The CIS organization announced a near complete overhaul of its roster to begin the new Pro Circuit season.
Following a rough season and a less than impressive 5th-8th place finish in the TI8 CIS Qualifier, many in the Dota 2 world were wondering what Team Empire would do this offseason to get itself back into the mix of leading teams within the region. In the wake of the team’s struggles in the first Pro Circuit season, it was assumed that the organization would be making some changes to its roster in the offseason, and today those changes have been confirmed by the team. The changes are rather sweeping as well, as Team Empire will be retaining just 2 players from its old roster, and only 1 of them will be staying on the active roster. Team captain Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov will be returning to lead the new Team Empire lineup, though he will be doing so from the offlane position as opposed to the support role that he previously held. joining him on the active roster will be Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev, Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko, Oleg “sayuw” Kalenbet, and Igor “Maden” Modenov. Former mid player Aybek “Naive-” Tokaev will be staying with the organization for now, but has been shifted to a role as a substitute until he finds a new team.
Cooman will be playing the carry position for Team Empire, and comes to the team having finished the Pro Circuit season on the roster of Double Dimension. Prior to that, he spent several months on the roster of Effect, and began the Pro Circuit season as a member of Gambit Esports. During his time with Effect, he played at the ESL One Katowice 2018 Major, marking his first significant international LAN. Maden was also a member of that Effect lineup, and the support player made a second Pro Circuit appearance with the team later in the season at the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2018 Major. Soon after that event though, the Effect organization dropped its Dota 2 roster, and Maden had been inactive in the Dota 2 scene until now.
Meanwhile, sayuw comes to the Team Empire roster as a relative unknown within the Dota 2 scene, as this stint with the organization will be his first major run with a top level organization. The support player has participated in and one a handful of regional events and minor tournaments, but his talent and composure will be put to the test by the rigors of the Pro Circuit qualifiers. While sayuw is a new member of the Team Empire family, the team’s final addition is no stranger to the organization, as Chappie will be making his second run with the team this season. Chappie previously played for Team Empire in 2017, notably being unable to join the squad for its run at TI7 due to the US embassy not sending his passport back on time to travel with the team. The Russian midlaner has been known for some relatively unsportsmanlike play in his career, though that has usually been contained to non-professional matches. However, he has shown himself to be a capable player in the past, and Team Empire is hoping that his talent can help the organization get itself back to the top of the hierarchy within the CIS region.
The new roster of Team Empire:
Zaur “Cooman” Shakhmurzaev (Carry)
Vladimir “Chappie” Kuzmenko (Mid)
Yaroslav “Miposhka” Naidenov (Offlane, Captain)
Oleg “sayuw” Kalenbet (Support)
Igor “Maden” Modenov (Support)
Aybek “Naive-” Tokaev (Substitute)
Egor “JotM” Surkov (Coach)
Dmitry “Korb3n” Belov (Manager)