Main heroes (win rate)
for 1 year
Eric ‘tOfu’ Angel is a professional Dota 2 player who holds the fourth position in the team.
He started his esports career in League of Legends, where he played for German teams since 2012. In 2012, he took third place at the ESL Pro Series Germany: Winter Season 2012 Finals, earning himself a reputation as a promising player. However, despite the geographical success, he did not receive significant achievements, although from time to time he was recognized at some local championships.
In 2013, the player disappeared from the professional scene, returning only six years later — already as a Dota 2 player. He started with little-known teams from Germany, and since May 2020 he has been part of EURONICS Gaming. The player’s main achievement was reaching the finals of the ACL Masters #2, where his individual skill attracted attention. In early 2021, Eric joined the Hellbear Smashers.
Together with Ace and Gilgir, tOfu won three tournaments in a row in Hellbear Smashers — two seasons of Snow Sweet Snow and DreamLeague Season 14 EU DPC: Lower Division, but failed to maintain his place in the top league of Western Europe, losing all seven matches. After that, the team reached the finals of Dota 2 Champions League Season 2, but then finished their games.
Before the Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 season, tOfu moved to the new Team Tickles with Ace. The team received a ViKin.gg slot in the top league and finished the debut season in second place, and then won the DreamLeague Season 16 DPC WEU: Regional Finals. In February 2022, the five signed with the Gaimin Gladiators.
Under the new tag, tOfu and his teammates again took second place in the DPC league, and then got into the top 4 at the ESL One Stockholm 2022 major tournament.
Erik ‘tOfu’ Engel is a professional Dota 2 player who plays the fourth position.
He began his esports career in League of Legends. From 2012, tOfu played for German teams. In September, he took third place at the ESL Pro Series Germany Winter Season 2012 Finals and was considered a promising player, but he never achieved significant success, although he occasionally placed in local championships.
After 2013, the player disappeared from the professional scene only to return six years later — but in Dota 2. T Ofu began his path with little-known German teams, and since May 2020, he has been playing for EURONICS Gaming . The player’s main achievement was reaching the final of ACL Masters #2, where his individual skill was noticed, and in early 2021, Erik joined Hellbear Smashers.
Together with Ace and Gilgir, tOfu immediately won three consecutive tournaments — two seasons of Snow Sweet Snow and DreamLeague Season 14 EU DPC: Lower Division. However, Hellbear Smashers failed to establish themselves in the upper league of Western Europe, losing all seven matches and dropping out immediately. After failing to qualify for The International 2021, the team reached the final of Dota 2 Champions League Season 2 but then ended their performance.
Before the Dota Pro Circuit 2021/22 season, tOfu transferred to a new team, Team Tickles, with Ace. The team earned a slot in the upper division with ViKin.gg and finished their debut season in second place, then won at DreamLeague Season 16 DPC WEU: Regional Finals. In February 2022, the triad signed with the organization Gaimin Gladiators.
Under the new tag, tOfu and his teammates once again took second place in the DPC league and then made it to the top 4 of the major tournament, ESL One Stockholm 2022.
Professional Dota 2 player Erik tOfu Engel from the Gaimin Gladiators team especially for Cybersport. Metaratings.ru told what hobbies he has.
The e-sportsman shared that he likes to play sports in his free time, but lately it has been difficult for him to find time for this. In addition, tOfu revealed the genres of music he listens to.
Engel’s favorite anime of the spring 2023 season was Hell’s Paradise, which received a score of 8.3 out of 10 on Kinopoisk. The title premiered on April 1st.
I like spending time with my friends. We listen to music, usually house, techno or something electronic. I love a good rave, but I can tune in to any music. I like to ride a bike or play any kind of sport. I love football and volleyball, but I rarely play lately. I also watch anime. My favorite anime this season is Hell’s Paradise. And I love to eat: try different cuisines or cook my own meals.
