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Tulex: Sponsors never really cared about DotA

By Urosh 'MrUrKe' Krvavac
Apr 9, 2012 19:49

ImageNext in our weekly interview, is long time DotA veteran and Mortal Teamwork Dota 2 star player, Michal ‘Tulex’ Zima. He was kind enough to give us a few answers about his career, the relationship with his brother-colleague Warlog, his comments on the ARTS genre and much more.

After interviews with RU Sergey 'God' Bragin and DE Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier, it is time for our third in deep interview feature. This time with DotA veteran, elder of the Zima brothers, SK Michal 'Tulex' Zima. Read bellow about his personality, his thoughts about playing in one of biggest European powerhouse, SE mTw , as well as some notable moments in his long and successful DotA career.

MrUrKe: Hello Tulex and thanks for accepting this interview! Can you introduce yourself to our readers?

Tulex: Hello, my name is Michal Zima, I’m going to be 21 in few weeks and I play Dota2 for mTw.

MrUrKe: When you are not playing Dota, how do you entertain yourself? What are you doing for a living?

Tulex: I study at the moment, so not really working; I worked for about 4 months when I wasn’t attending university. As for entertaining we got ourselves an Ultimate Frisbee team in the place I study (but it’s just for amateur tournaments, so just for fun) and also normal activities like going out with friends for a beer etc.

MrUrKe: Do you keep managing your real-life and virtual obligations both successfully?

Tulex: My time schedule is pretty flexible, so not really. But if I wanted to be more successful in my studies, then it could get problematic.

MrUrKe: Both you and your brother have been playing DotA for a long time. What do your parents think of this? Are they stopping you or encouraging your careers?

Tulex: Well, they are actually pretty cool with it. Though my father would prefer if I actually cared more for studies instead of Dota, but they never tried to stop us from playing. Our mother also watched some of our matches (she had fun time listening to v1lat, since they both know a bit of Russian) and she tries to watch news about us sometimes etc.


MrUrKe: Gaming in Czech Republic and Slovakia seem to be developed, having several top organizations. What can you say about it? What is people's opinion on gaming in general?

Tulex: I think it’s really much worse than you think. Apart from SGC there was never a sponsor for a DotA team that could provide much; I myself got cheated by few of the known names in multigaming here. Prizes for the tournaments aren’t that high either, but that’s to be expected, since sponsors never really cared about Dota here that much, although I hope it will get better now with Dota2. As for opinion on gaming, I think people still don’t have the mentality to truly accept it as a "sport" or as something serious, but its getting better in this aspect as well I guess. I still believe it just needs more time.

MrUrKe: How did you start with DotA? Was it random pubbing like many of us did?

Tulex: We used to played some battlefield in a game club with my classmates (it was actually Storm Games Club, which became my sponsor later *smiles*) and someone was playing Dota there, so I tried it as well and got hooked on it. When I got computer which could run online Dota, I started playing more on Xpam and by some random chances of meeting people I got into competitive.

MrUrKe: Until recently you were playing with your brother in a team. How did that affect your team's progress?

Tulex: It was pretty cool, it was personal plus. I’m not sure if it affected our team progress, but it was definitely positive

MrUrKe: Seems like TI2011 was the turning point for you, because after playing together with your brother and your country mates for so long, you joined a foreign team. Why was that?

Tulex: Well, Tonicek and Iacek had to stop playing because they needed to start working. Then after ESWC my brother also decided to stop because of his studies. So it was just me and craNich left and I had no real motivation to try to build another instance of SGC. I paused a bit after that, but got hooked on Dota again after New Year and I decided that I’m going to find myself a foreign team for a change.

MrUrKe: Do you regret your decision?

Tulex: No, not really.

MrUrKe: As stated before, you joined Swedish Mortal Teamwork ranks. When did the offer come? How long have you been thinking about accepting it or not?

Tulex: I played a few scrims as a standin with syndereN and guys when they needed a player, and then I was also a standin for them in some weekend tourneys. After that syndereN offered me to join them. I pretty much instantly said yes. I think it was around 2 months ago.

MrUrKe: You are playing in a ‘mixed nationalities roster’. How do you feel about it?

Tulex: It’s ok, since everyone can communicate in English. Only disadvantage is that I would actually have to travel by myself for LAN tournaments.

MrUrKe: Since you are now using English as a primary communication language, do you have a hard time adapting to it?

Tulex: Not really, I’m really used to listen to English language all the time, since I watch most of the movies in it, I also read a lot in English. I had to adapt in speaking it myself, but it’s solid now.

MrUrKe: Ever since DHW2011 mTw is not doing any great. After recent roster changes it seems like the situation is still the same. What do you consider as the problem in your team right now?

Tulex: Hm, we got really hurt by the fact, that we didn’t really have a stable 5 since Grunts PC broken down. Also I don’t think we are doing so bad considering we are a new team, in the first tourney we played we managed to beat Fnatic and Quantic, then lost to CLG in semis. We also got recently into joinDOTA masters finals, beating compLexity and Western Wolves on our way. It’s just that our in game play is very unstable because we have to play with standins a lot. I hope we will resolve this problem soon.

MrUrKe: The community is often accusing your team, saying that you don’t deserve a structure like mTw behind you. What can you say to those people?

