In an interview with Jaxon, Fata expressed his thoughts on Tundra Esports’ journey; from its formation, to its recent performances.
Tundra Esports is a team that is loved by many due to its inspiring journey. From a middling stack to a fearsome team that managed to turn heads in the top-tier scene, Tundra Esports earned praises and admiration from the community. The captain of the team, Adrian "Fata" Trinks had a chat with “Jaxon”, where the German player revealed Tundra Esports’ formation and growth in more detail.
Under Fata's leadership, Tundra Esports aims for the top
In late 2020, Fata formed a new team called mudgolems, featuring players all over Europe. He had the desire to build a team from scratch and develop it to be able to compete in top tournaments. “We wanted players that are very motivated to be the best, to become the best. “ said Fata. He was previously a midlaner and offlaner, where he played for numerous teams. Currently, he assumes the role of position five and captain of Tundra Esports.
Fata felt the transition (from core to support) was natural for him and is only fitting as he has always been more of a communicative person. “When you start playing five, coming from mid, it’s a whole different world and I found a lot of joy in that. “ he stated. “At the start, there was a bit of worry, am I fit to do this and stuff. But with time and experience, I feel it’s just appropriate.”
Fata talks about Tundra Esports' rocky start
Following a decent performance from mudgolems, the team was signed by Tundra Esports in January 2021. Two months later, their position 4 player, Malthe "Biver" Winther decided to depart the team and retire from competitive Dota 2 due to a loss of passion.
“He wanted to see other aspects in life. And he didn’t have the competitive drive anymore to play Dota.”
This became one of the setbacks Tundra Esports faced during the season. They found Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu to fill in the support role, however, a new roster also means more challenges. A new player or lineup change calls for adjustments and chemistry building and Fata mentioned how they needed some time to get used to each other. Fata further elaborates the setbacks the team faced at the start of the season, “Other than that, a lot of it was just learning to build consistency for the games. We play once a week so you really have to be consistent and you really have to be on form on that particular day.”
Fata: "Nine picked Winter Wyvern in his pubs because he was bored."
The start of the 2021 Dota Pro Circuit divided leagues for respective regions and Tundra Esports, competing in WEU, found itself among some of the strongest teams in the world. However, Tundra showcased impressive gameplay, maintaining its spot in the Upper Division along with Alliance, Team Nigma, Team Secret, Liquid and OG. The squad then entered the TI10 qualifier for WEU, obliterating everyone in its path including the TI champions, OG in the Upper Bracket Final.
Tundra caught the Dota 2 scene off guard with their out-of-the-ordinary Winter Wyvern mid-pick in the qualifier run. We, of course, have seen tons of quirky drafts but this particular pick excelled incredibly well. Fata mentioned that Leon "Nine" Kirilin had tried out the Wyvern mid in his pubs ‘because he was bored.’ After concluding that the Wyvern indeed has a place on the midlane, they scrimmed it in pubs and eventually played it in the TI qualifier.
“A lot of using heroes differently comes from paying attention to patch notes and such. It wasn't really a surprise or pocket pick, we just found it was a good mid hero.”
Fata talks about their encounter versus OG in the TI10 qualifier
In the final series, Tundra Esports met with OG once again. However, after an intense back and forth, OG defeated them in a close 3-2 series and turned down their hopes of making it to TI10.
When asked about the loss and if it is related to pressure, Fata explained that “there's obviously a difference in experience in dealing with pressure”. According to him, OG knows how to perform under pressure and they thrive with its presence. He believes his team did a great job in dealing with pressure but at the end of the day, it boils down to a matter of experience.
The series against OG was not a complete crash and burn scenario as we witnessed both teams putting on their best show. However, Tundra Esports fell short at the deciding moment. Jaxon asked Fata if anything could’ve been done differently in the series against OG.
“I think in hindsight you can always point out things that could've gone better or not. For me, it's just kind of settled. I think we all took our experience from it and we learn to move on. If you were to play another BO5 there would be a new set of mistakes and you’ll be making good plays.. it’s just in the past.” Fata stated.
In the past few months, many third-party tournaments occurred. Tundra Esports portrayed their improvement by a wide margin. In the ESL One Fall, Tundra Esports went head-to-head with PSG.LGD, the world’s current top team, in a BO5 grand finals series. The series was of fierce competition and they managed to slay the Chinese powerhouse 3-2 to win the tournament.
Fata: "Seeing Tundra's progress is the biggest gift I can get."
Fata commented on their amazing growth, “Generally, I think our improvements over the last few months have been very significant. All of us are getting more confident to play with the top, slowly but surely.”
As the captain of Tundra Esports, he treasures their accomplishments.
For me at least, this is a very beautiful sight. Like I said at the start, it’s my interest to build something, to develop something here. And seeing the progress is the biggest gift I can get.”
When asked if the team can take on teams like OG in the near future, Fata stated, “We have clear examples of progress being made (such as the ESL run) and I think it’s also an example of us being able to take on pretty much the best teams in the world. And we hope to keep it that way.”
The last month, however, witnessed Tundra Esports settling in 3rd place after a defeat from Team Spirit. Fata explained that the squad wasn’t as prepared going into the tournament as they did in the ESL One Fall. “We had a player that was sick and one was in the process of moving. It was hard for us to be as focused. And there was probably a lot of fatigue coming in after playing ESL for quite a while,” he said.
Nevertheless, a top-3 placement is not something to condemn. Tundra Esports have proven to the world their capabilities among high-tier Dota 2 teams. They might not have qualified for the biggest stage but there’s never a limit to when a team can rise. The community will look forward to seeing more Tundra action in the future.