In the current season on the professional Dota 2 scene, the tOfu roster won two majors: The Lima Major 2023 and ESL One Berlin Major 2023. This result allowed the team to receive a direct invitation to The International 12 along with Team Liquid, Tundra, EG and Shopify Rebellion. The main Dota 2 tournament of the year will be held from October 14 to 29 in Seattle, USA. 18 best teams from all over the world will take part in the event. They will compete for at least $1.6 million in prize money. The prize pool will be replenished through sales of the Battle Pass.
In addition, Gladiators became the champion of DreamLeague Season 19, which allowed the team to guarantee their participation in the Riyadh Masters 2023 with a prize pool of $15 million. At the moment, the tOfu team is playing in the new DreamLeague season — it has already made it to the second group stage, where it lost to BetBoom Team.
DreamLeague Season 20 runs from June 11 to 25 in an online format. 16 teams compete for one million dollars in prize money and two trips to the Riyadh Masters 2023 championship with a prize pool of $15 million.
Hurry up to take part in our betting contest for The Bali Major 2023! We are giving away 850 thousand rubles, of which 435,000 will be paid in cash, and another 415,000 in free bets. Follow the link, go through a simple registration and share your opinion about the best matches from the world of Dota 2.
Professional Gaimin Gladiators Dota 2 player Eric tOfu Engel especially for Cybersport. Metaratings.ru spoke about the beginning of his career, the victory at The Lima Major 2023 and the confrontation with Team Liquid.
— You competed in CS:Source and then played in League of Legends as a professional player until 2013. Then you came to the professional Dota 2 scene in 2020. What was the reason for your break and the cardinal change of discipline in eSports?
— Ever since I was a kid, I’ve played all sorts of games on consoles and even gameboys. Thanks to my older brother and his friends, I was first introduced to Dota and CS when I was about 8-9 years old. So games have been a part of my life since I can remember.
I started playing LoL with friends from school when it came out in beta, and with other friends we played CS:S. Actually, we could have competed in CS:S back then, but the release of CS:GO erased that scene and we stopped playing.
I think I missed the LoL World Championship around the same year and eventually shifted my focus away from gaming.
In those days, esports in general and salaries were much lower and at my young age I didn’t realize what a potential future I had in it. However, I have always wanted to compete. I have been playing in a football club since I was 3 years old.
I focused more on football again and mostly spent time with my friends. He graduated from high school and was engaged in mountaineering for more than a year, worked at various jobs. Then I studied until Covid put people into a «hibernation» state.
At that time, I continued to play and decided to try to return to the competitive scene. And now I’m steadily moving forward!
— What does your nickname tOfu mean?
— The only fluffy unicorn.
— What would you be if you didn’t decide to play Dota 2 professionally?
— Throughout your career, you played side by side with Ace. How did you get to know each other?
– I was scouring the leaderboards for a team when the regional dpc leagues were announced in 2020 and ended up on the Hellbear Smashers, my first pro team. Then everything was done in no time, so they let me try to play with them. Even though I was a position four player at the time, I was ready to change for the competitive scene. Therefore, in that team, I played in the top five, and Ace in the first position. I was in high spirits before the competition, even though I didn’t have any experience then. After the first day, I asked Ace if he would like to train with me.
Since then, we have been playing together almost every day. To be honest, I didn’t really follow his career or Dota 2 in general before, but I learned a lot from his experience. To this day, I think he is one of the best players in Dota.
— You have two flags on Liquipedia: German and Korean. Can you talk about it?
— Yes, everything is simple. My father is German and my mother is Korean, but I was born and raised in Germany.
— The history of Gaming Gladiators began with Team Tickles. Can you tell us about how Team Tickles was formed?
— I would say that this is the result of a patch. Registration for the DPC was coming to an end, and me and Ace never found a team, although there were offers, but we thought they were not good enough. That’s when my buddy Leon Nine Kirilin suggested talking to Seleri, Dyrachyo, BOOM and Immortal Faith.
They needed an offlane duo, so Ace and I had to switch to the offlane. We didn’t have any expectations then, as we performed in the most difficult region — Western Europe. However, the talent of the players, combined with a positive attitude and a bit of luck, played in our favor.
