Rumour Mill: March 2015 - Who's going where?
With the Chinese New Year shuffle beginning to take effect there has been a lot of talk over the last few months about who is moving where. With moves for Vici Gaming, Natus Vincere, Invictus Gaming and more, let's take a look at some of the big rumours on the scene and talk about the confirmed moves between the teams.
Chinese New Year has come and passed and information is finally starting to emerge on which players are changing teams, with some of the biggest names in competitive Dota 2 involved. With The International 5 invites and qualifiers soon approaching securing a good team is vital for the chance to compete for the biggest prize pool in eSports. Fans await news of Natus Vincere's fifth member, who will dare to fill the carry role for ViCi Gaming and where the members of Big God and Newbee will end up over the next few weeks. Welcome to the Rumour Mill, this article will be updated whenever a new story strikes, whether it's a substantial rumour, an unconfirmed change awaiting an announcement or a sure move. Let's take a look at some of the changes.
- Chinese reshuffle comes to an end
- Xiao8 completes move to LGD for 2,000,000 RMB
- rOtk and LaNm join EHOME.cn
- InJuly joins Team DK
- Newbee officially announce their new roster
- CDEC Gaming officially announce their new roster
CONFIRMED: Lanm and rOtk join EHOME.cn
It fell to the final hours of the transfer deadline day for EHOME.cn to confirm that both Zhang 'Lanm' Zhicheng and Fan 'rOtk' Bai have officially returned to competitive Dota following their time with Big God. It wasn't clear if Lanm would return to the competitive scene, but following his recent marriage it seems he has decided to return to his former team. Lanm was part of the roster that competed in the first The International tournament. EHOME.cn were left without two players following the departure of Chai 'Mushi' Yee Fung and Khoo 'Ohaiyo' Chong Xin from the team. The two players have moved back to Malaysia to set up a South East Asian wonder team with EHOME Malaysia.
CONFIRMED: CDEC Gaming complete their roster
In other news, the remaining three players of CDEC Gaming are sticking with the roster and have brought in two new players to fill the gap of the departing Yao 'Maybe' Lu and Coach Tong 'Mikasa' Junjie. Incoming to fill the roster are former-LAI Gaming's Chen 'Xz' Zezhi and Immortal Magneto Gaming's out of favour Huang 'Shiki' Jiwei.
CONFIRMED: InJuly joins Team DK
One of the two departing members of LGD Gaming, offlaner Yang 'InJuly' Xiaodong has joined up with the current rookie roster of Team DK. It appears the captain and current offlaner Huang 'coldsnap' Hanci could make space for the player. InJuly joined LGD Gaming after his time in DT^Club. He now rejoins former-DT^Club member Zhuorui 'DreamyU' Xue at his new team.
CONFIRMED: Xiao8 and Maybe return to LGD Gaming
UPDATE 4: In what has definitely been the move of the Chinese reshuffle, Xiao8 has completed his move to LGD Gaming for an incredible transfer fee of 2,000,000 RMB, which is estimated at $319,629. You can find the full story here.
UPDATE 3: It's now revealed that Xiao8's return to LGD Gaming still isn't confirmed with contract issues complicating the transfer again. LGD Gaming's manager Ruru saying that the maximum she is willing to pay for the player is 1,000,000 RMB ($159,756). It was previously believed that Newbee would let the player leave the organization for free. Read the full story here.
UPDATE 2: Mikasa has been announced as the coach of LGD Gaming. The former coach of CDEC Gaming led Newbee to their The International 4 grand final victory. This means CDEC are now without two players, as the coach was standing in for the team during the Asia Championships.
UPDATE: The new roster have had team photos, with Maybe and Xiao8 involved - though only Maybe is seen wearing a LGD Gaming jacket.
