Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi is no stranger to the world of esports. Being one of the DOTA 2's most successful captains, KuroKy's been a part of the professional scene since Defense of The Ancients.
Currently captain for Nigma Galaxy's Western European DOTA 2 roster, KuroKy recently spoke to Gfinity Esports about his journey, alongside the team's preparation for the ongoing DPC Season. Without further ado, let's dive into an excerpt of the conversation we had with KuroKy.
KuroKy talks about his journey as a DOTA 2 professional
Q: Before getting started, you have had one of the brightest and most stellar DOTA 2 careers in the entire circuit. Could you tell our readers a bit about your journey and what it has been like to achieve everything that you have?
KuroKy: Simply said, I feel blessed and fortunate doing what I love and enjoying myself. The experiences I have went through with my team are unforgettable memories, I am grateful for everything that happened.
Q: Heading into the upcoming DPC season, what is the team morale like, and how have you guys been preparing as a unit?
KuroKy: We are going through the standard procedure, boot camping, and working towards our goals. Our morale is healthy, everyone is excited to start off the new season and prove ourselves once again.
Q: You're widely regarded as one of the best position 5 players in the entire community, however, that wasn’t always the case. Could you tell us a bit about your transition from a core player to becoming one of the best supports in the game?
KuroKy: It was a decision of necessity more than anything. There are many talented, young core players, experienced fifth position players were rare at the time. Personally, I am ready and confident to play any position besides the mid lane, that is reserved for the young ones.
Q: Not many players have managed to play in as many star-studded teams as you. What has your journey through teams like Na’Vi, Secret, and Liquid contributed to your growth as a player and as a captain?
KuroKy: Every team was a big experience for me, we have had major successes and I learned from every player I have ever played with. Each team offered a different perspective about the game.
Q: Being one of the few three-time TI finalists, not being able to attend this year’s TI must have been a huge blow for the entire team. What was the team morale like after the Regional Qualifiers and what did you personally think went wrong for you guys?
KuroKy: We were quite sad obviously, but life goes on. After some time passed, we reflected on our mistakes and understood what we must improve upon. Dota 2 is an unforgiving game, there are only losers and one winner each year – that being the TI champion.
You may win every single tournament, every single game, go to the grand finals of TI and be one game off to become champions – yet you are a loser, the community is harsh, the game is harsh. Team Spirit was one game away from not attending TI, now they are champions. Tundra was one game away from attending TI, they might have done fantastic there, God knows best.
Understanding these things I asked my players to not be too hard on themselves. Everyone wished to continue playing, we will work hard to entertain and make our fans happy one more time.
Q: Having been around since the days of Defense of the Ancients, if you were given the chance to permanently delete one hero from the hero pool, which hero would it be and why?
KuroKy: Probably Broodmother, this hero is impossible to balance – either he is too strong, ruining games by himself, or too weak, there does not seem to be a middle ground with this hero. It reminds me of Necro 3, which also got removed – too hard to balance in the nature of the game.
Q: Throughout your years as an esports professional, which player has stood out the most to you? In other words, who do you respect the most inside a game of DOTA 2?
KuroKy: Definitely Ivan ["MinD_ContRoL" Borislavov]¸ he is the best player I have ever played with. He is extremely smart about the game, hardworking, and mechanically gifted, he has been my right hand throughout all these years and has given me deep trust from the very start.
When it comes to raw talent I have to go with [Amer] "Miracle-" [Al-Barkawi], the guy is just a DOTA machine. I am not sure we will ever see this kind of talent emerge again, he feels like once in a century type of talent.
Q: You have played in some of the most iconic DOTA 2 tournaments since the game’s inception. Which tournament or event is your personal favourite and why?
KuroKy: Obviously TI is a unique experience, incomparable to the other tournaments. To not give a boring answer I will choose the Super Major, which was hosted in China. We have just played a tournament before, placing last, going into that Major and winning it was quite an experience.
Q: We have seen a massive rise from the Eastern European region in esports recently. Be it Valorant, CS:GO, or DOTA 2, teams from the CIS region have been dominating heavily. What do you think about this meteoric rise of the region as a whole?
KuroKy: For DOTA 2, the CIS scene is the heart that keeps the game going, that is what I know. I would have to guess that the players there are more serious about becoming champions, it is a lucrative path to take – being a Tier 2 player in CIS may give you a luxurious income, in western Europe, you are better off having a normal work life in comparison. Another point would be that CIS countries have always spawned geniuses in math, chess, philosophy, etc. – fields that are applicable and useful in competitive esports
Q: As a seasoned veteran of the sport, what advice would you like to give to anyone who’s just setting out on their journey to becoming a professional DOTA 2 player?
KuroKy: Be ready to sacrifice everything or you won’t make it, this is a global competition – someone is working harder than you. In fact, you might have sacrificed everything and not make it anyway, so think twice about it.