It seems that EG have once again axed Canadian player Aui_2000, being the second time this has happened, this year. In addition to this, EG have confirmed the arrival of Saahil “UNiVeRsE” Arora and Ludwig “zai” Wåhlberg. UNiVeRsE was last seen leaving Team Secret in the middle of the Manila Major, as confirmed by Team Secret’s Team Director.
Once again, we see Team Secret and Evil Geniuses swapping players only a few weeks before the The International 6, in what seems to a habit to be expected from the two and a habit that attracted a lot of public backlash.
It all started with Saahil “UNiVeRsE” leaving Team Secret in the middle of the Manila Major according to an announcement posted on Twitter, by Secret’s Team Director, Kemal Sadikoglu. Since then, Team Secret has seeked a replacement for Saahil and one was found in the form of former EG player, Kanishka ‘Sam’ “BuLba” Sosale.
Soon after, EG have announced the return of Ludwing “zai” Wahlberg as 4th position player bumping Clinton “Fear” Loomis up to 1st position and crippling Kaipi in the process.
zai had taken an year off soon after the conclusion of The International 5, to finish his studies and has emerged back in the scene in March, as a stand-in for No Diggity at EPICENTER.
All of these roster changes have left EG and Team Secret ineligible for a direct invite for The International 6 or The International 6 Regional Qualifiers. According to Valves roster lock stipulations, the two teams must now take the long road towards The International 6, starting with the Open Qualifiers.
Among of all these, lies Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, kicked for the second time this year from EG. According to EG, the decission to let Aui go was a difficult one and the player will be compensated for his time spent bleeding blue:
“This was without a doubt the hardest part of the decision to move forward with these changes. Kurtis is a great player and a great person, and he deserves better than to be removed from the same organization twice within a year. That’s not how we like to do things around here, and it’s not something we’re at all proud of or take lightly. After discussing the situation with him extensively, we’ve come to a good resolution that will compensate him appropriately for the lost time and opportunities that this situation takes from him. It’s about as happy an ending as you could hope for in a bad situation. We’re parting ways on good terms, and we wish him the best.
— Evil Geniuses
Evil Geniuses are fully aware of the consequences that follow the violation of the roster lock and are confident that their line-up will withstand the long journey:
“As far as TI6 goes, we’re making these changes with the full understanding that in doing so, we will forfeit our direct invite to the tournament. In just a few days, zai will be joining us in the United States, and we will begin preparing to conquer the TI6 qualifiers and defend our title. This will undoubtedly be a difficult process, but we’re excited for the challenge and we hope that you’ll be there with us as we restart our journey back to the top – this time, on the long road, but with the right players and people in place.
— Evil Geniuses