Sammyboy hopes to lead D2 Hustlers to additional glory in 2021-22 NA DPC

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sammyboy feature dota 2

Last Updated on: 24th November 2021, 08:49 pm

In recent months, D2 Hustlers emerged as one of the hottest North American teams in competitive Dota. Since its formation in April 2021, the team, thanks to their exciting blend of young talent and veterans, secured promotion to Division I for the 2021-22 Dota Pro Circuit, where they will face the region’s best that features Evil Geniuses, Quincy Crew, and Team Undying.

But just as D2 quickly secured a spot at the apex of NA Dota, the urgency to secure their status as a Tier-1 team swept their minds in kind. Due to the nature of the single-round robin format that Division I entails, each team must perform at their absolute best with a scarce amount of opportunities available. While the possibility of using the same roster that earned promotion looked appealing to D2, they ultimately decided, like most teams throughout the world in the post-TI landscape, to facilitate their own lineup overhaul ahead of the new season.

Of those who joined D2 was Samuel “Sammyboy” Anderson, who last played for 4 Zoomers during the 2021 season. An esteemed veteran of the region with 7+ years of experience as the main carry, Sammyboy played for numerous Tier-2 and a share of Tier-1 teams before settling with D2, where he will embark as their newest support, a role he never played in his career. Tasked with preserving D2’s place in Division I while simultaneously competing for an appearance at a Major tournament, Sammyboy is garnering scrutiny as one of NA’s most interesting figures ahead of the next DPC season.

Sammyboy leaving 4 Zoomers after not appearing in TI10

Last season, Sammyboy played for 4 Zoomers, a team he formed in March 2020 that sought to provide additional opportunities for NA players and procure sponsorships to adequately compete in LAN events, but with the advent of the COVID-19 global pandemic that halted the entire Dota competitive ecosystem, the team found themselves in a precarious position immediately from the start. Regardless, Sammyboy and 4Z persevered from their struggles to finish fourth in both seasons of the 2021 DPC and win $52,000 in prize money.

However, since NA offered two slots for each of that year’s two Major tournaments, 4Z couldn’t qualify for either event and show their worth against international competition. As a result, they were sentenced to play the NA TI10 qualifying tournament in order to obtain a direct invite for Dota’s premier event. While Sammyboy led his team to the grand finals and were confident they would defeat Undying with relative ease, it was there where his season suddenly ended as 4Z were swept three games to none to lose the privilege of appearing in TI10 as NA’s third representative.

“If you look at that series, it was probably closer than I think people give it credit for. I think Games 1 and 2 could have gone either way very easily,” said Sammyboy about the series against Undying and the season with 4Z. “Maybe if we won one of those first games, the third game wouldn’t have turned out like that, right? I think by the third game, we were kind of defeated. There’s obviously lots of stuff that could have gone differently going into that series. We could have prepared differently. We could have worked harder during the season to maximize our potential. But you know, I don’t think we got that.

“During this [past] season specifically, we ran into a lot of internal problems in regards to people’s personal beef or whatever. You played together for over a year and people have conflicts, people have issues, people have all these off-game factors that can affect your team. It’s kind of sad because I think our team got affected by stuff that wasn’t necessarily fully under my control. I like to consider myself as a kind of a leader. I try to lead my teams and set a good example. I tried to do that with Zoomers, but obviously, you know, we had problems outside of that which didn’t let us succeed.”

Painful as it is to absorb the pain of not qualifying for TI10, Sammyboy had no choice but to move forward, as shortly after 4Z’s finals loss, he left the team to join another stack in NA. Fortunately, he didn’t need to wait long to find his next team, for on the same day he left 4Z, he rejoined TEAM TEAM (which featured his mentor Michael “ixmike88” Ghannam) and briefly played for Black N Yellow in a series of Tier-3 events before again becoming a free agent in late October.

READ MORE: Interview with Dota 2 caster Bkop on missing TI10, working the 2021 DPC season, China and SEA’s overall performance

Sammyboy joining D2 Hustlers

With less than a few weeks before the start of the 2021-22 DPC, Sammyboy remained available in the free agent market. Contrary to the uncertain future that generally corresponds to the offseason, due to Sammybody’s contribution with 4 Zoomers last season, he fielded numerous offers from teams throughout the region. Finally, after careful deliberation, he chose D2 Hustlers as the next destination of his career. With D2’s peculiar albeit promising blend of talent eviscerating the Lower Division last year, Sammyboy cited that aspect as the major reason for his decision to join the team.

“I had some offers to play carry, but I think D2 Hustlers have the best mix of young talent that hasn’t succeeded yet among any other teams in D1,” said Sammyboy of his team. “I enjoyed playing with my friend Yamsun. I’ve played with him on and off teams for the past four years or so. We have a good hero pool and I think that we just have talented players with a lot of really good heroes.

“I think the Yamsun has the best Morphling in North America. I think esK has some of the best spirit play in NA. I think Davai Lama has a really wide range of offlane heroes we can pick from. I think esK, Yamsun and Davai all have a lot of talent and I think if we can find good synergy during the season. I’m more than confident that we can do really well and, you know, compete for a Top 4 slot in DPC.”

