Taiga’s Retirement from Professional Dota 2 Raises Concerns

Author: Kalyan Ganguli


Published at: 10 Feb 2024

Tommy “Taiga” Le, renowned for his tenure with esteemed Dota 2 organizations like Team Liquid, OG, and Alliance, has made a significant announcement regarding his future in professional esports. Opting for a new direction, Taiga has decided to retire from competitive gaming to embark on a career as a full-time streamer.

In this new phase of his journey, Taiga aims to connect with his audience through platforms such as Twitch and Kick.com, while also offering coaching services through mfy.gg. This transition signifies a fresh chapter for the player, who has encountered notable personal challenges, including a well-documented struggle with gambling addiction that threatened to overshadow his professional accomplishments.

Taiga’s retirement decision follows his brief stint with Bleed Esports in Southeast Asia, which concluded in December, just a month after joining the team.

A Glance at Taiga’s Dota 2 Career

Taiga’s presence in the Dota 2 scene has been marked by remarkable achievements, underscoring his talent and commitment to the game. With multiple first-place finishes in Tier 1 Dota 2 tournaments, Taiga’s career stands as a testament to his skill and strategic prowess. Victories at prestigious events like ESL One Germany 2020, ESL One Stockholm Major 2022, and ESL One Malaysia 2022, alongside a Top 8 finish at The International 2022, underscore his status as a top-tier competitor in the esports domain.

Furthermore, Taiga made history as the first Norwegian player to participate in The International in 2019, earning his spot through the Dota Pro Circuit with Alliance. His significance was further solidified when he clinched victory at ESL Stockholm 2022 with OG, making him the inaugural Norwegian player to secure a DPC Major title.

Taiga’s journey also shed light on a significant personal battle. In October 2023, he bravely shared his struggle with gambling addiction, which surfaced post-The International 2022. His candid account detailed the detrimental effects of addiction, including financial woes and emotional turmoil, culminating in a period of introspection and eventual rehabilitation. Through therapy and personal reflection, Taiga embarked on a path of recovery, acknowledging the ongoing journey towards healing.

Taiga’s Decision to Stream on Kick.com Raises Concerns

As a member of the Dota 2 community, Taiga’s choice to stream on Kick.com raises eyebrows and prompts reflection. Given the platform’s ties to the gambling website Stake, this decision appears contradictory for someone navigating the complexities of gambling addiction recovery. Beyond personal implications, it raises questions about the message conveyed to fans, many of whom view Taiga as a role model.

After grappling with a gambling addiction that nearly derailed his career, one would anticipate Taiga to distance himself from any associations with gambling. His narrative, thus far, has been one of resilience and redemption, serving as an inspiration for individuals confronting similar challenges. However, aligning with a platform linked to gambling risks undermining the essence of his recovery journey.

This concern is magnified by the actions of other Dota 2 personalities on the platform, like Arteezy, who actively promote gambling activities to their audience. Such circumstances place Taiga in a precarious position amid the esports community’s ongoing battle against the normalization of gambling promotion.

In light of these considerations, I sincerely hope Taiga remains vigilant and exercises caution to prevent a recurrence of past behaviors that not only affected him but also have the potential to influence his followers adversely.