The CIS Dota 2 shuffle continues to make chaos, with Vega Squadron and Power Rangers both reporting changes in their rosters on the same day. Power Rangers lose another player, as Akbar “Sonneiko” Butaev departs, while Haled “sQreen” Al-Habbash will replace Maxim “Tpoh” Vernikov in Vega Squadron. For Power Rangers, this is their second team member to leave since the beginning of the new year. Maxim “Shachlo” Abramovskikh left the team on February 12.
Without ESFX’s support, Power Rangers go from riches to rags and are down to three players
Power Rangers’ team manager, Nikita “Big Star” Shestakov issued a statement announcing the new roster changes. Shestakov’s comments are much the same with what the Virtus.Pro CEO, Anton “sneg1” Cherepennikov, had to say when Olexandr “DKPhobos” Kucheria left ASUS.Polar to join Natus Vincere. Nikita “Big Star” Shestakov clarifies that it was Sonneiko’s decision to leave the team, and that the PR organization has no right to force him to remain on the squad. Shestakov blames the situation primarily on the financial issues the organization is facing, now that their main sponsor, ESFX, has dropped support, adding that Power Rangers will continue to handle The International 5 preparations diligently.
— PowerRangers Dota2 (@prdota2) March 20, 2015
Power Rangers have recently been significantly affected by changes. In early February, the team lost their mid player Maxim “Shachlo” Abramovskikh. One month later, on March 12, the team officially announced that they were no longer contracted under or connected to their sponsoring organization, ESFXtv. Power Rangers had been sponsored by the organization since August of 2013. According to the team manager, Nikita “BigStar” Shestakov, ESFXtv decided to change direction and leave Dota 2 and eSports all together. Just a few days following the announcement, Sonneiko now parts ways with the team, as well.
Current Power Rangers roster:
Evgeniy “chshrct” Kostroma
Aliaksei “j4” Lipai
Dimitrii “Ditya-Ra” Minenkov
Vega Squadron replaces Tpoh with sQreen; has no results to show for
Vega Squadron, a Russian professional gaming organization, has come onto the Dota 2 radar relatively recently. The team’s General Manager, Vanja “HighArT” Šimunec, has issued a statement announcing that Haled “sQreen” Al-Habbash will replace Maxim “Tpoh” Vernikov. Šimunec hopes that sQreen will bring more stability to the team.
— Vega Squadron (@VegaSquadron) March 19, 2015
Maxim “Tpoh” Vernikov had been playing with Vega Squadron for a few weeks when the team secured their placement in the Dotapit Season 3, after winning the qualifiers on January 27. TpoH officially joined the team on February 3, and the squad proceeded in a whirlwind of wins, including MSI Dragon Battle (February 1), EIZO Cup (February 12), Gigabyte Challenge (February 15). The last game played by TpoH in Vega Squadron was on March 2. That was also the last time the team secured any titles.
On March 9, Haled “sQreen” Al-Habbash started standing-in for the team. sQreen had been teamless since his last attempt to form a team with famed players Ivan “Vigoss” Shinkarev and Sergey “ars-art” Revin failed after only 3 days, as Vigoss never showed up to any official matches.
Current Vega Squadron roster:
Haled “sQreen” Al-Habbash
Arsenii “ArsZeeqq” Usov
Valdimir “no[o]ne” Minenko
Semen “Cema” Krivulya
Paul “9pashaebashu” Khvastunov
With TI5 qualifiers and invites around the corner – rumored to occur in approximately 2 months from now, both Power Rangers and Vega Squadron will be scrambling to secure a spot and chance to attend.