Kuro "KuroKy" Salehi Takhasomi is one of the most prolific Dota 2 players in the world, with a long track record of success (and failure) through his career. Players are more than their stats though, and KuroKy is no exception. In the first part of our journey into the life and times of KuroKy, we saw how it all began. This is his path to success.
A Life Outside the Game
Unlike many pros that focus entirely on the game they are playing, KuroKy also managed to attend school on the side, studying psychology. Still, something had to give, and by 2014, the team’s performance had declined steeply, seeing his team disqualified very early on.
He decided on another team change, this time to the newly founded Team Secret. Once again, alongside his friend Clement "Puppey" Ivanov. Puppey’s perfectionism caused some players to leave and the team to struggle for a while – but by TI5, they had recovered.
- READ MORE: The Story of Dota 2 Team Secret – Part 1
Favored to win that year, Team Secret fell short at the event. Finger-pointing from his own teammates blamed KuroKy for their failure – while he accepted some responsibility, he also publicly blamed the team for scapegoating him. Naturally, they split up in the wake of this… and KuroKy made one of the biggest decisions in his career.
Leading the charge
He decided to lead his own team, and bring his own philosophy into it. For KuroKy, it’s all about the mental prep before a competition.
“It’s all in the mind. It’s all about being stable.” – KuroKy on prepping for any esports competition.
After seven years of on-and-off playing with Puppey, KuroKy’s focus shifted from just making it to the top himself to supporting his team as their leader on their way to the top – and eventually, it worked. Together with his team 5Jungz, a team made up of young talent that he scouted, he eventually joined Team Liquid – with mixed success at first.
By 2016, KuroKy's team had found its stride – and he ended up competing against Puppey and his current team at the time. They didn’t win, but they put themselves on the map as one of the top teams in all of Europe – in just six months.
Then, in 2017, his moment had come – after some roster changes, and almost a decade into his career, KuroKy finally got his wish – after a fantastic season, his team was favored to win. In a rather painful loss, they slipped into the more challenging lower bracket – and KuroKy did not let them lose again.
“Guys, stop thinking about winning!” – KuroKy to his team, just before winning
They came back in the finals against Newbee, and took the win – Team Liquid won the International 2017, finally fulfilling KuroKy’s long-held dream, side by side with his dream team.
Life after the win
Despite their incredible 3-0 victory in the finals, Team Liquid couldn’t repeat their success the year after – not without replacing one of the last original members of 5Jungz, Lasse Aukusti "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, things started looking up again – they placed 4th at the International 2018 and 2nd at the International 2019 – once again, through the lower brackets. On the way there, they beat just about every big name in Dota 2 – Fnatic, RNG, Evil Geniuses, Puppey’s Team Secret, and PSG.LGD before succumbing to OG.
Following the 2019 season, KuroKy and his roster parted ways with Team Liquid – he decided to found his own organization by the name of Nigma. Nigma had a weak start into 2020, placing outside of even the top ten in some of their competitions, but by June, they had once again hit their stride and started placing in the top three again.
They competed with quite a number of familiar faces like Team Secret and their own former Team Liquid succumbed to them in various competitions, though they were unable to defeat OG in their matchups against them.
If KuroKy’s career proves anything, though, it’s that leadership skills and sheer tenacity eventually pay off – and that not winning the first few matches is no indicator of just how good a team really is.
Do you like reading about the best and brightest in esports? Check out our other pieces in our Life and Times series: