“He’s the main favorite of the tournament, I would say.”

OG enters BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 as a dark horse, and carry player Artem "Yuragi" Golubiev will lead the charge. The Ukrainian star graciously shared his time with esports.gg to talk about the return to third-party events, his relationship with his fellow Major champions, and the secret identity of 1v1 mystery player BonkiBoi.

Read on for our exclusive interview with Yuragi before the group stage of BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024.

Yuragi at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024

Esports.gg: Yuragi, how's FISSURE  treating you here at the tournament? 

Yuragi: We just arrived last night and everything's been fine. We've been shown around and the hotel's looking good.

When you first started playing Dota, were there any pro players who inspired you to go full-time?

When I was just starting, I was playing Pudge mid because of [Danil "Dendi" Ishutin]. So that was my first inspiration.

The TI1 champ inspired a new generation of mids (Image via Valve)
The TI1 champ inspired a new generation of mids (Image via Valve)

The DPC is now gone and third-party events like this have taken its place. How do you feel about the switch?

I'm not sure yet. I think I like the DPC leagues. But the system is also a lot of fun.You have to really be well prepared for the qualifier. So, I like it.

Yuragi talks heroes and pubs

Were there any heroes that you wish were back in the meta for this event?

No, not really. It seems like all of the carries right now are agility-based. It's not a lot of strength heroes. I like it this way.

Your signature Phantom Lancer hasn't been seen for a few tournaments now. Have you moved on from the hero?

No, I still like the hero. The main problem is the laning stage for me. Right now, the meta is a lot about laning, very strong offlane lanes. So it's kind of hard to pick.

Yuragi's Phantom Lancer has a 58.38% win rate across 394 pubs (Image via Valve)
Yuragi's Phantom Lancer has a 58.38% win rate across 394 pubs (Image via Valve)

If you could only play one hero for the rest of your life, what would you pick and why?

I don't know, usually my hero tastes changes pretty often. Right now, I would say Arc Warden.

Do you ever use your fame in pubs? If someone tries to take your role, do you tell them "Hey, I'm Yuragi?"

No. Usually people just don't fight for the role.

They just give it to you?

Yeah. (Laughs)

Are OG's roster troubles over?

OG has had a lot of roster changes over the past couple years. What's it like playing with so many different players?

The player change is always an opportunity to improve, because when the team is rebuilt, you have to take more responsibility. You have to become much, much better. You have to build from scratch and sometimes, it's hard. Sometimes, not everything comes together. But right now, everything is in good shape.

You and Bozhidar "bzm" Bogdanov are the only remaining players from the start of the new OG era. Has your relationship gotten stronger over the years?

Yeah, I think we know each other very well and we... we're just very good with each other. We understand each other, I think, very well and what we need and how we speak helps.

OG won the ESL One Stockholm Major in 2022 (Image via ESL)
OG won the ESL One Stockholm Major in 2022 (Image via ESL)

ATF will also be at this tournament with Falcons. How do you feel about that player after departing with the Major victory?

I'll be happy to see him. We still talk sometimes. Between us, it's a good relationship.

Yuragi already knows the 1v1 champion

Matthew "Ari" Walker, Mikhail "Misha" Agatov, and BZM will all be playing in the 1v1 tournament. How well do you think they'll do?

(Eyes light up) You forgot one player. It's BonkiBoi.

Oh, yeah? Who is BonkiBoi actually?

He's the main favorite of the tournament, I would say.

Can you tell us who he is? Is he a mystery contestant?

There's not much to add. You'll have to watch.

Well, maybe BonkiBoi will win, but how far do you think the rest of your team will go?

Oh, BZM is going pretty far. I don't know about Misha. He's been grinding a lot, but... I don't know. Against Ari, I think Hoodwink will just be banned. What's he gonna do then?

Why didn't you join?

I'm not a big fan of creep hitting. I mean, fight for creeps? That’s pretty dull.

A special thanks to Yuragi for taking the time at BetBoom Dacha Dubai 2024 to speak with esports.gg.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest updates on all things Dota 2.