With the roster drop lock date of September 4 and the official lock date of September 18 rapidly approaching, the post-International Dota 2 roster shuffle broke open over the weekend with swaps affecting top teams from nearly every major region. Here’s what’s gone down (so far):
The top shocker so far is that Clinton “Fear” Loomis and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg have been removed from the Evil Geniuses roster. And that might just be the start of it.
While the organization has not announced who will be replacing these legends, 17-year-old prodigy Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan has expressed that he will not leave EG unless he is kicked. However, according to the registration list, SumaiL has officially left EG as of Sunday afternoon. In a quote given to ESPN, the organization said that they’ll be releasing a statement “in the coming weeks.”
Team Secret has removed Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao, and released Artour “Arteezy” Babaev, as well as Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale in favor of Korean players Pyo “MP” No-a and Lee “Forev” Sang-don, formerly of MVP Phoenix. Completing this eclectic roster will be Malaysian-born Zheng “MidOne” Yeik Nai, who played an integral role in Fnatic’s lower bracket run at Ti6.
Besides losing MidOne, Fnatic is also parting ways with Adam Erwann Shah “343” bin Akhtar Hussein and Djardel Jicko B. “DJ” Mampusti. The organization has not announced their future plans for the team as of yet.
One of the most heartbreaking separations comes from Alliance, who officially announced the departure of longtime team members Gustav “s4” Magnusson, Henrik “AdmiralBulldog” Ahnberg and Joakim “Akke” Akterhall. Alliance has not announced who they plan on picking up to round out the roster, but team co-founder Colin DeShong stated on twitter that “EG and Alliance aren’t going anywhere.”
OG kicked off the shuffle with their removal of David “MoonMeander” Tan and the departure of Amer “Miracle-” Al-Barkawi and Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen. MoonMeander was swiftly picked up by Digital Chaos in place of of David “Moo” Hull, who currently remains teamless.
In China, the shakeup is just starting, with Chen “Hao” Zhihao announcing that he will be taking a six month break from Newbee and possibly retiring. In the meantime Sun “Agressif” Zheng, who left Ti5 runner-up CDEC to join LGD Gaming after the Frankfurt Major at the beginning of the year, has stated that he has left LGD. To add to the insanity, rumors have swirled around Lu “Maybe” Yao possibly leaving LGD as well, which led to an lengthy post by LGD management confirming that the player will be staying with the organization.
Last but not least, Luo “Ferrari_430” has left Invictus Gaming. Ferrari_430 was one of the founding members of IG, and the only remaining member from the original roster that was formed over five years ago. 2016 marked the first time in history that IG did not qualify for The International.
Ferrari_430 leaving iG is one of the few times that cliched “end of an era” line is apt.
— Thorin (@Thooorin) August 28, 2016
Dylan Walker is on Twitter @dyluuxx