The Mousesports Dota 2 squad has broken up following their failure to qualify for the fifth annual edition of The International, Valve’s massive Dota 2 tournament.
The Dota 2 calendar always revolves around The International, and this year is no different. If anything, the importance of the event is now greater than ever, already boasting a prize pool of well over $16 million. And that number is likely to rise.
Mousesports acquired the former Team Tinker roster in May with an eye on having a presence at the year’s biggest Dota 2 tournament, but the team ultimately fell just short in the American qualifier, losing in the final game of an elimination series versus North American Rejects.
Team manager Phil Aram expressed a desire to keep the team—in April, Valve announced a new system of major tournaments that it would launch later this year, which could help provide more stability for the scene. In an official statement, however, Aram said that the players chose to either pursue other opportunities or step away from the game entirely.
Dominik “Black” Reitmeier and Sam “Bulba” Sosale are now pursuing coaching opportunities, while Max “Qojqva” Brocker will be taking a break from his professional Dota 2 career.
“Sadly things didn’t go the best way for our team and it was an unfortunate ending,” Sosale said.
The loss of the team speaks further to the nature of competitive Dota 2 and the degree to which the scene centers around The International. Just as the buildup to qualification and practice for the event brings a halt to otherwise hectic roster movements, the loss of a chance to qualify makes it difficult for players and teams to remain together.
The gap in prize money between The International and any other tournament is massive, resulting in a gulf that dictates the entire career paths of players.
This, combined with an oversaturation of smaller tournaments and qualifiers throughout the rest of the calendar year, went a long way in motivating Valve to institute their new system of majors with its promised requirements for roster stability. That system is set to debut in the wake of this year’s International tournament in August.