Tundra Esports at TI11 – Versatile, Dominant, Unstoppable
Tundra Esports was arguably the last team that anyone would consider TI-worthy until their defining victory at the International 11 (TI11). For one, Tundra is a relatively new namesake from Western Europe, also in their TI debut.
Yet, as we look back at the team’s journey throughout TI11 and DPC 2022 season, their victory finally seemed justified and well-deserved. In one of the most dominating runs ever at The International, Tundra showed how much a team can dominate an event through and through.
Staple in DPC WEU region
Despite being a staple in WEU scene, rivaling other high-profile rivals, such as OG and Gaimin Gladiators. Tundra went under the radar in most majors, usually with an average run to justify their TI11 direct invite.
Even when Tundra made it undefeated into the Upper Bracket of TI11, most fans had their expectations on the powerhouses, such as Team Spirit, PSG.LGD and Team Liquid to deliver an underdog run to win TI11.
What we failed to realize was how prepared Tundra was for TI11, as they won every series with absolute dominance. Even going into TI11 Grand Finals, Tundra shut down Team Secret in a clean fashion, giving no room for the highly rooted TI1 Champ, Clement “Puppey” Ivanov any shot to become a two-timer.
Veterans worthy of respect
Speaking of captains, Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun led Tundra to the TI11 Championship, as his decade-long perseverance finally paid off, proving that he has become a wise player throughout the years. Looking back, Sneyking started his pro career as an offlane player instead. Transitioning to the support and captain role came only recently, which is baffling to see how impressive Sneyking was in his craft.
Another veteran, Martin “Saksa” Sazdov finally won the coveted Aegis after wandering through the scene for several years and seeking the perfect team to fit in. His impact in damage and fight interruption played a heavy role in destroying his opponents with a secondary carry player. His signature Tiny is often the playmaker to catch unsuspecting opponents.
Anyways, the rest of the squad are no pushovers either, each serving their important role in delivering impact.
Tundra Esports at TI11
After Tundra’s dominating sweep in TI11 Grand Finals, they have truly proven themselves and are no fluke. Looking back at their TI11 Playoffs journey, they faced OG, arguably their biggest rival from the inter-region. The Tundra draft relied on consistent picks that scale well into the late game, which contradicts many opponents’ explosive midgame-oriented strategies. Tundra’s ability to overwhelm opponents in the midgame territory with heroes that scale much better in the late game, is very much thanks to one particular hero.
Mirana as a hard support pick by Sneyking is often left uncontested. Yet, it was the Mirana pick that opened up many Tundra movements throughout the matches, often as aggressive ganks. Her natural synergy to other heroes’ disables into her Arrow, makes quick work on any enemy hero. Even the feistiest of heroes would be caught unguarded when a five-man invisible movement strikes them.
In fact, Sneyking picked Mirana in 80% of Playoffs matches, in which none banned Mirana too.
Jacks of all trades
The rest of Tundra can be summed up to their vast hero pool, which gives off Team Spirit vibes. Sure, Saksa is highly respected for his Tiny, but even he can be versatile when push comes to shove. Notably, Tundra’s carry duo, Nine, and Oliver “skiter” Lepko have played various heroes, which all had their highlights in every game.
They even picked Medusa for the first time at The International this year, and showcased they can play any hero and win this year.
Congrats, Tundra Esports!
All in all, there’s no denying that Tundra Esports truly deserved the Champions’ title at TI11. They lost no matches and only dropped 5 games in total throughout groups and one in Playoffs. A persevering Dota 2 squad hailing from one the most contested regions on the planet. Perhaps what makes TI11 a truly memorable TI is how much our hearts wavered during TI11 Finals Weekend. From Team Liquid’s underdog run to Team Secret’s revenge match in Grand Finals.
Putting the pitfalls of TI11 production aside, the Dota 2 community could not have asked for a better showcase of beautiful Dota 2 at play. Tundra Esports walks away with $8.6M winnings and their namesake immortalized among TI Champions.