Three paths to Frankfurt: a mousesports team profile

On June the 28th, eight teams will descend on the Commerzbank Arena for the ESL One Dota 2 championships to compete for the ESL One trophy and over US$200,000 and rising. During the European qualifiers, mousesports (often referred to as mouz) qualified in thrilling fashion, coming back from a 0-2 game deficit to win three games in a row against Russian powerhouse Team Empire.

Despite only being formed a short two months ago, mousesports has not only qualified for ESL One but also The International. How did a team come together so quickly and show such impressive results? Arguably, mouz is an all-star kind of team, and as such we take a deeper look into their history.

A look into Dota history

Although a relatively new group, the players of mousesports have a long history of - often shared - Dota experience. Pajkatt and MiSeRy have both been professional Dota players since the original Dota, having first played competitively together on team DDT. Both players also played at the first International in 2011, Pajkatt with OK.Nirvana and MiSeRy with MYM. The two have also played for North American organizations EG as well as CLG before moving their most recent team, a western team living and playing in China. Here they played with the well-known German carry player Black^, a former teammate of FATA-, and paS, who now joins them on the current mouz roster.

FATA- and paS, who are no strangers to playing under the mouz banner, are one of the most well-skilled duos in the European scene. The German pair have played together since 2012, having gone from Kaipi to mousesports then DD.dota/, after which they joined Team Dog and were ultimately picked up to play under the mousesports banner once more. Together they have played on teams with some of the most recognizable names in European Dota, while also having made a name for themselves. This year will mark the second time that paS and FATA- will represent mousesports at The International.

MSS, the lone American, on the other hand, is not as seasoned a player as most of his teammates. MSS began his competitive career by standing in for numerous North American teams this past year, including EG, Team Liquid and Dignitas. He rose to prominence in the American scene quickly due to his exciting playstyle and ability to outplay even some of the most skilled players in Dota. We sat down with MSS earlier in the year for an interview, which you can find here.

International and fearless

This combination makes mouz one of the most international teams in all of eSports. They have players from four different countries that have recently played across three of Dota’s major regions: Europe, North America and China. The combination of their individual skill, incredible team coordination and regional understanding that each member brings may be the secret behind this young team’s recent success.

Led by Pajkatt, mouz has shown that they are unafraid to play aggressively against some of the top teams in the world. They are confident enough in their understanding of Dota as well as the teams they play to pressure them into playing at their tempo. Currently, mouz score an average of 27.2 kills per game - the highest of any major professional team in 6.81. Their most-drafted heroes like Ancient Apparition and Troll Warlord also work well with their high level of team fight coordination. mouz seem to excel in making their opponents uncomfortable from the onset of the game as well as winning through devastating teamfights. We will have to wait and see if this hyper-aggression can conquer the safer and more reserved playstyles of teams like Alliance and IG at ESL One.

Coming off a loss to Empire in the DreamHack Summer lower bracket semifinals, MSS expressed disappointment at their placement, telling ESL that they “should have [placed] higher than fourth”. During this brief lull in competition, the players have taken the chance to head home before traveling to Frankfurt and kicking off ESL One with a huge test against Invictus Gaming in the first match of the tournament. Frankfurt will also be the location for mouz’s bootcamp leading up to The International.

We sat down recently with FATA- and paS to talk about their upcoming challenges, and will be publishing the interview in the coming week. Until then, check out some of the most memorable mouz matches of recent weeks.

Notable matches

ESL One Qualifiers Grand Final vs. Empire - Game 5
Mousesports qualified for ESL One in dramatic style, losing two games to Empire and battling back to take three games in a row.

TI4 European Qualifiers Grand Final vs. Virtus.Pro - Game 5
Just a few weeks later, they did the exact same thing to Virtus.Pro to qualify for The International.

TI4 European Qualifiers vs. RoX.kis
On their way to qualify for TI4, they played this entertaining game against RoX.kis with a draft featuring Tusk and Huskar

Check out our other ESL One team profiles: Vici Gaming

More about mouz: Interview with Arif "MSS" Anwar

Statistics courtesy of


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