After a well-deserved break following The International 5, Team Empire have announced a part of their roster changes for the new season. The Russian organization is parting ways with Maxim “yoky” Kim and Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko and welcoming Ivan “ubah” Kapustin. Empire will announce their fifth player by the end of the month.
The announcement was made on Team Empire’s website.
Team Empire’s Managing Director, StrangeR, gives some insight into the organization’s decision to move forward without Maxim “yoky” Kim and Andrey “ALWAYSWANNAFLY” Bondarenko:
First of all, a big thank to Andrew and Max for the time they were with us. There’s no sense to talk about the reasons for our decision. Regarding yoky, we can only say that offlane is not what he wants and we gave him a chance to try the role he prefers in another team. ALWAYSWANNAFLY was with us at two International championships – we had victories and defeats. He has done a lot for our team, and now we have decided to continue to move forward on different paths. I wish Andrew finds a new team and continues to play in the pro scene.
StrangeR also talks about Team Empire’s new addition, Ivan “ubah” Kapustin (formerly of XX5 and Molodoya Komanda), stating that the organization will not rush into a decision regarding a fifth player:
We took ubah, a player who has deserved a place in the tier-one scene for a long time. Now he has a great chance to prove himself. In fact, there are a lot of players who still deserve a chance. As for our second support – we are not in a hurry to announce him, we need time to make the right decision. It may be unexpected.
Ivan “ubah” Kapustin will take the offlaner role in Team Empire. He used to play alongside Alexei “Solo” Berezin in XX5 Gaming and then followed Solo to Molodoya Komanda, joining Vadim “Sedoy” Musorin, Ivan “VANSKOR” Skorokhod, and Roman “Scandal” Sadotenkov. The up and coming Russian player was seen standing-in for Natus Vincere on several occasions.
Team Empire will announce their fifth member by the end of August.
Team Empire current roster
Airat “Silent” Gaziev
Roman “Resolut1on” Fominok (captain)
Ilya “ALOHADANCE” Korobkin
Ivan “ubah” Kapustin
In addition, Team Empire have made some changes in the organization’s managerial body. From now on, Sergei “AnahRoniX” Bykovskii will be Team Empire’s new Business Development Manager, while Dmitry “Korb3n” Belov (formerly involved with Yellow Submarine) will help Dmitry “Ash” Ugarov with the team manager responsibilities.