— In the CIS, there has long been a dilemma about how relations between players in a team should be built. How do you structure your workflow at Gaimin Gladiators? Is playing together a job or just having fun with your teammates?
— I guess team play is initially about passion and fun, but the amount of time and dedication a player puts into everything before it makes this job more than just a job.
Each person decides for himself whether he will spend his day in the office or will earn a living with his dream job. I would not say that life is all about fun and games, but whatever you do in life, it is always connected with the people you surround yourself with. Now I am more than satisfied with what we have created together. We are Family.
— How do you prepare your team for matches? What aspects of the game do you focus on when preparing to face your opponents?
– During tournaments, we usually go to the gym together in the morning. We have breakfast together, talk a lot about Dota 2, go for walks together, go to the pub/scream in front of the officials and spend most of the day together.
When we are at home, everyone has a different daily routine, but basically everyone works on their own to be in their best shape for tournaments.
We all trust each other. As the game progresses, we usually watch enemy drafts together and prepare for them, as well as watch replays if there is something unusual that we need to adjust to. However, we do not spend too much time on the enemies, but rather make sure that our game is up to par, and we can impose our strategies on the enemy.
— Gaimin Gladiators dominate 2023. Were there cases of underestimation of opponents against this background? Do you feel now that you are out of reach compared to other teams?
— I don’t think we ever underestimated our opponents, anyway, Quinn constantly reminds the players to take their opponents seriously, especially when we play against weaker teams. Subconsciously, we can still take them not quite seriously, and any surprises and defeats can happen. If you are a champion, it does not mean that you are untouchable, and this does not guarantee you universal victory. Teams catch up quickly, and usually if a roster loses, it learns from its losses. Therefore, in every match we have to give all our best in order to get a victory.
— Some teams (for example, Team Liquid or BetBoom Team) ignored tier-2 tournaments in winter. Gaimin Gladiators often held official matches. Tell me, how does participation in various tournaments affect the team? Do you feel tired from such a busy schedule or are you always in great shape?
— After we managed to achieve results in several tournaments in a row, everything fell into place a little. After such a season, we appreciate our weekends much more and use the time between tournaments to have a good rest. At the start of the season, especially after Quinn came in, we just wanted to play and compete. We needed time to get used to each other. I would say that we are now in a fairly good position
— Recently, Dyrachyo has appeared quite often in various media. What do you think about it? How do you try to develop your personal media and the popularity of the team?
— Everything depends on each person. He decides if he wants that much attention, but I’m happy for Dyrachyo. After all, he is a champion, and he has such a character. I think he’s good for being the center of attention. Despite the fact that games occupy our main time, we must recognize that playing at this level makes us public people. For future reference, building our personal brand is an essential part of our business.
I started working on my social media presence myself. I am glad to everyone who follows me!
— Could you believe that before the beginning of 2023 your team will become a two-time Major champion and the winner of the 19th season of DreamLeague? What goals did you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?
— The only and main goal has always been and will be a victory at TI, but this is what every player is trying to achieve. We didn’t expect quick success after the line-up change. Especially after we also parted ways with our coach, who had the biggest impact on drafting and strategy.
We have changed our roles in the team, and, of course, over time everything will fall into place. Even just winning one Major was a surreal experience for us.
Flying to tournaments with my friends and being able to compete in front of people will always be the most memorable, but actually lifting a trophy is something I’ve always dreamed of. I always got goosebumps when I watched the tournament at home and saw the teams on stage after winning the final match.
— Your winstreak started with the BetBoom Xmas Show online tournament. How did the victory over Team Spirit in the difficult grand final affect your further achievements? Was it the starting point on the way to big trophies?
– Actually, we didn’t have much expectations from participating in this tournament, because we just put together a new line-up after TI.
However, it definitely gave us confidence not only in our game, but most importantly in the ideas we started with.
Believing in what you are doing and that it really brings money leads to an incredible state of mind.
— Let’s move on to The Lima Major 2023. First place in the group, a perfect playoff game and a well-deserved title. What were your feelings when you lifted the trophy?
– All-consuming joy. The desire to compete and play just instantly disappears and turns into happiness that is transmitted to every teammate, this is an incredible feeling that cannot be obtained in any other way.
