In an unexpected move, Mag~ leaves Vega Squadron to join Mineski

Mag~ is one of the first CIS region Dota 2 players to relocate to Southeast Asia.

Image via Valve

Andrey “Mag~” Chipenko, one of the CIS region’s most well-known Dota 2 offlaners, has left Vega Squadron and joined Filipino organization Mineski.

In a somewhat unconventional move, Mineski did not make a formal statement regarding Mag~’s addition to the roster. Instead, earlier today, Mineski uploaded a Facebook video that shows members of the team signing “Happy Birthday” to Mag~. At the end of the song, Mag~ is presented with a cake that reads “Mag, welcome to Mineski.”

The move has puzzled many in the Dota 2 community, and not only for the unconventional (albeit delicious) way in which it was announced. While inter-regional transfers are not uncommon in Dota 2, most take place between European and North American organizations. A player transfer from CIS, a term that refers to the Commonwealth of Independent States including Russia and Ukraine, to Southeast Asia is nearly unheard of.

As a mainstay of CIS Dota 2, Mag~ has played for many of the region’s top organizations, including Team Empire and Virtus Pro. Most recently, Mag~ played for just over two years on Vega Squadron, an exceptionally long tenure with a single team in a notoriously volatile region. Mag~’s departure from Vega comes after the team failed to qualify for the Kiev Major. Who, if anyone, will replace Mag~ on Vega Squadron is unknown at this time.

Mag~’s signing also presents a challenge for Mineski’s lineup. Mag~ has made his career in Dota 2 almost exclusively in the offlane, a role that is currently played by Lee “KyXy” Kong Yang. Whether Mag~’s acquisition will lead to KyXy changing positions is unknown, but we won’t have to wait long to find out. Minseki’s new lineup will debut later today against Fnatic in the qualifiers for the Mars Dota 2 League.