Dota 2: Top Three Roster Changes of 2019

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Dota 2: Top Three Roster Changes of 2019

There are just a couple of days left before 2020 arrives. Needless to say, 2019 was one of the best years for every Dota 2 fan out there. Every single main tournament was a joy to watch as the best teams in the world fought each other to death. However, the highlight of the year is definitely OG’s TI 9 victory. Apart from winning the over $15M USD, they became the first-ever Dota 2 team to win TI two times in a row.

Of course, 2019 also had a lot of drama. From Carlo “Kuku” Palad’s cursing words to Jacky “EternaLEnVy” Mao’s decision to kick his team-mate two times, it’s safe to say there were some pretty juicy controversies this year.

Lastly, let’s not forget the endless roster changes that took place, especially after TI 9. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the most notable roster changes of 2019.

Lasse Aukusti “MATUMBAMAN” Urpalainen joins Team Secret

It’s safe to say that Matu is one of the most loved professional Dota 2 players out there. This Finnish superstar was a part of Team Liquid for nearly three years. Apart from TI 8 victory, he and his team-mates won nearly everything else along the way. However, after a couple of mediocre performances, Team Liquid (Nigma now) decided to remove Matumbaman from their roster. This came as a shock for most fans, but nevertheless, the decision was there.

After he was removed from the team, Lasse joined Chaos Esports Club. Sadly, his time there was short-lived as the team couldn’t really find success. Despite having strong players on paper, Chaos EC was unable to win anything and released their roster afterward.

The final place that Matumbaman landed is Team Secret. He replaced the infamous Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng, who was let off by Team Secret after TI 9. Even though they said that MidOne needed a break, many fans believe that the decision for his removal is influenced by the players’ mediocre performance during TI.

With Matumbaman under their belt, Team Secret is looking better than ever. Because of this, it will be very interesting to see what will happen with them in the Leipzig Major.

Pan ‘Fade’ Yi leaves Vici Gaming

Fade announces retirement from professional Dota 2 from DotA2

Vici Gaming has been one of the strongest Chinese teams for the last couple of years. Despite their underperformance during TI 9, Zhang “Eurus” Chengjun and his team-mates have been absolutely amazing in all of the other tournaments.

One of the reasons behind their success throughout 2019 was Pan “Fade” Yi. The 23-year-old Chinese superstar played a vital part in Vici, especially when things got rough. However, just a couple of days after TI 9 came to an end, Fade announced that he will retire from professional Dota2.

Needless to say, this decision was completely out of the blue, which is why the fans started to wonder what was the real reason behind it. As a result, it turned out that Fade was “supposedly” approached by RNGU during TI 9.

To make a long story short, it turned out that this is not the case. Despite that, Fade still left Vici Gaming. After a brief period of inactivity, the Chinese joined Team Aster, where he is still currently playing.

Roman “RAMZES666” Kushnarev teamed up with Evil Geniuses

The last transfer on our list happened relatively recently. It was perhaps the most surprising move of the year because no one expected one of the strongest CIS players to make such a drastic change. Nevertheless, after Virtus.Pro crumbled at TI 9, Ramzess announced that he will be joining Evil Geniuses. Alongside him, the NA powerhouse also acquired Abed Azel L. Yusop.

Even though most of the Dota 2 fans thought that EG wouldn't succeed with their new roster, it seems they were dead wrong. So far, the NA powerhouse is performing extremely well. However, they are yet to survive the test of time, which proves to be the hardest one in Dota 2.

Apart from the regions, Ramzess also changed his position. Instead of playing a carry, the CIS prodigy moved to the offlane. So far, it seems like he is doing a pretty decent job.

Honorable Mentions

As we mentioned earlier, there were many interesting roster changes in 2019. Of course, we can’t cover every single one of them, which is why we just listed some of the more notable ones. That said, here are a couple of honorable mentions:

  • Sumail “SumaiL” Hassan & Gustav “s4” Magnusson left EG
  • Pavel “9pasha” Khvastunov joined Natus Vincere
  • Song “Sccc” Chun left Newbee


We at ESTNN want to wish you a happy new year! Hopefully, 2020 will be even better than in 2019.

The Dota 2 action will resume on the 9th of January when the Bukovel Minor begins. Eight of the best teams in the world will be fighting for that $300K prize pool, so be sure to watch it.

Dota 2: Top Three Roster Changes of 2019
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.