One of the most reputable and polarizing characters of DotA and eSport in genera, l Jacob ‘Maelk’ Toft-Andersen, is about to take a partial break from competing with the world’s best in his favourite game. The circumstances of his team’s departure, his experiences with the professional scene now and then and his figure, were topics of an interview he decided to conduct with this website. Despite the variety of aspects, the essential message to surpass the lengthy session – that Maelk and his fighters will return in 2012 – will not only let the previous MYM-supporters exhale.
Maelk, what prevails after the announcement? Sadness that a glorious era passed by or confidence as you are happy to get on a new path in life?
A bit of both actually. I’m excited about moving onwards and have high hopes for what’s in store. With that being said, it also saddens me that a name and brand that I helped forge in so many ways, is no longer a part of my identity as a gamer. I reminisce about the good times we’ve had but anxiously await my future.
When the organization was revamped a couple of years ago with the new owners taking over after Regroup Esports, how certain was it that you and the team was to be stay put in MYM, coming into a new organization and all?
At the time, we were very pleased with how the new management looked at things and we were happy about being back in business under one of the most stable names in DotA history. In e-sports, you never really know what the future has in store, we learned that when MYM faced bankruptcy the first time around, but we were still confident in having a long stay.
Given the time that this split happens and despite the reasons you revealed in your statement, the one conclusion most would draw is, that the disbandment had to have something to do with The International. When I throw a phrase like “Money usually bears controversy” out there
– is that a point you would elaborate on, or is this assumption a mere fantasy?
The International itself held no influence on our decision as such. A lot of things caused us to want to call quits. Had we won a million, then maybe we could have continued to play without having to worry about jobs and a steady income. This wasn’t the case, so more or less half the team needed to focus their energy on something else than DotA.
We are all committed to the game, but the ones who couldn’t devote all their time to the game didn’t want to stand in the way of the others who could, so we decided to go each our separate ways for now. So in that aspect, money was definitely a factor, yet not in the way one would think it to be. Obviously we weren’t on the same page as the MYM management on what the future had in store for us either, so we decided to not only split as a team but also leave the organization behind.
Who of the players will keep playing and who will take a break?
No one is going to take a break per se. Some are just spending more time on tournaments and LAN events than others, which was the main motivator for splitting up. For now though, I know for a fact that neither PusHer, MaNia or myself will play as much as we have done in the past. This only holds true throughout 2011 though.
It still feels like you are leaving DotA at the wrong time, with several major LANs upcoming. Given the competitive spirit you showed in all your statements in the past, do you feel regret, passing all these prestigious opportunities? And to follow up your last answer. What happens after 2011?