The Dota 2 professional scene seems to have decided to do all the exciting roster changes pre TI. After Evil Geniuses were down to three players this morning by releasing both Misery and Fear from their roster, today OG is in the same situation.
After being inseparable for nearly five years one of the greatest duos Dota 2 scene has had, Tal “Fly” Aizik and Johan “N0tail” Sundstein are parting ways. N0taiL will remain with OG but Fly takes Gustav “s4” Magnusson with him and moves to Evil Geniuses in what the organizations announced to be a transfer/acquisition of the two players.
From OG’s official press release:
“Today, we announce the transfer of Tal ‘Fly’ Aizik and Gustav ‘s4’ Magnusson to EG. […] This transfer does not affect our DPC situation in any way, but understandably, we have decided to withdraw from the Chinese Dota2 Supermajor. In the interim, we have set out to rebuild the roster and participate in the European TI Open Qualifier later next month.”
- Johan “N0tail” Sundstein
- Sébastien “7ckngMad” Debs
- Jesse “JerAx” Vainikka
From Evil Geniuses official press release:
“ May 28, 2018 — Evil Geniuses would like to announce acquisitions to their Dota 2 roster, which will be competing at the China Dota 2 Supermajor (June 2-10) and The International qualifiers. With the recent departures from our Dota 2 division, we both had the opportunity to shift positions and acquire new talent. Evil Geniuses will be welcoming Gustav “s4” Magnusson and Tal “Fly” Aizik to the roster. Both have a storied history of experience and success within Dota 2, and we believe that they will be valuable pillars within the organization.”
Evil Geniuses roster:
- Artour “Arteezy” Babaev
- Syed Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan
- Gustav “s4” Magnusson
- Andreas Franck “Cr1t-” Nielsen
- Tal “Fly” Aizik
The very first glaring problem with this move seems to be the big overlap of competence and roles between these players, except for the support roles. All three of the core players made their careers in the mid position and while S4 and Sumail dabbled in the offlane, those were clearly failed projects. How does one partition this amount of talent that EG has potentially stacked in the mid lane. It feels like they have to make yet another compromise right from the get-go. And we’ve seen a star-studded team recipe fail before when Team Secret tried to take over the Dota 2 scene with an all-star lineup. The weird part is that S4 and Arteezy were in the middle of that controversial move as well. But, apparently, there was no lesson to be learned there.
It almost smells like a desperate move in an attempt to save face after a pretty dismal season. A term used in the press release was “transfer” and that implies that a transaction has been made. So, it’s a pure business move. And maybe that’s the hard bit to swallow looking back at the relationship between Fly and N0tail and their history together. I’m sure Notail would say there are no hard feelings, and that may be the wise attitude, but it’s still a crappy feeling to witness their carefully nurtured and largely successful project crumble under the pressure of meeting expectations and an overall cold business mindset.
It’s hard to imagine a good solution for the predicament in which OG find themselves now. With weeks before the TI8 open qualifiers, they have to muster a strong enough roster to power through that gauntlet. And the options on the menu aren’t great since we’re talking outside the transfer period. Maybe this will fuel their ambition and maybe this is the fresh start that they needed. On the other hand, if OG dies as a consequence of this “transaction”, then it would be a shame to see an amazing player like JerAx be the collateral victim of an unscrupulous game since there would be little to no chance that he gets to TI this year.
With OG giving up on their spot for the Super Major, we are most likely to see an announcement coming up very soon about who will be replacing them. Having just mere two to three days left until the teams should be already in Shanghai, China, one option would be to just replace OG with a Chinese team, however, all the big names are already in the event. Fnatic and OpTic Gaming would be the most obvious choices, as both teams could secure a TI8 invite if they would be given the chance to participate at the very last event of the Dota Pro Circuit.