After two TI wins, he still keeps it PMA in pubs–shaved head or no.
BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 is about to begin, and Team Spirit’s star carry Illya "Yatoro" Mulyarchuk is excited to take on the world. Esports.gg sat down with the double TI champion to learn his thoughts on shaving his head, playing in qualifiers, and the post-DPC era.
Join us from BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024, as we interview Yatoro from Team Spirit.
Yatoro at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024
Esports.gg: How are FISSURE and BetBoom treating you? Is it your first time in the country?
Yatoro: Once before, so second time in Dubai. It’s a good tournament. There is some packet loss, but I think it’s going to be fixed. Hotel is good, practice is pretty good. There is so much space, no problem with food. Everything is good, so far I really like this tournament.
Were there any pro players who inspired you to pursue Dota 2 fulltime?
I think its [Clement “Puppey” Ivanov.] When I started to watch esports tournaments, it was the online era, so he won every single tournament in that year. I was really inspired by how his team works around their ults. They were very flexible and I really liked their style.
[Yaroslav "Miposhka" Naidenov] also said Puppey as his inspiration.
Yeah, Puppey is a legend.
So, the DPC is gone now..
Woohoo! (Finger guns)
Oh, you like this? What do you think?
I think it's good, but I think the previous DPC should still be around like it was in the second half of the year. It was good, it was actually good. You play for only two weeks in DPC, then you go to Major, then you have one or two weeks. The schedule was good because you had time to prepare. It wasn’t too long like it was in 2021 where you played two months in a row on the same boot camp against the same teams. It was super boring.
This year I think is gonna be good, but in the second half of the year. In the first half you have so many tournaments and so many qualifiers. We played two quals in a row in one month, it was a very big time. I really like the second half when you’re already qualified for all tournaments, you just play them. Its gonna be a good schedule, so this is going to be a good year.
Team Spirit, invites, and BetBoom
Related to the qualifiers, you guys are Team Spirit. How do you feel playing in qualifiers instead of getting a direct invite?
I don’t think we should get a direct invite because we skipped one tournament. That’s fair enough. I think CIS teams were strong, got us a bit nervous. I really liked to play against them and I’ll see them in the tournament.
Having won TI twice, do you ever use that in pubs? If someone is being toxic, do you ever say “I am Yatoro.”?
No, no, no, no, no. It’s very bad, it's ridiculous. If I go into talks with someone, I tell them “You are bad because of this and this and this.” I try to teach them. I’m not trying to speak about my figure, I just try to talk about the facts. And I try to not curse the people or personality, only their plays.
Yatoro, are there any heroes that you think will take over the BetBoom Dacha Dubai meta?
I think the dark horse is going to be Arc Warden. A lot of players are trying it in pubs. I think it's going to open up the tournament, but I don’t know if it's going to be good or bad in the playoffs stage. In groups, I think a lot of teams are going to be playing Arc Warden.
If you could only play one hero for the rest of your life, who would you pick and why?
To win or for fun?
Terrorblade. He’s a very interesting hero with his mechanics. All his spells are not similar to each other. He’s the best carry for mechanics, good spells, good movement, and also his Arcana is great.
Spirit is the second team to win The International twice. Has the championship changed how you see OG’s legendary victories?
I never thought OG was a legendary team. They won tournaments when I didn’t care. More legendary for me is Puppey. But OG was a strong team and I’m sure they earned their rewards. They won two times, so they’re a legendary team to some, but not for me. Actually, I don’t care about how many tournaments were won by any team. I always think about them now, how we can beat their ass.
BetBoom Dacha 2024: Defeat the streak?
Team Spirit enters the event with a 17 series win streak and hasn’t lost since last July. Has the team’s training changed during this streak?
Lucky for us! No, it's just a pretty fun little streak. I don’t think any of us think about it in the game or preparations. It’s just for fun. I hope we can hit 50-0, but who knows?
In Counter-Strike, there was a legendary team that went 87-0. Do you think you can match that?
No, no. Dota is not CS. It’s all about the draft, the stability of your peaks, captain, head coach: Not about micro skill, it’s about understanding the game and every single team. It’s very difficult to earn this win streak like in CS.
Your mid laner Larl is the only Spirit player entering the 1v1 tournament. Do you think he will win?
(Deadpan with no hesitation) Yeah, of course. It’s gonna be super easy since it’s not just Shadow Fiends. If there are other heroes he’s going to beat every last one of them.
Is that why you didn’t sign up?
Of course. I’m also a little nervous about playing just 1v1s.
Your team has been together for quite some time now, with Larl as the only change since TI10. Do you see each other as more than teammates? Maybe brothers?
We are more like friends, and like to be in a group outside of the game where we can just hang out together. We can play some IRL games, co-op games... Really, like to just hang out.
Yatoro, you seem to be able to play any carry you want. Are there any heroes you can’t play well?
I can hang with every hero, but I don’t really like Meepo. But, I don’t think he’s strong enough to be a carry. I can play Arc Warden, I can play Invoker carry if I need to. But Meepo, I think he’s just too bad to be a carry. In groups he’s good, because everyone is like “Ah, we are going to fight!” and Meepo just takes streaks. But in the main stage when everybody is moving as five...
You know Clinkz? He just wants to hunt and farm supports. But when everyone is stuck together and moving around he just can’t and he doesn’t work well. I think Meepo is the same, I don’t really want to play him.
Respect the technique
Is it funny to watch other players try to steal your head shaving technique at TI?
Yeah, it was fun to see them try to copy me. I didn’t plan to do it at TI 2023, but we thought LGD was going to win and be in the grand finals. Then it would be me and Zhang "xiao8" Ning meeting together. He would see my head and think “Here we go again.” Unlucky that the other team won, but I was already shaved.
You always change your style of clothing and hair for each tournament. Are you interested in fashion?
No, no! I just dress how I’m feeling. I don’t really care about what I wear, I could play with the same t-shirt on for the rest of my life. It’s all just for fun.
A special thanks to Yatoro for taking the time at BetBoom Dacha 2024 to speak with esports.gg.