I was so happy! And everyone is also waiting for you to be happy, nothing can be done (laughs).
— The main favorite of the tournament (Team Liquid) lost Boxi shortly before the decisive games. Did it affect the aftertaste of victory?
– I remember being upset about it. As for me personally, I wanted to play Liquid the most. We felt unstoppable back then, and besides being friends with Liquid, she was the only team I wanted to face off against.
We knew we would have won whether they had Boxi or not, but it definitely made the championship a little less scoring. However, a week later we still had a rematch in the DPC, which we also won.
— During the break between majors, you took part in the 19th season of DreamLeague. Gaimin Gladiators made it to the playoffs in the new patch 7.33. How did you manage to quickly find acting heroes and strategies? Did you expect such drastic changes in the game?
— This was probably the biggest patch in the history of Dota 2, and that it happened right before the final stage of the tournament was strange. With only a few pubs and not playing a single competitive game, we still lost our first series 2-0 in the upper bracket.
Everything seemed wrong. Timings, heroes and just our take on what happened before the perfect Dota 2 was destroyed. However, we were too immersed in our own thoughts, and this defeat pushed us into an important team conversation.
We tried to stick to our principles even though the map changed and adjusted a few heroes that changed due to the patch and it worked out in our favor in the end. I would not say that we played especially well then.
— At every tournament you met Team Liquid in the final and always defeated them. You only lost in DreamLeague with a score of 0:2 and dropped to the lower bracket, but took revenge in the final and beat them. Why do you think it is difficult for them to play against you? How do you and your team feel about playing against them?
— Liquid deserves attention and is without a doubt one of the best teams in the world. Personally, I like to play against them. We have learned a lot in our matches, and next to them we have constantly grown. They really work as a team and play fast, coordinated, fair Dota.
This means that they rarely play dirty and mean, but win thanks to skill and perfect tactics. But they still have difficulty playing with us.
— What do you think about the format of DreamLeague tournaments in general? Are you satisfied with the number of matches, groups? How do you feel about the online format? Does DreamLeague look more interesting than Majors?
– My opinion about DreamLeague has changed. Fly to international competitions in Europe, in fact, just to play a qualifying tournament? I’m not sure how most teams feel about this as my team is just playing at home since we’re in Europe.
Anyway, what I overlooked is that despite the fact that this format seems to be very long with successive group stages, it is very useful for international competition. Different regions showcase their playstyles, and different metas will be improved in this patch.
Even if we lose a few matches, which is quite natural in an inter-regional game, this will lead us to the 2nd group stage and we can start over. The tournament leads to continuous improvement with higher prize money than the Major. It’s great for the whole community.
— Let’s move on to the Major in Berlin. What is it like to play in front of your own fans in your own country?
– To be honest, when there were a lot of friends, family and loved ones at the tournament, I was more distracted than at other tournaments, keeping in touch with them, checking if they were doing well, if they liked the atmosphere, etc. .
First of all, I have to do Dota 2 and focus on every day and series, but everyone treated me with understanding and gave me the space and peace of mind that I needed.
When I got on stage I started looking around the crowd to see all the wonderful people I know and it was really reassuring to see those smiles and cheers.
The support I received was overwhelming, and now I’m sure that playing in my hometown is a real happiness.
— Did you feel any pressure due to high expectations from previous victories?
– Pressure? What is pressure and who is putting it on you? Is it harder for us that we think we need to win and that we are expected to win? I don’t think so. Our organization? She supports us at every stage and never makes us doubt ourselves.
Will fans get mad if we lose? (laughs) No, to be honest, I’m not even sure if people recognize me as a player, and mentally I still play like an underdog. Of course, I know that all the attention is directed at us, but I do not think that this negatively affects anyone in our team.
— Which team was the most difficult for you to prepare and play against at ESL One Berlin Major 2023? And why?
— The hardest thing was playing against 9Pandas. Unlike most teams, she places a lot of emphasis on strong lanes and counterattacks. It just forced us to adapt to their style of play and adjust our early game to their aggression.
