Matumbaman’s Dota 2 journey

The series between Teams Liquid and Team Secret at The International 2022 lower-bracket finals was one of the most... Harrison | 1. November 2022

The series between Teams Liquid and Team Secret at The International 2022 lower-bracket finals was one of the most anticipated rivalries of the event. On Secret’s side, it was Puppey who could become a two-time TI champion, while on Liquid’s side, the series could mark either end or a triumph for MATUMBAMAN’s career. 

Before the start of the 2022 Dota Pro Circuit season, Lasse “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen made his wishes known in an interview with Monster Gaming, following the signing of a year-long contract with his former organization Team Liquid:   

“The ultimate goal is always to lift the Aegis at The International. But I would like to win it while enjoying myself and doing it right. It will be my last year as a professional player, so I want to have a positive work atmosphere without experiencing burnout. Even if I don’t win The International with Team Liquid again, I’d like to see the newer players benefit from my experiences so that when I retire, I can take credit for their insane plays!”

Although most people were cheering for Matu’s team to advance to the Grand Final and go up against Tundra Esports, fate had decided otherwise. As Team Secret blew out Liquid’s fire, the hopes of becoming a two-time TI champion for Matumbaman diminished along with it.

Following Secret’s victory over Liquid on Sunday morning, fans got to witness some truly heartfelt moments at the end of the match, as Puppey celebrated the triumph and Matu said goodbye to his eight years-long Dota 2 career. 

MATUMBAMAN’s early days

Coming into the scene in 2014 with Veni,Vidi,Vici and winning Assembly Summer 2014, it seemed that Matumbaman was destined to accomplish what only a few have been able to — immortalize his name on the Aegis of Champions.

Showing his superior mechanical skills, he caught the attention of fans and a few pro players that were eager to play alongside him. It was in 2015, that Kuro “KuroKy” Takhasomi recruited him to be part of his team 5Jungz along with Adrian “FATA-” Trinks, Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka, and Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov. Thanks to their notable performances, Team Liquid signed 5 Jungz in October 2015.

Destiny’s Calling

Team Liquid along with MATUMBAMAN put on a marvelous performance during the pre-TI6 era, consistently placing high in top-tier competitions. However, they fell short during their TI6 run and the team had disappointing results afterward. That all changed when Team Liquid signed Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi and shortly after Maroun “GH” Merhej.

The team returned to dominance and during their TI7 run, MATUMBAMAN made his mark by just playing heroes that are green in color. Due to Matu’s prowess combined with Miracle-‘s versatile hero pool and the team’s efforts, Team Liquid became the champions of The International 7, making Matumbaman’s name forever immortalized in the history of the game, among the best players to ever grace the game. 


Showings Of Time

In the years following The International 7, MATUMBAMAN and Team Liquid continued to show dominance, winning the China Supermajor in 2018. However as a new generation of players came in the following years, the team started getting mixed results. MATUMBAMAN departed from Liquid’s main roster in June 2019, trying to find a home with another team.

He found his dominance back with Team Secret in years 2019-2021, before eventually returning to Team Liquid for his final season in 2021. 

MATUMBAMAN’s biggest career achievements

  • The International 2022 – 3rd
  • The International 2021 – 3rd
  • Dream League Season 13 – 1st
  • The International 2018 – 4th
  • China Supermajor – 1st
  • The International 2017 – 1st
  • The EPICENTER 2017 – 1st
  • The Manila Major 2016 – 2nd

Header: Team Liquid