The CIS organization opts to retain its stand-in following a strong showing at the StarLadder i-League Invitational.
Team Empire may not have been able to come away from the StarLadder i-League Invitational Season 4 Minor with any Qualifying Points, but it did manage to find a different benefit from its time in Shanghai. The team today registered its roster with Valve for the rest of the 2017-2018 season, with a notable difference to the lineup. Airat “Silent” Gaziev appears to no longer be active on the roster, while the team’s recent stand-in Alexander “Nix” Levin has been added to the official roster in Silent’s place.
For Silent, the move brings to an end a relatively short stint with the CIS team, as the Russian player had only been with the team for around four months. Interestingly enough, Silent was added to the roster after serving as a stand-in for the team himself back in October of 2017. With Silent in the lineup, Team Empire earned Top 4 finishes at six Pro Circuit Qualifiers and made its Pro Circuit debut in January at the Captains Draft 4.0 Minor. Silent now stands as a free agent in the CIS region, and despite not having any Qualifying Points yet this season, he could be a valuable pick up for another squad in the region should he find a team before the roster lock begins.
Nix has been floating around within the professional scene in the CIS region for nearly two years now, having come up through minor squads like Comanche and M19. Team Empire recruited the Russian carry player and used the most recent Minor as a sort of trial to see how well he would perform in a LAN environment. The team apparently liked what they saw from Nix, as he posted a KDA of 3.91 with an average GPM of 541 at the event (both 13th among Carry/Mid players at the Minor). While Nix may not have extensive experience in the professional scene, the talent that was on display in Shanghai is something that Team Empire feels it can further develop and integrate into its lineup to hopefully make that push into a competitive position on the Pro Circuit.
The roster of Team Empire following the change:
- Alexander “Nix” Levin (Carry)
- Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi (Mid)
- Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk (Offlane)
- Maxim “yoky-” Kim (Support)
- Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov (Support) (Captain)