Shopify Rebellion, the esports organisation under Canada-based multinational e-commerce company Shopify, announced their entry into Dota 2 on Saturday (10 December) with the signing of most of the ex-Evil Geniuses (EG) roster.
Shopify Rebellion's roster includes former EG players Artour "Arteezy" Babaev, Abed "Abed" Yusop, Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen, and Tal "Fly" Aizik.
Egor "Nightfall" Grigorenko has returned to Eastern Europe to join BetBoom Team, however, and will be replaced by former TSM offlaner Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek.
The team will be coached by longtime EG coach Kanishka "BuLba" Sosale.
— Shopify Rebellion (@ShopifyRebels) December 9, 2022
In a Twitch livestream shortly after announcing its new Dota 2 team, Shopify Rebellion's Program Development Lead and former StarCraft II pro player Dario "TLO" Wünsch revealed the roster was signed last-minute, shortly before the roster lock, and laid out the organisation's plans for its new squad.
"We'll be expanding our team into a game that means a lot to me, personally, that I have been a fan of for over a decade. A great group of people is going to be joining us today that are in need of a new home and have a lot to prove leading into the next [The International] and the next [Dota Pro Circuit (DPC)] season," said TLO.
Arteezy also made a rare interview appearance during the livestream, where he said the move to Shopify Rebellion was "extremely natural" as the team is headquartered in his home country of Canada.
"I'm in Toronto at the Shopify Rebellion headquarters, this is where the start of big things is going to happen," said Arteezy.
"It was extremely natural, you know. I remember a lyric from the rapper Drake, he said "Do it in Canada." And we're gonna do it in Canada."
Fans of Arteezy will also be glad to know that he has hinted at returning to streaming with his move to Shopify Rebellion.
Reports of NA Dota's death may have been greatly exaggerated
EG sent shockwaves through the North American Dota 2 scene in mid-November when it dropped its entire Arteezy-led roster. The organisation has since moved to competing in South America with an all-star roster.
EG's departure from its home region was seen by many as the death knell for a North American Dota 2 scene that has already been struggling to remain competitive for years.
But with an up-and-coming organisation with huge corporate backing in Shopify Rebellion swooping in to pick up the best North American team in years, there still seems to be hope for the region.
Shopify Rebellion seems set to dominate North America as its roster did under the banner for years. With that said, they will still face considerable competition from a revamped TSM, Nouns Esports, and even a surprise Danil "Dendi" Ishutin-led B8 team.
Shopify Rebellion's entry into Dota 2 with the ex-EG roster is one of the last big moves of the post-TI11 roster shuffle as rosters for the 2023 DPC season were locked on 9 December. The next DPC season is set to begin in early January 2023.
Shopify Rebellion roster:
Artour "Arteezy" Babaev
Abed "Abed" Yusop
Jonáš "SabeRLight-" Volek
Andreas "Cr1t-" Nielsen
Tal "Fly" Aizik
Kanishka "BuLba" Sosale
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