Team SMG has officially announced that Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov will step in as a substitute player for Natthaphon “Masaros” Ouanphakdee at The International 2023 (TI12)
Team SMG put an end to the swirling rumors by making an official announcement regarding their roster for the highly anticipated The International 2023 tournament. The Malaysian side have disclosed that Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov, a renowned figure in the Dota 2 scene, would be stepping in as a substitute player for their original roster member, Natthaphon “Masaros” Ouanphakdee.
Mind_ContRoL Set To Make Another Stand-In Appearance as Visa Issues Continue to Plague TI12
This development follows a series of unsuccessful visa applications by Masaros, despite Team SMG's dedicated efforts. Team SMG, nevertheless, reaffirmed its commitment to obtaining visas for its core roster members. Additionally, the team expressed its gratitude to Nigma Galaxy for their quick assistance in loaning Mind_ContRoL.
We regret to inform that Masaros couldn't acquire his USA visa after multiple attempts.
Meanwhile Mind_ContRoL will stand in and huge thanks to @NigmaGalaxy for their assistance despite such short notice.
— Team SMG (@TeamSMGofficial) October 7, 2023
“Team SMG regrets to inform that our player Masaros has not been successful at acquiring his USA visa despite multiple attempts,” the organization said in it’s official statement. “While we continue to pursue visas for our core player, Mind_ContRoL will stand in as a backup for Team SMG during the tournament while we await further updates from the embassy. We'd like to thank Nigma Galaxy for their assistance despite such short notice, and the fans for their continued support.”
Team SMG, therefore, will head to Seattle for TI12 with the following lineup:
- Yeik “MidOne” Nai Zheng
- Volodymyr “No[o]ne-” Minenko
- Ivan “MinD_ContRoL” Ivanov (stand-in)
- Tue “ah fu” Soon Chuan
- Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcilla
There were also murmurs in the community about Team Secret captain Clement “Puppey” Ivanov, who never missed an International before, potentially substituting for Jaunuel “Jaunuel” Arcilla because of visa-related challenges. The Team SMG support, however, later confirmed that he is flying with the team as he finally got the green light to go to the US.