9Pandas captain Aleksey “Solo” Berezin has shed light on his retirement plans and tackled the recent speculations surrounding the team's lineup
The Dota 2 community has been buzzing with intense speculation regarding the potential disbandment of 9Pandas following their underwhelming performance at The International 2023. Amidst the uncertainty and conjecture, Aleksey “Solo” Berezin, the venerable team captain, has taken the initiative to communicate directly with the fans.
The Last Dance 🔥 pic.twitter.com/XSy1MDPAsw
— 9Pandas Esports (@9pandasgg) November 1, 2023
He recently released a video message, aiming to quell the concerns of the devoted fanbase and provide some much-needed clarity regarding the team's future plans.
Solo Refutes 9Pandas Rumors
Solo began his video address by acknowledging the persistent rumors that have been circulating within both the team and player communities. The relentless barrage of inquiries and speculations has left both the team and Solo inundated with questions, prompting him to provide some much-needed insight.
Photo Credit: 9Pandas
“The team is OK… and we’ve been resting after The International,” Solo said in the video. “We’re yet to discuss our future plans [for the roster], and you’ll be the first to hear the news. Don’t worry.”
In a bid to clarify the situation, Solo refuted the speculations of an immediate roster disbandment. Instead, he took a moment to share his vision for the forthcoming Dota 2 season in 2024.
Solo Eyes Retirement In 2024
The seasoned captain disclosed that the upcoming year would symbolize his “last dance,” a statement that left fans pondering whether he would persist as a player or start a new journey in a coaching capacity with the team.
Should Solo decide to transition into a coaching role, it would necessitate 9Pandas embarking on a quest to find a suitable position five player to fill his formidable shoes. The team's journey in 2023 was marked by their presence at all the Majors, a testament to their dedication and effort.
Their performance, however, had its fair share of fluctuations and ups and downs, with a noteworthy top 6 finish at the Riyadh Masters 2023. Despite these milestones, the team's consistency throughout the year remained a topic of concern and discussion within their fans.
The team's inconsistent form led to their disappointing showing at The International 2023 (TI 2023).
— Kuyanicwxc (@kuyanicwxc) October 22, 2023
Despite kicking off their TI mission in the upper bracket, 9Pandas found themselves making an early exit from the tournament's main event. It was a formidable challenge for them, as they had to face off against LGD and Gaimin Gladiators in their initial matchups, both of which eventually secured top-four finishes in the tournament.