One of the most endearing names in CIS Dota 2 is seeking yet another roster change.
Less than a year after signing with Team Empire, carry player Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko has requested to transfer from the roster. Having competed alongside Empire for the majority of 2017, Chappie appeared on-stage with the roster at the Dota 2 Asia Championship and was also able to qualify for The International 7.
The 20-year-old’s request to no longer compete with Empire appears to be predicated on a desire to develop as a player—a decision which seems to have the full backing of the Empire organization.
“Last week Team Empire played without Vladimir. Right after the return from Germany he was allowed to go on a short vacation in order to think about his future,” Empire’s esports director Alexander “StrangeR” Solomonov wrote in an official announcement. “As a result of these thoughts Chappie told us that he wants to change the team.”
Empire will also be aiding Chappie in finding a new team to compete for in the ongoing tournament season.
Despite successfully qualifying for The International 7, Chappie was unable to attend the $24.7 million event, as visa-issues meant he was unable to leave his native Russia. Ultimately Empire ended up securing a surprising top-eight-placement at The International 7, thanks to the help of current OG midlaner Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok who acted as a last-minute stand-in for Empire.
During Chappie’s recent absence, Empire was able to qualify for the LAN finals of the $100,000 Adrenaline Cyber League with the help of Airat “Silent” Gazriev. It remains to be seen if Silent will continue occupying the carry role on the roster.