In a surprising move, Artyom “Shockwave” Simakov left Team Empire today. The pro’s departure comes just one week before the final matchday for the EU division of the R6 Pro League.
Team Empire have a 9-2-1 record, lead the EU division in points, and have a guaranteed spot in the Milan finals. With such a successful regular season under their belts, the roster change is puzzling at best. Empire wasted no time in filling Shockwave’s slot, though, by picking up Danila “dan” Donstov.
“There are unexpected news,” said Empire esports manager Alexander “StrangeR” Solomonov. “This announcement applies to them. Today Shockwave leaves Team Empire. The reason for this decision is a misunderstanding between the players of the team, which, unfortunately, has not been overcome at the moment.”
For many fans, it’s a shame that the team couldn’t work out their differences. Empire have had a shining season thus far and it’s hard to see a player contribute to a season of victories, but not go the distance. With Shockwave on the market, teams would be wise to start talks early with this high-caliber player.
With dan entering the fold so late in the season, many fans will be curious to see how the new player performs with Empire. Joining a team in the middle of the season can already be a challenge, let alone at the end of the season heading into the finals. We’ll see how dan does and if Empire show any signs of distress in their play. Given the caliber of the team, it’s hard to imagine Empire not being able to adjust—but as this season has proved, anything can happen.