Dota 2: MinD_ContRoL kicked by Tundra Esports mid-tournament in DreamLeague Season 22

MinD_ControL announced that he had been kicked shortly before Tundra Esports was set to play a match in the second day of DreamLeague Season 22's Group Stage 1.

Tundra Esports made the surprising decision to kick veteran offlaner MinD_ContRoL right in the middle of the Dota 2 DreamLeague Season 22 tournament. (Photo: MinD_ContRoL X/Twitter account)
Tundra Esports made the surprising decision to kick veteran offlaner MinD_ContRoL right in the middle of the Dota 2 DreamLeague Season 22 tournament. (Photo: MinD_ContRoL X/Twitter account)

Western European Dota 2 stalwarts Tundra Esports have made the surprising decision to kick veteran offlaner Ivan "MinD_ContRoL" Ivanov during the second day of Group Stage 1 of DreamLeague Season 22 on Monday (26 February).

MinD_ContRoL revealed that he will no longer be playing for Tundra in a post on his personal X (formerly Twitter account), where he said he was "LFT (looking for team), just got kicked before the match".

The match MinD_ContRoL was referring to was Tundra's fourth match of DreamLeague Season 22's Group Stage 1 against Shopify Rebellion. The start of the match was notably delayed significantly around the time MinD_ContRoL announced that he had been kicked.

Tundra went on to play against Shopify Rebellion with Vladislav "laise" Lais as the stand-in for MinD_ContRoL.

Prior to MinD_ContRoL getting kicked, Tundra had gone 1-3 through the first day of Group Stage 1. Aside from helping the team qualify for DreamLeague Season 22 itself, the veteran offlaner was also instrumental in the team qualifying for ESL One Birmingham 2024.

MinD_ContRoL's kick notably comes after Tundra brought Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg out of retirement to be their new general manager.

Shortly before MinD_ContRoL announced that he had been kicked, afkgaming notably published an interview with the offlaner where he said "I definitely miss my old teammates [in Nigma Galaxy]".

In the interview, MinD_ContRoL also talked about the difference in atmosphere between Nigma Galaxy and Tundra, even saying he was "not yet friends" with his now-former teammates.

"It's different because we still don't know each other well. We're not yet friends, of course. We're certainly trying to be friends, but these things take time since we haven't known each other for very long. Developing friendships isn't instantaneous; it doesn't work like that just because you start a team together. I mean, you can't force it," MinD_ContRoL told afkgaming.

Following his sudden removal from Tundra, MinD_ContRoL went on streamer Janne "gorgc" Stefanovski's stream and gave his account of what caused his kick from the team.

MinD_ContRoL said he had given Tundra an ultimatum after conflicts arose within the team following team decisions that the offlaner did not agree with. The issues cited by MinD_ContRoL included his role as team captain being given to carry player Ivan "Pure" Moskalenko as well as Tundra's decisions to hire David "MoonMeander" Tan as team coach and zai as general manager.

Tundra later gave an official statement regarding MinD_ContRoL's situation, saying that the player was instead placed on an "indefinite suspension pending an internal disciplinary investigation". Tundra also refuted MinD_ContRoL's claims that he was kicked and said that the player told them that he "would no longer participate and represent Tundra" unless demands deemed unreasonable by the team were met.

Teams and players competing in DreamLeague Season 22 were quick to express their surprise on MinD_ContRoL's sudden departure from Tundra.

OG's stand-in carry player, Enzo "Timado" Gianoli, even chimed in by posting on his personal X account that players "gotta watch your back these days".

Timado notably revealed in a post-match interview during the opening day of DreamLeague Season 22 that Tundra had kicked him last-minute and instead signed Pure.

MinD_ContRoL joined Tundra back in January after spending the last eight years of his career as part of the Kuro "Kuroky" Takhasomi-led rosters that played under 5Jungz, Team Liquid, and Nigma Galaxy.

MinD_ContRoL had been with the 5Jungz stack that was created in 2015 and went on to play under the banner of Team Liquid, with Maroun "GH" Merhej also joining the squad in 2017.

The Team Liquid roster of Lasse "MATUMBAMAN" Urpalainen, Amer "Miracle-" Al-Barkawi, MinD_ContRoL, GH, and Kuroky went on to claim the Aegis of Champions in The International (TI) 2017. That squad mostly stayed together, but with Aliwi "w33" Omar replacing MATUMBAMAN, and finished second in TI 2019.

Shortly after TI 2019, the roster parted ways with Liquid and founded Nigma Galaxy. However, the team has failed to reach the heights it once did in the years that followed. While the team showed flashes of promise in the 2023 season, it still ended in disappointment.

After Miracle announced an extended health break last December, Nigma Galaxy announced one of the biggest signings of the offseason as Ammar "ATF" Al-Assaf joined the team as Miracle's replacement on the carry role.

With ATF joining a roster that also included big names like Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan, MinD_ControL, GH, and Kuroky, Nigma Galaxy were expected to at least be competitive in the cutthroat competition of the Western European regional league.

Instead, Nigma Galaxy failed to make a splash, finishing the Winter Tour in sixth place before getting knocked down to Division II following an eighth place finish in the Spring Tour.

Following the Nigma Galaxy's demotion to Division II, ATF was placed on the inactive roster and Miracle- was forced to return as a stand-in for DreamLeague Season 19, where the team finished in 13th-14th place.

Nigma Galaxy's roster shakeup continued in May, when they announced that SumaiL was loaned to China's Team Aster while ATF was loaned to rising Western European squad Quest Esports. The team replaced their departing players with standout rookies Yuma and Mikey in the hopes for a resurgence in the last leg of the season.

Nigma Galaxy then finished second in the Division II Summer Tour regional league. However, they failed to earn a spot in TI 2023 after bombing out of the tournament's Western European qualifier in 9th-11th place.

MinD_ContRoL then parted ways with Nigma Galaxy last December while his longtime teammate GH took a break from competitive play.

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