Dota 2 roster shuffle: OG part ways with SumaiL and Saksa

Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan (right) and Martin "Saksa" Sazdov (left) parted ways with OG in the first of expected multiple roster changes for the two-time The International champions. (Photo: OG) (OG)

Two-time Dota 2 world champions OG announced on Tuesday (9 November) that they have parted ways with star carry player Sumail "SumaiL" Hassan and support player Martin "Saksa" Sazdov.

The European organisation said in a statement that both SumaiL and Saksa expressed "desires to pursue opportunities outside of OG" for the upcoming Dota Pro Circuit (DPC) season.

SumaiL and Saksa's departure from OG comes after the team's disappointing showing in The International 10 (TI10) in October, where they only finished in 7th-8th place.

Despite a strong start in the Group Stage, OG stumbled in its first match in the Main Event against Team Secret and were dropped down to the lower bracket.

While the two-time champions survived their first elimination match against Quincy Crew, their hopes for a three-peat were dashed after they got swept out of the tournament by eventual TI10 champions Team Spirit.

Both Saksa and SumaiL first joined OG in January last year. During the 2019-2020 DPC, the pair helped the team qualify for the ESL One Los Angeles Major 2020 before both the tournament and the circuit itself were cancelled by the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time, SumaiL was unable to join the rest of OG in Europe as he was stuck in the United States due to international travel restrictions.

While SumaiL was still able to play with OG online, his performance was understandably hampered by ping issues and contributed to the team's struggles. As a result, SumaiL left the team in July 2020.

SumaiL rejoined OG in June shortly before the TI10 qualifiers began, where he excelled as the team outlasted Team Nigma and Tundra Esports in the final day of the qualifiers to earn their spot in this year's world championship tournament.

"We will always be grateful for these two amazing players. They brought so much energy, kindness and perseverance to OG Dota 2, and we will always remember their amazing contribution to our organization," said OG.

"Both of them are incredible players and even better teammates. I am sure they will have a transformative effect in any organization they chose to join and they will continue to prove their world class talent. Martin, Sumail, you will be missed. Thank you for sharing this adventure with us and thank you for always being warm and kind to us all,” added OG CEO JMR Luna.

The departure of SumaiL and Saksa is expected to be just the first of multiple changes to OG's roster. Shortly after their loss in TI10, offlaner Sébastien "Ceb" Debs said in a tweet that it was his "last tournament".

OG is now also the second team that finished in the Top 8 of TI10 to make changes to its roster in the post-TI10 roster shuffle.

Earlier this month, star offlaner Ludwig "zai" Wåhlberg parted ways with Team Secret — who notably finished third in TI10 — to join Team Liquid.

The post-TI10 roster shuffle

The competitive Dota 2 scene revolves around TI, Dota 2's yearly world championship tournament that has regularly broken the record for the biggest prize pool for a single esports event year after year.

TI10 featured a US$40 million prize pool, with the lion's share of US$18.2 million as well as the coveted Aegis of Champions going to champions Team Spirit.

The yearly post-TI roster shuffles came as a result of the importance of TI to the game's competitive scene, with teams that either failed to qualify or placed poorly in the tournament often revamping their rosters in preparation for another run at the Aegis of Champions.

TI's importance in the scene has even manifested itself in how contracts between players and their organisations are structured, with most contracts ending with the conclusion of TI.

This arrangement has allowed both teams and players to explore their options and better prepare for the next iteration of the DPC and TI.

The next DPC is expected to start in either late November or early December, though Dota 2 developer Valve Software has yet to officially announce its schedule. This year's post-TI shuffle, as a result, is also expected to take place from until mid-November as rosters become locked shortly before the DPC begins.

OG Dota 2 roster:

  1. N/A

  2. Topias "Topson" Taavitsainen

  3. Sébastien "Ceb" Debs

  4. N/A

  5. Johan "N0tail" Sundstein

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