Boxi talks about Team Liquid’s success in the DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1, his wish to win the Dota Lima Major, team changes, and more!
Samuel "Boxi" Svahn has been Team Liquid's backbone over the years and has contributed to the team's success as much as any other member. Not only has he evolved as a player but has also helped Team Liquid navigate through troubled waters.
Team Liquid's sheer dominance in the DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1: Division I, and its subsequent qualification for The Lima Major — the first ever Dota 2 Major in South America — has been a pleasant treat for fans, and it wouldn't have been possible without Boxi's intricate knowledge and high level of gameplay.
Esports.gg sat down for an interview with Boxi to talk about the DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1, Team Liquid's success after Nisha joining the team, exuding confidence in his team to win The Lima Major, and more.
Boxi on DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1
Hi Boxi, congratulations on qualifying for the Lima Major an outstanding season in the DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1. How is the team acclimatizing to playing around Nisha?
I’d say we are acclimating well just based on our results. There’s always some getting used to how somebody thinks about the game and the micro-decisions they make and with Nisha it has been smooth.
Playstyle-wise we all match nicely, everyone just wants to play good Dota, Nisha’s favourite."
Why did the team decide to recruit Nisha, considering Micke would be required to switch back to the carry role, as a replacement for Matumbaman?
"Micke played carry earlier in our team and it changed him for good. Ever since then, he has always been someone that naturally wants to get farmed and style on people either from mid or carry. If Nisha was not available Micke would be happy to play mid with a new carry player as well. Nice with versatile players."
What changes have you seen in the team atmosphere since Nisha's joining?
"People wake up way later and occasionally make jokes with a Polish accent. Either a lack of Matumbaman or a Nisha influence, hard to tell."
What are your thoughts on Team Liquid's performance in DPC WEU 2023 Tour 1?
"Very pleased with our performance. But it can always be better. We had a nice boot camp, showed up prepared and played some good Dota.
Didn’t feel as cutthroat as it sometimes can, probably a combination of some teams being slightly rusty and us playing well."
It’s been quite some time since you moved to the Pos. 4 role. How has the transition been and are you enjoying it more than your previous role?
"In the beginning, playing position 4 was a bit rough.
For example, I’d spend too much money on stat items and clog my inventory, leaving my wards, sentries and smokes in my backpack. And dust. And then suddenly it's time to buy a gem. Learning to be more of a support and balancing between your own needs and the teams took some effort.
There are aspects of support you can gloss over when you do it occasionally.
To be able to consistently ward, stack camps, block camps, camp runes etc takes a lot of focus. Macro gameplay that you have to abide by in order to be good at supporting which is still a struggle. For example, I don’t always remember buying wards at the start of the game and someone in my team has to remind me. And that’s after a year of playing support!
I would say currently I'm enjoying it more than position 3 overall. At times it can be a struggle in my matchmaking games to keep up the cooperative effort with my team.
Position 3 can be more chill with more farm-oriented heroes. However many of my favourite pos 3 heroes are kind of shit right now so I'm happy with position 4."
Boxi talks playing on LAN and Lima Major
What were the key takeaways from TI11 – personally and professionally?
"TI11 was such a long event for us. Bootcamp in Malaysia started in late September or something and I flew home from Singapore on October 31. TI is a fiery and motivating environment to be in and we played what felt like 120 tournament games.
Jerax and I talked quite a bit about managing your mental energy, taking breaks throughout the day and putting my energy into what matters. For me personally, that was the biggest takeaway.
Professionally I realised how important it is to not let the pressure get to me and instead channel it into something positive.
For example, I believe Nigma and the old OG thrived in major LAN environments whilst many other teams play worse."
You’re now heading to The Lima Major. How do you reckon the event is going to turn out for Team Liquid?
"Let's see if we can keep our strong performance going. It’s a bit different playing at a LAN event than online. The atmosphere is more serious, with much shorter times between games, and perhaps some jetlag and stressed situations that don't occur online. But we are all used to it and I'm sure we’ll have fun and play some good games.
I’ve never been to South America before but I heard the crowds are wild, seems fun."
Which team(s) are you keeping a keen eye on?
"I think the scariest teams are the teams I don’t know very well. Usually SA teams but perhaps some SEA teams as well. So whoever won their respective DPC, I suppose, my keen eyes can rest until the groups for the major are released."
"Nigma and the old OG thrived in major LAN environments whilst many other teams play worse."
In which ways is the current patch likely to aid Team Liquid through the Lima Major against other regions?
"In Dota you always adapt to the patch to the best of your ability. Currently, this one has been going on for a very long time but our view on it is always evolving if ever so slightly so I don't mind.
I suppose we know it well and many strong heroes work well for our players. In my opinion it kind of makes or breaks you as a player and team if you can only perform when your favourite heroes are the ones that are strong.
The trick to winning is to either play strong heroes or heroes you are strong on. And if those two match up it's perfect."
What are your predictions for the Lima Major?
"I think there’ll be a lot of chaotic games and weirder drafts than what we're used to from the DPC. When regions match up they tend to value heroes differently and it’s interesting to see who will have the upper hand.
Perhaps the SA teams will do well on their home turf? Although we bombed out of Stockholm major around this time last year so that didn’t go very well. To be fair we didn’t get to play in front of a crowd and had no home turf advantage in groups either.
But I predict Team Liquid will win it, because I’ve yet to win a Major and now seems like a good time.
I hope the teams from China DPC do well as I feel like that region is on a slight decline compared to their previous consistency in top-tier Dota 2 and it would be sad to see it continue getting worse."