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TSM release Dota 2 roster, announce 'departure from NA Dota'

This move seems to be part of a downsizing effort by TSM following the suspension of its US$210 million partnership with collapsed cryptocurrency exchange company FTX last year.

TSM has parted ways with its North American Dota 2 roster as part of a departure from the North American Dota 2 esports scene. (Photo: TSM)
TSM has parted ways with its North American Dota 2 roster as part of a departure from the North American Dota 2 esports scene. (Photo: TSM)

North American organisation TSM announced on Wednesday (6 December) that it has parted ways with its Dota 2 roster as part of a departure from the North American Dota 2 scene.

The former TSM Dota 2 roster of Enzo "Timado" Gianoli, Jonathan "Bryle" De Guia, Gainullin "kasane" Ilyas, Aleksandr "Immersion" Khmelevskoi, Matthew "Whitemon" Filemon, and coach David "MoonMeander" Tan will be staying together despite being released from the organisation and will continue playing as Team Undying.

They will notaby be among the 12 teams competing in ESL One Kuala Lumpur 2023, the last big Dota 2 tournament of the year with a US$1 million prize pool, from 11 to 17 December.

"We can't thank our team enough for their time with us. They have evolved as players all throughout the year, and we're certain they will find continued success in their careers," TSM said in a statement.

While the organisation may have released its Dota 2 roster and departed the game's North American scene, TSM did not outright say they are also leaving Dota 2 altogether and told fans to "look forward to news about our next steps in Dota."

TSM continues downsizing following FTX debacle

TSM entered the Dota 2 competitive scene in January 2022 by signing the Team Undying roster, quickly becoming one of the powerhouses of the North American Dota 2 scene.

In its first year in Dota 2, TSM showed a lot of promise by finishing second in the ESL One Dota 2 Stockholm Major 2022 but bombed out of The International (TI) 2022 in 19th-20th place.

In 2023, TSM continued dominating the North American scene and even upended the region's hierarchy by knocking out Shopify Rebellion in the Playoffs of TI 2023 last October. However, TSM still ended up with a disappointing 9th-12th place finish after getting knocked out by another regional rival in Nouns Esports.

While TSM's Dota 2 roster did not have the best results, the organisation's decision to release them may be more financially motivated.

In 2022, TSM notably had to suspend a US$210 million partnership with FTX following the collapse of the cryptocurrency exchange company in November of that year.

Even before that, TSM CEO and founder Andy “Reginald” Dinh said that the organisation "overhired and expanded too quickly" in a post on the official TSM subreddit.

The organisation was also plagued by internal issues. Reginald himself was fined US$75,000 and put on a two-year probation by League of Legends (LoL) developer Riot Games for bullying. Former TSM LoL coach Zhang “Peter Zhang” Yi was also permabanned by Riot due to misappropriation of funds, including player salaries.

In March of this year, Sports Business Journal reported that TSM was pausing esports efforts and investments. This was followed by TSM selling its spot in the LoL Championship Series to Shopify Rebellion for US$10 million in September, marking its departure from the North American LoL esports scene before it did the same in the North American Dota 2 scene.

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