Five very impactful roster changes of 2019

posted by joinDOTA Staff,
To see players leaving their team isn't always easy as a fan. But sometimes it helps squads with getting a fresh start to fight for the crown in Dota 2. Here are some of the most impactful changes.

w33 replaces Matu

They set records, won The International 2017 and are one of the most iconic Dota 2 squads of all time – the former Team Liquid. Although they made it into the Grand Finals of the MDL Disneyland Paris Major, Liquid didn't feel like a top-3 team any more earlier this year.

Already during The Chongqing Major KuroKy admitted they would need to change some things to keep on that level. At first it seemed like they would just switch some positions, but in the end they decided to kick Lasse 'Matumbaman' Urpalainen and replace him with Omar 'w33haa' Aliwi.

The small changes on the mid-lane that came by playing with w33ha helped Team Liquid to make it back into the top 3 – even without winning an important tournament. They made it into the Grand Finals of the EPICENTER Major, but even more remarkable: Team Liquid started in the Lower Bracket of TI9 and made it all the way into the Grand Finals. They're the first team ever to make it from the Best-of-One into the ultimate game of the season.

After TI9 Team Liquid decided to launch an own organisation. Nigma skipped the first Major and barely qualified for the WePlay! Bukovel Minor 2020. We'll see if they can find back to the top, but nonetheless without switching their mid-laner, Kuro and his team-mates probably wouldn't be a top-class team anymore.

ana rejoins OG

It sounds like a story from 2018: Anathan 'ana' Pham decides to take a break, OG struggles all season, but in the end they win The International thanks to a wonderful performance of their star carry.

After winning TI8 it seemed like ana wouldn't come back too soon. OG played for a while with Per Anders 'Pajkatt' Olsson L. and Igor 'ILTW' Filatov. Both players weren't the right fit for the reigning TI champions.

They were able to persuade ana into a comeback and OG were back on top. Especially his Io plays during TI9 will stay one of the most remarkable moments in TI history. After TI9 the whole squad took a break from the DPC, we'll see if ana is going to play another season or if OG eventually need to search for a new Messiah.

SumaiL leaves EG

1207 days - this is how long Sumail 'SumaiL' Syed Hassan was part of Evil Geniuses. He won The International 2015 with the squad and went with them through all high and low moments, but this came to an end in 2019.

After a devastating 5-6th place at TI9 Sumail decided to leave Evil Geniuses, for the first time in his career he didn't wear the iconic blue jersey. He joined his brother shortly after in Quincy Crew. However, even before their first LAN appearance he decided to leave the squad again. For now SumaiL is without a team, but him leaving EG is truly one of the most impactful changes in North America.

EG picked two super talents from the CIS (Roman 'RAMZEs' Kushnarev) and SEA (Abed 'Abed' Yusop) to cope with the loss of their key player. EG are still the number one in NA, but as soon as SumaiL decides to join a new team they'll be a threat to EG.

VP lose RAMZEs

With RAMZEs joining EG, the CIS region lost their new star player and this is why brought Roman 'Resolut1on' Fominok back to Eastern Europe.

However, VP aren't the same anymore, because they didn't just lose RAMZES. The Russian squad decided to re-evaluate their options and kicked Pavel '9pasha' Khvastunov as well as Vladimir 'RodjER' Nikogosyan. Only Aleksey 'Solo' Berezin and Vladimir 'No[o]ne' Minenko are still playing for, while Reso, Vitalie 'Save-' Melnic and Egor 'Nightfall' Grigorenko joined the organisation.

For more than three years VP were one of the best teams in Valve's Dota circuits, only lacking a TI victory or actually a good performance at the mega event. The new team still needs time to get a groove, but it's highly doubtable that they'll be as successful as their predecessors.

TNC recruit March & co.

TNC Predator have been the best team of the young season so far: they won the MDL Chengdu Major, the first Major of the season, and beat every important team at ESL One Hamburg 2019.

Implementing Soung-Gon 'Heen' Lee as a coach last season helped the team improve a lot. They didn't seem shaky in the late game anymore and knew how to turn a lead into a game ending move. After the TI9 shuffle Tae Won 'March' Park and Damien 'kpii' Chok joined the number one of Southeast Asia.

With their playing coach March and veteran kpii, Kim Villafuerte 'Gabbi' Santos, Armel Paul 'Armel' Tabios and Timothy 'Tims' Randrup had an even bigger development than under the leadership of Heen. If TNC stay on this level they don't even have to fear the comeback of teams such as Nigma, Secret or OG.

What is your take? What was the most impactful roster change of the season?

Photo credit: Valve