The CIS organization have parted ways with its carry to bring in younger talent.
CIS organization Team Empire has announced some changes to its roster late in the Pro Circuit season. with the season coming down to its final few months and the team still searching for its first success on the Pro Circuit stage, the organization felt that there was a need for a change with the TI8 Qualifiers looming on the horizon. To that end, Team Empire has officially announced that Alexander “Nix” Levin will no longer be a part of the team. To fill its roster vacancy, the CIS squad will be adding Aybek Naive- Tokaev to the lineup.
For Nix, the roster move leaves him a free agent in the CIS scene after having spent a little over two months with the organization following the departure of Airat “Silent” Gaziev in February. Nix helped Team Empire earn two qualifier victories and made one appearance on the Pro Circuit stage at the DreamLeague Season 9 Minor, though the squad finish outside of the Top 4 with a 5th-6th place finish. While Team Empire only officially announced this roster move today, Nix himself appears to have known that the changes were coming, as he has been seen playing in recent Open Qualifiers with the squad CoM18Anji. The squad has earned itself a place in the CIS Qualifier for the upcoming ESL One Birmingham Major, but will have to make a run through the Open Qualifiers if it wants to compete in the TI8 Regional Qualifier.
For Team Empire, the roster move introduces a significant risk. Naive-, Nix’s replacement in the lineup, is just 17 years old and has very limited experience in the professional scene. However, the squad is hoping that the young player from Kazakhstan will be the infusion of talent it needs to revitalize what has been a somewhat dull run on the Pro Circuit. Naive- could certainly be that talent that the team needs, as he currently sits at 7th in the European Dota 2 leader board, The question will be whether the team can prepare him for and acclimate him to the higher pressure environment of Pro Circuit and LAN play in time for him to be an asset for the team. In addition to those concerns, Team Empire must also deal with the fact that this change to its lineup breaks the roster lock and forfeits the team’s eligibility for a direct invite to the TI8 Regional Qualifiers. With the squad now destined for a run through the Open Qualifiers, Team Empire has taken a significant risk adding Naive- to the lineup. Fans and analysts will get a chance to see the new Team Empire roster in action very soon, as the squad is set to participate in the EPICENTER XL Major in just under two weeks.
The roster of Team Empire following the change:
- Aybek Naive- Tokaev (Carry)
- Rostislav “fn” Lozovoi (Mid)
- Andrey “Ghostik” Kadyk (Offlane)
- Maxim “yoky-“ Kim (Support)
- Yaroslav ” Miposhka ” Naidenov (Support) (Captain)