Ning 'Xiao8' Zhang has long been rumoured to be returning to his former team, but it was current mid Yao 'Yao' Zhengzheng who broke the news on his stream that LGD Gaming were going to push into the new season without last years signings Hong Da 'Faith' Zeng and Xiaodong 'injuly' Yang and it will be a second former member returning to the roster. Confirmed on MarsTV's GodBlessMali Twitter account, CDEC's Yao 'Maybe' Lu will join xiao8 to complete the roster. Though confirmed by both Yao and GodBlessMali, the organization is yet to announce or confirm their arrival. The destination of the two departed players are unknown, but there are a number of teams searching for members.
CONFIRMED: Newbee pick up former-iG offlaner June
UPDATE 2: It has now been confirmed that Lin 'June' Shiyang has joined Newbee's roster on their official Weibo account.
UPDATE: Following the recent departure of their current offlaner Zhi 'Hao' Chen , it appears as if former-Invictus Gaming member June should be officially announced as a Newbee player after Pan 'Mu' Zhang claimed the player was now with the team in their gaming house in Shanghai.
With Zhilei 'BurNIng' Xu's arrival, the roster of Invictus Gaming, especially with word that Luo 'Luo' Yingqi had mentioned on stream that the organization were not going to spend money on new players. However, with the recent ACE announcement that all transfers must be done by the 15 an unexpected departure has taken place within the Invictus Gaming gaming house. Lin 'June' Shiyang has left a message on his personal Weibo account explaining that he has been kicked from the team. Debates on who his replacement will be are already taking places on sites around the world, but the main question is - are they on the market for a new offlaner or will there be an internal shuffle to make room for a different role? As soon as it was announced that Hong 'Faith' Da Zeng was probably leaving LGD Gaming he has been linked with a return to his former team, but now rumours are flying around that Fan 'rOtk' Bai could join the team as a direct replacement. Keep the faith.
CONFIRMED: TongFu announces multiple roster changes
The Chinese reshuffle is still continuing as we approach the March 15th deadline day with changes for both TongFu and second team TongFu.WanZhou. While Kai 'Kabu' Zhao moves from the main roster to a coaching role, Yang 'KingJ' Zhou and Zeng 'zExBinGo' Cong have joined the main roster. KingJ was a member of EHOME during the glory days of 2010 and was previously a member of TongFu where he powered the team to claim fourth at The International 3. Wenyao 'Qian' Li has departed the team. In the WanZhou roster former-TongFu members Zhiwei 'mt' Fan and Lv 'Xiaolv' Ming join the roster, with the roster completed by Youhia 'Red' Sun, Zhenghao 'ddr' Yuan and Ming Yuan 'sayaka' Mao.
Banner image from teamliquidnet's YouTube account
CONFIRMED: Virtus Pro dropped by their organization
With the organizations second team ASUS.Polar down to three members, it may come as a surprise that it is Virtus Pro who are dropped from the organization following a series of poor performances. The organization has announced that it will return with another squad soon and this development could see the five players disperse to the currently open rosters. ASUS.Polar are expected to announce their two replacements over the next few days while Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov's new team may be welcoming to some new members. Check back here for news on the dramatic changes in the CIS regions as they come in.
CONFIRMED: Hao joins ViCi Gaming
Potential Vici Gaming target Zhi 'Hao' Chen has hinted at a potential exit from current team Newbee on his personal Weibo account. He left a message translated by Edooley as "One day if I left, I want everyone to know, that it is not what I wanted to see." The vacant carry position for Vici Gaming has been a big talking point with team mate Wang 'Rabbit' Zhang and EHOME.cn's Pu 'Zyf' Yang also being connected with the role. Hao's recent connection to the role has had a lot of talk over the last 12 hours, with many websites claiming Hao could be the man for the role after a mysterious Weibo post from Vici Gaming's CEO Lu 'HunTeR' Wenjun. But despite the wide coverage, it doesn't clear up the situation - Vici Gaming are still without a confirmed carry player.
