Team Liquid talks handsome rankings and One Piece at TI 2023

By Kenneth Williams


Oct 27, 2023

Reading time: 5 min

Team Liquid is playing hot at TI 2023, but it’s longtime bracket rival is still looming ahead.

With only one game loss in the group stage, Team Liquid has met expectations as a frontrunner to win The International 2023. The squad has helped codify the active tanky meta and is potentially just three matches away from claiming the Aegis of Champions. was lucky to catch up with Liquid before its semifinals match against Team Spirit to learn about the team’s mindset, meta opinions, and struggles with watching the entirety of One Piece.

An interview with Team Liquid at TI 2023 There is a possibility that you will face Gaimin Gladiators once again in the grand finals, this time at TI. Are you dreading that possible matchup or excited for it?

Zai: I don’t know… If it happens, it happens. I think the pressure is more on them to get there than on us.

Boxi: If we knock down Spirit, I’d rather Gaimin knocks them out and we play Gaimin.

m1CKE: Gaimin is free.

Boxi: I feel like it’d be fun, y’know?

Nisha: I’d rather play any other team. Not Talon, not Spirit, not Gaimin Gladiators.

Zai: How about we play nouns in the finals?

Boxi: nouns. Yes, nouns.

Insania: We’ll take that. We’ll take nouns.

(Group laughs.)

m1CKE, Insania, and Nisha, you’ve swapped your Steam pics to the Straw Hats ahead of TI. However, Boxi has Hoodwink and Zai has a massive blunt. Is there a story there?

Zai: No, no! It’s a guy from a movie called Withnail & I… holding a massive blunt. Good movie.

Insania: We said last year in our live blog, since we were all nervous and up last year, we were like “Let’s watch One Piece next year,” so I decided to do it. I’m halfway through, but then I got two zoomers to change their profile picture with me. The other two aren’t even worth trying.

m1CKE: I don’t even watch the show. I don’t even know what my picture is.

After One Piece, what’s next?

Insania: I don’t want to think about it. Let me get there first.

Zai: How far are you?

Insania: Like halfway. 550.

Zai, Mira and ToFu have both become popular picks for most handsome Dota 2 player. How do you plan to take back your title?

Zai: That competition is maybe not as important to me as TI as a competition. To be honest, I think there’s no shame in getting second place to…

m1CKE: Can’t come in second place, there’s two bro.

Zai: That’s fine, I’ll get f—ing third.

(Group laughs.)

Zai: I have no shame in letting Mira and ToFu take the lead, or losing to them. Except Artour [“Arteezy” Babaev] is number one.

Blitz, if you could give the entirety of the NA Dota 2 scene one piece of advice, what would you tell them?

Blitz: I’ve been in North America for most of my life, and I feel like the attitude needs to change. You have a lot of people that feel like they’re too good to learn or listen. I knew that Quinn [Callahan] was going to be really good because even when I was bad at the game, I remember after we did the Veggies run some time ago, he came to me and asked if we could watch replays together, if I could just sit down grind out some theory with him. I’m way worse than him as a player, but I think having that kind of attitude and willingness to learn really sets somebody like him apart.

There are very few people in North America that will ask you for help, that will go to somebody that they perceive to be worse than them that might have some info for them, and try and get better. If they could change that attitude, and people were willing to work with each other more, you would see people get a lot further. If you just look at nouns, they’re not the most talented team. But they’re top eight at TI for a reason. They feel like a really hungry group that’s willing to learn and set aside ego and pride. They’re just happy to be here. If you had more of that with most North American players you would see a lot more growth.

Team Liquid TI 2023

Boxi, what’s the story behind the .boxiboxiboxi tag? Is that something Insania yells during risky ganks?

Boxi: I don’t remember. I had a good reason why I put three of them, but I don’t know. Now it’s just for visibility, growing my brand.

Nisha, are there any mid heroes in this meta that particularly disgust you?

Nisha: Disgust? …Probably, like, every single one of them.

(Group laughs.)

Nisha: Earth Spirit, Kunkka, Primal Beast… They all disgust me. You just buy Heart and then you win the game. Not fair.

Any plans to shave some heads if you fall to the lower bracket? Or did Arteezy kill that magic?

Zai: For sure he killed it. I think there was some magic. TI 10 there was the magic, and then TI 11 people tried to replicate it, but I don’t think there as anyone bald that got back on the stage. So that kind of dispelled it. I don’t know what happened to the magic in past years, but we won’t try to bring it back.


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