Valve lists Tundra Esports as Eastern European TI11 Champion in-game
Tundra Esports finally got their namesake immortalized on the Aegis of Champions physically and in-game. However, there seems to be an error on Valve’s end, whereby Tundra Esports is classified as an Eastern European team.
Or are they actually Eastern European all along? Or is that where the lost Aegis went?
Tundra Esports, the International 11 (TI11) Champions
Tundra won TI11 on October 30 this year, bagging $8M in prize pool winnings. As one of the newest Esports orgs in the competitive scene, few are wary of Tundra Esports’ origins.
In fact, Tundra Esports is based in the United Kingdom, where they compete in the Western European bracket of Dota Pro Circuit (DPC). As such, they are regional rivals with some of the top dogs of WEU, such as Team Secret, Team Liquid, and OG.
Yet, the in-game label for Tundra Esports’ regional origin is in Eastern Europe.
Are Tundra Esports players from Eastern Europe?
Perhaps a drill down into Tundra players’ origin would shed some light on Valve’s mix-up.
Notably, there are three European players, including Oliver “skiter” Lepko, Leon “Nine” Kirilin, and Martin “Saksa” Sazdov. Skiter and Saksa hail from Slovakia and Macedonia respectively, which is geographically based in Eastern Europe. Whereas Nine from Germany is in Western Europe.
Unrelated to EU countries, Wu “Sneyking” Jingjun and Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling are from North America, while Neta “33” Shapira is the sole Israeli player. Thus, Tundra is indeed a multi-national team at the core, but there’s no questioning that the UK-based org is indeed from the WEU region. Additionally, they have competed in WEU for many DPC seasons.
Central Europe as a new competitive region in DPC
Considering the overwhelming dominance WEU teams and players have been in TI Championship history, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea if Valve introduced Central Europe (CEU) as a new competitive region.
Tundra could have very well hail from CEU if the region existed in DPC 2022, since Germany, Slovakia, North Macedonia, and most importantly the UK could have been in CEU. The suggestion comes after WEU teams dominated the top three finishes at TI11, in which Tundra shares the glory with Team Secret and Liquid. Additionally, Secret and Liquid had to qualify via the Last Chance Qualifiers because of the limited slots for WEU teams.
If that isn’t a telltale sign of an over-occupied region, then let us not forget that three WEU teams secured direct invites themselves. These, of course, include Tundra Esports, Entity, and OG themselves. Even historically, WEU teams have bagged the Aegis more times than any other regions, notably by Alliance, Team Liquid, twice from OG, and Tundra’s recent victory, which makes it five points for WEU.
Lastly, the UK is still heavily underrepresented in WEU as a prominent Esports region in most tournaments, so this could be a step towards diversifying the European candidates.