CONFIRMED: Veteran dabeliuteef heading to Invasion
UPDATE 2: Bringing back a disproved story, Invasion have announced on their Facebook page that following their recent losing streak they have decided to move Siew Cheng 'FzFz' Hor outside of the main roster and brought Jun Liong 'dabeliuteef' Loh back into the team. The carry had been playing in a support role for ArcanysGaming, so it seems that is the role he'll take up for Invasion.
UPDATE: Invasion have revealed their new lineup and after a trial have decided to push ahead with a different carry player. Instead dabeliuteef seems to have joined ArcanysGaming. The Invasion Facebook post is here.
The former roster of G-Guard looks like it's about to lose another member as former-MUFC member Jun Liong 'dabeliuteef' Loh seems to be set to join Invasion. Both teams have been affected by Mushi's return to Malaysia with KyXy and Kecik Imba departing the each team to join EHOME.my. Invasion have taken immediate action according to Kecik Imba's recent interview with us and the team have brought in dabeliuteef to fill the gap before their upcoming appearances at the Major All Stars LAN finals and GEST SEA Open Cup. Dabeliuteef was a former-DotA and Heroes of Newerth pro that first appeared In Dota 2 for Apple Banana Cucumber alongside Litt Binn 'WinteR' Chan.
CONFIRMED: SexyBamboe departs Burden United
Following Burden United's success through the opening stage of the ESL One Frankfurt 2015 qualifiers and their addition to the Dota 2 Champions League, it has now been announced on Alexandru 'ComeWithMe' Craciunescu's personal Twitter account that Alaan 'SexyBamboe' Faraj is no longer competing for the team. It is currently unknown if the decision is permanent, but French player Titouan 'Sockshka' Merloz is currently standing in for the team.
Banner image from onGamers.com
CONFIRMED: Black joins Team Tinker
UPDATE: Black has personally confirmed his move to Team Tinker on his Twitter account, notably mentioning his return to former-team mate qojqva. Earlier a post on the personal Facebook account of MarsTV's Mali 'confirmed' our long time rumour. The German hard carry player appears to have traveled to Canada to join the North American team.
With Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier's exit from the Vici Gaming roster already announced, it is rumoured that the German born 'mini-BurNIng' could be returning to Western soil for the first time since he first traveled to China in September 2013. The current roster of Team Tinker has changed a lot with nine players appearing for the team since the start of the year, but a move to the team could reunite Black^ with his former-Mouz team mate and fellow German Max 'qojqva' Broecker. A move back to Western soil would involve his contract being bought out, but this is still potentially a move that could happen in the near future as Black^ searches for a team to compete with at The International 5.
CONFIRMED: FlipSid3 Tactics pick up Danish team Lianghao
Following Lianghao's success in the ESL One Frankfurt open qualifier, Brian 'MaNia' Standby's return to competitive Dota 2 has now seen him return to his former team after FlipSid3 Tactics picked up the team. FlipSid3 Tactics had a roster in the second half of 2013 featuring current members Jonathan 'unicornxoxo' Arge and MaNia. The team are currently preparing for the second stage of the ESL One Frankfurt qualifiers where they will compete against Alliance in the opening round.
Banner image from MaNia's Facebook page.
CONFIRMED: DKphobos joins Natus Vincere
UPDATE 2: DKphobos has officially been confirmed as the fifth player for Natus Vincere in a post on the organizations website. This change leaves ASUS.Polar in the unfortunate position of having only three players on their roster, after managing to secure a consistent place within the top ten in the world.
UPDATE: Natus Vincere's Head of Online Marketing has announced on his Twitter account that an announcement on the fifth member is due today.
The Russian and CIS region is in full action today with Team Empire's Ilya 'ALOHADANCE' Korobkin allegedly claiming in his Twitch chat that there will be another departure from the ASUS.Polar team with Alexandr 'DKphobos' Kucherya set to depart for Natus Vincere. While this can only be classed as a rumour considering the source, DKphobos has been hoping to return to his former-team mates Artur 'Goblak' Kostenko and Daniel 'Dendi' Ishutin from their times competing together during the DotA days. However it's best to wait for official confirmation for the announcement of the fifth member of Natus Vincere.
