Every now and then the shuffle windows offer the Dota 2 fans reasons to keep a discussion going for days. Not all the rosters are always assembled without a drama lingering behind the whole story and not all players exit the shuffle period happily.
Even so, the recent shuffle in the Chinese region delivered one of the most bizarre moves coming from an organization. Elephant.4AM made their entrance to the Dota 2 field on the wrong foot and although they have, at least on paper, one of the most powerful line-up in the whole competitive scene, they are already heavily criticized by the community for their actions.
Since August, when it was announced that 4AM is looking to build a Dota 2 team, rumors regarding their possible roster have flooded the scene. Most of them turned out to be true, however, the fans were met with a huge surprise on the 1st of October when the line-up was officially announced. While everyone involved in the Chinese competitive scene was expecting to see Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun joining in the carry role, the organization announced in fact Liu “Sylar” Jiajun to have taken the position one.
Less than a day after the announcement, Elpephant.4AM deleted their Weibo post and Sylar revealed that he is in fact not going to play for the team. With absolutely no official comment from the organization or any of the players involved, the weird situation opened the door for numerous speculations on what might have happened.
One of the most popular theories implied that Elephant.4AM mismanaged their budget, ran out of money and couldn’t afford the buyout fee of Eurus from Vici Gaming. Reports from the Chinese professional scene stated that the four members didn’t want to play with Sylar and decided to lower their contractual agreements to help the organization in bringing Eurus aboard.
Soon after the news broke, the community criticized Elephant.4AM and their four core members pretty viciously, accusing them for ruining multiple teams and players’ prospects at the same time. Of course, the fans in China, no matter how happy they are to have a strong domestic team to cheer for, they are at the same time bitter at the thought that both Vici Gaming and PSG.LGD were hit pretty hard when Yang, Eurus, Fy and Maybe left for 4AM.
After two days of intense reactions on Weibo, Maybe decided to release some info and talk on his steam about what happened, why Sylar was announced instead of Eurus and why the official announcement was retracted by the organization.
During his stream from today, October 4, 2020, Maybe stressed on the fact that none of the players refused to play with Sylar.
Moreover, he stated that he was in fact the one who suggested Sylar for the carry role and contacted him when he learned that the organization might not be able to sign Eurus.
According to Maybe, the buyout fee for Eurus is ￥1,500,000 (~$220,000), but Elephant.4AM never intended to pay for it, choosing instead to take advantage of some gaps in his contract and drag Vici Gaming to court if they wouldn’t agree to transfer him for free. The plan didn’t work because Eurus didn’t want to go to court against Vici Gaming, according to Maybe’s words.
Given the situation, Elephant.4AM decided to make the official announcement with Sylar on the roster having only a verbal agreement with him.
Maybe didn’t give any insight or detail about why it was decided only mere hours after the announcement to remove Sylar was made, or why the organization deleted the announcement on Weibo. However, he stated that on the night of the announcement, the club held a meeting, to which he was the only one not invited and it was decided to revert to the initial plan of signing Eurus.
He stated that on that meeting it was decided that Elephant.4AM will pay for Eurus’ transfer fee and that there will be no salaries cut from the other players, as it was initially rumored
According to him, Eurus’ transfer was completed last night, October 3rd and the roster is now completed, though the team doesn’t have a coach yet. Maybe mentioned that it is possible that at some point they will be joined by either Bai “rOtK” Fan, former Vici Gaming coach, or by Yao “QQQ” Yi, former PSG.LGD coach. He also mentioned that to end all the mess, there might be some monetary compensation for Sylar.