Tulex: You either can support us, or hate us. If it makes you feel better about yourselves, then feel free to flame us on the internet, I personally don’t care much. Mortal Teamwork is a great organization and I’m sure they know what’s best for them.

MrUrKe: And what about your organization. Is mTw supportive in these hard times?

Tulex: I’m not as much in contact with them as syndereN, but I feel they are doing their best for us, which is really great.


MrUrKe: Let’s get back to your history a bit. Before entering the mTw venture, you played in Storm Games Clan for several years. What do you consider as your career highlight in DotA (as a team)?

Tulex: Finishing 3rd in MYM Pride tournament and then 2nd in EEDC season 2. Also the fact, that I managed to stay in a team for around 4 years, and still fight in the top 10 of Europe. For Dota2 it was beating EHOME at last ESWC.

MrUrKe: What about you personally. When do you think, you were on your highest level in DotA. What do you consider as your biggest personal success?

Tulex: It’s really hard to think like this in DotA, since it’s heavily team game, but probably in the 2nd instance of SGC when I was the team captain, just because of the fact that I made the picks.

MrUrKe: Your former teammates are now having hard times finding their own form and stable structure for themselves with their recent department from SGC. What are your supporting words to them?

Tulex: It’s really hard to create a stable team with Czech/Slovakian players, but I support them all the way and will be their biggest fan *smiles*.

MrUrKe: With the team change you changed your role a little bit, now you take care of the hard lane and utility. How do you like your new role?

Tulex: Well I played pretty much everything during my DotA career, started as hardcore support in first SGC, then switched to solo, then support again; afterwards I played carry, now the offlane role and when we play with notahax I play secondary support then. But I like the hard lane role, especially because the heroes played there are usually quite fun (Windrunner).

MrUrKe: You're known for your really successful Windrunner and Ancient Apparition. Are they your personal hero favorites?

Tulex: I love them, but I’m still waiting for Phantom Assassin to come in as my personal favorite *smiles*. Generally I like heroes with blink-like spells (Mirana, Akasha, etc.).

MrUrKe: Dendi once called Windrunner’s shackleshot the ‘best’ spell in the game. Do you agree on that or you have an other opinion?

Tulex: I feel like it’s the best non-ultimate spell in the game, but if you cant land it its one of the worst *smiles*.

MrUrKe: Recently KuroKy talked about the engine and the game as a whole with He thinks that the game is much easier than before, and that a new engine affects the metagame a lot. Do you have any comments on the above mentioned?

Tulex: It’s obviously different, but I don’t feel it’s necessary that much easier. The fact that all heroes are not implemented yet, affect metagame much more in my opinion. Also KuroKy denied the interview a bit in some of his comments, so I’m not really taking it that much into consideration/didn’t think much about it.

MrUrKe: Have you played HoN or LoL maybe? What do you think about other ARTS titles? Is competition between them going to help the genre or do you see it otherwise?

Tulex: I played both; I got really bored after playing them for a while. I believe HoN is going to die out, since already many of the top teams are switching to Dota2. And well for guys which don’t like a real challenge there will be LoL, it’s a good game in its own way, but I just don’t enjoy it so I don’t want to comment on it more.

MrUrKe: In terms of ‘player professionalism’ LoL seem to be ahead of DotA in a big way. LoL players are able to completely focus on the game, having decent earnings from their streams, tournaments and sponsors. What is a key factor in developing Dota as a real esport?

Tulex: Money, as in sponsors/salaries/tournament prizes, people enjoying the game/watching it and bigger media coverage of the game/pro matches.

MrUrKe: Do you think Valve and IceFrog are heading in the right direction so far?

Tulex: I love the game so far as most of the people playing it do, so yes definitely.

MrUrKe: Does lag play any role in Dota 2? In several leagues we have seen multiple problems with spectators, or server problems when playing against oversea teams. Should they continue playing European tournaments?

Tulex: It’s really absurd to play the game on US West servers. I don’t really want to restrict a team from competing in a tournament if they desire to and if they are as good as aL, for instance, but I myself don’t enjoy playing the game on that server at all. It would be probably fair if they didn’t add American player to their roster recently as well, but what can you do. I’m really looking forward to see a LAN competition between the teams, to really prove skill gap.

MrUrKe: What hero is going to shake the meta-game the most in your opinion?

Tulex: I love to say phantom assassin *smiles*.

MrUrKe: Do you think that weekly patches affect scene stability in a big way? Or it is good for teams to learn how to adapt?

Tulex: It’s OK because we know the heroes from dota1 at least, if it would be completely new hero each week, then I would hate it. I hope it gets more stable when all the important heroes are added.

MrUrKe: There are some indications that Dota 2 is going to be free-to-play and that Valve is going to add a cosmetic shop. What do you think about that?

Tulex: Its cool, I would pay for the game anyway, so I didn’t really trouble myself with this factor. As long as it’s good I’m going to be happy. Cosmetic shop idea is cool also.

MrUrKe: So we reached end of this interview. It was my pleasure to have you here Tulex. Do you have any final words? Or any finals shoutouts?

Tulex: Shoutout to all my current and past teammates and to my team mTw and our sponsors XMG, Sennheiser, Kaspersky and Eizo. Also for all fans out there, I made recently Facebook page to interact with you, so follow me at

We are puting this interview series on hold for the next two weeks, since our next 'in deep' interview is going to be in video format



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