CONFIRMED: Mag dropped from ASUS.Polar
A big departure has taken place within the top ten teams in the world after it was announced on Virtus Pro's official website that Andrew 'Mag' Chipenko has been dismissed from ASUS.Polar. His departure leaves the team with four players on the roster, but could fuel rumours that recently dropped Natus Vincere offlaner Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov could be on the way to replace the player, while the vacant spot on Natus Vincere could see Mag return to the team after he originally played with Artur 'Goblak' Kostenko and Oleksandr 'XBOCT' Dashkevych during the original DotA days. Regardless, we should see both teams finalize their teams in the near future but a message from Team Manager George 'drAmer' Faleeva claims finding a replacement will take "some time".
CONFIRMED: JerAx moving to Korea for MVP.Hot6ix
New MVP.Hot6ix member Lee 'FoREv' Sang-don has announced on his personal Facebook account that Jesse 'JerAx' Vainikka has left Team Tinker to join him in Korea. The organization of MVP have been going through big roster changes following the results of the Asia Championship with FoREv and Lee 'Heen' Seung Gon exiting MVP Phoenix for their second team. Now with JerAx traveling to Korea the second team has had a full roster change, with Pyo 'MP' Noa joining from Pokerface and Kim 'Baton' Taekmin who was the captain of the lesser known Korean team 10eYe. JerAx is expected to travel to Korea over the next few days. This means Team Tinker lose another member, but we could see recent stand-ins Chris 'Ush' Usher and Johan 'pieliedie' Åström join the team as replacements.
CONFIRMED: PatSoul leaves Team Tinker
With last months roster change, Team Tinker looked more prepared to push ahead towards The International 5 qualifiers with Peter 'waytosexy' Zheng and 'PatSoul' Yukai coming in to replace Weu Sing 'SingSing' Yuen and Henrik 'AdmiralBulldog' Ahnberg in the team. However after Johan 'pieliedie' Åström was seen standing in for the team and PatSoul appearing for Void Boys, questions were raised whether the Canadian carry player had been kicked from the team. In a reply on Reddit, PatSoul revealed that he hadn't been kicked but was unable to scrim with the team as much due to his studies. He went on to explain that Void Boys "trust me fully and actually enjoy my company and I think that's a major part of a teams success". No announcement has been made on a replacement for their carry, but check the rumour section for a previous rumour relating to Dominik 'Black^' Reitmeier potentially joining the team.
PatSoul's banner image from @PatSoulIsEGO on Twitter.
CONFIRMED: Faith returns to Invictus Gaming
UPDATE: Faith has posted a message on his personal Weibo account translated by Edooley as "2014, I made a lot of mistakes. We lost at TI and i was the drafter; I have to shoulder most of the blames. This year, my old teammates have placed their trust in me. I would like to thank IG for giving me this chance to return. I will work hard to achieve greater results!!" The message was reposted by Invictus Gaming's manager Zhang "CuoJue" Guoqing.
Former-Invictus Gaming support Zeng 'Faith' Hongda looks set to rejoin his team mates at the gaming house following yesterdays news that Lin Shi 'June' Yang had been kicked from the team. Faith revealed his return in a chat on Tieba and it finally brings a close the rumour he was set to leave LGD Gaming. The only thing missing is direct confirmation from Invictus Gaming for the change. Faith originally joined the team back after The International 2011 and was part of the team that won the second Seattle-based tournament. His departure to LGD Gaming in August last year brought an end to his long term stay, but the team struggled to achieve much after the post-TI4 shuffle. His return alongside Zhilei 'BurNIng' Xu will attempt to bring some consistency to Invictus Gaming's recent struggles.
CONFIRMED: H4nn1 leaves Meepwn'd
UPDATE: Meepwn'd member Aliwi 'w33ha' Omar has confirmed that H4nn1 has left the team and believes the team will not look for a replacement and that the team will "probably" disband.
