Can Taiga help Wildcard Gaming qualify for TI12?

Tommy “Taiga” Le is a famous Dota 2 player who won ESL One Stockholm Major 2022, finished in the... Radu M. | 14. August 2023

Tommy “Taiga” Le is a famous Dota 2 player who won ESL One Stockholm Major 2022, finished in the top eight at The International once, and competed for powerful organizations like Team Liquid, Alliance, and OG.

But after leaving OG’s active squad at the start of August 2023, he decided to start competing for Wildcard Gaming, a little-known team from North America. This adventure makes perfect sense, however, because the NA region has the opportunity to send one more team to The International 2023.

Both Shopify Rebellion and TSM are already qualified, which means that there’s very little competition for a solid team that features a player of Taiga’s strength. Arguably, apart from nouns and possibly B8, there’s no one that can stop Wildcard Gaming in the qualifiers.

Wildcard Gaming’s chances

Taiga is a very experienced player and he will probably offer Wildcard a lot of valuable input during the games. Officially, he is not the team’s captain. Samuel “Sammyboy” Anderson is. But that could be just to maintain appearances.

After all, Taiga joined Wildcard on loan and he’s still an OG player. Making him the captain right away looks bad for the team and could ruin morale. But inside the game, he might have a lot of strategic responsibilities.

Some of Taiga’s teammates, despite not being highly accomplished players, are good enough to compete at this level and win from time to time against formidable teams. With him on the roster, the strength of the squad might be enough to win the qualifier.

The biggest adversary will be nouns. This team competed in the recent Bali Major and finished Tour 3 in 2nd place. Despite not performing very well at the highest level, regionally they’ve always been a top 3 team. This makes them the favorite to qualify for The International 12.

Two of nouns’ strongest players are Rodrigo “Lelis” Santos, who finished 9th-12th at The International 2021 while competing for Quincy Crew, and David “Moo” Hull, who played in a TI Grand Final back in 2016, while competing for Digital Chaos.

These two players are extremely skilled and their experience is hard to match. But perhaps Taiga can outsmart them. It only takes two games of brilliance on his part to get the job done. And under pressure, even the best teams can crack.

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