Similar to Sammyboy’s 4 Zoomers, D2 Hustlers was formed as another avenue for new talent to enter the DPC, but unlike their predecessors, D2 wasted little time making their presence known to the public. Less than a few weeks into their existence, they qualified for Season 2 of the NA regional league, defeating dozens of other amateur teams in the process. Befitting their name, they literally hustled their way through the region’s second division.

Boasting a dynamic lineup that included a swath of stellar players including Cedric “Davai Lama” Deckmyn, Yuma “Yuma” Muckenhirn, and Jared “pandeago” Fletcher, D2 put on a clinic by stampeding their competition without a sliver of mercy. According to, D2 finished first in every team category in the Lower Division including XPM, GPM, and map pings. All this amounted to a perfect 7-0 series record and direct promotion to Division I for the next DPC season, officially classifying D2 as one of the hottest Dota teams in NA practically overnight.

Similar to how the region basked in D2’s frantic ascent with astonishment, Sammyboy was amazed by their success seeing as they did so with little collective experience under their belt–and in a modestly supported region like NA at that. This explains why he felt compelled to join D2 upon being contacted by the team.

Sammyboy on becoming D2’s newest support

Sammyboy WESG 2017
Credit: WESG

In addition to Sammyboy signing with D2, three other players joined in conjunction: core players Luke “Yamsun” Wang and Jose “esK” Coronel from Black N Yellow and Aleksandar “Alexxo” Dikli? from European team Creepwave. Given that the team’s carry position was filled by his newest teammates and he held the most experience among everyone in D2, Sammyboy switched from his familiar position to become their support and overall captain.

From his debut in 2014, he generally played as their primary carry. Under this role, he acts as his team’s main coordinator by directing their draft compositions and modes of attack. Although Sammyboy has experience in occasionally manning the captaincy with a share of teams throughout his career, he never did so outside of his standard carry role.

But in switching to support, Sammyboy not only has to retract his usual aggressiveness in team fights, he must also account for a variety of factors outside of engaging in direct combat. He must act as the lead strategist, communicator, and chief motivator. These are aspects that nobody would have expected him to undertake given his prior reputation as a toxic player, but it’s such that he’s assuming with relative ease.

“I think that the way that I function as a player–I’m loud. I talk a lot. I like to be confident about what I’m doing. I make calls and I can kind of do the same things I do on carry as I do on support. They just happen at different points in the game. As a carry, I’m generally waiting until I have items and I’m strong before I can start making calls, dictate the tempo of the game, talk about where we should go, where we should put our awards, and where we should attack basically.

“When you’re playing Position 5, you kind of get to do the same things. Instead of being the guy calling it, I’m more of a setup guy now, but I’m still able to be a leader. I’m still able to make calls and say, ‘Okay, this is where I want to face vision. This is what I think we should be doing in the game,’ and I have a team that trusts me and my view, and that’s kind of all you need, right? If your team trusts you and your team trust your judgment on what we’re doing, then it’ll be really easy to be a captain.”

Despite his shortcomings throughout his career, Sammyboy believes he had grown enough to supersede them, as his maturity and experience allowed him to learn from his mistakes and use them to his advantage. That way, he can teach his teammates to avoid falling into the wayside and instead embrace each of their distinctive attributes in order to play at their full potential. Even if D2 fields a roster that returns just one player from their inaugural season, Sammyboy feels he’s ready to lead them towards glory.

READ MORE: Rise Neptune on reaching NA LCQ grand finals, cohesion within the team, and improvement

Sammyboy’s hopes for upcoming DPC

sammyboy instagram 2020
Credit: Sammyboy/Instagram

In anticipation of next season, Sammyboy has pinned high hopes on D2 Hustlers to contend with the region’s best. Through their recent scrimmages and careful observation of the competition, he also feels the team can surpass fans and analysts’ initial expectations that designated them as a squad who will fight to maintain their top-flight status.

Even as they will face top teams that refurbished their own rosters (such as EG signing two-time TI champion Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka and Egor “Nightfall” Grigorenko and QC signing Maurice ”KheZu” Gutmann, Milan ”MiLAN” Kozomara, and Remus “ponlo” Goh Zhi Xian), Sammyboy doesn’t feel the slightest bit of worry for how D2 will fare.

Said Sammyboy: “Whether or not I’m going to be successful at [support] I have no f*****g idea, but I think we will play very teamly. I think we are a unit. I think we’re playing to help each other. I don’t necessarily know if we’re gonna make the major on the first season. I think Quincy and EG and Undying are looking very strong. But you know, like I said, I do think that we’ll be competing for a Top 4 slot.

“I think we’ll be competitive with all the other D2 teams (BNY, Zoomers, simplyTOOBASED). I think that will be very competitive with these teams. And I think I wouldn’t be surprised if we come out on top. I think that we have a talented roster. I think I bring a lot of knowledge and experience to the table and I think we’re going to own.”

As for his personal expectations, he looks to surpass his limits and achieve newer heights of success than what he experienced last year with 4 Zoomers. To foster a fruitful future after being constantly hounded by adversity, disappointment, and failure, nothing best summarizes a