It seems that Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbückers may have announced on his stream that he has left his current team Meepwn'd and is considering retiring from the eSport. A screenshot of the chat from his stream was posted on Reddit. Any confirmation from the former-Fnatic player or Meepwn'd has yet to be located so this could still disproved, but what future does Meepwn'd have if this turns out to be true? The team haven't ignited the European scene the way people had imagined since their formation, so frustrations could be running high with the The International 5 qualifiers slowly approaching. If the team did disband, it would leave a lot of potential for upcoming roster changes among the Western teams.
CONFIRMED: Invasion bring in Ghost and NaNa
It has been an interesting few days for Invasion and roster swaps. On March 1st, Invasion defeated G-Guard with Jun Liong 'dabeliuteef' Loh and Wong Chee 'Ghost' Chong in the opposing team. By March 3rd both players were competing for Invasion against MVP Phoenix. However in an update on the Invasion Facebook page today, Ghost is sticking with the team but without dabeliuteef. Instead former-GeNySis member NaNa replaces him while former-Orange and Titan member Joel 'XtincT' Chan retains his spot in the roster. Arcanys Gaming appears to have picked up dabeliuteef instead.
Banner Image from Invasion's Facebook page.
CONFIRMED: BurNIng to Invictus Gaming
Zhilei 'BurNIng' Xu looks to have completed his move to Invictus Gaming after posting photos of him and Fei Chi 'Ferrari_430' Luo inside their gaming house. His post on his personal Weibo profile came with the message "We have arrived at the base. Everyone please stop worrying about us." The carry recently finished fourth at the Asia Championships with Big God, but the team had agreed to disband after the Chinese event. BurNIng had spent some time with Invictus Gaming during the StarLadder XI qualifiers and was ready to make the trip with the team before they withdrew from the tournament due to roster issues. The team aren't expected to make any more roster changes, even with the rumoured departure of Hong Da 'Faith' Zheng from LGD Gaming.
Banner Image from BurNIng's Weibo account.
CONFIRMED: JessieVash returns to Mineski
UPDATE: It appears Polo is currently with Click N Search Gaming.
Former offlaner Jessie 'JessieVash' Cuyco has returned to Mineski after his departure in November last year. The player was kicked from the team after an official roster had been formed without him, but has now returned after Marc 'Polo' Fausto left the team to focus on his studies. JessieVash was with the roster that won the MPGL SEA Championship in 2013 and competed as part of Mineski Infinity for The International. It is yet to be announced whether he will retake his role of offlaner or convert to Solo's carry role.
Banner Image from Mineski's Facebook account.
CONFIRMED: EHOME moves to Malaysia
EHOME have moved from China to set up a new team with Yee Fung 'Mushi' Chai and Chong Xin 'Ohaiyo' Khoo in Malaysia. They have joined forces with former-Orange and Titan member Kang Yang 'KyXy' Lee, Fadil 'Kecik Imba' Bin Mohd Raziff and Johnny 'JohNny' Lee to form EHOME.my. In their recent interview on our website, Ohaiyo revealed that despite being fluent in Mandarin, they still had communication issues. The destination of the three Chinese players has not been confirmed and it is still unknown if the EHOME.cn roster will leave or attempt to replace Mushi and Ohaiyo. But with Team DK looking to put together a new team for the upcoming season and an available position in Vici Gaming, only time will tell if they stick together.
UNCONFIRMED: Funn1k "probably" returning with ArtStyle
UPDATE #2: Funn1k tweeted that he will probably return with ArtStyle. No confirmation yet.
UPDATE: Team Empire's ALOHADANCE has claimed in his Twitch chat that Funn1k will be teaming up with another former-Natus Vincere member Ivan 'ArtStyle' Antonov.
Former-Natus Vincere offlaner Gleb 'Funn1k' Lipatnikov looks set to announce his return to competitive Dota 2 over the next month after a post on his personal Twitter account. It was previously announced that the Ukrainian player was going to take a break from competing after he departed Natus Vincere following their time in China for the Asia Championships. There is currently no word on which team he will be joining, but he should remain around the CIS and Russian region if his return is true.
