Matumbaman - A legacy in numbers

February 01 2023

Matumbaman - A legacy in numbers

Matumbaman has had one of the most storied careers in Dota. You can point to any number of pros and look at how excellent they were when they reached peak performance, but no one can match Matu’s consistency or longevity. What were peaks for 95 percent of the pro scene, were plateaus for Matu. What really makes this accomplishment outstanding is the skill and understanding required to maintain that level of play across so many patches. It’s one thing to perform well when your favorite heroes are strong, but it’s another to keep performing when those heroes have been heavily nerfed or changed.

While his career began in 2014, Matu joined Team Liquid in late 2015 when his squad, 5Jungz, was signed. 2015 was the beginning of a breakthrough era for Matu, where he would reach The International for the first time—and then reach TI again five more times. That’s an historic six TI qualifications in a row. Over this time, Matu became one of Team Liquid’s winningest Dota 2 players—and the true centerpiece to Team Liquid’s legacy in Dota.

To honor that legacy, we've put it into numbers. With the help of SAP's powerful analytical tools, we've compiled several of Matu's career statistics. These statistics show Matu's range, ability, and just how much he brought not only to Team Liquid but to Dota 2 as a whole.

Matumbaman not only reached 6 straight TI’s, but had outstanding performances in all of them. If you look at the stats behind each of Matu's TI runs you’ll see him holding first place in category after category. That should make it abundantly clear why Matu was one of the most desired carry players in the scene for almost the entirety of his career.

It wasn’t just his general play that got people’s attention, though. Matumaban was known as a specialist, capable of completely taking over the game on certain heroes. He was particularly skilled on heroes with summons that allowed him to destroy buildings quickly, as well as aggressive cores that allowed him to fight often, taking over the early-game and mid-game for his team. You can see this most clearly from his insane 77.5 percent winrate with Broodmother. (See the stat block below.)

Heroes like Brood, Lycan, and Lone Druid allowed Matumbaman to take over games in ways that few others could. These heroes also fit his flexible playstyle, letting him dominate the game from any of the three lanes, further letting his teammates play from a position of lofty comfort.

It’s no doubt part of what made Matu successful across diverse rosters with different styles and dynamics.

As for his more aggressive cores, Matu used the likes of Viper, Bristleback, and Necrophos on his way to winning TI7. These heroes relentlessly pressure the opposing cores, allowing Matu to force his opponents onto the back foot from minute zero. During that incredible run through the Losers Bracket, facing Matu’s Necrophos was akin to seeing the Grim Reaper staring you down.

Matu's success didn’t only come from oppression in and around the laning stage, it also came from burst and damage. His 6,000+ damage crit as Phantom Assassin still ranks as one of the biggest hits in Dota. It wasn’t easy, it took three Divine Rapiers and an Empower from Magnus, but it was enough to 1-shot the enemy Necrophos, cleaving through their Sand King as well. Nothing says “finishing blow” like a six thousand damage crit, and I can’t think of a player I would trust more with three rapiers than Matu.

Whether he was playing Druid or Broodmother or Necrophos, there’s no doubt about it that Matumbaman was one of the greatest players of all time. Whether you measure by consistency or by heights, Matu should top your criteria. All the way through to the very end of his career, he was capable of both playing the right role, whether that was laying the foundation for his teammates, or taking over a game himself, or turning the tide with a clutch play. That clutch element is something even the numbers struggle to capture. He was such a staple and an x-factor that it will be hard to imagine Liquid Dota without him.

At the same time, it will be hard to imagine competitive Dota without him as he was also one of the most entertaining players of all time. From his early streaming days as Matumbawoman to trolling Insania with his late picks (even on the final day of TI) Matu’s carefree attitude brought out smiles in players and fans alike. It takes a special person to bring such charisma outside the game and such talent inside it. A fan favorite through and through, Matumbaman has left his mark on both the stats lines and our hearts.

Writer // Joe Chilen
Editor // Austin "Plyff" Ryan
Graphics // Shihab Mian

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