Russian and Ukrainian Dota 2 squad Team Empire has parted ways with a player for the second time in as many months—including its captain.
Team Empire has been a force in Dota 2 for years. The team owns numerous titles accrued over that span of time, and as recently as this summer were victorious in the Dota 2 Champions League and qualified for The International, where they were knocked out during a competitive group stage.
But the team’s recent results haven’t been enough to prevent change. Team Empire announced today that captain Andrew “Mag” Chipenko has parted ways with the team.
In a statement on the team’s website, Chipenko alluded to multiple reasons for the change. One was internal strife among the team’s players, but another was something more personal.
“I have problems that I need to solve and it requires some time,” Chipenko said. “I decided to take a little break from the professional Dota (scene).”
Replacing Chipenko will be Maxim “Yoky” Kim. Chipenko’s departure wasn’t a surprise for the team, and Kim had been introduced to the roster on a trial basis during October. Kim’s stay has now been solidified.
But Kim won’t be taking over the captaincy. That will go to Roman “Resolution” Fominok, who has been with the team for the past year.
This change comes on the heels of the August addition of Aleksey “Solo” Berezin. Bringing in Berezin was not a move without controversy, as he had previously been caught betting on matches in which he played. But the team seemed to think adding Berezin was worth the potential risk.
Berezin replaced Ivan “Vanskor” Skorokhod, who is now playing with Natus Vincere.
Team Empire will soon be defending their Champions League title, as the latest such competition will be held at DreamHack Masters Bucharest, with play beginning Oct. 31.
Screengrab via joinDOTA/YouTube