Zhang “Mu” Pan has numerous achievements credited to his name, but none are as significant as his last year’s championship title at The International 4. In Mu’s TI5 player profile, the defending champion discloses the important traits needed by players and teams in order to become successful and talks about this year’s hopes for another title.
Mu started playing Dota 2 in 2011 as part of a lesser known team, but it wouldn’t be until 2012 – when he joined TongFu as their mid player alongside Chen “Hao” Zhihao and Wang “SanSheng” Zhaohui – that he would start to make a name for himself and his career would kick off.
In TongFu, Mu took top placements in numerous tournaments, seized a few championship titles and even qualified for The International 2, after winning the 2012 Eastern Qualifiers. The team placed seventh at TI2 and were invited to TI3 the following year, when they came in fourth.
In September 2013, TongFu lost some of their team members in a reshuffle. Mu parted ways with the team in February 2013 and joined Newbee, where he was reunited with both Hao and SanSheng.
In no time, Newbee would take their first championship title and and went on to win the most coveted championship title, The International 4.
In that moment, when I won the last match, I was very emotional, so emotional that I couldn’t show it. After all, it was a dream come true, a great achievement.
Mu is known for his high risk, high reward play-style – quite the contrast to his usual shyness. When it comes to media attention and being in the spotlight, he keeps to himself and is reserved, but when it comes to Dota 2, Mu metamorphoses into another person.
His teammates describe him as both hot-headed and really high-strung. Those traits are of big help to his team at LANs, getting everyone pumped up and hyped for the matches. It serves them well, since their play-style as a team is fight oriented and everyone plays aggressively.
Equally important though is that Mu is considered dependable and trustworthy by his teammates – qualities that lead to success.
I think a team’s unity is equivalent to its success. Unity gives you the confidence to win.
In addition, Mu thinks persistence is another important quality for a professional player. For now, these traits have clearly been a recipe for creating an International Championship team.
Despite being The International defending champions, Mu feels like there is less pressure on Newbee this year, compared to last year. Step by step, the team hopes for another championship title, first aiming for top eight, then top three, and then the Aegis trophy.
TI is unpredictable, but if everyone is at their best, then maybe we’ll surprise people.