UNCONFIRMED: 7ckngmad joins Alliance
Another departure has taken place in the former-Team Fire breakaway team Summoner's Rift as Jimmy 'DeMoN' Ho has announced on his stream that Sébestien '7ckngmad' Debs has left the team to apparently join Alliance. No official announcement on his arrival has come from Alliance, so the change is still unconfirmed but the player has often participated as a stand-in for the Swedish team as the team attempt to secure a consistent roster and return towards the top tier of Dota 2. The team have had a constantly changing roster since Rasmus 'Chessie' Blomdin was forced to take a break from the eSport due to health issues. Since 7ckngmad's departure Summoner's Rift has recently been seen competing with Kai 'H4nn1' Hanbückers as a stand-in for last nights pre-qualifiers of The Summit 3 where they were eliminated by Void Boys.
No rumours currently. Check in later for more updates.
DISPROVED: Zyf an option for Vici Gaming
UPDATE: With Hao joining Vici Gaming, the squad is most likely complete and Zyf is unlikely to join the team now.
If EHOME.cn stays together as a team, they have lost their star power with Mushi and Ohaiyo returning to their homeland and could face further disruption. Vici Gaming are looking for a replacement for Black^ and the current favourite to replace him is understandably NewBee's Wang 'Rabbit' Zhang. While the player is lined up for an exit, Newbee paid 700,000 RMB for Rabbit to join the team and his transfer fee would surely be something similar. According to 2p.com, Pu 'Zyf' Yang is also in contention for the carry role in Vici Gaming. While being a lot cheaper, the Chinese player has connections to the team from his time with LV Gaming, a team that was co-owned by Vici Gaming. And apparently the player attended the New Year Celebrations event held by the VG organization. So there could be some substance to the rumour. Will they go for the experience of Rabbit, or the newer talent of a player like Zyf?
DISPROVED: Xiao8's move to LGD Gaming could be off
UPDATE: It apears Ning 'Xiao8' Zhang's transfer problems are over and the player has now been released from Newbee after an announcement has come from the owner of Newbee. Read the story here.
Reports are coming from Ning 'Xiao8' Zhang's stream that his proposed move to LGD Gaming could be under threat due to contract issues. Newbee are allegedly asking LGD Gaming to buyout his contract for the steep price of $798,129 (5,000,000 RMB). Xiao8 revealed on his stream that though he didn't sign a physical contract, he orally agreed a two year commitment to the team. Under Chinese labour law, his oral agreement is enough to validate a contract and after serving only six months with Newbee and departing after The International 4. The player has claimed if he cannot join LGD Gaming he may return to retirement once again. After months of mediocre performances, would the management of LGD be willing to spend $752,027 more than their total winnings in the recent Asia Championships for a single player?
DISPROVED: Na'Vi to pick up pubstar Ubah
UPDATE 2: Natus Vincere have officially picked up DKphobos as their fifth member after it was revealed on the organizations website.
UPDATE: Natus Vincere's Head of Online Marketing has announced on his Twitter account that an announcement on the fifth member is due today.
The majority of Natus Vincere's signings have come from local teams, notably Team Empire and ASUS.Polar. But this could change as the team have been playing with a new talent as their stand-in, Ivan 'Ubah' Kapustin (often called Ibah). The idea of a top team taking a chance on a younger player may have seemed questionable in the past, but following the success of Evil Geniuses with Syed 'Suma1L' Hassan, more teams are looking to give fresh players a chance to prove their skills on the big stage. Ibah regularly plays in the European Elite League and even before the team decided to choose the player as a stand-in Ivan 'VANSKOR' Skorokhod claimed the player had the potential to replicate Suma1L's success in an AMA on their website last month. The team were only able to secure a draw over Power Rangers with the newcomer in the team, but if he progresses well - could we finally meet the new offlaner for the infamous Ukranian team?
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