. This isn’t the first time Saksa has withdrawn from a tournament due to health concerns, as we saw Tundra play without Saksa occasionally at DreamLeague S19, Bali Major 2023 and Riyadh Masters 2023.

He completely broke down his history and why he took a break in the recent We Say Things podcast:

Will Saksa compete with Tundra Esports at TI12?

Tundra will be defending the Aegis of Champions without Saksa. He will remain in a semi-coaching position with Tundra for the time being, but is uncertain about his future in Dota 2.

We are sad to announce @saksadota will be taking an extended break due to health reasons and will not be on our active roster. We wish him all the healing and success possible.

Thank you, Martin, for playing a pivotal role in our TI victory. You’ll forever be a part of our…

— TUNDRA (@TundraEsports) September 6, 2023

We will know if Saksa returns to Dota 2 early next season.

Read next: Dota 2 The International 2023: Event Guide, Teams & History
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