A Dota 2 prodigy and a pub monster. Get to know 23savage under these 23 questions!
Amongst a sea of prodigies in the competitive Dota 2 scene, one carry player stood out in the Southeast Asian region. Nuengnara "23savage" Teeramahanon or 23 is a Thai player who has barely reached 20 years of age.
23Savage's name was first present in the community because of his exceptional performance in solo matchmaking. Aside from being a pub star, he made his TI debut at The International 10, becoming the 9th most visited Dota 2 player on Liquipedia that year.
There’s something about this young player that intrigues the public, so we chatted with 23 to get to know him better.
Thank you to ULTI Agency for letting 23savage do the one thing Dota 2 players fear the most: interviews.
1. How did you begin your career in Dota 2?
"At first I was playing for fun, and then after I got Divine (6K MMR) in like 2016/2017 I just became good. I posted in Thailand communities of Dota 2 saying that I'm looking for a team, that I have 6K MMR and so on. Some random people in Thailand messaged me and we made a team together to compete in local tournaments," he said.
"With team Jinesbrus, we played pretty well and we got 2nd place during the TI9 qualifier. So after that, Fnatic Jabz asked me to join his team. Jabz is my friend."
With T1, 23savage reached a milestone by attending The International 10 and placing 7th-8th. But after the first DPC season, he was replaced by former TNC carry, Kim "Gabbi" Villafuerte Santos.
2. How did you get to know you were leaving T1?
"It was after the DPC. March just messaged me like, 'I have a bad news for you..'" Then I get to know what happened. It was fine for me because I feel bad if I still play with them at that point, feels a bit weird. It's a good thing that it happened."
3. How did you end up joining Talon Esports?
"At first I wanted to play with Motivate.Trust Gaming. Then I played with them for 2 weeks and it didn't feel right. Kpii messaged me twice before I joined Talon. What made me join Talon was that I've played with Q in Motivate.Trust and I think Q is a really good player."
On pubs and matchmaking
4. What are the biggest differences between pubs and tournaments?
"In pubs, you don't need to communicate well with the team but in tournaments, you'll need to be able to talk and play at the same time. Other than that, pubs are mostly luck. If you have good teammates in pubs, it's easy to win. Skill also matters but it's mostly luck."
23savage is a pub monster - known for his incredible grind in solo matchmaking. He was the 2nd person to reach 11K MMR, just behind Abed. But he managed to outrun the Filipino midlaner to become the first 12,000 MMR player in the world.
5. What was your lowest and highest ever MMR?
"I calibrated at 3,500 MMR. I was playing for fun back then, I played a lot of Nature's Prophet. The highest I've ever gotten was 12,310 MMR, at that time I was ranked #1."
6. Is there anything you hate or want to change in the matchmaking system?
"I just hate Party queueing. Sometimes I get a random game with Party players on my team. They are like 2K or 3K rank, hard to play."
Thoughts on the game
7. What changes do you want to see to make Dota 2 more interesting?
"Change the terrain, the bounties. Add a new power rune maybe, something that can make you hit faster, like an attack speed rune."
8. What is the most annoying thing in Dota 2?
"Roshan timer, because it's random. I also hate laning against heroes like Primal Beast, Dragon Knight, Death Prophet, Necrophos, Viper, Venomancer.. all the green heroes," he laughed.
9. What do you think is the most broken or most powerful spell in Dota right now?
"Death Prophet's Spirit Siphon, it heals so much and it can Fear people with the Shard."
Random Segment: Dota 2
10. Who is the strongest offlaner you have laned against?
"Collapse. At TI10, we scrimmed against Team Spirit. Collapse is really good. He last hits very well and he's just good at playing."
11. Who is the most underrated Dota 2 player?
"Hyde is the most underrated player, in SEA and in the world. I think he's really good but he's not like a superstar. But he's one of a kind I would say."
Hyde is an Indonesian player who is currently playing as Position 4 for Talon Esports. Since playing together under one organization, 23savage got closer to the 25-year-old player.
12. Who's the funniest in Talon?
"Hyde, he likes to act like a Gigachad, always flexing his muscles."
13. Which True Sight is your favorite?/ Which TI is your favorite to watch?
"OG at TI8 was my favorite True Sight because they were the underdogs, very fun to watch. It motivates me a lot. My favorite TI that I watched was TI7. It was very fun to see Team Liquid from the Lower Bracket and it's also because they were the underdogs."
14. If you have to name your son or daughter based on a Dota 2 hero, which hero would you pick?
"If she's a girl, maybe I'll call her [Crystal] Maiden," he laughs. "For a boy, I'll call him Davion."
15. What do you think about all-chatting in tournaments?
"For me, I think it's bad manners. Because in officials you need to be respectful."
16. What do you think SEA needs to win a TI?
"Other regions just play better than us. I think we lack a good draft in the SEA region. It feels like when we are fighting international teams, the draft is not that good."
Random Segment: Personal thoughts
17. What's your favorite movie?
"I like Star Wars the most, I watched all of them when I was young. My favorite character is young Anakin Skywalker and also the old Yoda, he's very cute."
18. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
"South Korea. I want to travel and chill, and the weather is good there. The country is good to go for a holiday."
19. What are your hobbies aside from playing Dota 2?
"I like playing sports. When I was in Thailand I played football and basketball. I also like to karaoke. My favorite is rap songs and Eminem."
20. Who is your inspiration?
"Because I watch a lot of football and basketball, I like Michael Jordan and Thierry Henry. Thierry Henry is a really good footballer for Arsenal. Also, my favorite club is Arsenal."
21. What would you be doing right now if Dota 2 doesn't exist?
"Maybe I'll be a historian, doing research on antique stuff. I really like history."
22. What thing annoys you the most?
"For now, it's bad food. I want to eat Thailand food," he said. "Right now our bootcamp is in the Philippines. We don't have a cook so we ordered through Grab yesterday and the food was pretty awful. I'll just order fast food every day."
23. If you win a million-dollar lottery today, what is the first thing you are going to buy?
"A house in Thailand. I already have a house with my family but I want my own house. I can play in other countries though, but I don't want to stay permanently outside of Thailand."
23savage has recently concluded his run in Division II DPC Tour 2, with Talon Esports finishing at 2nd place and getting the coveted promotion to Upper Division. Catch the star player on his livestreams on Twitch or his solo games in the Dota 2 client!
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