— How does the organization meet the news of victories? Are there any rewards or incentives for success in international tournaments? Have your living conditions or earnings improved?
— I’m sure that everyone in the organization and people closely associated with it have more emotions than us watching us in the final (laughs). We are showered with hugs, congratulations and champagne (laughs), but that’s only part of it.
We increase our salary depending on the results in international competitions. Besides, I haven’t changed my lifestyle much. If my family needs anything, I will help them, but personally I save most of my money.
Although I do indulge myself sometimes when I go out or travel. Life is short, don’t blink or you’ll miss it =)
— It’s an amazing situation — you won two majors, but still did not guarantee yourself participation in The International. Do you agree with the current DPC points system? Is there anything you would like to change?
— It’s hard to say. I think everyone will agree that the Western Europe region is the most competitive region, but do they deserve more seats? Other regions can get freebies while the best teams in Europe struggle to get to TI.
On the other hand, we want to improve international competitiveness. I don’t know what to do with it, but two big wins should 100% secure you a slot.
It’s ridiculous to still be fighting for a slot when it’s proven twice that we might have the best team in the world. Perhaps the DPC should award fewer points and give the Major more, or even make sure that the Major champion directly qualifies for TI.
But who am I to say that something should be corrected.
— It became known that the next The International will be held in Seattle. What did you feel when you heard this?
— Personally, I don’t have any special love for Seattle, as perhaps other players who have been on the pro scene longer. I actually had a conflict in the USA and am currently in the difficult process of obtaining a visa, although I do not want to go into details.
It’s just an access point for all members of the community, and the setup, time, money and ambition invested in it goes to a completely different level.
— Gaimin Gladiators will definitely play Riyadh Masters 2023 in the summer and prepare for The International in the fall. Are you afraid to get tired with such a busy schedule?
— We have something to play for and strive for, and we already had talks about burnout within the team. Looking ahead, we can say that the schedule seems ridiculously packed, but, in general, it depends on ourselves how much time and preparation we actually put into it and how each individual feels outside the game.
I think we overdid it on the last run which was the DreamLeague-Major and combined with the fact that we became champions, we didn’t want to back down, but we learned a lot during this period and are now much better aware of and understanding each other’s needs.
— Now everyone knows you as the winners of the Major. How would you describe yourself in real life?
— Usually I am calm and collected, but I can be very sociable when I am with friends. Sometimes I’m lazy, but I do my job. At events, you can come up to me and say: “Hi.” I’m good, honestly :). I like getting new experiences and traveling.
— Do you have any hobbies besides Dota 2?
– I like to spend time with my friends. We listen to music, usually house, techno or something electronic. I love a good rave, but I can tune in to any music
I like to ride a bike or do some kind of sport. I love football and volleyball, but I rarely play lately. I also watch anime. And I love to eat: try different cuisines or cook my own meals.
— What is your favorite anime?
– My favorite anime this season is Hell’s Paradise.
— You came to esports at a rather late age. How do you manage to stay focused on the game?
— I don’t want to exaggerate, but I most likely became interested in video games and eSports at a much earlier age than most other pros.
I made a conscious decision to make Dota 2 a top priority in my life, and I know for a fact that the path I have blazed is beyond most people’s understanding.
I’m honored to make this dream come true and I know it won’t last forever. I am ready to wake up every day and dedicate myself to this goal.
However, sometimes I need to be close to my friends in order to once again realize what position I am in. I can’t always stay motivated at this high level, but I’m not alone on this journey.
— How long do you plan to stay on the professional stage?
– To be honest, it’s quite hard to say. I have vague thoughts, but I don’t want to think too much about the uncertain future. If Dota 2 stays relevant and I don’t get left out, I’ll be here.
To put it mildly, no one has yet won three The Internationals.
— What would you like to wish the readers of Cybersport. Metaratings.ru and the Dota 2 community?
— Thanks for reading if you’ve already done so. I really appreciate everyone who supports and follows our games as well as my personal story.
I’ll try to tell more about myself and hope to see you guys around! Farewell 🙂