“Hard opponents, it’s gonna be Tundra, Xtreme, and Liquid.

Team Spirit will defend its title at DreamLeague Season 22, and Denis "Larl" Sigitov thinks the group stage will be a walk in the park. esports.gg spoke with the young midlaner before the start of the event to learn his thoughts on Group B, previous losses, and the evolving meta of patch 7.35c.

Join us for an exclusive interview with Larl ahead of DreamLeague Season 22.

Larl interview at DreamLeague Season 22

esports.gg: Larl, Team Spirit enters DreamLeague Season 22 fresh off a rough finish at BetBoom Dacha Dubai. Any plans for revenge against Gaimin Gladiators or Azure Ray?

I think we don't like thinking about revenge, all these things.

We just want to prove that we can win this tournament and try our best. Of course, if we face them again and we win, we're gonna feel good. Because they beat us, and we maybe have something like revenge, because they beat us very easy 2-0. So, of course, if we choose, we wanna play against them, maybe in finals, maybe in playoffs, and beat them.

You’ll get a chance to lane against Xxs on Xtreme as well after the 1v1 loss. Any plans to gank him extra hard?

(laughs) No, no, no, I just played so bad in that! No, I don't target him. No need to target him. I mean, he's good, but he's not the main threat on Extreme.

Spirit enters DreamLeague as the defending champion, only losing three games in the last season. Do you predict another quick victory?

Well, it's not going to be like the last time, but we will see. Maybe we're going to start very good and just destroy everyone like in the previous DreamLeague. But I think right now, everyone is playing very good, not like the 2021 DreamLeague. They have new teams and rosters, so it's gonna be very interesting to face them again. 

Spirit 3-0ed Shopify Rebellion to earn the Seaosn 21 trophy (Image via ESL)
Spirit 3-0ed Shopify Rebellion to earn the Seaosn 21 trophy (Image via ESL)

Group B seems like the group of death this tournament. Are there any teams Spirit is training particularly hard for?

I think our group is more easy. I think Group A is more hard. If I watch the teams like they have Gaimin Gladiators, Falcons who won the last tournament. I mean G2.iG also, China’s good teams, Azure Ray, [BetBoom Team,] OG, maybe even Heroic and VP. You don't expect much, but VP, like TI shows, they can play very good and be a top team. So I think Group A is harder to understand which team is going to [eventually] play us. But if I talk about our group, the harder teams are going to be Liquid, Tundra and Xtreme. Maybe I think about 1WIN, Aurora, maybe they’re going to surprise everyone. 

We also need to watch Secret, how they're gonna play, because they also have a new roster and they played… not-that-well, not-that-bad in qualifiers. But we'll see what they gonna show us in our group. If I choose the more hard opponents, it's gonna be Tundra, Xtreme, and Liquid, I guess.

Miposhka and Yatoro have mixed feelings about the DPC being gone. What do you think?

It's maybe bad for the tier two teams that you don't have it now. You need to always play a qualifier to qualify for some tournaments. You cannot just win some DPC.

If you didn’t make it to the first division, you could make money from second division by your placing. So you can 6th place, 7th, 8th place, doesn't matter, you're gonna get some money to buy food. But now, for the tier two teams, it's gonna be more tough to get some money, because we don't have as many tournaments for the tier two scene, only tier one. But in tier one, it's hard to win because tier two teams don't have any tournaments to practice. Teams on their level, it's not enough, it's not enough for players. So I think it's a little bit bad for tier two teams.

Larl shows off his jawline between games at BetBoom Dacha Dubai (Image via FISSURE)
Larl shows off his jawline between games at BetBoom Dacha Dubai (Image via FISSURE)

It's hard for tier two teams to try to beat tier one because [there’s an experience gap] and you don't have experience when you play on tier two against tier one. Maybe in DPC you're gonna get some experience. If you reach the first division, you can play. But in this reality, you don't have much experience to play against good teams. Maybe in some clan wars, but it's not real Dota. 

Patch 7.35c just dropped with a couple of notable changes. Any new heroes or builds you want to try?

New heroes, of course. Maybe I need to try some Leshrac. I guess he's gonna be back because he got some buffs. And also, all heroes who buy Sange and Kaya, who buy Sange, it's gonna be OP because Sange got some big buffs to the buy cost. Also, all heroes who buy some Sange and Yasha, it's gonna be good. 

Also, heroes who buy Radiance are gonna be good, because Radiance got buffed and it costs very low and gives a lot. You can buy Radiance, buy Nullifer, buy [Revenant’s Brooch.] So I think it's a very broken item right now because it's not that big, and you can buy Nullifier, [Revenant’s Brooch,] and this 20 percent miss is something crazy. 

Larl, any thoughts on the Arc Warden and Meepo nerfs before DreamLeague Season 22? Do you think they’ll still ruin the meta?

I think it's not necessary for them, they're going to play like they usually play. It's like Meepo, I play pubs and he also plays not that much differently, but we will see, Arc Warden, I think it's not necessary also. He's gonna be strong in the mid game, late game. If you have bad heroes, bad coordination, you're gonna lose. 

What’s worse, Arc Warden or Broodmother?

For me, of course Broodmother. If I even see Broodmother, I think “Please, no. Go offlane. Jut go offlane, don’t go mid.” I don't want to play against it because you just cannot pressure this hero right now. But if you have good supps against Brood and some control on mid or a hero who can kill spiders, it's not a big problem. But if you don't have it, it can cause you real trouble.

At The International 2023, you were the first player to lift the trophy. Did your team plan for that?

Everyone goes and my teammates say “You can, you can do it, you go first.” I say “Maybe, I don't need it. No, no, no, you go first!” (laughs) Everyone's insisting, “No, please, you first, you first!” Okay, if you guys want me to go first, I go first.

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