TSM’s carry player, Timado reveals his thoughts on SA and NA Dota 2. He also expressed his admiration for the Chinese and Korean mindset when it comes to the grind. Check out more of the interview here!
The 21-year-old carry player for TSM, Enzo "Timado" O'Connor has been on numerous teams in South America. But he found his big break with the North American organization TSM, alongside his teammates who were once called Undying. After an impressive run at TI10, the team cemented a solid reputation not only in the region but globally. They even secured 2nd place at the ESL One Stockholm Major, which contributed to a direct invite to TI11.
With that achievement, Timado also broke an astounding record of being the only South American to play a Valve Major Grand Final. So during the recent ESL One Malaysia, Esports.gg had a chat with Timado, who talked about how he grew to be a competitive person, his thoughts regarding the SA and NA region, his respect for Chinese Dota 2, and more!
Timado talks about his competitive side
KZ: First and foremost, I'm curious about your mindset when it comes to Dota 2. Are you more on the competitive side or more of a laid-back player?
Timado: So I like to compete a lot. Before I played Dota 2, I played sports often and then I kind of got into Starcraft 2. I've always had a lot of respect for the Koreans, because whatever they do, they try their hardest and they're disciplined. I like their working ethics and they're respectful. It's kind of how I molded my life to be from that point onwards.
I just try my hardest in Dota 2. When I'm back home, even during breaks, I practice and I play pubs. I always have the most pubs played among my teams, I always wake up the earliest, and go to sleep the latest. To me, the most fun in Dota is in those little things. That feeling that I'm working towards something, that I'm getting better and making people proud.
KZ: So if you enjoy that sense of accomplishment, then the live crowd chanting and delivering that hype must feel really good?
Timado: Yeah it's really great. It sometimes backfires too. When I lose, I kinda shy away. When we are not doing so well, I don't like to talk. It's just the after-effects you know? I feel like I have nothing to say because I've lost so who wants to see me? It's just a weird feeling. I'm the only one who feels like this in my team.
KZ: So if that's you individually, what about your relationship with your teammates in TSM?
Timado: I'm very fun with my team. Me and SabeRLight- are usually the ones who are the clowniest. We both go back-and-forth the whole time but that's just with my team. With everyone else I'm pretty quiet and serious.
An admiration for the Chinese approach to Dota 2
KZ: Technically, you are a representative of SA because you are Peruvian but you are also playing for NA. Personally for you, do you hold more of an SA spirit or NA spirit?
Timado: When I play in SA I have kind of always struggled because I grew up watching the German football team and the Koreans playing Starcraft. I feel like you need to hold this mindset like the Chinese with their discipline.
And Peru is more like.. freestyle. I would say people just go on instinct and they do what they want, they do what they feel. And in my team in SA, I always struggle a lot because being the youngest and demanding a more structured and disciplined style.. no one really listened to me. So whenever I have the opportunity to play outside I took it because I feel like my mentality fits more with the outside of South America perspective. Not specifically with NA because NA is a little toxic, people give up and they tend to be a little lazy. But I guess more NA than SA in that sense.
KZ: The Chinese teams are definitely known for their hardcore discipline. Which Chinese teams or players usually come to mind regarding this aspect?
Timado: When I played in SA with Infamous in 2018, we always look up to Vici Gaming. And in my current team, we always talk about PSG.LGD and Team Aster. In my experience with all my past teams, Chinese teams are always the role model. People are always like, 'be like Paparazzi, be like poyoyo (now known as Erika), be like Monet.'
TI11 qualifiers and the new patch
KZ: TSM is already qualified for TI11 and you'll get to escape the nightmare grounds of the qualifiers. So what do you think of this upcoming qualifiers and will you be keeping a close eye?
Timado: I've been through qualifiers, I've lost and won qualifiers - I know how rough it can be. So it's always interesting to see who comes out on top. Because there are instances where the winner of the qualifiers ends up winning the whole TI right? And I think every year it gets more stacked. I look at the EU qualifiers for example, and I feel so lucky to be playing in NA compared to EU. It's going to be fun to watch, and of course, we are going to be watching. These teams who qualify for TI would be added to the list of teams we got to study and look at.
KZ: The WEU region looks to be the most stacked for the TI11 qualifiers, so what's your prediction for that concentrated region?
Timado: I root for Liquid because they are my friends. I think Entity to me has looked the strongest, I think the favorites are Entity and Team Secret. But there is still some time before the qualifiers and we are on a new patch, so who knows what might happen.
KZ: Talking about the new patch, how do you think the new patch has or would affect the way you play carry?
Timado: I used to struggle a lot with the carry patch last time because carry players had a lot of pressure. If the enemy comes, you kind of have to hide or dodge it. Sometimes, a lot of carries would find themselves dying to rotations and being pressured a lot. So the carry role evolved into like a semi-carry.
Pure would play ranged heroes and buy Maelstrom to make him quite active with a lot of success. Now with the extra creep and the midlane not being as high level as before, the carry has more room to be more greedy. I like that, I've always liked the greedy carries. Not all of them but I like my Terrorblade, I like my Anti-Mage, the classics.
KZ: Any words for your fans and supporters?
Timado: Yes, thank you so much for your support. Recently in my pubs, I encountered a lot of people that said 'Timado you are my idol, add me' like I never expected that. I never really thought I'm someone's idol. I rarely encounter that through events I've been through - EU pubs, NA pubs, no one really said that. But I get this in SEA pubs and people kept adding me - it's a nice feeling.