The second season of the DOTA Pro Circuit in 2021 proved to be a massive stage for Tundra Esports' roster. The team not only put up stellar performances against the best teams from the region but also managed to almost make it to The International 10.
However, despite missing out by a whisker on their TI qualification, the team rallied at the ESL One Fall 2021 DOTA 2 Championships and managed to take out the toughest competition to claim the trophy. Soon after that, Gfinity Esports had the opportunity to have a conversation with Tundra Esports' extremely creative roaming support, Jingjun "Sneyking" Wu.
The player spoke at length about his journey of more than eight years in the DOTA 2 esports scene. Sneyking also pointed out various ideas about the DOTA Pro Circuit and how it can be further improved into much more efficient structures.
Having said that, let's dive into an excerpt of the conversation we had with Sneyking.
Sneyking talks about his journey as a professional DOTA 2 player
Q: Firstly, a hearty congratulations on winning the ESL One Fall 2021, what was the situation in the room after the third game of the grand finals against PSG.LGD?
Sneyking: Obviously the tension was very high because it was a close series and very close game 5. We were very ecstatic and happy that we won the tournament, this is not something we had expected and it was a very pleasant surprise.
Q: Having been in the professional DOTA 2 scene since 2012, what has the journey and experience been like for you?
Sneyking: Being in the DOTA scene for so long has had its ups and downs. In the beginning, I just simply enjoyed DOTA and wanted to see where that would take me. Now it's become a career and a job, I still find it just as thrilling as ever and I love it very much. I'm very grateful for this opportunity to play for Tundra.
Q: Over the entire span of your career, you have had the opportunity to play with some of the best DOTA 2 players. How has their influence affected your performance and growth as a player?
Sneyking: I have learnt a lot from other players in the DOTA scene. After any big match, I always spend time self reflecting on what I did well and what I could have done better. It's definitely made me a better player.
I think some of the best players have always flamed me here and there, TI champions included and what not. Obviously it makes me hurt and self-reflect and think did I do something wrong? What could I have done instead? I try not to be too hurt from it and look at it from a positive point of view for self improvement purposes. It's definitely made me a better player.
Q: If you could remove any one hero from DOTA 2, who would it be and why?
Sneyking: I think it would have to be Techies. The hero completely destroys different play styles in the game. The game becomes completely different with how teams have to play around the hero. I think the hero has too much sway and too much power especially when in meta.
Q: The argument about which region is the best has been around for decades. However, having played across multiple regions yourself, which one do you think is the best and why?
Sneyking: Generally each region has its downfalls but I think Europe in general has the highest level of players. I really enjoy playing in European pubs. I feel like they make me a better player because they are really competitive.
Q: If you had to pick one moment from your entire DOTA 2 career that you cherish the most, which would it be?
Sneyking: I think it would be GESC Thailand. It was a minor event back in the day when there were like 24 majors and minors in one year which was a super hectic schedule.
That was the very first Valve tournament I won and I still remember to this very day how it felt. I stood by my teammates on the stage and it was such a wonderful moment. It's always going to be a moment I will cherish.
Q: Having missed out on attending TI this year, what was the plan before heading into the ESL One Fall 2021? Also, how was the team morale before the start of the tournament?
Sneyking: The plan for ESL One Fall 2021 was to obviously give it our all and try our best. We really wanted to win and succeed. But obviously not qualifying for TI was a bit of a bummer, especially when we were so close and we felt like we deserved to be there.
But it is what it is and we made our peace with it going into ESL One. We were practicing really hard and our training, adjustments and adaptations really paid off.
Q: You have seen the competitive structure of DOTA 2 being reshuffled multiple times. According to you, what would be the ideal method of sustaining a healthy esports environment for DOTA 2?
Sneyking: What I think will ultimately help the DOTA scene flourish is just more support from Valve. I think there should be more incentives for teams to improve and stay together. Even if Valve looked into franchising the league, they would attract more sponsors which I think will encourage some of the biggest esports orgs to come into DOTA.
Right now the DOTA scene is really dead, especially in NA, there are very few to none sponsored teams. The main reason for that is that DOTA is not as appealing to a lot of other esports out there. I would love Valve to help the organizations nurture their players more.
Q: What are the goals that you have set for yourselves as a team going into the next DPC circuit?
Sneyking: My goal is to qualify for a major and potentially win it. I think that's every player's goal on the team. It might seem a bit far fetched a few months ago but it definitely now seems more realistic and something we are going to be aiming for
Q: Finally, what advice would you like to give amateur players who are striving to become professional DOTA 2 players in the future?
Sneyking: If you are striving to become a DOTA 2 pro I would say you need to be really committed. You need to create a routine and regime. It takes a lot of work and you need to accept you are going to spend many hours trying to improve your skills.
Everyone has 24 hours in a day, you just need to figure out how you are going to be better than someone else in the same position. Spend your time wisely, don't be afraid to understand your mistakes and improve from them.