Dota Blast's Andra Ciubotaru sat down with Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen in Minsk, Belarus during the SL i-League LAN finals to talk about everything from his personal life to his Dota 2 career (and possible future dream careers).
The Finnish carry player began by talking about his life before committing to Dota full-time. Before he entered the competitive scene he had been attending sea captain's school in the army.
"I was in sea captains’ school, I was studying to become a ship captain, but then I just wanted to play Dota. I postponed my army service, played some Dota with my friends, went to DreamHack, sucked so hard but it didn’t matter."
Suddenly the team name "4 Anchors + Sea Captain" makes a whole lot more sense. In these early days of competing in professional Dota, MATUMBAMAN's family were not impressed with the new path his life was taking.
"...they didn’t like it. They hated it! They harassed me about it daily. 'Go to school, do something with your life, apply for another school!' But now they’re okay with it."
Now of course, MATUMBAMAN is part of the much more successful Team Liquid roster, which keeps him plenty busy leaving little time for much else. Still, he says his girlfriend (who is studying to become a doctor) has been supportive and they have been able to keep a good relationship.
"...it takes so much time, I have to travel, practice so much daily, so it takes our time together. It’s hard to make everything work, but we’re managing. She actually doesn’t play any games, she’s not a gamer at all."
Looking beyond his Dota career, MATUMBAMAN has some interesting thoughts about what career path he'd like to pursue... and it's not as a ship's captain.
"I would like to become a bartender and a waiter. I’d be the most handsome bartender that’s ever existed, flipping those bottles all over the place, and serving vodka with ice to my Russian brothers."
He also spoke about what he feels his greatest weakness is when it comes to his Dota play — nerves.
"I get nervous when I play. I’m playing a match, I get really nervous and start playing worse. It’s my biggest problem. That’s why I stream."
He goes on to say that worrying about being flamed on stream contributes to those nerves but getting used to it and learning to ignore has actually helped him to get over his nervousness, learn to get past it and play his best.
When asked about The International he told Ciubotaru that he thinks teams have become weaker since the tournament ended because although the Majors system is around, they aren't trying as hard as they were in the months leading up to TI5. He believes that now that we've come around to a new year again, teams are going to start stepping in up in preparation for TI6 and we will see improved play all around.
As for Team Liquid?
"We’re getting better. We’re kind of new to the scene."
Team Liquid are currently keeping busy and improving in Captain's Draft 3.0, the Dota Pit League Season 4 EU Qualifiers and WePlay Dota 2 League Season 3 EU Qualifiers. In WePlay, they are currently undefeated in their first three group stage matches.
Annabelle "Abelle" Fischer is a writer for theScore eSports with a love for Dota 2, birds and cheese. You can follow her on Twitter.